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» Cinematour Forum   » Cinema Yak   » Visalia Photo Trip

   
Author Topic: Visalia Photo Trip
Daniel Fuentz
Member

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


 - posted May 31, 2003 02:27 AM      Profile for Daniel Fuentz   Email Daniel Fuentz         Edit/Delete Post 
I just got back from beautiful Visalia, Ca, where I took pictures of several theatres there. I did not get a chance to hunt down as many as I would've liked, though, as I did a brilliant thing and locked my keys in the car the very first time I got out of the car!! Fortunately I had a friend down there who came out and got the door open in about 2 minutes. (That's kind of scary, really!) While I was waiting I took several photos of the Visalia Fox theater, since I was stranded right in front of it!

After that my friend and I walked down to her bank, which was near the Main Street/Visalia theater. While she was cashing her check, I popped out and took pictures. That theater is still open as a live venue, (Children's theater) but is up for sale, according to the sign tacked to the bottom of the marquee. There were people wandering in and out so I got a quick lobby shot, hopefully that'll turn out.

The Visalia was right around the corner from a Signature complex, so I got some exterior photos of that while I was there.

The moviegoing experience was at the Mooney Drive-In, where my nephew and I saw "Finding Nemo" and "Holes". (The other screen was showing "Martix Reloaded" and "The In Laws") We got there 20 minutes before the box office opened, and there was already a line of cars to the street! (They have a really long driveway, too.) While we were parked in line waiting for the box office to open, I hopped out and got some pictures of the marquee. My nephew took several shots of the entryway from various points in line, and he got some shots of the box offices. Once inside we got several interior and exterior shots of the snack bar/projection building, which was old but basically in good condition. (Except the men's room, that needs some serious work!!)

Most of the Mooney's patrons chose the Nemo/Holes combo on this occasion, the lot for that feature was sold out, while there were maybe 20 cars for Matrix/In Laws. This theater has FM sound as well as speaker sound, if you can find a speaker that works. (I assume speakers aren't repaired once they break, since most poles were naked and a lot of the speakers had frayed wires. Well, with the FM sound you really don't need speakers anymore.) We happened to park in a slot that had a working speaker, so my nephew hung it on the door as a supplement to the radio sound, for the true drive-in experience. [Smile] They also had a dancing popcorn/hot dog/candy bar intermission clock trailer, which was neat.

Hopefully most of these pictures will turn out, the ones that do will be submitted to the database.

By the way does anyone know where the Cinema I II III was? I think it may be demolished, at least I couldn't find it. I drove around that section of Mooney 3 or 4 times, and almost rear ended someone while I was trying to find addresses. The address in the database is 3225 S. Mooney, but after driving through shopping centers on both sides of the street I didn't find any building with that address. (The closest I came was a Mervyn's at 3230) I tried looking for the Tower Square cinemas, but I didn't find that, either. I'm not sure if that's demolished or not since I really didn't put as much effort into finding that as I did the other theater since it was getting close to showtime at the drive-in.

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Paul Linfesty
Member

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


 - posted May 31, 2003 07:17 AM      Profile for Paul Linfesty   Email Paul Linfesty         Edit/Delete Post 
The Tower theatres were next door to the Sequoia mall, but they were demolished several years ago.

The Cinema I-II-III was still standing the last time I was there, in the extreme rear of the Sequoia Mall (WAY back in the parking lot).

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Daniel Fuentz
Member

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


 - posted May 31, 2003 01:23 PM      Profile for Daniel Fuentz   Email Daniel Fuentz         Edit/Delete Post 
Ah, so that's where the I II III was hiding! It might very well still be there, then! Next time I get back down that way I'll drive around back and see if it's still there.

Thanks also for confirming the Tower theatres are gone. Judging by the addresses on a new looking complex of Bed Bath & Beyond and Michaels next to the Sequoia Mall I strongly suspected that complex was no longer with us. Like I say, I would've had more time to do a proper job of theater hunting if I hadn't locked my keys in the car... [Roll Eyes]

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Paul Linfesty
Member

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


 - posted May 31, 2003 03:16 PM      Profile for Paul Linfesty   Email Paul Linfesty         Edit/Delete Post 
The last time I was in downtown Visalia they happened to be giving free tours of the theatre so I just walked straight in. Beautiful restoration. Unlike the Fox Bakersfield, the Visalia Fox kept its original interior. They had a nice brochure with some cool pictures, but I managed to toss. Bad me!

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Daniel Fuentz
Member

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


 - posted May 31, 2003 06:00 PM      Profile for Daniel Fuentz   Email Daniel Fuentz         Edit/Delete Post 
I peeked in the windows of the Fox, and it did look really nice in the lobby area. I see that they do show films there on occasion, so I might have to make the trip down there and finally see a film in a single screen theatre!! (I wonder if they show them from actual films, or if they are projecting DVDs...)

I just got back from Costco, and I got 51 decent pictures of 4 theatres. Not too bad...

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Daniel Fuentz
Member

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


 - posted June 20, 2003 11:36 PM      Profile for Daniel Fuentz   Email Daniel Fuentz         Edit/Delete Post 
I have just returned from another trip to Visalia, this time I saw a movie at the Fox theater. I took several photos of the lobby area, hopefully they will turn out. The cool part at the front of the auditorium was too dark to get decent pictures of, unfortunately. If there are any C-T members visiting the area the Fox is definately worth a look.

The Cinema I-II-III is still sitting there, abandoned. I took a few pictures but it wasn't really anything special. The lobby area is filled with a bunch of those pushcart things they put in the middle of malls, so it looks as if the Sequoia Mall is using the theater as storage. Apparently the area surrounding the theater is "forbidden ground", since the mall security people came over to see what I was doing -- aparently people have been going in back of the theater and throwing junk over the fences into the backyards of nearby apartments. So if anyone goes to see this theater, be preapred for a chat with the mall security. [Smile]

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