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According to CRATOS, both consoles were damaged, particularly the one at the Paramount, which was toppled over and tossed around by 8+ feet of water. The console at the Theatre Cedar Rapids was hit by 4 feet of water but remained standing. Both organ consoles have been removed to a restoration site by the CRATOS.
The CRATOS website is providing regular updates, but unfortunately the Paramount’s website is down; I hope their renovations are continuing.
According to the article the Palace was built as the Roger Sherman in 1925, on the site of the Rialto which burned in 1921.
The developer, David Nyberg, has been maintaining the building (it’s been kept heated since pipes burst 2 years ago, flooding it.)
They’ve put on a new roof and done complete asbestos removal and plumbing work, but right now a lot more needs to be done with regard to HVAC, electrical, adequate dressing rooms, concession area, administrative offices, bigger lobby, etc. Ceiling has been repainted midnight blue, and a lot of the ornamental details are well preserved.
The main problem is finding an entertainment group to run the theatre – they said once one is found, the building could be ready to open in 6 months.
Looks like they’re planning to do more renovations beyond lobby and restrooms – primarily in the backstage area.
Also they’ve expanded beyond concerts; their current schedule includes ballet and opera as well.
Ralph Ringstadt is at it again! Some more great videos of his performances at the Jersey are on YouTube. Just search on “ralph ringstadt” at Youtube to find five more video performances.
There was a fire on July 8-9 which caused extensive damage to the rooms above the lobby. According to their website they plan to repair the damage and re-open. Hopefuly this will not take too long. The website shows some fire photos.
Here is a recent photo of the Latchis Auditorium:
Unfortunately it does not show most of the great murals and plasterwork on the sidewalls that evoke the outdoor greek scene, or the top of the greek pediment on the proscenium. Also, the statue of the ticket taker was not at the left of the proscenium when the photo was taken (He’s there now; still don’t know who he is). It actually loooks a lot bigger when you enter the auditorium than in this photo. Once the auditorium is restored it will look quote impressive. It’s a very classic look considering it was built in 1938. The theatre even retains that distinctive smell (old plaster and buttered popcorn) that can only be enjoyed in the few remaining old theatres that still show movies.
The Latchis has opened a 4th screen in the store space to the immediate left (south) of the lobby entrance. It is being used for performing arts shows, particularly during the monthly Gallery Walks. Hopefully they will eventually start showing movies there too. The other three screens continue to show first run movies, frequently getting the big releases (Harry Potter, Indiana Jones, etc.). As part of the greek revival theme, the walls in the inner lobby, staircase and 2nd floor mezzanine are done as plaster stone blocks. The ones in the stairwell and upper area have never been repainted, and still show the skillfull shaded paint scheme which makes them look very realistic (they’re still pristine after 70 years, still look brand new!) The ones on the first floor have been painted cream, and it’s quite a difference. It shows how much better a restoration would look if they, hopefully, choose to recreate the original color scheme and not just put on a quick coat of paint.
The ceiling is painted blue, could use a new coat as the paint they used to cover cracks does not match. They did repaint the constellations, but I have never seen the stars turned on. The setas in the main auditorium are original and pretty beat up. It would look great when restored.
The only remaining interior artifacts are the movie poster cases along the outer lobby, now filled with bicycle posters. The bicycle shop is in the former lobby area. The auditorium portion was so badly burned it had to be gutted and has been converted to offices. One hall wall has a large mural depicting the fire. Some of the brick walls were left bare, showing the scorch marks from the fire.
Finally, a photo of the INTERIOR of the Boston Paramount!!
As we can see, it is by far closer to the Denver Paramount than the Aurora Paramount. It is a fairly narrow auditorium, (smaller too- 1,600 seats vs Denver 2,090) and the designs are very similar to the Denver Paramount; with slightly different decorations at the top of the columns (although the light fixtures are virtually the same). Also note the narrow extension of the balcony along the sidewall. I really like the sun-ray motif above the proscenium – was the Denver paramount similar originally? One comment I read about some years ago about the color scheme of the Boston Paramount is the predominant colors on the sidewalls were blue and gold versus the Aurora’s predominant red and gold.
Anyway, enjoy the picture! I wish it were in color! I wish I had been able to see it when it was still open!
Still trying to find out what year the Centre was built. It was definitely built after 1941 (the 1942 AFI theatre listing does not include the Centre), but I don’t believe it could have been built to showcase the 1952 Cinemascope process (as mentioned above); it’s design looks too early for that. Possibly right after WW II?
Status should be changed to Open. They reopened at the end of April 2008 showing 1st run movies, after doing some light renovations (new carpet, paint, etc.) Their website is at www.foxtheatre3.com
This theatre looks to be demolished. Google photos show parking lots and a new housing development.
That films 101 webpage up above lists 62 films for 1946. It lists them as the 62 “most notable” films of the year. There were a lot more than 62 filsm released that year – generally there were considerably more movies per year back then than there are now (many more “B” movies, etc.)
Looks like this theatre has been demolished. The google map for this address shows a parking lot for a shopping center.
I went to the open house on Saturday and they really did a fantastic job of renovating the theatre – more was restored than I ever dreamed possible after seeing it in its Quad state. They rebuilt the proscenium arch with the original design and front of the balcony. It has a huge new stagehouse, and renovated dressing rooms, green room, etc. Was able to explore the entire backstage and basement area, cloming the spiral stairway to the top of stage right (from audience perspective) and look out over it. The basement areas were all accessible, the electrical room, maze of workrooms, the new dressing rooms, and plenum chamber – inerestingly, all the spaces under the main lobby area are additional staff space, the usher’s staff room filled a large space under the main lobby). These basement spaces, some of them were still old red brick or concrete walls, some areas completely modern. The lobby and auditorium were all beautifully restored, the chandeliers and main cove in the auditorium ceiling looked fantastic. Comfortable and attractive seats, plush carpeting. Lots of restrooms, but interestingly could not find any lounges except for the one over the old entrance to the side which is now a VIP area (guess open house was my only opportunity to see that) The old main lobby is actually fairly small (even with the mezzanine lounge opening into it) but in front is a modern facade and large outer lobby and box office with 4+ windows. The modern facade looks much better than the Showcase Cinrmas one from the 1960s. Only a few things that they didn’t do that I would have liked to see. The ornamental plasterwork designs were not created on the side boxes or balcony front; they’re all smooth (although the balcony front is mostly hidden behind lighting fixtures anyway) and the fine ornamental detail in the proscenium arch is missing. Also, they did not replicate the scagiola faux marble on the columns in the mezzanine lobby or on the organ screens, and the mezzanine lobby has a simpler paint scheme. Also, the soffet under the balcony is a much plainer design (but then again, that had to be rebuilt from scratch). The color scheme is not original, but it is very attractive, greens, gold and cream & tan, with some red draperies.
Overall, they did a splendid job of restoration, one I never would have thought possible a few years ago
According to that article the interior of the theater has been gutted – a shame. Much of the space has been renovated into offices and retail, but the new owner plans to have a theatre utilizing the stage house and front of the old auditorium to create a new venue for concerts, stand-up comedy and the occasional movie.
The Aztec’s website says they’re closed for more construction but will reopen in spring 2008.
A couple nice videos on YouTube:
This one is from a period newsreel or documentary from 1963. It starts with some documentary color footage of the auditorium and organ chambers with descriptions of the pipe setup. Then continues to newsreel footage of the demolition and concludes with the final organ solo played at the Fox during the farewell concert. Really interesting to see the inside of the organ chambers during a concert with the shutters swinging and the relays in action!
This one shows a lot of color still photos of the Fox auditorium, lobbies and lounges with some narration about its demolition and the performance of a final medley on the organ just before the organ’s removal from the theatre. The Fox portion starts about 2 minutes into the video.
Their new website is up at http://www.thehanovertheatre.org/ and the Hanover Theater Organ website is now at http://www.thehanoverorgan.org/TheHanoverOrgan/
Great news – Opening date is March 14, 2008!! They already have three shows scheduled after that (Hairspray, Stomp and Jesus Christ Superstar)
From the pictures it looks like they were in overdrive the past year with renovations — proscenium, side boxes and orchestra walls all reconstructed. they’re doing a great job! Great to hear that they’ll have a Mighty WurliTzer 4/35 organ!
The webpage has changed – it is now http://www.palacealbany.com/
Those Library of Congress photos show the ornate pressed tin ceiling still intact. Unfortunately the google photo of that address shows that the theatre portion of the complex has been demolished. Status should be changed accordingly.
The Palace’s website has changed – it is now http://www.stamfordcenterforthearts.org/home.cfm#
The website has a couple “virtual tour” photos. Nicely renovated!
On YouTube there are now SIX videos of Ralph Ringstad Jr., at the Wonder Morton organ at the Loew’s Jersey on 11/3! Go to the links below or directly to youtube.com and search for videos by “loewsjersey”. They add up to almost 35 minutes!
Opening song: View link
(“Drums in my Heart”)
5th song: View link
2nd song: View link
(“You” – from 1934)
3rd song: View link
4th song: View link
Encore: View link
“I only have eyes for you”
Fantastic! And he really pulls out all the stops for the first song. It would be well worth a long trip to be able to hear this organ live!
From the google photo of this address it looks like this theater has been demolished.
The organ remained in use until the theater was converted into a seven-plex in the late 1980s. I presume it was sold, but unfortunately have no idea who it was sold to. I would really like to know whether the original walls are preserved behind all the multiplexing. At least the original rear railing behind the seats still exists in the balcony spaces. The stairs to the balcony are still the original creaking wood underneath the new carpeting!