Comments from Simon Overton

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Simon Overton
Simon Overton commented about Parkway ends on Mar 31, 2009 at 6:58 pm

Gary… Many thanks for the very interesting “facts” especially about the roof sign. This will be added to my personal archives and photographs.
And, yes, Oakland’s awesome Grand Lake Cinema(s) are a real gem!

Simon Overton
Simon Overton commented about Wants to lease or buy movie theatre on Mar 31, 2009 at 6:29 pm

Try San Francisco… there are several “butes” in good shape and just begging to be reopened!

Simon Overton
Simon Overton commented about Needles Theatre on Mar 31, 2009 at 6:22 pm

Hi Lost Memory… I visited once in 1967 enroute to Miami from San Francisco… can’t remember what I saw.
It’s always good to see any theater photo but it’s a shame there’s a car blocking the view and other distracting “stuff” in the picture.
Personally, I like to “crop” my picture view finder by ONLY having the actual subject in the frame and nothing else; like other buildings or people walking by!

Simon Overton
Simon Overton commented about Parkway ends on Mar 24, 2009 at 4:03 pm

Back in the mid 1990’s, I used to see a few good flicks there. The balcony had been enclosed for a church but seating downstairs was comfortable with good projection.
I liked the curved stage proscenium arch; it is in the Egyptian mode. My photos reveal the heads of famous farohs all illuminated with concealed colored rear lighting.
Two things I’m not too sure about… Were there curtains in use and was there a roof sign? Can anyone please enlighten me?

Simon Overton
Simon Overton commented about Presidio Theatre on Mar 17, 2009 at 2:04 pm

Ten years ago I viewed the theater with the hopes of reopening it but was shocked at what I encountered…
Upon its departure, the U.S. Army idiots completely stripped the building of everything that could be taken. Yes, even the ceiling lights down to the toilet tissue holders!!!

Simon Overton
Simon Overton commented about Rialto Theatre on Mar 14, 2009 at 12:13 pm

Sam… magnificent Neon -just been added to my “Neon” collection… Thanks a million!

Simon Overton
Simon Overton commented about RCA, help wanted on Mar 14, 2009 at 12:01 pm

Also try the British CTA: Cinema Theatre Association.

Simon Overton
Simon Overton commented about Wanted: THX theater plaque on Mar 9, 2009 at 2:32 pm

Some cinemas had plexiglass signs made to slide onto the marquee next to the film title presently showing.
Why not “grease” someone’s palm.

Simon Overton
Simon Overton commented about Mysterious Odeon item on Mar 9, 2009 at 2:26 pm

You can add Southampton’s Odeon to the list, also as one of the last cinema restaurants to survive.

I had many a good, hot meal there, which included being able to hear the film soundtrack while running. The same memorable situation happened just up the High Street at ABC’s Forum Cinema!

Oh yes, those were the days of consummate showmanship. NOT anymore!!

Simon Overton
Simon Overton commented about A Tribute to Forrest J. Ackerman on Mar 9, 2009 at 2:15 pm

William…
Please give us more advanced notice on these interesting events… thanks!

Simon Overton
Simon Overton commented about Sony and RealD to provide 3D digital cinema system on Mar 2, 2009 at 6:03 pm

Don’t you think it would be a generous gesture of Sony to DONATE this awesome system to the small private/independent cinemas and let the giants pay for their own… hmmmmmm?

Simon Overton
Simon Overton commented about Marcus Loew bronze plaque for sale on Feb 23, 2009 at 11:49 am

Speaking of “collectables”…
A late dear lady friend of mine gave me a cherub from the demolished San Francisco Fox. She actually went to jail after twice breaking in to the site to retrieve quite a few goodies. Bless her heart!!!
The male cherub is in fine condition (never been cleaned!) along with the original gold leaf applique.
Also owning a mint-print of Preston Kaufmann’s fabulous publication of “FOX, the last word”, I researched the countless photographs and found the actual item over the quaint candy counter (page 137).

I now share this little wonder with my great friend Joseph Musil at his fascinating American Museum of Theatrical Design in southern California… for all fans to see and enjoy.

Simon Overton
Simon Overton commented about Pflueger theatre architecture lecture on Feb 20, 2009 at 10:58 am

Sorry, but the New Filmore Theatre succumbed to the wrecking ball long ago!

Simon Overton
Simon Overton commented about Pflueger theatre architecture lecture on Feb 20, 2009 at 10:56 am

This late and great architect really left his impressive trade mark across the San Francisco bay area;

To name but a few that are still here today in SFO…
Castro Theatre, New Mission Theatre, Alhambra Theatre, Telephone Building and New Filmore Theatre (?)

Alameda Theatre, Alameda -recently restored!

Simon Overton
Simon Overton commented about Bay Theatre for sale on Feb 16, 2009 at 1:41 pm

Here are a few more interesting tidbits about the Bay Theatre; There are two (2) apartments located above the auditorium which can be accessed by a private entrance elevator! There is also an open lot adjacent to the left of the building which could be utilized as additional parking.

The whole place is scrupulously clean. I know this for fact due to my patronage. All projection & audio equipment is working, seats are in good condition and electrically, everything is up to code.

The screen is located at the back of a small stage which is about ten foot deep and resplendent with a set of working traveler curtains.

Simon Overton
Simon Overton commented about State Theatre on Feb 13, 2009 at 10:13 am

My dear friend JOSEPH MUSIL has an amazing collection of 35mm slides, especially of ALL the Long Beach theaters.

If you wish to see them screened in the beautiful surroundings of his fabulous Strand Theatre in his SALON OF THE THEATRES in Santa Ana, Ca., I suggest you call him: 714-667-6959 for an appointment.

Interestingly, Mr. Musil headed the restoration of Disney’s El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood and was manager of the Fox Theatre, Long Beach… Please remember there will be an admission fee. The password is “Simon” and the show will be most memorable!!!

Simon Overton
Simon Overton commented about Bay Theatre on Feb 5, 2009 at 7:47 pm

A local friend has just called me to mention the Bay Theatre is on the “for sale” market at $3m plus.

Simon Overton
Simon Overton commented about Golden Gate Theatre on Jan 31, 2009 at 9:59 am

LuisV… San Francisco WAS known as “The City That Knows How”… it has just about let everything go to hell in a hand basket and we’ll worry about tomorrow another day!

My wife is a native and was once proud to have supported many of the beautiful cinemas and theaters; skipping school numerous times, with punishment, just to be IN the 5,000 + seat FOX… to SEE its cavernous magnificence, HEAR the organ, STAIR at the gold leaf or WATCH the glorious curtains in motion floodlit in assorted colors!

She cries today, 45 years later, watching the video and senseless destruction of what was GIVEN to San Francisco by William Fox, thanks to the crooked leadership of Mayor George Christopher. Damn him to hell, too!

Simon Overton
Simon Overton commented about Classic Southampton on Jan 20, 2009 at 12:54 pm

Cinema historian, Reg Goldsmith (86) of Totton, informs me that the Classic had beautiful red floral velvet traveler curtains.

Simon Overton
Simon Overton commented about Original 1940's silk movie promo banners on Jan 13, 2009 at 12:23 pm

No doubt the THS Theater Historical Society has knowledge of these banners.
P.S. Don’t expose them to bright lights as they will fade beyond help.
How about sharing them with all of us by downloading some photos?

Simon Overton
Simon Overton commented about Chehalis Theatre closes on Jan 13, 2009 at 12:02 pm

As I’ve often said before… look at San Francisco’s immensely popular www.castrotheatre.com and follow their programming concept. It really works!

Simon Overton
Simon Overton commented about Irwin Seating closed down its Chinese factory on Jan 13, 2009 at 11:42 am

I can hear the sad and shimmering violins in the background as my eyes well with tears!

Simon Overton
Simon Overton commented about Happy Holidays! on Dec 29, 2008 at 10:07 am

To “ALL” who contributed such fascinating news items, stories and lovely photos… THANKS TO YOU, TOO!
ALL of you gave me a such Happy Year each and every time I logged in to CT… I’m really addicted to it.

Simon Overton
Simon Overton commented about In Memoriam: Steve Levin on Dec 18, 2008 at 12:02 pm

Some while back, Steve was giving yet another tour of San Francisco’s Castro Theatre and made mention of how this fabulous movie palace survived the 1989 “Loma Prieta” earthquake.

At that moment in time, I was performing some needed seat repairs in the balcony and decided to fire-up the follow spotlight and highlight many parts of the hanging tent-style dome. The beam of light clearly revealed what Steve was lecturing about and how the ceiling had swung to the left (about 7") and not returned to absolute center.

Steve generously gave me the courtesy of describing my experiences of working there, so I told the story of an almost six hour operation to help re-lamp the multi-circuit great chandelier AND finding old dated notes from others who had done this fun task.

Steve, THANKS for EVERYTHING. It’s time now for your curtain call!

Simon Overton
Simon Overton commented about Carbon Arc Rods on Dec 18, 2008 at 11:37 am

A decade ago, while sorting out loads of old “junk” stored behind the big screen at San Francisco’s Castro Theatre, I came across twenty or more full boxes of these historic goodies.

I expect they were tossed in the dumpster during their not-to-long-ago and much needed renovation!