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   » Cinema Yak   » what's your favorite type of theatre? (Page 1)

 
This topic comprises 6 pages: 1  2  3  4  5  6 
 
Author Topic: what's your favorite type of theatre?
Scott Norwood
New Member

Posts: 40
From: Boston, MA
Registered: Feb 2003


 - posted April 13, 2003 06:47 AM      Profile for Scott Norwood   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Norwood         Edit/Delete Post 
Subject says it. What type of theatre do people find most interesting and, if different, what type does everyone like to visit to watch films.

Personally, I like single-screen houses from the '20s and '30s; The architecture is usually more interesting than later theatres and the acoustics are usually decent, as these houses were usually designed with either live theatre or sound motion pictures in mind. Even if these have been hacked up into multiplexes, they usually still have the main house more or less intact. Although most of the great movie palaces are gone, there are quite a few neighborhood theatres (with 400-1000 seats) still in operation. Many of these have more interesting histories than the palaces, and some have many of the same features (including organs, full stage facilities, etc.).

Another type that I like, but which has few surviving examples, would be the last of the single-screens built in the 1960s. These were usually designed for 70mm, D-150, Cinerama, CinemaScope, or other widescreen processes. While these houses usually have less-interesting architectural features than the art-deco theatres, they usually have larger screens and better acoustics.

Although Scott Neff likes them, I hate hate hate the shoebox multiplexes that were built (or converted) from the late '70s and early '80s. I suppose that they are interesting to the extent that most of them will soon be gone (if they aren't already), but they are usually just terrible places to watch films.

 |  IP: Logged

Roger Katz
Member

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


 - posted April 13, 2003 07:15 AM      Profile for Roger Katz   Email Roger Katz         Edit/Delete Post 
I enjoy any theatre with a balcony. These are mostly the single screens built between the 1920's and the 1940's. Unfortunately most of these theatres have been closed for a long time, and of the ones that remain few actually open their balconies to the public anymore.

I also like a single screen theatre in Hartford which, having opened in 1997, was carved out of space inside the old Underwood typewriter factory. I think its a really creative way to reuse an old factory building that might otherwise sit around and decay.

 |  IP: Logged

Bill Gabel
Member

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


 - posted April 13, 2003 12:04 PM      Profile for Bill Gabel           Edit/Delete Post 
I always enjoyed running the old palaces from the 30's. My
favorite theatres were the old Warner houses. They had great
booths. The best one for me was the Warner Beverly Hills
Theatre. It was a Art Deco theatre and seated around 1500
people. In the booth it had 2 DP-70s and 2 Black cased XL's.
During the mid 50's they also had a pair of VistaVision
Centurys. The Warner on Hollywood Blvd. was also one of my
favorites to run. It was built in 1926 and seated 2756 people.
In early 1978, it was tri-plexed. One 1200 seat theatre downstairs and two 500 seat theatre in the old balcony.
The main theatre and #3 could run 70MM and theatre #2 was
35mm only. During the 50's this was Los Angeles Cinerama
Theatre before the Dome opened in 1963. These theatres had
some much history.
The photo below is the FOX San Francisco 4651 seats.

 -

Look at all those seats.

[ April 13, 2003, 08:06 PM: Message edited by: Bill Gabel ]

 |  IP: Logged

Scott D. Neff
Tour Guide

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


 - posted April 14, 2003 06:34 PM      Profile for Scott D. Neff   Email Scott D. Neff         Edit/Delete Post 
My fascination with the 70's-80's shoeboxes are only based purely on the fascination of watching a car wreck. I love to see how many of the single screens of the 60's got added onto and chopped up and incorporated into a theatre that SOMEBODY decided was an acceptable place to watch movies.... it's really more of an archaeology thing.

IE: Which house is the original house? What came next? Oh isn't this funny... the screen is at a 60 degree angle from the seating because they were too cheap to re-rake the auditorium. Oh look - they built a wall down the middle of this auditorium so now there are center aisles with two seats on either side of the aisle but about 50 rows of each. Isn't this theatre nice... there are about 4 different types of chair per auditorium.

Like I said... car wreck. Also, I find a comforting irony in all the pride people took in early multiplexing efforts.

"HEY! Look at us! We have FOUR screens!!! Holy LORD can you believe it??? FOUR screens in ONE building." But I love that this amazing achievement was done by building some of the most awkward auditoriums known to man.

 |  IP: Logged

Daniel Fuentz
Member

Posts: 212
From: Cleveland, Ohio
Registered: Mar 2003


 - posted April 14, 2003 06:51 PM      Profile for Daniel Fuentz   Email Daniel Fuentz         Edit/Delete Post 
Well, I've never seen a film in a single screen theater so I wouldn't know what that's like! (In fact I've only ever been to one theater with a stage in front of the screen, and that was many years ago.)

I most like to look at the old theaters of the 30's and 40's. Fresno has a couple of these left, but none operate as a theater anymore. (The Liberty is a church, the Wilson has been restored and is now a church, The Warnors is a live venue and the Crest is currently vacant and rotting away.)

I used to love going to the Drive-In when it was open, but there isn't even one in town anymore.

When I go to the movies nowadays I'll go to the 8-plex near my house simply becuase there is hardly ever a line there. Usually I get there 10 minutes before showtime and that is plenty of time to get ticket, popcorn and a good seat. Since the Edwards 21 opened nobody wants to go to the old UA multiplexes, it seems.

Scott, not all multiplexing efforts pay off. I was told that the Merced theater in Merced, Ca had to close down becuase multiplexing attempts had caused structural problems. I guess those have been sorted out becuase the theater is open now. (Unfortunately I didn't have time to see a film there when I was in town)

 |  IP: Logged

Adam Martin
Administrator

Posts: 1090
From: Dallas, TX
Registered: Feb 2003


 - posted April 14, 2003 07:11 PM      Profile for Adam Martin   Author's Homepage   Email Adam Martin         Edit/Delete Post 
Daniel ... next time you're up this way, see a show at the Crest in Sacramento. The main auditorium is intact with two more screens in the basement of the building next door. Quite a beautiful place, despite the sometimes-lackluster presentation.

Screen 1 is the main house, so make sure there's not a concert going on the night you choose to visit.

 |  IP: Logged

Adam Martin
Administrator

Posts: 1090
From: Dallas, TX
Registered: Feb 2003


 - posted April 14, 2003 07:23 PM      Profile for Adam Martin   Author's Homepage   Email Adam Martin         Edit/Delete Post 
It's true. Scott gets all excited any time he sees a structure triumphantly proclaiming, "CINEMA"!

 -

 |  IP: Logged

Scott D. Neff
Tour Guide

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


 - posted April 14, 2003 07:51 PM      Profile for Scott D. Neff   Email Scott D. Neff         Edit/Delete Post 
*bes excited*

 |  IP: Logged

Daniel Fuentz
Member

Posts: 212
From: Cleveland, Ohio
Registered: Mar 2003


 - posted April 14, 2003 08:03 PM      Profile for Daniel Fuentz   Email Daniel Fuentz         Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks for the tip, Adam! The only time I was in Sacramento was a few years ago when I visited a friend who was a driver for Coke. I didn't get to visit any theaters but I did get to see nearly every Lucky and Raley's in town. [Smile] (He was delivering the canned and bottled varieties of Coke, not the fountain type)

 |  IP: Logged

Chuck Cook
Member

Posts: 66
From: Kentwood, MI
Registered: Apr 2003


 - posted April 14, 2003 11:11 PM      Profile for Chuck Cook   Email Chuck Cook         Edit/Delete Post 
Want single screeners? Go to northern Michigan; there's the Elk Rapids Cinema in Elk Rapids (1941-), which is in OK shape dispite a missing seat here and there and is "The World's Largest Black Light Seating Mural" with a roof that needs fixing, not to mention that the town's mayor, Joe Yuchasz has owned it since 1973, there's the Bay in Suttons Bay (1946-), and the Bellaire in Bellaire (1988-) which is VERY nice even for a newer moviehouse (for those wondering, it replaced the OLD Belliare Theatre built in the early 40's, destroyed in a fire in 1988).

Looks like the guy who owns this site is salivating over my info [Smile]

Personally, I love the modern-day cineplexes with stadium seating and stereo surround sound. Here in Grand Rapids, all of the town's theatres have it. It makes one wonder why the Showcase here in town went out of business and is in the process of being torn down - I passed it the other day and the lobby's now a skeleton.

 |  IP: Logged

Paul Linfesty
Member

Posts: 64
From: Bakersfield, CA
Registered: Feb 2003


 - posted April 14, 2003 11:54 PM      Profile for Paul Linfesty   Email Paul Linfesty         Edit/Delete Post 
Daniel, The Fox theatre in Bakersfield still has a lot of movie showings (foreign, classic)and is being beautifully restored. Theyre showing Hedwig and the Angry Inch this Friday and THE RIGHT STUFF on the 24th of this month (tied to Kern County's reading initiative which is highlighting the book this month). Its a beautiful 1500 seater.

 |  IP: Logged

Daniel Fuentz
Member

Posts: 212
From: Cleveland, Ohio
Registered: Mar 2003


 - posted April 15, 2003 04:17 AM      Profile for Daniel Fuentz   Email Daniel Fuentz         Edit/Delete Post 
Ah, so there's another single-screener operating in the valley! I had seen an item on the news about the restoration of the Bakersfield Fox a few years ago. They must've gotten a lot accomplished if they're showing films again! One of these days I'll start taking road trips to some of these cool places.

I do agree about stadium seating, though, it does eliminate some of the age-old theater problems caused by sitting behind someone with a big hairdo. [Smile]

Scott, do you also get excited about buildings that say "MOVIES" or "THEATERS"? [Big Grin]

[ April 15, 2003, 05:04 PM: Message edited by: Daniel Fuentz ]

 |  IP: Logged

Scott D. Neff
Tour Guide

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


 - posted April 16, 2003 12:54 AM      Profile for Scott D. Neff   Email Scott D. Neff         Edit/Delete Post 
My excitement gradually builds. I see THEATER on the side of a building and I'm obviously interested. MOVIES means I'm going to see how awful UA or CINEMARK built a theatre. And after that there's CINEMA... at that point I'm just a blubbering mass of jelly.

 |  IP: Logged

Daniel Fuentz
Member

Posts: 212
From: Cleveland, Ohio
Registered: Mar 2003


 - posted April 16, 2003 03:40 AM      Profile for Daniel Fuentz   Email Daniel Fuentz         Edit/Delete Post 
UA=awful?? Aw, you don't really mean that... [Big Grin] There are some UA cinemas that are real showplaces. I just haven't seen them. [Big Grin] I'll admit, I *liked* the UA Movies 8 in Clovis when it opened. It was a treat to go to a "good" theater, not the dump at Manchester Mall! (You all remember how it was before you had a driver's license and could only go where your parents took you.) Plus, I was so easily impressed by the neon in the lobby... [Uh-oh]

[ April 16, 2003, 04:57 AM: Message edited by: Daniel Fuentz ]

 |  IP: Logged

Daryl C. W. O'Shea
Administrator

Posts: 181
From: Midland, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Feb 2003


 - posted April 16, 2003 09:51 AM      Profile for Daryl C. W. O'Shea   Email Daryl C. W. O'Shea         Edit/Delete Post 
Did somebody say (clashing) neon? Adam...

 |  IP: Logged



All times are Central
This topic comprises 6 pages: 1  2  3  4  5  6 
 
   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