August 13, 2004
PITTSBURGH, PA — Does anyone out there remember the Fairgrounds Drive-In Outside of South Park in Pittsburgh.? I also would like to know how many of us got the chance to work one of the old theaters with what seemed like 900 steps going up to the booth?
God, do I miss those theaters. I remember the Stanley in Pittsburgh, Pa. was like going on a mountain climbing crusade, same with the Warner. Oh how the ushers hated us, when they had to carry film up to us. I would gladly do it again.
August 3, 2004
In the forty eight years I have been a projectionist, I have yet to see a theater that was not haunted, one way or the other.
The old Warner in Pittsburgh, when I used to go to the upstairs booth I would smell cigar smoke in the booth, but the balcony, and booth were both empty. I later found out the old Projectionist Whitey died in the booth and was a cigar smoker, he had worked there for 40 years.
Recently, I worked the Carmike Cinema in El Paso Texas, in the booth between screens 13 & 14, the air was always ice cold, you could see shadows going along the wall of a woman and young child. I even felt a hand on my shoulder, like a gentle pat, more than once.
Have any good ghost stories?
July 26, 2004
KANSAS CITY, MO — I have a ticket stub dated August 2, 1958 from the Missouri Theatre in Kansas City, Missouri which I assume was a movie theater. I see no information on the Cinema Treasures site about it and I can find nothing searching Internet… is it gone, or does anyone know of it?
July 23, 2004
ANDALUSIA, AL — Near the turn of the century, a young, petite girl said to have been near 18 years old, with blond hair, was said to have been killed by a fire in the theater in Andalusia, Alabama. I’m not sure what the theater was named back then, but it was later renamed as the Martin Theatre and then as the Clarke.
This young girl has been seen by many employees and her face can be seen peering out of the projection room in cinema 3, upstairs, late at night while the staff cleans after shows.
A gentleman around 50 or 60 was said to have had a heart attack or stroke in the old office, which was transformed 6 years ago into the ladies restroom during remodeling and restoration. This gentleman has also been seen peering out from the projection rooms.
June 23, 2004
I am producing a documentary about a Zen philosopher, D.T. Suzuki (1870 – 1966)… a long story.
I am trying to find a photo with the movie HIGH NOON (starring Gary Cooper) on the marquee. Suzuki loved this film. “The sheriff was a Zen man…” he said after seeing it. Does anyone have such a pic, or know where I might try to find one?
May 4, 2004
BALTIMORE, MD — Ed Dobbins writes…
“These pictures are from 1940, showing how ‘grand’ the Grand Theatre was.
Even up until I saw my last movie there, Return of the Jedi, Feb 1984, the theater still looked great. They still did the whole sequence of having the curtains closed & lit up, slowly opened, then dimmed to show a cartoon, followed by the movie. Up until the end, the theater still had class.
These pictures show was once was and what could have been again."
April 2, 2004
PATERSON, NJ — The U.S. Theatre was located in the heart of downtown Paterson, New Jersey. In the early 1900s, Paterson was the textile center of the United States and the bustling city proudly built the U.S. Theatre, Fabian Theatre, Garden Theatre, Rivoli Theatre, State Theatre, Orpheum Theatre, and Majestic Theatre. The two most outstanding, both in architecture and elegance, were the U.S. Theatre and the Fabian Theatre.
As one entered the lobby of the U.S. Theatre, the coming attraction display cases were encrusted in gold leaf. The main auditorium glistened with its burgundy velvet, oil paintings on silk twelve feet in height, and clouds on the theater ceiling that slowly drifted by as one awaited the beginning of the show.
March 12, 2004
I am doing research on the projectionist during the golden age of cinema from the thirties through to the seventies.
Experiences in the booth, funny moments, tragic moments, moments when the projectionist was the hero. I am also looking for info on booth setups and stories about the love projectionists had for their machines.
February 25, 2004
Joanne Asala asks…
“Hi, I recently purchased an old photo at an antique shop of a theater called "The Strand.” Although I got it in Wichita, Kansas I’m not sure if it’s a Kansas theater. The photo was taken in 1941, based on the movies listed. I thought you’d like a copy of it with the hopes of identifying it someday. Thank you!"
Any guesses? (Hint: Cinema Treasures lists 60 “Strands”.)
February 13, 2004
BALTIMORE, MD — Ed Dobbins sent in some scans of a Grand Theatre playbill he recently acquired:
“A friend just sent me an original playbill of the Grand Theatre from December, 1956… I never though I’d get to see something like this. The cool thing about the playbill is the back — all of the major theaters in the area and what they are showing that week.”