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» Cinematour Forum   » Cinemas and Theatres   » Is Your Hometown Cinema Dead Forever? (Page 1)

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Author Topic: Is Your Hometown Cinema Dead Forever?
Andrea White
New Member

Posts: 1
From: Sykesville, MD
Registered: Dec 2009

 - posted December 08, 2009 09:02 AM      Profile for Andrea White   Author's Homepage           Edit/Delete Post 
First, thank you for this site. I used it to research my local theater. I didn't find much on mine, but I still love the concept of the group.

Our local theater in Eldersburg, MD is now closed, "until further notice." I've been living here long enough (10 years) to know what that means. It is dead.

Money Magazine recently chose Eldersburg as the 47th best small town in which to live. That was a debatable idea, although I love living here. Now it may no longer be debatable. It was Carrolltowne Theatre when I moved here, and it was Flagship Cinema when it closed. Other than its name, it never really changed. My husband Jack wrote a brief, entertaining memorial called "The Last Picture Show - Is Carrolltowne Theatre Dead Forever?" that would interest anyone sad about the demise of their local theater.There are a couple pictures of the old movie house too.

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Jeff Arellano
Senior Member

Posts: 685
From: Monterey Park, CA
Registered: Jun 2003

 - posted December 09, 2009 05:28 PM      Profile for Jeff Arellano   Email Jeff Arellano         Edit/Delete Post 
For me, my hometown theatre was closed well before I could remember, and was demolished before I was in High School. It was the Monterey Theatre on Garfield Ave. It was closed in the 70's, as many people opted to go up to Alhambra and their theatres.

In the early 80's, Edwards opened the Monterey Park Mall 3.

This will be where I saw many films (with the only other theatres I'd attend as a kid were the new Alhambra Place 5, and the AMC Rosemead 4). It was sad when they made this theatre a dollar house in the 90's, but they never updated the theatre its entire life. Sadly it closed and last year, demolished.

For my city, however, a new theatre is on the rise. Loews signed a lease to build a new 14 screen theatre at the Atlantic Times Square project. It was supposed to start construction in 2004, but after several delays, finally started construction last year, and will open as an AMC Theatre (most likely the last theatre designed by Lowes).

This theatre will open most likely by the summer, as the project is a little behind schedule.

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Christopher Crouch

Posts: 292
From: Anaheim, CA
Registered: Feb 2006

 - posted December 09, 2009 09:40 PM      Profile for Christopher Crouch   Email Christopher Crouch         Edit/Delete Post 
My hometown theatres are all long gone. I grew up in Pittsfield, Ma. (well, from age ten until I went off to college). When I first moved to the area, there were four classic cinemas downtown (Capital, Palace, Showplace, and Paris), a tiny twin plex located in the basement of the Berkshire Commons building, and a multiplex on the outskirts of town (Cinema Center). The classic theatres were already on lifesupport by then and everything, except for the Cinema Center, was closed by the time I was in high school. The Cinema Center, which holds the most personal memories for me, lasted until well after I moved away; but even that theatre is now closed and vacant.

At best, I could cite the historic Colonial Theatre as still being around. However, when I lived in the area, it was being used as a paint supply store (i.e. the theatre has been reopened as a live venue and predates me, but it wasn't in operation while I lived there).

When I stop and think about it, just about every theatre from my childhood (various cities/states), through college (Lubbock, Tx.), are now gone.

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Richard A Stegman Jr

Posts: 267
From: Calimesa,CA
Registered: Jun 2003

 - posted December 10, 2009 08:23 AM      Profile for Richard A Stegman Jr   Email Richard A Stegman Jr         Edit/Delete Post 
My hometown(Las Vegas,NV)has seen a number of theatres close over the years. The Cinedome,Fox,Boulevard,Parkway,Red Rock(the original),Rainbow in Henderson. Plus the Desert 5,Skyway,Sunset and Nevada drive-ins.
I also miss the Meralta and Avenue(Downey,CA),all the classic single screens in Hollywood,GCC Montclair Plaza 8,UA Montclair 6,Mann/Edwards Mountaingreen 4,Pacific Ontario 10,Pacific Inland Center,GCC Inland Twin and the GCC Greenspoint 5,Deauville Twin(not listed here) in Houston,TX

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Scott D. Neff
Tour Guide

Posts: 661
From: San Francisco, CA
Registered: Feb 2003

 - posted December 10, 2009 03:36 PM      Profile for Scott D. Neff   Email Scott D. Neff         Edit/Delete Post 
My beloved Washington Square Cinemas in Petaluma, CA was demolished a few years back. Even the evil Pacific Theatre's Petaluma 8 was torn down. None of the theatres I grew up going to see movies at are standing anymore.

There are a few that I'd go to here and there that still show movies, but they've been remodelled to the point where it just doesn't feel the same.

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Chris Utley
Senior Member

Posts: 631
From: Torrance, CA
Registered: May 2003

 - posted December 10, 2009 04:03 PM      Profile for Chris Utley   Author's Homepage   Email Chris Utley         Edit/Delete Post 
In St. Louis, the Esquire & the Tivoli are the last men standing from my childhood. I guess I could shout out Des Peres 14 (used to be 4 when I was a kid) and the Skyview Drive-In in Belleville, IL, but I never went to those spots when I was a kid.

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Roger Katz

Posts: 339
From: Thomaston, CT
Registered: Feb 2003

 - posted December 11, 2009 08:45 PM      Profile for Roger Katz   Email Roger Katz         Edit/Delete Post 
My hometown cinema died in 2002. The 2004 photos of it ( ) are enough to make me cry!

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Brad Erickson

Posts: 117
From: West Hollywood, CA
Registered: May 2006

 - posted December 14, 2009 09:56 AM      Profile for Brad Erickson   Email Brad Erickson         Edit/Delete Post 
Yes - Westwood Village.

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Bill Gabel

Posts: 288
From: New York, NY
Registered: Feb 2003

 - posted December 14, 2009 04:40 PM      Profile for Bill Gabel           Edit/Delete Post 
Mine died afew years ago.

Criterion (Santa Monica)
El Miro (Santa Monica)
Picwood (West Los Angeles)

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Brad Erickson

Posts: 117
From: West Hollywood, CA
Registered: May 2006

 - posted December 21, 2009 08:51 AM      Profile for Brad Erickson   Email Brad Erickson         Edit/Delete Post 
For me, Laemmle Monica Twins, Cinema on the Mall (El Miro), Criterion, Brentwood Twins, Pacific Picwood, Plitt Century Plaza, Mann National, Plaza Westwood, UA Cinema Center Westwood, GCC AVCO...all gone.

Soon to be gone, Mann Village, Mann Bruin. Next Christmas movies in Westwood will be practically extinct.

All of the above mentioned theatres were some of the finest theatres in So Cal.

I know, Criterion, Avco and Monica are stil there. But the Monica Twins and the single Criterion theatres were better venues than they are now. And the AVCO died for me when they spilt the large screen into two.

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John Robert

Posts: 135
From: Addison, TX
Registered: Jan 2005

 - posted December 21, 2009 11:56 PM      Profile for John Robert   Email John Robert         Edit/Delete Post 
The first theaters I remember were in Plano, outside Dallas. Whatever the town had for downtown/storefront style theaters were gone for years by the time my family and I moved there from up north. The Plano Drive-In could be seen off the road between where we lived and the main part of town; the only movies I got to see were the fleeting scenes showing as we drove by at night. The drive-in is gone now, at least 20-25 years ago now, I think someone used it as a flea market, now the land is taken up by yet another big-box-o-rama. If you watch close the "Dallas" episode (the 1980-1981 season premiere) after J.R. was shot, there is a scene where Bobby and Pam are driving and a TX DPS helicopter tells them to stop. If you look on the far right of the screen, you can see one of the Plano Drive-In screens. The only other theater operating there at the time was the ABC/Plitt Cameo (later, the Collin Creek Cameo to promote it's proximity to a new mall). It was built facing away from the nearest major street corner, so it was not easily seen. The building has since been torn down.

The only other ones during childhood were the Strand in Frankston and the Palace in Jacksonville. I know I've been to the Palace 2 or 3 times before it closed in 1980, the Strand I went to once; a grade school field trip to go see Charlotte's Web. The Palace ended up getting made over into lawyer's offices; while the Strand was the victim of a bank expansion.

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Bob Allen

Posts: 79
From: Toledo, OR
Registered: May 2003

 - posted December 22, 2009 12:09 PM      Profile for Bob Allen   Email Bob Allen         Edit/Delete Post 
Theatres I attended as a kid were in Pomona, California and three of the four downtown houses are now gone: The State (the first house I worked as an I.A. projectionist), the California/UA (now a Mexican church) and the Sunkist. The Fox recently underwent a multi-million dollar restoration and is absolutely beautiful.

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Kyle Muldrow

Posts: 143
From: Laguna Hills, CA
Registered: Jul 2003

 - posted July 17, 2010 07:24 PM      Profile for Kyle Muldrow   Author's Homepage   Email Kyle Muldrow         Edit/Delete Post 
I grew up in St. Charles, MO, where we had three theaters from the time we moved there until I was in college: The Cinema 4 Center, the St. Andrews Cinema, and the Plaza Drive-In. Cinema 4 Center, which holds the most memories for me because that's where I went to movies most often, closed in 1988 when Wehrenberg opened the St. Charles 10 (now 18) and was torn down several years later for a Walgreen's. The Plaza Drive-In, which became notorious for showing soft-core porn all through the 70s, closed around 1983 or 1984 (not long after I graduated high school in 1982) and just sat vacant for many years until Lindenwood College bought the property and has now built several new buildings on the site, including a performing arts center.
The St. Andrews, which was a single-screen theater, became a dollar show in the 1980s and is still open as a dollar show, although it's a three-screener now...It's too bad Cinema 4 Center was torn down, because that would now be the perfect spot for a dollar/discount show. It's also hard to believe the St. Andrews is still standing after all this time, although the building is starting to show its age.

The other theaters I went to most often during my St. Louis years are also long gone. There was the I-70 Drive-In in St. Peters, which I went to many times. It's now the Dodge/Kia dealership on Veterans Memorial Parkway, just east of Spencer Road. There's also the old Northwest Plaza 4 Cinema, which was originally operated by General Cinema and later by Wehrenberg. It closed in 1989 when Wehrenberg opened the 9-screen theater inside the mall...which is now also closed, as is most of the rest of that mall. That's really depressing seeing that mall the way it is now (I've only seen pictures). I remember how fun that place used to be. And then there's the old Village Square Cinema. When I started attending that place frequently, it was a dollar show run by AMC. That place was the toughest ticket in North St. Louis County on Friday and Saturday nights. The line for tickets would go all the way around the building. That place was torn down in 2000, I believe.

The only other theater that I attended in St. Louis was the 66 Park-In Theater on Watson Road in Crestwood, directly across the street from Crestwood Plaza. It was torn down in 1995 to make way for a shopping center that includes a Schnucks and a Best Buy. I only went there one time and saw a great double feature (Tremors, Back To The Future III) along with a lightning storm near the end of the night. As a Route 66 and drive-in fan, that will forever be a great memory.

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John J. Fink

Posts: 123
From: Buffalo, NY
Registered: Aug 2005

 - posted July 17, 2010 08:30 PM      Profile for John J. Fink   Author's Homepage   Email John J. Fink         Edit/Delete Post 
Colonial Twin - Pompton Lakes, NJ - RIP (last show was the Pompton Lakes filmed flick In & Out). Colonial Twin died because it was never kept up and the business model was changing to 14 screen theaters (Loews/Sony Theaters Wayne killed a lot of theaters in Northern NJ). Had Clearview (not something I normally would recommend) taken it over and made it into a 4-5 screen theater it might have had a chance at success, and downtown Pompton Lakes might have had a shot at being a hip and successful downtown.

The balcony is now a live theater and the large auditorium on the ground floor is now a gym for the Windsor School (a special needs private K-12 school). Don't know if the projector is still in the balcony (if so maybe they could show art films in between shows like the Civic Theatre in Allentown, PA does).

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Ron Newman

Posts: 145
From: Somerville, MA
Registered: Jan 2005

 - posted October 05, 2010 10:15 AM      Profile for Ron Newman   Email Ron Newman         Edit/Delete Post 
Theaters I once attended, that are now gone or at least no longer movie theatres:

Gone from Memphis, Tennessee: the Poplar Plaza (preserved at least as a bookstore now), Summer Ave. Drive-In (the original one; a new one was built almost next to it after it closed)

Gone from Columbus, Ohio: Grand Cinerama, RKO Palace (now a live stage only), Southern (now a live stage only), Esquire (aka Carousel East), Bexley I & II, Town & Country Cinema, Cinema East, Eastland Mall Cinema, The Forum I II & II, York Plaza, University Flick, Eastside Drive-In.

Gone from Boston, Mass. area: Central Square Cinemas, Off the Wall Cinema, Galeria (aka Janus), Orson Welles Cinema, Cheri, NIckelodeon, Paris, Music Hall (now Wang, a live stage only), Park Square, Beacon Hill, Charles, Park (Dorchester), Village (West Roxbury), Circle (Brighton/Brookline), Allston

Gone from Los Angeles area: Criterion (Santa Monica), Meralta (Culver City), Warner Beverly Hills, Brentwood Twin, Mann Westwood triplex, Plitt Century Plaza (such a shame!), Fairfax (unless it has reopened), Four Star (reopened as a live stage now?), Fox Venice, Marina Cinemas (Redondo Beach), Rialto (South Pasadena)

and probably others I've forgotten

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