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» Cinematour Forum   » Cinema Yak   » what's your favorite type of theatre? (Page 4)

 
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Author Topic: what's your favorite type of theatre?
Brad Miller
Member

Posts: 122
From: Dallas, TX
Registered: Feb 2003


 - posted July 18, 2003 01:21 AM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller         Edit/Delete Post 
That pic Mike posted above was the infamous GCC "shadowbox" setup. I never understood why they painted the shadowbox white, for it just begged to show off aperture shadow (being that it was angled, it made it appear worse than it was) and KILLED contrast in the picture. At the GCC Northpark in Dallas we painted it black and added blue lights that made the whole screen glow blue during intermission. The shadowbox really made the screen appear much, MUCH bigger than it was and we had incredible contrast afterwards. I loved it so much I put a shadowbox in one of my screening rooms a few years back. It's a great effect that I miss. If I build another screening room or ever get the chance to design a theater from the ground up they will have shadowboxes. [Smile]

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Dave Felthous
Member

Posts: 186
From: Seattle, WA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted July 20, 2003 02:07 PM      Profile for Dave Felthous   Email Dave Felthous         Edit/Delete Post 
My all-time favorite theater is the long-gone Orpheum in Portland, OR (anyone from Portland out there??) It was where the downtown Nordstrom store is now.

The Orpheum had a very steep floor, so there wasn't much risk of the person in front of you blocking your view. Total capacity was probably 1,000, split between the main floor and balcony. The main floor had a coziness to it, yet it was big enough so you didn't feel confined. It had pushback seats, which I hadn't encountered before. People could pass in front of you without your standing up.

The Orpheum was the first CinemaScope venue in Portland. The theater had been remodeled just before Scope was introduced, and it had a wide, curved screen ahead of anybody else. They showed a cropped version of "Shane" in Scope proportions, although the sound was mono. Then "The Robe" played there, in stereo, and it looked and sounded great (for that time.)

I long for the more spacious movie theaters when I go to today's cramped multiplexes. I'm a manager at an elderly sevenplex, built before "incredible shrinking auditoriums." Our largest house has nearly 700 seats. In fact, of the 16 theaters in my company's Seattle district, we have by far the biggest auditorium.

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Jim Rankin
(Jim passed away in December 2006)
Posts: 123
From: Milwaukee, WI
Registered: Oct 2003


 - posted December 15, 2003 11:16 AM      Profile for Jim Rankin   Email Jim Rankin         Edit/Delete Post 
My favorite type of theatre is, by far, the Movie Palace, even if there are very few remaining in any condition to recommend them. Here in the Milwaukee area there is still the nationally recognized ORIENTAL with the main auditorium screen intact as is the balcony and the seats in front of the screen. They are a Landmark Theatres outlet and care about projection and other conditions. The RIVERSIDE here can remind me of my youth in the '50s when I saw "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" and can vivdly remember the rippling deep sea light patterns cast behind the golden opening titles as the velour curtain reflected the light as it drew open to allow the image on the screen. Somehow that haunting music combined with the artistic title sequence in that vast 2500-seat auditorium was somehow magical to a kid of 10 years old. Of course, being a theatre architecture nut, I looked about to see the theatre as much as the film, this long before some idiot threw a cigarette up on the stage in 1966 and caught the draperies on fire and thus burned the entire 13-swag grand drapery (replacement cost then: $250,000 which is why it was not replaced except by a panel of 30% fullness plain red velour). The place was supposedly "restored" in 1984 and I am glad to have its graceful lines still with us, but it is not like it was then, but then no film exhibition is. I recall the last time I was in a large theatre sold out to the walls, and that was in 1970 for "Airport" (yeah, I can't believe it today either!) at the former WARNER which was then the CENTRE which became the GRAND CINEMAS and stands idle today. It was a wonderful experience to FEEL as much as hear thousands of people laugh or gasp as one in harmony with what is on the screen in a place designed to entrance the audience rather than just encase them. I feel sorry for the youger ones today who will never experience such a situation and are cursed to be limited to the dismal megaplex multiplexes of this day. Showmanship is essentially gone, but I envy even more those born before me who saw the phenomenon at its climax before the 2nd World War. How much we have lost. Video just isn't the same experience!

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Bill Gabel
Member

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


 - posted December 15, 2003 03:08 PM      Profile for Bill Gabel           Edit/Delete Post 
Dave Felthous wrote about the Orpheum Theatre in Portland, Oregon.

quote:
Total capacity was probably 1000
The Orpheum Theatre in Portland, Oregon seated 1732 people.

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Dave Felthous
Member

Posts: 186
From: Seattle, WA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted December 20, 2003 09:44 PM      Profile for Dave Felthous   Email Dave Felthous         Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks to Bill Gabel for correcting my guesstimate of the capacity of the Orpheum Theater in Portland, OR. Bill, if you have other info on the Orpheum, pls post it. I loved that place.

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Chris Utley
Senior Member

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


 - posted July 23, 2004 10:34 AM      Profile for Chris Utley   Author's Homepage   Email Chris Utley         Edit/Delete Post 
I don't recall responding to this topic. I may be wrong.

Anyway, I'm a sucker for palaces (retrofitted for digital sound, of course), main auditoriums in big multiplexes (500+ seats, 65 ft. and up screens, THX & digital), and drive-in theatres. There's something about sitting inside my car or sitting outside on my patio chair looking at that big screen under the starry sky.

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Ian Williams
New Member

Posts: 4
From: Melbourne, Australia
Registered: Sep 2003


 - posted November 19, 2004 04:57 AM      Profile for Ian Williams   Email Ian Williams         Edit/Delete Post 
Oh yes! Most certainly my favourite theatres are the American inspired movie palaces which we also have in Australia. In Melbourne we had the three largest theatres in the country. The Eberson atmsopheric State Theatre, 3375 seats, now twinned and the lower part used for rock shows. The Regent, 3253 seats, a copy of the Capitol New York and the United Artists LA foyer. I helped save this, now a live theatre, 2100 seats. Then the mighty 2115 seat Capitol, unique in the world. Look it up under www.caths.org.au Today? Yuk! Small rooms with bland curtains and plain spots for auditorium lighting. And WHY do we have to know who the bus captain and tea ladies are amongst the five minues of credits at the end. No wonder many complexes have done away with screen curtains. No presentation any more! (P.S.) The third largest theatre was the 2968 Palais Theatre at the beach suburb of St Kilda, now live shows!

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Kevin Dupruy
New Member

Posts: 10
From: Baton Rouge, LA
Registered: Mar 2005


 - posted April 24, 2005 01:43 PM      Profile for Kevin Dupruy   Author's Homepage           Edit/Delete Post 
I perfer newer theaters, built in the 90s or later. Stadium seating is a must. I'm a fan of all Rave Motion Pictures theaters, and I also don't mind Cinemark and AMC theaters.

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George Gates
Member

Posts: 55
From: Providence, RI
Registered: May 2005


 - posted July 06, 2005 11:30 AM      Profile for George Gates           Edit/Delete Post 
I prefer the type of theatre shown on the old TV show, titled "Popcorn Kid", which lasted only 5 episodes on network TV in 1987, The theatre was an old movie palace, updated to modern days. Does anyone know where that old show might be available for viewing?

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Jim Rankin
(Jim passed away in December 2006)
Posts: 123
From: Milwaukee, WI
Registered: Oct 2003


 - posted July 07, 2005 08:55 AM      Profile for Jim Rankin   Email Jim Rankin         Edit/Delete Post 
The "Popcorn Kid" sounded like a great show, and I am sad that I never saw it, but it is listed and described on its page on the Internet Movie Data Base, and this is the link to it:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0092427/
They do not indicate any formal availability of VHS or DVDs in print, but if you go to www.Google.com and enter the series' name, you may locate a private vendor who will make copies for your private payment.
You might also go the Museum of Broadcasting's offices in New York city or Chicago and Los Angeles, and view it there. You might also contact the Theatre Historical Society of America via their Ex. Director, via the link to him on their web site: www.historictheatres.org since they may possibly have tapes to view at their Museum of the American Movie Palace in Elmhurst Ill. 15 miles west of Chicago. Please remember to let us know what you find. Best Wishes.

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George Gates
Member

Posts: 55
From: Providence, RI
Registered: May 2005


 - posted July 07, 2005 09:44 AM      Profile for George Gates           Edit/Delete Post 
Thank you for the informative reply. I had posted the same message a few days ago, under the "Cinema Yak" section, and it was removed by the moderators, for some unknown reason. Maybe my thoughts on a great show were deemed too "commercial" or not worthy of discussion? The theme of the show was certainly appropriate for this forum, as it relates to theatres.

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Adam Martin
Administrator

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


 - posted July 07, 2005 09:15 PM      Profile for Adam Martin   Author's Homepage   Email Adam Martin         Edit/Delete Post 
Your previous post was removed because it had nothing at all to do with "King Kong", the thread in which you posted it.

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David Velesaca
New Member

Posts: 8
From: Brooklyn, NY
Registered: Jun 2005


 - posted July 09, 2005 07:05 PM      Profile for David Velesaca   Email David Velesaca         Edit/Delete Post 
What do you guys know about the Clearview Ziegfeld Theatre. I live in new york and i just cant seem to find it.

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Jim Rankin
(Jim passed away in December 2006)
Posts: 123
From: Milwaukee, WI
Registered: Oct 2003


 - posted July 11, 2005 06:20 AM      Profile for Jim Rankin   Email Jim Rankin         Edit/Delete Post 
Perhaps this article at Cinema Treasures will be of help:
http://www.cinematreasures.org/theater/2251/

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Ron Newman
Member

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


 - posted July 11, 2005 10:04 AM      Profile for Ron Newman   Email Ron Newman         Edit/Delete Post 
That's the old Ziegfield; here's the new one:

http://www.cinematreasures.org/theater/12/

Anyway, what do you mean when you say you are having trouble finding it? No newspaper ad? No marquee?

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