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» Cinematour Forum   » Cinema Yak   » What is the worst theatre split you have seen? (Page 3)

 
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Author Topic: What is the worst theatre split you have seen?
Adam Martin
Administrator

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


 - posted September 18, 2005 02:16 PM      Profile for Adam Martin   Author's Homepage   Email Adam Martin         Edit/Delete Post 
I just posted Matt Lutthan's photos of the Everett cinemas.

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Scott D. Neff
Tour Guide

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


 - posted September 18, 2005 03:15 PM      Profile for Scott D. Neff   Email Scott D. Neff         Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
There is an exterior photo posted that will make Scott Neff turn to jelly (A GCC "Cinema" sign indoors!)

*SWOONS*

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Mark Campbell
Member

Posts: 437
From: Seattle, WA
Registered: Oct 2004


 - posted September 18, 2005 03:50 PM      Profile for Mark Campbell   Email Mark Campbell         Edit/Delete Post 
I was wrong about my Century Plaza pictures not being posted. Adam already had them up.

http://www.cinematour.com/tour.php?db=us&id=2112

I remember the Century Plaza had an odd hallway system underneath the split theatre where the restrooms were and leading up to the 2 small theatres. It seemed like nothing was planned. Kind of like the upstairs of the Cineplex Beverly Center. Does anyone wnow what the motif was at the Century Plaza before Cineplex gave their trademark purple/light marble/grey wall remodel (my absolute least favorite chain motif).

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Tom Mundell
Member

Posts: 93
From: Silver Spring, MD
Registered: Nov 2003


 - posted September 18, 2005 07:46 PM      Profile for Tom Mundell   Author's Homepage   Email Tom Mundell         Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
I am really suprised AMC didnt close the Chestnut Hill when they merged. I heard it still does great business from locals.
I'm kinda surprised as well it hasn't been closed; I'm hoping they keep it open though. The past few times I've been there it seemed to be doing quite well; I was just there this afternoon actually, and cinema 3 was nearly full for March of the Penguins. Not bad for a sunday afternoon with a movie that's been out for quite a while!

I've been wanting to get some better pictures of the Chestnut Hill (and other former GCC's in the area) but as Scott noted AMC doesn't like especially like photos. Loews seems to be the same way, and combined I'm sure the situation hasn't improved. I also lack a tripod, though, so I'm not sure I could get any decent shots anyway.

quote:
Amazing that a split auditorium ended up THX Certified. Wait! Both the splits at the Avco in Westwood are THX. Lopsided seating and all!
Doesn't THX specify particular viewing angles of the screen that lopsided seating wouldn't meet? At least all of the Chestnut Hill seats all face the screen...

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Mark Campbell
Member

Posts: 437
From: Seattle, WA
Registered: Oct 2004


 - posted September 18, 2005 09:06 PM      Profile for Mark Campbell   Email Mark Campbell         Edit/Delete Post 
If I recall correctly, the Avco twinned THX auditoriums have 2 aisles each, surrounding a main seating section that directly faces the screen, and then a side section of 7 or 8 seats against one wall that is angled toward the screen. The screen is offset to one side favoring the main seating section. So in other words it goes: wall-aisle-seats-aisle-seats-wall. (and reverse for the other one). So, I guess all the seats face the screen, but the auditorium just seams unbalanced. (I can't stand it when a screen is off-center). I guess this still allows for THX certification. Funny, the larger auditorium upstairs is not THX, so usually the bigger opening films are not in the THX house but eventually move to one of the THX houses.

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Steven Rood
New Member

Posts: 25
From: Los Angeles, CA
Registered: Dec 2004


 - posted September 19, 2005 08:12 AM      Profile for Steven Rood   Email Steven Rood         Edit/Delete Post 
Tom,

Wasn't it the Chestnut Hill Theatre or was it Framingham that had the first THX approved theatre in Mass? I remember flying back to Marblehead to see my family in the late 80s/early 90s from Los Angeles and looking in the Globe to see what films were being shown with THX. THX was everywhere out here at the time and i was hooked. I only found one theatre and it just seemed to far to drive for the experience.

stevo

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Tom Mundell
Member

Posts: 93
From: Silver Spring, MD
Registered: Nov 2003


 - posted September 19, 2005 10:08 AM      Profile for Tom Mundell   Author's Homepage   Email Tom Mundell         Edit/Delete Post 
Steven,

I'm not really sure, but I'd guess the THX installations in both Chestnut Hill and Braintree predate Framingham. (I've only been in New England since the mid 90's, and by that time GCC already had quite a few THX houses in the area).

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Eric Hooper
Member

Posts: 107
From: Santa Clara, CA
Registered: Apr 2003


 - posted September 19, 2005 10:54 AM      Profile for Eric Hooper   Email Eric Hooper         Edit/Delete Post 
I am loving those pictures of the Everett... I really miss the GCC's. [Frown]

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Mark Campbell
Member

Posts: 437
From: Seattle, WA
Registered: Oct 2004


 - posted September 19, 2005 11:17 AM      Profile for Mark Campbell   Email Mark Campbell         Edit/Delete Post 
Everett 1-3: I gather that long auditorium in the picture is not the large one (which, as I recall from my one visit, had 2 aisles). Are we sure that the one pictured is not half of a split?

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Dan Roben
Member

Posts: 155
From: Seattle, WA
Registered: May 2003


 - posted September 19, 2005 06:17 PM      Profile for Dan Roben           Edit/Delete Post 
Mark,

I can definitely assure you that the Everett Mall I II III is an original build. The photo shown is one of two identical smaller houses. I guess GCC figured that they would be on the cutting edge and design it as IF it was split! Clever guys, those GCCers!

The "large" house does have two aisles, but it is so narrow and long for that style of seating that it just doesn't work. I haven't been in that house for years, but I seem to remember that the number of seats per row in the center section was much less than the standard of 14 seats (maybe 9 or 10?).

The phrase "they don't build 'em like this anymore" certainly applies, but in a good way. It truly is nostalgic just to see the "Cineam I II III" above the entrance. Of course, what would really bring it home for me would be to be able to watch the famous GCC "Feature Presentation" snipe from the 70's (you know the one: jazzy drum beat, interspersed with harpsichord bridges and the GCC letters forming a projector showing the "Feature Presentation". Of course, it would have to be seen at the Everett Mall I II III for full effect.

Ah...those were the days!

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Mark Campbell
Member

Posts: 437
From: Seattle, WA
Registered: Oct 2004


 - posted September 19, 2005 07:02 PM      Profile for Mark Campbell   Email Mark Campbell         Edit/Delete Post 
The one time I was at the Everett Mall it had the GCC '80's/'90's makeover with the dark lighting, the red speakerboxes and panelling on the walls, and the grey plastic seats with blue cushions. What this nostolgia showing of the GCC should feature is the corrugated metal panelling on the walls and the light box screen (something also missing from the Everett Mall.)

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Dave Felthous
Member

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


 - posted September 19, 2005 08:57 PM      Profile for Dave Felthous   Email Dave Felthous         Edit/Delete Post 
Everett Mall I-II-III will close next summer when Regal opens a new 16 nearby. Regal will also vacate their Everett 9 a few blocks away.

The two small houses at I-II-II were always dreadful. The large house wasn't bad if you sat close enough so the screen had some impact. The left and right speakers were outside the screen permieter because the original construction left just a small chamber center screen for a single speaker. The stereo effect was disorienting; you saw what happened on the screen but the sound came several feet away.

All three auditoriums suffered from nearly flat floors, too. I was a checker for GCC in the late 80s and early 90s and complained constantly about the lack of stereo in Everett Mall II, III, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10. (The newer house used arabic numbers). Their solution: they fired me!

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Mark Campbell
Member

Posts: 437
From: Seattle, WA
Registered: Oct 2004


 - posted September 19, 2005 09:29 PM      Profile for Mark Campbell   Email Mark Campbell         Edit/Delete Post 
Too bad about the Everett 9. I liked all the Act III builds. I think this theatre was the first in the Seattle area with all THX.

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Dan Roben
Member

Posts: 155
From: Seattle, WA
Registered: May 2003


 - posted September 20, 2005 06:27 PM      Profile for Dan Roben           Edit/Delete Post 
How could I have forgotten about the metal walls????

The "lightbox" screen described above was never installed at the Everett Mall I II III. As far as I know, the only GCC house in the Seattle market to have that 'unique' feature was the old Renton Village I II (later I II III...surprise!), long since torn down and replaced with the current 8-plex.

Dave, it's a shame that Regal is vacating the Everett 9. It's a great former Act III house with wonderful sightlines (without the dreaded stadium seating). Does Regal have any clause in their sales contract that would prevent another theatre operator from moving in, such as the dreaded Cineplex Odeon clause that forbid new owners from operating the building as a theatre? It would make a hell of a great 2nd run house, though I'm not knowledgable enough to know if that would be financially feasible.

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Mark Campbell
Member

Posts: 437
From: Seattle, WA
Registered: Oct 2004


 - posted September 20, 2005 07:31 PM      Profile for Mark Campbell   Email Mark Campbell         Edit/Delete Post 
Dan, the Villa Plaza Cinema I-II-III in Tacoma/Lakewood that expired in 1988 also had the light box screen in the non-split house. The Villa Plaza and the old Renton Village I-II-III were identical. The Aurora I-II-III in Seattle and the Overlake I-II-III in Bellevue were each unique builds to the Seattle area. (and a bit smaller in scale than Villa and Aurora). Note on all these theatres: In 1983 all these GCC theatres had exclusive Return of the Jedi bookings for the Seattle area. The only 2 exceptions I know are the UA 150 downtown (70mm) and the AMC Ceter Plaza 6 in Federal Way. I believe GCC installed Dolby to get the bookings. So if you lived in the Seattle area then, chances are you saw it at one of these theatres. (GCC got most 20th and Universal releases at that time).

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