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Theatre reopens on 12/4/09 with DeNiro in EVERYBODY’S FINE.
Great work again, Michael!
According to Phil Sheridan’s book THOSE WONDERFUL OLD DOWNTOWN THEATERS, BEN HUR ran for 40 weeks at Hunt’s Cinestage.
Effective January, 2010, the theatre will be known as the Gateway Film Center, and will be managed by the property owner, Campus Partners for Community Urban Redevelopment. The president of this facillity will be Chris Hamel, who has worked for Cinemark, Columbus Association for the Performing Arts and the local Drexel Theatre Group.
2 of the screens will be programmed by the staff of the Wexner Center for the Arts, a facility on the Ohio State Campus about ½ mile north of the Gateway complex. They have a very successful cinema program and this will give them the ability to run features longer than a day or two.
York Plaza Cinema had magnetic stereo equipment, and ran stereo midnight screenings of JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR for many months in the late 70’s. A very nice little theatre with operators who really cared about presentation.
I’ll have to do some more research on this, but it looks like the address of the theatre is 5434 East Livingston.
The King Arts Center includes the old Garfield Elementary school to the immediate west of the theatre, constructed in the ‘50’s and closed in the early '80’s. I taught for 3 years at that school. The Pythian was closed at that time and none of us in the school thought much about it. We thought it was a Masonic facility. I do know that when the building closed the facility was in very poor shape and the school system was very happy to get rid of it! I’ve heard it is a beautiful location now.
This was in the predominantly African-American neighborhood of Mt. Vernon Avenue. It was located just east of the Pythian Theatre, now the King Arts Complex, and north-east of the newly restored Lincoln Theatre. The theatre address is now part of a large housing/retail development known as Mt. Vernon Plaza.
I definitely remember seeing SLEEPING BEAUTY at Hunt’s Cinestage, but I don’t think it was during this run. I definitely remember GRAND CANYON SUITE and the end of the film where the thorn branches appear, but I thought I was a bit older when I saw that. Maybe my Grandmother took me to it. Were there any 70mm rereleases a few years later?
For a time in the very late ‘50s, this theatre was known as the Bexley Continental/American. Foreign films were shown in one screen and American films on the other. I found this while looking for some other things in the Columbus Dispatch microfilm records.
For a time in the very late ‘50’s, this theatre was known as the FOX Theatre and played “adult” features. I found this looking up some information in the Columbus Dispatch microfilm records.
Ran WINDJAMMER in CINERAMA from 7/20/60 until 8/8/60. Harald Tusberg, Sven Erik Libaek, Kaare Terland from the film sang live. The ad showed a 3-headed CINEMIRACLE camera and had the CINERAMA logo. Advertised as “Only showing in a 4 state area as originally presented at the Capitol Theatre in CINERAMA”. While this was showing on one screen, the other screen was running CIRCUS OF HORRORS and AMAZING TRANSPARENT MAN. Source is ads from Cincinnati Enquirer.
I have posted a scan of the display ad for 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY. The name of the theatre is the LOEW’S NEW FALLS.
Now, the name of this theatre can be changed.
The Twin Drive-In in Cincinnati opened a 3-strip engagement of WINDJAMMER 2 weeks after the showing at the Super 50. So, there must have been at least 2 portable units out there showing WINDJAMMER. I’ve never seen any other engagements listed, and would be VERY interested if it showed at any other drive-ins in 3-strip. These were almost 3 years before the CINERAMA engagements at the Century Drive-In in LA.
Still under the name of HOLLYWOOD STUDIO THEATRES, showing 1st run films.
Digital Imax, installed in Theatre 12, opened on 10/2/09 with CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS. A large IMAX sign has been put up on the west end of the theatre building.
ChasSmith, I think there is a possibility that the SLEEPING BEAUTY screening was at the Drexel on Main Street. I went to at least one special Disney screenings there for a Disney movie about Antarctica and the short PAUL BUNYON. I also remember they gave everyone a free Mars bar!
The Esquire did operate during that time. It did not run the 70mm Technirama version…that was at Hunts Cinestage downtown. The Esquire did not have 70mm equipment, to my knowledge. But it is possible that it ran the film during any wider release.
That 23 week run of CIRCUS WORLD is the current record run for that title, using the 41 cities currently on the list. That’s 1 week more than Montreal, and more than double the average run. I guess they like circuses in Hartford.
Digital IMAX installed for the run of STAR TREK in May, 2009. 35mm equipment removed, 2-digital projectors installed.
Calgary sets 3 records with this listing….for the shortest runs. The runs of MEDITERRANEAN HOLIDAY, GRAND PRIX and the 70mm version of THIS IS CINERAMA had 1 week runs…no one can beat that, they can only tie.
If you were a CINERAMA fan in Calgary, you sure needed to move fast in order not to miss things. I guess Mike is getting down to some of the smaller locations now.
Congratulations, Mike, on bringing us 40 CINERAMA cities! Many of us out here appreciate it very much.
I saw the film during the opening weekend at the beautiful Dayton Mall Cinema I. All 1100 seats were full! Scared me like nothing else I’ve ever seen. I deliberately read nothing about the film ahead of time, so it was all a surprise. I wasn’t expecting it to be so scary. Scariest thing in the film was just a guy walking down a hallway…you were SURE the thing was going to get him, but, nothing happened. It just made things more frightening later. It was brilliant to show so little of the Alien so you never knew exactly how it was going to attack. The audience was really pulled into the movie this way.
Saw it later at Cinema East in Columbus (Whitehall). Charlie Sugarman was really proud that he was getting a 70mm print, even though they did not have 70mm Dolby equipment. At that time, a number of 70mm prints were struck without Dolby encoding.
This is the film that brought back 70mm to a larger audience. This film went out beyond the major cities. It proved that audience would come out in droves for these special presentations.
Actually, Chris, of all the cities Mike has given us so far, the average number of weeks played by 2001 was 30, so St. Louis was actually pretty typical.
I must correct the above statement. DAMNATION ALLEY came out AFTER Star Wars was released. Apologies for my mistake.
Back in the late 70’s and 80’s, there wasn’t even a glass wall for the booth area…4 of the projectors sat open in the lobby, where they picked up lots of dirt and smoke (smoking was legal in lobbies then). Those 4 rooms had some of the dirtiest prints imaginable. Also there was an open area between each pair of the original rooms, so bleed through from the next room was very bad….AND, the image was projected from the rear corner of the room, so the image was always somewhat out of focus.
In any event, this theatre played almost every available 70mm film, including Alien, The Rose, 2010, The Mission and many more. Remarkably, it did not play 70mm RETURN OF THE JEDI…no theatre in Columbus did.
It also played DAMNATION ALLEY in SOUND 360, which placed speakers on the side and back walls of the theatre. This was before the general release of STAR WARS and Dolby Stereo.
They always had the best movies and they always looked really bad. But, I saw a LOT of films there.
Cameron used the PACE Fusion Digital 3D camera for this film. It was not produced in IMAX 15/70 format.
35mm — Continent Theatre Columbus OH — No special memories, and I wasn’t all that impressed.