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» Cinematour Forum   » Cinema Yak   » Stuck in the 80's (Page 1)

 
This topic comprises 2 pages: 1  2 
 
Author Topic: Stuck in the 80's
Dan Roben
Member

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


 - posted January 13, 2008 11:42 AM      Profile for Dan Roben           Edit/Delete Post 
Last night, my girlfriend and I were in Tacoma and decided to take in a film at the AMC Narrows Plaza 8. We picked "Walk Hard," knowing it would be in one of their small houses as it's nearing the end of its run.

After buying our tickets and walking into the lobby, we were transported back into the early 1980s when this theater (always an AMC) was built.

Not a thing has been done to update the decor. Various shades of brown covered the lobby walls and the snackbar countertop was a lovely burnt orange in color.

Off we went to theater #2, seating 170 in typical old-style AMC with a single aisle running down the middle. The original seats were still there, and I noticed that there were no surround speakers lining the side walls. In fact, once the film started, I noticed that we were listening to it in glorious mono sound (and it was lacking any bass as well). The only feature that has been added were cupholders.

A substandard presentation? Absolutely. But we loved the experience as we were transported back in time to an era that has nearly disappeared.

So my question is this. Are there any theaters built during the 1970s or 80s that are stiill open in the town or city you live in that also seem to be frozen in time?

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David Au
Member

Posts: 133
From: Walnut Creek, CA
Registered: Sep 2006


 - posted January 13, 2008 02:54 PM      Profile for David Au   Email David Au         Edit/Delete Post 
There is an Art theater nearby. CineArts Pleasant Hill. The dome is stuck in the 60's. It has a huge copper dome that is green like the Statue of Liberty. The lobby is vintage 60's with glass block walls lighted with neon. The sound in the dome was digital, but everything else was very 60's. There's even an old fashioned lighted marquee out front. No digital signs here.

I recently saw a movie in one of the little 70's theaters added to the back of the theater. It is like stepping back in time. The metal ceiling was made up of green copper beams and the sound must have been analog stereo. Strangely enough, the sound was clear and crisp even though it sounded like it only came from the front of the theater. The seating was mostly flat with a slight slope but there was an elevated platform in the back just for the last few rows. The screen was an old fashioned wide screen with left and right side masking.

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Scott D. Neff
Tour Guide

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


 - posted January 13, 2008 03:56 PM      Profile for Scott D. Neff   Email Scott D. Neff         Edit/Delete Post 
The Dome and two of the back theatres have Dolby Digital, the dome may also have DTS. As far as the copper ceiling, it I think it's sound insulation that just got a bad paint job and has been fading for the last 20 years, though I suppose mission accomplished if it fools people into thinking it's copper. The entire complex was remodeled sometime in the 90's to look like this. Prior to the 90's, it looked like every other Century/Syufy Luxury Theatre.

Typical 80's Auditorium

Remodelled Pleasant Hill Auditorium

The interesting part of these examples is that the "80's" example was actually the Gateway 12 in Tucson Arizona which was built around 1992.

As for theatres in the area that are still in or close to their original grand opening splendor... I'd say the UA Stonestown, San Francisco is pretty close. I'd imagine that since they built the wall down the middle, little has been done to update the theatres except add some digital sound. And until Sundance's acquisition of the AMC Kabuki, it was a pretty original AMC 80's build.

I could go on for days about theatres that look just like they did when they were built, I've seen too many and got too excited that we got to go inside what I consider to be a Cinematour Archealogical site. [Smile]

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Chuck Cook
Member

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


 - posted January 13, 2008 10:18 PM      Profile for Chuck Cook   Email Chuck Cook         Edit/Delete Post 
Come and visit Traverse City sometime. No stadium seating AT ALL in this town.

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Mark Campbell
Member

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


 - posted January 13, 2008 10:26 PM      Profile for Mark Campbell   Email Mark Campbell         Edit/Delete Post 
I've seen literally dozens of films at the Narrows Plaza 8 as a teen. They did install surrounds in the small auditoriums at some point: IN THE CEILING!! They replaced drop ceiling tiles with speakers (or behind tiles replaced with mesh/speaker fabric/stuff). Would not be surprised if the film was in mono at this point. I am surprised that this end of Tacoma still doesn't have a new multiplex. But not disappointed. I like a a few of these relics preserved!!

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Bill Gabel
Member

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


 - posted January 14, 2008 12:20 PM      Profile for Bill Gabel           Edit/Delete Post 
Three of the small screens at the old GCC Beverly Connection 6 were Ultra-Stereo front/surround set-ups. This lasted for the first 5 years before being replaced with a Dolby CP-65 for full stereo and surround.

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Chris Utley
Senior Member

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


 - posted January 14, 2008 03:23 PM      Profile for Chris Utley   Author's Homepage   Email Chris Utley         Edit/Delete Post 
Regency (formerly Edwards) South Coast Village is another example in 80's era showmanship that's still going strong. They did manage to put Dolby Digital in the place, but 2 out of it's 3 auds have that single aisle running down the middle and postage stamp sized screens.

But I can't complain too much. They give my film club discount admission every time we go to the place!

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Jeff Arellano
Senior Member

Posts: 685
From: Monterey Park, CA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted January 14, 2008 08:45 PM      Profile for Jeff Arellano   Email Jeff Arellano         Edit/Delete Post 
Lets not forget the Regency Charter Center, former Edwards house with upgraded sound, but still stuck in the wood, colors and drapes of 1980.

Same goes for the La Mirada 7. When I went there, it screamed 1980's bland and even had the musty smell of long closed and recently reopened theatre.

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Christopher Crouch
Member

Posts: 292
From: Anaheim, CA
Registered: Feb 2006


 - posted January 15, 2008 01:04 AM      Profile for Christopher Crouch   Email Christopher Crouch         Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Same goes for the La Mirada 7. When I went there, it screamed 1980's bland and even had the musty smell of long closed and recently reopened theatre.
I think that's the official smell of La Mirada (thankfully, I've transfered back to Irvine).

Bakersfield 6 is another retro theatre. While it's in decent shape, the place screams 1979 (including orange carpet in booth).

Perhaps the most well maintained "80's retro" theatre I've seen is the Mann Rancho Niguel 8, in Laguna Niguel. The place almost looks like it opened a year ago, all be it in a late 80's sort of fashion.

quote:
Regency (formerly Edwards) South Coast Village is another example in 80's era showmanship that's still going strong.
The second floor still has it's original United Artists logo carpeting (30+ year old carpeting).

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Jeff Arellano
Senior Member

Posts: 685
From: Monterey Park, CA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted January 15, 2008 10:39 AM      Profile for Jeff Arellano   Email Jeff Arellano         Edit/Delete Post 
Chris, we need a picture of that! Wow.

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Chris Utley
Senior Member

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


 - posted January 15, 2008 12:58 PM      Profile for Chris Utley   Author's Homepage   Email Chris Utley         Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Lets not forget the Regency Charter Center, former Edwards house with upgraded sound ...
The heck you say! I saw "Spider-Man 3" there at the start of it's discount run in FULL BLOWN, SPEAKER RATTLING DOLBY STEREO!

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Mark Campbell
Member

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


 - posted January 15, 2008 02:27 PM      Profile for Mark Campbell   Email Mark Campbell         Edit/Delete Post 
I am going to try to get out to the AMC Loews Factoria 8 (an old SRO build) someday soon. Built as a 5 screener in the early 80's with 3 screens added in the mid 80's. Not sure when any updates occurred, but something tells me there is Cineplex Odeon carpet inside the lobby (ugh!).

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Todd Erwin
Member

Posts: 68
From: Newport Beach, CA
Registered: Feb 2006


 - posted January 15, 2008 04:19 PM      Profile for Todd Erwin   Email Todd Erwin         Edit/Delete Post 
Regarding Charter Center.....
quote:
I saw "Spider-Man 3" there at the start of it's discount run in FULL BLOWN, SPEAKER RATTLING DOLBY STEREO!
Then you didn't see the FULL picture, as it was most likely cropped to 2:1 (unless it was in their big, former 70mm aud).

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Brad Erickson
Member

Posts: 117
From: West Hollywood, CA
Registered: May 2006


 - posted January 15, 2008 05:22 PM      Profile for Brad Erickson   Email Brad Erickson         Edit/Delete Post 
Mann National (Westwood) was pretty much un-touched as far as decor was concerned. It probably was always equipt with stereo. I love that Zodiac was filmed in it before it closed. Not really 80's, but it still had the 70's feeling to it.

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Chris Utley
Senior Member

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


 - posted January 16, 2008 11:32 AM      Profile for Chris Utley   Author's Homepage   Email Chris Utley         Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Then you didn't see the FULL picture, as it was most likely cropped to 2:1 (unless it was in their big, former 70mm aud).
My "Full-blown" comment was an insult made in reference to the (obvioulsy non-upgraded) sound. It had nothing to do with the picture.

Also, add the University Village 3 (in the University Village Center across the street from USC) to the list of 80's era relics still rolling along. 3 fixed length screens, aisle down the middle, but they have DTS installed in there.

I know this theatre like the back of my hand - after I moved to LA back in 1985, I spent doggone near every Saturday for 6 years straight going to movies at this spot due to an over-protective mother who would have grounded me for 10 years if I caught the bus from South Central LA to Hollywood for a movie. If I knew then what I know now (with all the giants in the LA scene getting closed, carved up, demolished, etc.), I would have taken that grounding!

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