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» Cinematour Forum   » Cinema Yak   » Trip to Madera, and weird theater doors

   
Author Topic: Trip to Madera, and weird theater doors
Daniel Fuentz
Member

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


 - posted July 01, 2003 03:45 AM      Profile for Daniel Fuentz   Email Daniel Fuentz         Edit/Delete Post 
Went to the Madera D-I tonight, and got lots more pics. Got in town a few hours before the box office opened, so I went to get some photos of the Madera 6. It's been totally renovated and is now an 8-plex called the "Madera Movies". I walked around to the back parking lot to get pictures of the sign facing the freeway, and I noticed some really odd doors. They were in the wall about 6 feet off the ground with no stairs leading up to them. My nephew and I were puzzling over what the heck those doors were for! (There were regular exit doors as well.)

I got some shots of these oddities which I will post to the thread once I am able to get the pictures developed. I did not go inside to see the layout of the place, so I don't know if they're bricked over inside or what. I can't imagine these being fire exits, and I don't *think* they would've been for booth access since they were at the front of the auditoriums. Like I say, there were no stairs leading up to them, so I cannot possibly imagine they are still in use. It's a head scratcher to me! [Confused]

The D-I photos were supplemental to ones I took earlier in the month. Somehow I missed the "playground" at the base of screen #1, which is now in disrepair and is a lawsuit waiting to happen. There was a swing set which was functional, but on the other end of the grassy area there was a swing set looking thing with some rusty chains hanging down, and a piece of what looked like it was once a pull-up bar dangling from another piece of chain. Kids were standing on the piece of metal swinging on the chain, which looked highly unsafe to me.

I also noticed the speakers were mostly second hand ones from deceased drive-ins, some of the names I noted were "Compass D-I", "99 W", "Metropolitan Theatres", "UA Theatres" (I never knew they owned drive-ins) and "Pacific Theatres". There were a few stamped "Cal-Gran", owners of the Madera.

The presentation at this drive-in is adequate, for some reason every feature starts WAY out of focus and it takes them a good chunk of the first trailer to get it focused and framed properly. I don't know much about their projection gear, all I could see through the port windows was an RCA logo on the door of one projector, and I could tell they use Christie platters.

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Adam Martin
Administrator

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


 - posted July 01, 2003 03:02 PM      Profile for Adam Martin   Author's Homepage   Email Adam Martin         Edit/Delete Post 
The strange doors you noticed were for service technicians to access behind the screen for speaker work and such. In many theaters, it's not easy (or possible) to access from the auditorium.

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Daryl C. W. O'Shea
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Posts: 181
From: Midland, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Feb 2003


 - posted July 01, 2003 03:15 PM      Profile for Daryl C. W. O'Shea   Email Daryl C. W. O'Shea         Edit/Delete Post 
The projectors you saw were later model Brenkerts, likely BX-60's. If they don't have their lens collars set exactly the picture will be out of focus everytime they change lenses, which seems to happen every show at a drive-in since you're 'always' running at least two features which, odly, never seem to be of the same aspect ratio.

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Daniel Fuentz
Member

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


 - posted July 01, 2003 03:18 PM      Profile for Daniel Fuentz   Email Daniel Fuentz         Edit/Delete Post 
Adam: Aha! I knew there had to be a logical explaination. I hadn't ever seen doors like that before, but it makes sense now! (We were having fun making up silly uses for the doors, such as using them as the exit for disruptive patrons. [Smile] )

Daryl: Thanks for explaining that, too. About how old would those projectors be? (They looked "vintage" to me)

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