Showing 1 - 25 of 324 comments
From a quick drive-by, I’d guess June…?
You have a good memory! I had photos of the addition of Cinema III and IV being constructed in 1974, but don’t remember exactly when the split of I occurred. I remember the Sensurround being constructed (large plywood panels in the corners of the large auditorium.)
The split of Cinema I didn’t happen until about 1974, so it probably wasn’t the first split house either.
However, I’d suggest that the addition of Cinema II in 1963, could be called a new design with a changed configuration to the lobby as well as a completely new auditorium to the north side of the original building.
Theatre District, with Loews State and the Joy on the left in this photo, and the Saenger on the right.
What was the last name?
Actually, I took this photo after GCC went bankrupt and the building was being used by Garber Travel. It’s now a Container Store.
Love the name reminiscences from the past, Lenny Mays, Vic Gattuso, Larry Bello, Bob Klass, Ed Dineen, this is vintage GCC History. Whenever there was a Regional Meeting, those guys were there!
A Sanborn map from 1922 lists 850 seats with 2 balconys. The building was modernized in 1948.
I took the picture of the screen in 1979, just after the Drive In closed,and was about to be torn down. The other photo I took and uploaded, was the view of the front. Taken the same day, you can see my 1966 Ford Mustang convertible parked in front.
This is a huge upgrade, and I’m sure everyone is excited about uploading their photos, as I am. I would like to be able to go back and edit my comments, if necessary, and also, be able to know when anyone responds to a comment I may make. But if that’s not possible, it’s OK.
There was a great tour of the theatre conducted yesterday, here’s a link to a video of the Wurlitzer organ.
Who knew about asbestos dangers back in the fifties? The Kent micronite filter had it! My description of the panels was based on what we could see when damage occurred, either a delivery truck backing into an area, or kids vandalism while leaving down the balcony exit ways.
This is a huge accomplishment, and great thanks go to all the folks out there who continue to find great photos and information to keep us all interested in a great business.
The sign actually says Thick Frappes. Those are like milk shakes. The sign is clearer in Boxoffice Magazine of Oct 4, 1952, link above. You have to go back to page 121.
If you check back in that issue, there’s also a nice article about the Cinema sign on the building, as well as a picture of the sign for Richard’s Drive In Restaurant, which was in Cambridge somewhere. Richard’s was Richard Smith’s restaurant venture. To Dave-Bronx, I don’t know about the use of Cambridge Seven, but the time frame sounds right. I wonder if Paul Delrossi has an answer?
Hey, it’s been a long time since anyone posted anything here! I think I should turn the replies notification back on.
Yes, the photos look like they came from an Annual Report.
It was a very informative presentation. I liked the mention about how theaters began hiring High School kids, in order to save money. I began working as an usher myself, in 1966, for $1 per hour. In Massachusetts, theaters were allowed to pay “sub-minimum wage” at the time. The real minimum wage was $1.25.
Dean, your Father was a General Cinema legend. Not only did he invent the “Lotta Lemon”, he was also the originator of the “Straw Vote” which predicted every Presidential election from 1972 until the Company declared bankruptcy. It was a great run while it lasted.
(I remember you coming to the movies with your Dad back in the ‘70s.)
I guess the Sundance idea fell through again. What happened this time?
I never met him, because Fred Tomeo was the Manager at the Drive In when I managed the Cinema. The name is familiar though, and I believe his daughter was an Assistant Manager at the Natick Drive In.
Re: angling the seats with the split, the stadium style, with each row of seats backed up to the riser of the step behind, might have been the problem. We can agree on Joe Saunders though.
It’s interesting how a small, simple building begins to look so much better through the perspective of time with it’s charming marquee and location in a downtown neighborhood, and the fact that most of it’s peers have been torn down throughout New England.
I wish the neighborhood movie theatres in my area were still in existance. I’m sure Wollaston appreciates the place much more now than in the past.
I’m still reading about the theatres, but not affiliated with the Chestnut Hill Cinema anymore. I managed it from 1986 until 1999. Refresh my memory, where did we meet?
Great memories! I wonder if you met an Irishman named Jack O'Halloran who worked there once upon a time. He retired and became a doorman at the Cinema in Framigham in the early ‘80s.
It’s from 1985, just prior to the new design by Cambridge 7.