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» Cinematour Forum   » Cinema Yak   » Smallest Cinema? (Page 1)

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Author Topic: Smallest Cinema?
Paul P. Meyers
New Member

Posts: 42
From: Detroit, MI
Registered: Aug 2003

 - posted September 02, 2003 11:13 AM      Profile for Paul P. Meyers   Email Paul P. Meyers         Edit/Delete Post 
There are posts on unusual cinemas and most screens, so keeping on that what are the smallest cinemas you have been in or know about? The one I remember was a converted storefront cinema in Windsor Ontario Canada, The Windsor Film Theatre. One screen (which might have beern a painted wall), one projector, with seating for maybe 100 +. During the mid 90s it hosted a wonderful cult and art film series called Kinotek. It was so small it isn't even on Cinematour main site! It also had a tiny concession stand comprised of a vending machine for drinks and a small popcorn maker. But quaint and worth a trip when it was active.

Article from University of Windsor website circa 1999

Reel Art Promotors

Windsor's alternative theatre is alive and well and under new management, with ongoing university connections.

Located on the Wyandotte strip near the University of Windsor(fondly dubbed Little Soho by the locals), the tiny art-house Windsor Film Theatre (WFT) was founded by Dominic Giglio BASc `84.

In January 1997, a new management team took over the theatre operation, renovating and redecorating the interior but continuing the art film mandate. Cinema Shares (Windsor) includes former visual arts student Otto Buj, WFT's program director; John Doherty BA `94 (communication studies), WFT projectionist and technical manager; and Zahir Mehovic, WFT front manager.

Movies that move, engaging the intellect and the senses, are a consuming interest for Buj, a self-employed graphic designer who a few years ago initiated a successful film program called Kinotek, comprising Swedish films from the `60s. The program has since been taken over by the Art Gallery of Windsor.

As part of efforts to build an audience for independent film, WFT has developed close ties with the Toronto International Film Festival Group, formerly the Festival of Festivals, which facilitates the distribution of art films throughout Ontario.
((end of article))

Posters Note: The WFT has since closed and is now a bar!

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Ron Keillor

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

 - posted September 02, 2003 02:19 PM      Profile for Ron Keillor   Email Ron Keillor         Edit/Delete Post 
This Odeon, in Hollywoood, looks as if it may have been smaller.
The year may be 1980. (Not in database)

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Roger Katz

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

 - posted September 02, 2003 03:38 PM      Profile for Roger Katz   Email Roger Katz         Edit/Delete Post 
The Screen Room on Broad Street in Nottingham (I think that is in England) is the world's smallest with 21 seats. When it opened last year it took over the title from the Terrace Theatre in Australia which has 22 seats. It apparently shows art and sub-run films. Check out the article written on it just before it opened at .

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Ken Roe

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

 - posted September 03, 2003 02:37 AM      Profile for Ken Roe   Author's Homepage   Email Ken Roe         Edit/Delete Post 
The city of Nottingham is located in the East Midlands, UK. It is of course well known for it's connections with the Sheriff & Robin Hood.

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Jeff Arellano
Senior Member

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

 - posted September 03, 2003 10:13 AM      Profile for Jeff Arellano   Email Jeff Arellano         Edit/Delete Post 
For a multi-plex, AMC's Media 8 has what is considered the smallest screen for a busy theatre. It seats 50, and was built in a wing of a mall. The projection window is just slightly taller than 6 feet off the ground, with the projector about 8 feet off.

If you are ever in Burbank, definitely a must see. House #5 at the 8.

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Scott D. Neff
Tour Guide

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

 - posted September 03, 2003 11:49 AM      Profile for Scott D. Neff   Email Scott D. Neff         Edit/Delete Post 
Check out the Orinda in Orinda CA. The smallest theatre there seats 47 I think. The theatre is complete with waterfall curtain, egyptian heiroglyhics and fiber optic stars in the ceiling. The screen can't be much more than 6 feet wide.

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Mark Richey

Posts: 90
From: Fort Worth, TX
Registered: Feb 2003

 - posted September 07, 2003 11:28 PM      Profile for Mark Richey   Author's Homepage   Email Mark Richey         Edit/Delete Post 
The Ragtag in Columbia, MO is a one-screen art house that is in a converted store. I doubt it seats more than 100 (and everyone sits on an eclectic collection of chairs...not one traditional theater seat in the house). Apparently, their reel is so small that they can only put half of each movie on at a time, which means there's an intermission during each and every screening of each and every movie. Still, without them, it's extremely unlikely that 95% of what they show would make it to mid-Missouri before video/DVD.

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Eric Hooper

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

 - posted September 08, 2003 10:12 PM      Profile for Eric Hooper   Email Eric Hooper         Edit/Delete Post 
The Opera Plaza Cinemas, run by Landmark here in San Francisco, has two 'screening rooms' which I kid you not seat about 10 to 15 each, maybe even less....

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Chuck Cook

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

 - posted September 09, 2003 12:08 AM      Profile for Chuck Cook   Email Chuck Cook         Edit/Delete Post 
Saw a pic of the Orinda... OMG.

In my old homeland of northern Michigan, the Boyne in Boyne City has a screen that seats only 56.

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Bob Maar
New Member

Posts: 13
From: New York, NY
Registered: Jun 2003

 - posted September 10, 2003 08:21 AM      Profile for Bob Maar   Email Bob Maar         Edit/Delete Post 
I have always felt that some of the best venues to watch a major picture were in screening rooms and not large auditoriums. Some of the screening rooms that we have in New York have a capacity larger than the auditoriums mentioned above.

The great thing about the screening rooms is the ratio of the screen to the auditorium. Most screening rooms have an intimate feeling, where the ceiling is lower, the speakers have quality sound the picture is sharp and in focus and every seat has a perfect view.

The equipment is maintained and rarely is their a projector problem. The reflector's have been color corrected and everything matches.

There is no smell of popcorn or slurping sodas.

They are maintained in pristine condition.

You can view the picture the way the director and producer want it to be seen. Many times they are in the room with you.

The best part is you get to see the picture before the public see it and guess what? It didn't cost anything.

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Bill Gabel

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

 - posted September 10, 2003 06:02 PM      Profile for Bill Gabel           Edit/Delete Post 
Like what Bob said above about screening rooms. And to add there is a projectionist in the booth. The one that I run seats 40 people and is located in Times Square.

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Ron Newman

Posts: 145
From: Somerville, MA
Registered: Jan 2005

 - posted February 21, 2005 09:55 PM      Profile for Ron Newman   Email Ron Newman         Edit/Delete Post 
The smallest theatre I've ever been to is the 45-seat 'Screening Room' at the Coolidge Corner Theatre in Brookline, MA. However, I'm not sure if it counts since I think it's video-only.

If it doesn't, then the next smallest is one of the 50-seat rooms at the late, UNlamented Loews Copley Place in Boston. Horrible place, with a floor that sloped UP towards the screen. I saw The Assassination of Richard Nixon there the day before it closed forever, and people would walk into the room and say, "This is a theatre?"

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Joe Vogel
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Posts: 12
From: Paradise, CA
Registered: Jul 2005

 - posted July 31, 2005 05:44 AM      Profile for Joe Vogel   Email Joe Vogel         Edit/Delete Post 
I don't know about the tiny rooms in some of the multiplexes, but the smallest single-screen theatre operating in the United States today must be the Central Cinema in Alameda, California. According to the listing of the Central at Cinema Treasures, it has a mere 42 seats. As it is furnished with what appear to be ordinary household chairs and couches (see the photos on the theatre's own web site), I think the actual number might be a bit flexible, though.

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Jack Coursey
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Posts: 34
From: Nashville, TN
Registered: Jan 2005

 - posted August 04, 2005 01:42 PM      Profile for Jack Coursey   Email Jack Coursey         Edit/Delete Post 
Let me see if I can phrase this correctly: The multiplex with the smallest average seats per screen that I know of is the AMC Buckhead Backlot 6(aka Tower Place 6) with a mean of 76 seats per screen.

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George Gates

Posts: 55
From: Providence, RI
Registered: May 2005

 - posted August 04, 2005 02:00 PM      Profile for George Gates           Edit/Delete Post 
That's an interesting figure, average seats per auditorium in a multiplex. We might want to delve even deeper by discussing seat size. Does the theatre with the smallest number of seats use a 19" cushion in order to maximize their capacity, or a 23" in order to maximize comfort? What's the distance between rows? Bet those who never worked in a theatre but enjoy discussing the business didn't think of those numbers!

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