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» Cinematour Forum   » Cinema Yak   » Most Unusual Cinema (Page 1)

 
This topic comprises 2 pages: 1  2 
 
Author Topic: Most Unusual Cinema
Ken Roe
Member

Posts: 66
From: London, England
Registered: May 2003


 - posted June 15, 2003 11:42 AM      Profile for Ken Roe   Author's Homepage   Email Ken Roe         Edit/Delete Post 
The Arcadia Electric Theatre, Wood Street, Walthamstow, East London, UK opened in 1912 and closed by the end of 1922.

An unusual feature of this cinema was that the screen was situated across the centre of the auditorium! Patrons paid 2 pennies (2d) to see the film the right was round (sitting with the projection box behind them) or 1 penny (1d) to sit behind the screen and see the image back to front(facing the projectors). Of course these were silent films, but the disadvantage to the people watching the film from behind the screen would be reading the title cards that plotted the films. The building has been used for light industrial use since the early 1930's and was demolished in 1967.

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Chuck Cook
Member

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


 - posted June 15, 2003 11:12 PM      Profile for Chuck Cook   Email Chuck Cook         Edit/Delete Post 
I've read about a single-screener (I forgot where) whose concession stand and even the arcade are both inside the auditorium.

Another unusual cinema, IMO, is the Pines Theatre in Houghton Lake, MI - stuffed dead animal heads everywhere!

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Daniel Fuentz
Member

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


 - posted June 16, 2003 02:54 AM      Profile for Daniel Fuentz   Email Daniel Fuentz         Edit/Delete Post 
There was a drive-in that had a screen for each car. (I believe it was called the Autoscope) The cars parked in a circle around the projection building, and a series of mirrors bounced the picture to each individual screen. IIRC, after a few years of this, they renamed the drive-in, tore out the individual screens and operated as a traditional drive-in.

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Roger Katz
Member

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


 - posted June 16, 2003 03:55 AM      Profile for Roger Katz   Email Roger Katz         Edit/Delete Post 
Chuck,

The Forest Theatre in West Haven, CT has the concession stand and video games inside the auditorium. Click on the link above and view my tour of it. In the middle pictures (looking out from the front of the screen) you can see the video games in back and a "block" behind the seats on the left-hand side which is actually the concession stand.

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Chuck Cook
Member

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


 - posted June 16, 2003 11:42 AM      Profile for Chuck Cook   Email Chuck Cook         Edit/Delete Post 
That's it! Thanks.

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Daryl C. W. O'Shea
Administrator

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


 - posted June 16, 2003 06:36 PM      Profile for Daryl C. W. O'Shea   Email Daryl C. W. O'Shea         Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Another unusual cinema, IMO, is the Pines Theatre in Houghton Lake, MI - stuffed dead animal heads everywhere!
stuffed dead animal heads everywhere! HA! I bet Adam Fraser would like that description. [Smile]

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Chuck Cook
Member

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


 - posted June 17, 2003 02:33 AM      Profile for Chuck Cook   Email Chuck Cook         Edit/Delete Post 
Or even Ted Nugent.

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Mike Rivest
Member

Posts: 96
From: Montreal,QC
Registered: Aug 2003


 - posted August 30, 2003 12:22 PM      Profile for Mike Rivest   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Rivest         Edit/Delete Post 
A cinema in Canada's biggest furinture store in St Basile Le Grand in Suburban Montreal, you must walk through this store to get at the cinemas. [Big Grin]

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nice chairs to sit in if the lineup is long

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the webmaster can upload these in the Quebec pages

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Bill Gabel
Member

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


 - posted September 02, 2003 08:24 AM      Profile for Bill Gabel           Edit/Delete Post 
The Loew's State Theatre in Times Square. You have to enter the Virgin MegaStore and go to the lower level of the store to buy tickets. Then you have to go to the basement of the store for the theatre. (It's a four-plex)

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Mike Law
Member

Posts: 60
From: Sacramento, CA
Registered: Jul 2003


 - posted September 02, 2003 01:49 PM      Profile for Mike Law   Email Mike Law         Edit/Delete Post 
Anyone remember the combination Indoor/Drive-In theatres that UA built during the mid-1960s? We had one here in Sacramento called the Southgate. It was built in 1965 and closed in about 1980 with only the drive-in running as a summer venue only. The indoor, as they called it, contained 1,000 seats. The distance from the projector apperture to the screentower was like three football fields long. That must have been one of the longest throws in the United States. I was once told that a similar theatre in the Chicago area was still operating. Can anyone provide any info here?

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Bob Golding
(Bob passed away in September 2005)

Posts: 5
From: Sutter, CA
Registered: May 2003


 - posted September 27, 2003 02:03 AM      Profile for Bob Golding   Author's Homepage   Email Bob Golding         Edit/Delete Post 
I believe it was built before 1965 as I patonized it in the early 60's. I saw my last movie as a civilian the night before I went into the Army in 1966.

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Mike Law
Member

Posts: 60
From: Sacramento, CA
Registered: Jul 2003


 - posted September 27, 2003 09:33 PM      Profile for Mike Law   Email Mike Law         Edit/Delete Post 
I'll have to check the date Bob, I still have some of the opening night flyers in my garage. What ever happened to the opening night program for the Sutter that was in the booth? I'm hoping that you have it. If not, I'll be kicking myself for not swiping it when I had the chance.

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Ron Keillor
Member

Posts: 125
From: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Registered: May 2003


 - posted December 16, 2003 04:19 AM      Profile for Ron Keillor   Email Ron Keillor         Edit/Delete Post 
I suppose a cinema with "no fixed address" would qualify as unusual. The B&O overnight train from Chicago to Washington had a movie after dinner in the dining car - 16mm presentation - in 1967.

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


 - posted December 16, 2003 01:16 PM      Profile for Jim Rankin   Email Jim Rankin         Edit/Delete Post 
Most "unusual" theatre? Well, that could take in a lot of territory, since theatres are designed to be 'different' to attract attention, and while the previous posts do, indeed, indicate unusual situations, perhaps I can add one that is unusual in decor and construction, since it was built to resemble a quonset hut! Here is a description of it:

Every American city had scores of theatres by the time the craze for building them ended with the Great Depression, but Milwaukee was unusually gifted for a city its size to have the caliber of such as the PABST, WARNER, EGYPTIAN, and ORIENTAL. For that city, however, at least one more theatre would rise to lend a unique note of distinction: the AIRWAY.

By 1949 when the AIRWAY opened, most returning servicemen were interested in things other than theatres, but not the son of an owner of a remodeled photoplay ‘parlor’ of 1910 (the ARAGON), Eugene Goderski. He envisioned a movie house or cinema far different from what any one had seen before: a ‘Quonset hut’-shaped building (semicylindrical). Perhaps he had sat in such a temporary sheet metal cinema while overseas, but his design for the AIRWAY included some 600 seats on one floor under a curving walls/ceiling expanse of sky blue gypsum tiles on a conventional superstructure; the walls and ceiling were a continuous curve from near the floor line with the crown of the curve being about 30 feet high. The walls were painted with images of aircraft through the years, done in a ghostly phosphorescent white, but they stood out when seen in the glow of the blue neon tubing bordering a central soffit which contained the ductwork. Reportedly, this blue glow was wonderful during the movies, but during the intermissions a white light came from small wall fixtures. It was strictly a cinema without stagehouse and the single line of simple drapery concealed the screen on the platform at front.

The name ‘AIRWAY’ and the entire world-of-flight theme was no accident since Mr. Goderski had grown up just blocks form Milwaukee’s airport and his fascination with flight (he was an airman in the South Pacific theatre of war) led to his later hanging painted plastic model aircraft from the lobby’s coved ceiling. An entire wall of the lobby featured a floor-to-ceiling mural of a WWII aviator greeting one from the dawn of the age who was depicted in coveralls, goggles, and a white silk scarf around his leather helmet. There was no stage since it was never intended to be anything but a cinema, and the long curving, quonset-like roofline did little to announce the location of a cinema on its location only a mile from the airport. To make its purpose clear on the brick, limestone, and stainless steel exterior, Poblocki sign company of Milw. (‘till then the re-facer of many theatres in Wisconsin and the Mid-West) built the first of their modern “modular” signs with the attraction board, and the name sign of different masses upon a perforated pylon of dark blue porcelain coated steel, and all outlined and filled with blue neon, as was the stainless steel of the canopy below. An outline of chaser bulbs was added sometime later to increase the visibility to young couples going south on the busy street to find new homes in new suburbs, since the ‘baby boom’ was then beginning.

Opening night attracted SRO crowds to witness the Chairman of the Town of Lake (a southern suburb of Milwaukee later to be annexed) give the dedicatory speech along with architect Myles Belongia who also did the MAJESTIC in the suburb of Cudahy and many theatre alterations in this part of the state, as well as many churches. The cinema struggled being fourth run on the distributor’s list until the Goderskis saw ‘the handwriting on the wall’ in 1966 when its parking lot was often empty of cars, and sold the building and land to a local bank which demolished it for its branch office which stands there to this day. The complete story of this unique theatre can be read in the 4th Quarter, 1995 issue of “Marquee” magazine of the Theatre Historical Society of America (www.HistoricTheatres.org): “THE AIRWAY THEATRE: One Man’s Fancy of Flight” by James H. Rankin.

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Michael Furlinger
New Member

Posts: 22
From: Charleston, SC
Registered: Aug 2004


 - posted August 27, 2004 10:24 AM      Profile for Michael Furlinger   Email Michael Furlinger         Edit/Delete Post 
cinema3 ny city (closed) never had a concession stand and sold no food or drink of any kind.

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