CinemaTour
Cinema History Around the World
 HOME ·· CINEMAS ·· FORUM ·· LINKS ·· BOOKS
 Contact Cinematour ·· Help & Hints ·· About Cinematour
Cinematour Forum


  
my profile | my password | search | faq | forum home
  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Cinematour Forum   » Cinemas and Theatres   » Guilty Pleasure Theatres / Awful Theatres (Page 2)

 
This topic comprises 3 pages: 1  2  3 
 
Author Topic: Guilty Pleasure Theatres / Awful Theatres
David Pulido
New Member

Posts: 27
From: Fort Worth, TX
Registered: Aug 2010


 - posted December 26, 2010 02:27 AM      Profile for David Pulido   Email David Pulido         Edit/Delete Post 
Any old United Artists theater...my theater (U.A. Fossil Creek 11, one of the first themed UA's)...since Regal seems to be closing all of us down...if I can find a UA theater I will watch a movie in it. We recently were forced to get rid of anything that said United Artists on it and replace with R.E.G. markings. Only the building says UA now.

 |  IP: Logged

Scott D. Neff
Tour Guide

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


 - posted December 26, 2010 10:12 AM      Profile for Scott D. Neff   Email Scott D. Neff         Edit/Delete Post 
Aww that IS sad. I too find myself going to UAs whenever I have the chance.

As much as people currently complain that Regal and AMC build boring, bland megaplexes, I know UA was on that list 15 years ago as well. That being said, there will never be another theatre built in the boring, bland style that defined UA. So whenever I get the chance I like to go in and pour out a large popcorn in the back row for my fallen homey, United Artists.

In all seriousness that is one of the things that makes me twinge whenever I hear of a chain of theatres being absorbed by another.

There will never be another true United Artists Theatre built.
There will never be another General Cinema built.
There will never be another Loews Theatre built.
There will never be another Cineplex Odeon built (the way we remember them).

Even with the change in management in some chains, there will never be another Carmike built in the cheesy generic way we remember. I doubt if Landmark will ever take over an old funky theatre again, it seems they just run the ones they have and build new ones.

Perhaps I'll start another thread discussing this, and perhaps the last theatre each chain ever built.

 |  IP: Logged

Mark Campbell
Member

Posts: 437
From: Seattle, WA
Registered: Oct 2004


 - posted December 26, 2010 11:21 PM      Profile for Mark Campbell   Email Mark Campbell         Edit/Delete Post 
I second that Scott.

Let me add to and localize your list for Seattle:

There will never be another SRO built (and RIP Uptown Cinemas)
There will never be another Act III built
There will never be another Luxury Theatre built (thankfully)

SRO and Act III built great theatres, so considering the topic of this thread I probably didn't need to mention them.

Ditto what you wrote about Landmark (especially when you look at LA). Luckily we have lots of funky Landmark Theatres in Seattle, but the Neptune is repurposing to a live venue in February. What will go next?

 |  IP: Logged

Rob Alexander
New Member

Posts: 20
From: Palm Springs, CA
Registered: Oct 2010


 - posted December 28, 2010 02:32 PM      Profile for Rob Alexander   Email Rob Alexander         Edit/Delete Post 
When I am up in the Bay Area, I like to go to the Piedmont Theater in Oakland (where I used to live), and just love sitting in the two balcony theaters. They have super small screens, terrible seating, but for some reason, i just love that place. Of course the main house is one of my favorite theaters ever, but those upstairs ones are a trip.

 |  IP: Logged

Scott D. Neff
Tour Guide

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


 - posted December 28, 2010 02:52 PM      Profile for Scott D. Neff   Email Scott D. Neff         Edit/Delete Post 
Apparently they did a small remodel on that place, new seats and all. I haven't been there ever, just outside, so I don't know how much of a change it would be.

 |  IP: Logged

Christopher Crouch
Member

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


 - posted December 30, 2010 05:11 AM      Profile for Christopher Crouch   Email Christopher Crouch         Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
what exactly makes the operator clueless??
While I've had a couple of conversations with the owners that left me shaking my head, the "clueless" aspect is primarily due to the onsite supervision. I've never been during the day, but evenings seem to be kind of a hit or miss experience (when they even stay open for the last set). Yet, I somehow find this theatre enjoyable, hence the "craptastic" moniker. I've always found the strange Edwards/SoCal Cinemas co-owner roots of this location interesting, as the theatre ended up being unlike either operator's venues of the time (the bizarre jungle-gym railing and glass walled office second floor is a particularly unique abnormality).

Unlike most of my craptastic list, this is actually a pretty nice theatre (facility wise). Unfortunately, it's close proximity to Leisure World/Laguna Woods and three screen configuration has always been/always will be a business handicap. If this theatre had at least a couple more screens and wasn't located next to a retirement community (perhaps down El Toro a few miles), I could see it doing very well.

quote:
I personally would say the Brookhurst is the worst of the bunch.
Yes, the Brookhurst is easily the worst of the list (likely, more crap than tastic). If you think the public areas are bad, you should see the nightmare upstairs.

Funny story on the brief Interstate/Starplex run at the Brookhurst: At the time, the company was owned by Charlie Funk (a colorful character, who went back a few decades in the industry). When approached about taking on the Brookhurst, he pictured the theatre as it was in it's heyday (i.e. the very nice venue he had seen decades earlier). Normally, he would have sent someone to check out the location in depth, but the guy who did this was preoccupied with the birth of his first child. So, completely out of character (Mr. Funk was notoriously conservative and frugal in business matters), he signed a deal without actually inspecting the site properly. Not surprising, everyone was horrified when they saw their latest acquisition. The "renovation" quickly turned in to a "let's limit out damages" project and the site went downhill from there; the day before opening, a delivery truck backed in to the one significant remodel expenditure, a new exterior sign, breaking it; a few weeks later, there was a rainstorm and everyone discovered the roof was far from water tight; in short order, local "artists" added their unique work to walls and screens; area vagrants arrived in droves, along with their flees; plumbing issues resulted in a toilet worm infestation. Basically, one disaster/problem after another.

Mr. Funk passed away before he ever had the chance to see his poor decision in person, but the theatre was a company blemish all the way up to the day a pipe broke, flooding the lobby with raw sewage (the proverbial "last straw" for operations). I'm really amazed the current operators dared to have another go at the Brookhurst.

 |  IP: Logged

Matthew Williams
New Member

Posts: 11
From: Philadelphia, PA
Registered: Jun 2004


 - posted January 04, 2011 10:24 AM      Profile for Matthew Williams   Email Matthew Williams         Edit/Delete Post 
Great topic... and I can think of a couple of theatres off the top of my head.

First and foremost is the UA Moorestown Mall 7. It's a former RKO Stanley Warner, then Eric twin, that UA somehow managed to carve into a seven-screener. It's got everything - theatres that recall bowling alley lanes, uncomfortable low back seating, scratchy stereo sound, you name it. It's not well attended, largely due to a Loews gigaplex just down the road.

So why go here? Well, the Loews is a TERRIBLE theatre even though it's a 24-plex, but this offers the closest thing to the theatregoing experience of the 1990s. There hasn't been any significant renovations or changes since then. Hell, Regal never bothered to install the National CineMedia digital ad system - so this was one of the few theatres remaining that still showed the coaster. (A moot point now, of course, since Regal brought it back.) I've been meaning to go back since I've seen a few "3D" showings listed for this theatre, but I can't imagine they've changed anything else.

Another ex-Eric, and ex-UA, is the Frank Montgomeryville Stadium 10. Imagine, if you will, a dumpy 1970s exterior and lobby leading to brand new, state of the art auditoriums with stadium seating and digital projection. It seems like an unfinished remodel, and by all accounts it is - the newspaper ads tack on two extra screens that aren't there yet, and they still only have tarp covering the old UA signs on the exterior. What's done is quite an upgrade, considering that one of the selling points of the remodel was cupholder seats.

Down the road from here is the AMC 309 Cinema 9. This is the oldest one they operate here, built in the 1970s by Budco and acquired in 1987. An overview of the area's movie theatres in Philadelphia magazine a few years back called this a "fossil", and I think it's an apt description. While the cinemas themselves are probably untouched since the last remodel in the early 80s, AMC installed their cupholder seats in the late 1980s and reconfigured the lobby around 1992.

In general, AMC's fleet in the Philadelphia area really isn't that great. Aside from two 24-plexes, three including that awful Loews build, and a few late model GCCs, their theatres here consist of older, 1980s and early 1990s era multiplexes. There's one "classic" model GCC still operating in Deptford that's shared with a nearby mid-80s AMC, and last I checked you wouldn't even know AMC owned it as they just stripped off "General" from the signs.

One last one is the Woodhaven 10, but I'm bringing that up in the last of a dying chain thread because it answers a question brought up there...

 |  IP: Logged

Brad Erickson
Member

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


 - posted January 04, 2011 04:37 PM      Profile for Brad Erickson   Email Brad Erickson         Edit/Delete Post 
I'll say the Laemmle Sunset 5. By today's standards it is not a great theatre. But something about its atmosphere I love. Could be because it is the last real venue for the true Independent film in LA, or perhaps because it is not trying to be overly impressive. In a day of the 'overblown' AMC Monster plexes the Sunset 5's simplistic screens are a breath of fresh air.

 |  IP: Logged

Mark Campbell
Member

Posts: 437
From: Seattle, WA
Registered: Oct 2004


 - posted January 04, 2011 04:42 PM      Profile for Mark Campbell   Email Mark Campbell         Edit/Delete Post 
Brad, I second your fondness for the Sunset 5 and all Laemmle theatres. I am not a fan of the way Landmark has gone high end (at least in LA) and that Arclight seems to take its pick of whatever arthouse or foreign films that will do well and play them alongside Hollywood trash.

 |  IP: Logged

Scott D. Neff
Tour Guide

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


 - posted January 04, 2011 07:41 PM      Profile for Scott D. Neff   Email Scott D. Neff         Edit/Delete Post 
No I want to go to Pennsylvania!!! Sounds like there are a lot of old multiplexes!!! Go take pics before they get closed.

 |  IP: Logged

Jason Whyte
New Member

Posts: 10
From: Victoria, BC, Canada
Registered: Jul 2006


 - posted January 05, 2011 12:49 AM      Profile for Jason Whyte   Author's Homepage   Email Jason Whyte         Edit/Delete Post 
Scott,

You should get up to British Columbia sometime, as there are plenty of older multiplexes in all shapes and forms (80's Cineplex Odeon, 90's Cineplex Odeon, old/weird Famous Players builds, old and converted multiplexes etc). Just hit up my photos on the BC page if yer interested.

Jason

 |  IP: Logged

Brad Erickson
Member

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


 - posted January 05, 2011 10:18 AM      Profile for Brad Erickson   Email Brad Erickson         Edit/Delete Post 
Mark, I have always been a fan of Laemmle. They really were ahead of the game when it came to International and Indie films. When I was a teenager they opened the door for me to see all sorts of films I would not have seen anywhere else. I’ll always support them and hope they are around for a long, long time to come.

 |  IP: Logged

Mark Campbell
Member

Posts: 437
From: Seattle, WA
Registered: Oct 2004


 - posted January 05, 2011 11:22 AM      Profile for Mark Campbell   Email Mark Campbell         Edit/Delete Post 
Brad, I hope Laemmle sticks around. However when I left LA they were getting hit from every direction (and still seem to be as I follow whats playing where down there online):

Sunset 5: big hits from the Arclight and Grove as it falls right into both their zones.
Royal: hit by The Landmark
Encino: hit by Arclight Sherman Oaks
Music Hall: almost gone. Again the Grove
Fairfax: gone. Grove, Arclight, Beverly Center
Downtown LA: gone, hit by the Regal

The Santa Monica 4 seems to hold its own against the trio of now-all-AMC promenade theatres. But what will happen if the Santa Monica megaplex happens?

 |  IP: Logged

Brad Erickson
Member

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


 - posted January 05, 2011 12:33 PM      Profile for Brad Erickson   Email Brad Erickson         Edit/Delete Post 
The Royal seems to be doing some business with The Illusionist; when I saw it on Christmas evening it had a decent crowd. But it has taken a big hit as has the Nuart. Lately Landmark has done away with the Nuart "Calendar" and have been showing move-overs; the past 2 weeks The Social Network and 127 Hours have been playing there.

I think the Monica theatres will continue; AMC will probably focus on the Hollywood product. There was chatter a couple years ago about Sunset 5 closing, but I have not heard anything lately. The lease must still be affordable.

Laemmle maintains itself because they do not go overboard, they stick within the confines of what they feel works. I tend to believe they also work within affordable leases. It is just matter of product. Films that are crossing over from art to mainstream are being snapped up by the theatre chains.

 |  IP: Logged

Mark Campbell
Member

Posts: 437
From: Seattle, WA
Registered: Oct 2004


 - posted January 05, 2011 12:46 PM      Profile for Mark Campbell   Email Mark Campbell         Edit/Delete Post 
Brad, I checked Landmark's Website and the Nuart goes back to Calendar programming mid-January. Something tells me they have 127 hours and Social Network there now in anticipation of awards season.

 |  IP: Logged



All times are Central
This topic comprises 3 pages: 1  2  3 
 
   Close Topic    Move Topic    Delete Topic    next oldest topic   next newest topic
Hop To:

© 1995-2013 Vision Entertainment Services. All rights reserved.

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classicTM 6.3.1.2