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When I was in the US Army in 1964, while on leave, I visited a former barracks mate who lived in Batavia. He and his father owned the old Batavia theater, which they were using as living quarters and business space. At that time there was nothing on the exterior to indicate that it had been a theater at one time, but the lobby and auditorium were still in place.
This theater should now be listed as closed. Marcus has now opened the new 16 screen Majestic nearby.
This theater should now be listed as closed. Marcus has now opened the nearby new 16 screen Majestic theate.
According to the Mineral Point Chamber of Commerce, this theater did indeed go by the name of Point until the early 1990s. Here’s a little more detail about its early years and restoration.
“Like most communities, many professional entertainment and touring show groups played Mineral Point, along with local theatrical productions. Many of these productions were held at local public halls and probably at the Opera Hall in the old courthouse. As early as 1889, the local newspapers began urging the City of Mineral Point to build a new opera house. There were finally successful when an Opera House was included in the plans for the new Municipal Building. In February 1915, the town dedicated the new Opera House in the the new City Hall (137 High Street). The new Opera House contained boxes holding twenty seats, and a main floor and balcony which seated 703. A stage and screen, protected by an asbestos curtain, extended across the back of the building. It had steam heat and electric lights. In 1963, residents restored the interior of the building and repaired the interior filigree detailing with original molds found in Milwaukee by Robert Neal. In 1988, the city began planning restoration of the theater.”
This place became an antique mall after it closed, then was converted to a Chinese restaurant 9 years ago.
Sorry, Sal died back in the 90’s from an intestinal blockage. Nice guy, shame he went so young.
Sal De Grazia was a neighbor of mine and it broke his heart that he couldn’t keep the place open. Economics were against him and the place declined. I would take my family there from time to time but the place was just too run-down and dreary.
The last film shown there was in 1985, the potboiler REMO WILLIAMS. The title remained on the marquee for months afterwards.
We are all humans, and therefore capable of deep emotion. Nothing to be ashamed about with that. As for myself, I bawled during “Bang the Drum Slowly” when the Robert DeNiro character was dying but continued bravely playing with his team.
On a recent trip to the Philippines, I found out that this theater is now closed, a victim of shopping mall theaters and bootleg DVDs. Towards the end, it showed porno, but was not successful.
Its space is now occupied by retail stores and warehousing.
To help relight the marquee, the Orpheum will be hosting an advanced presentation of the new WB movie, “We Are Marshall.” Proceeds from this will be put toward refurbishing the sign to its former glory. Details are on the official website above.
Converted in the 1950’s to a McCrory Dept. Store.
The Gard Theater building has been spruced up with fresh paint and stucco work. It sits on a corner, with a restaurant contained in the major section of the street frontage. The theater entrance is small,and the only thing resembling a marquee is a blue canvas awning with the words “Theater” printed in white.
Only open on weekends, showing family-oriented films at 7 & 9 on Fridays and Saturdays, and at 7 on Sundays.
The link is no longer valid. This former theater has now been turned into a bar called Burg.
Marcus Theaters has announced that the South Towne will be closed later this year. This is because they are constructing a new multiplex a few miles away at a business park. This new theater will have 1484 seats with 12 screens. Provisions are being made to add an additional 3 screens at a later date.
The closure of this theater was inevitable. This will leave only one bargain house in Madison.
The little multiplex is located in a building which does little to disguise its former use as a department store. The food is OK, but nothing special. Auditoriums are shoeboxes, each with circular tables having 2 to 4 swivel chairs placed around them, with no other seating available. Sight lines are just fair, and the tables' surfaces reflect light from the screen, which can be distracting.
This seems to be one way that small town theaters can continue to exist. Kind of a Chuckie Cheese approach to the movie experience.
The Cinema Paradiso is also a great example of a very beautiful church building in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, that was converted into a movie house. On the other hand, the Rockne in Chicago went from a porno house to a church, which is a much better use of the space, I believe.
This week, the Orpheum is showing a first-run, non-art house film, “Walk the Line,” the Johnny Cash biopic. Given its proximity to the newly restored and opened Capitol Theater and Overture Center just a block up the street, there might be enough traffic generated to provide an audience for mainstream films again.
Downtown Madison is transforming into a major destination again, with new upscale housing and expanded parking in the plans.
The Capitol should now be shown as open. It is a performing arts cnter and movie theater. They have kept the old carbon arc lamp houses and use reel -to-reel projectors because the owners of the classic films that will be shown there do not want them put on a platter system. They will hosting a silent film series accompanied by the Barton organ, called Duck Soup Cinema.
Stop the insanity! You people are only using up bandwidth that could be available for intelligent discussion and pleasant reminiscences, not rantings and personal attacks. Do any of you honestly believe that you are going to change anyone’s opinion on this topic with your venom and sarcasm?
I believe that it is time for a strictly moderated message board on this site. Other message boards in which I participate, use this approach to keep the drivel and irrelevant babbling down to a minimum. Volunteer moderators would be referees and keep the postings on topic. I was involved in one site where this had to be done after numerous flame wars broke out and the site degenerated into nothing but nasty name-calling. Most of us were appalled and petitioned the site’s webmaster to make the change, which was done.
Now, anyone who violates the rules sees his/her posting privileges suspended, and after repeat violations, taken away altogether. It works just fine and creates a more civil atmosphere, in which topics can be discussed in a reaasonable, relevant manner.
Just a suggestion.
The vertical sign and marquee of the Lil can be seen to the right just behind the streetcar at http://davesrailpix.com/cwt/htm/cwt221.htm
The South Towne is now a second-run $2 bargain house. The deterioration of the area around the mall where it is located made it a less-than-attractive destination for first-run patrons.
I thought this was a site for those who were interested in movie theaters. The negative trolls who have posted above not only lack manners, it is also obvious that they are either developers or others with a financial interest in seeing the theater demolished. Fine, if that’s their interest, then let them find another discussion board to promote their ideas.
DuPage Dude is right, Deb. Don’t encourage themn. It’s like waving a piece of raw meat at a dog.
An old adage puts it well: “If you lie down with dogs, you get up
This restaurant was located south of the drive-in on Harlem Ave. just north of North Avenue. It disappeared in the 60’s and was replaced by a bank and a Sears auto store.
That picture is of the northwest corner of Madison and Central, whereas the Austin Theater was on the southwest side of the street. The picture that is posted is of the Cinderella Ballroom and Bowling Alley building. In the 50’s, I used to go bowling and shoot pool there, and went to high school just up the street. I also saw the original Godzilla at the Austin, went several times, in fact.
This is the building at 5619 West Madison. Looks like a church has taken over the old space.
Here’s a picture of the Eastwood from 1930.