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Wow, that is my birthday also! Coincidence?
Thanks Steiner for the emails and phone number as I will be calling your father in the near future! I’d love to meet him, too. I am just thrilled to finally meet someone on this cinema site that can talk to me about ‘my’ Grand Theatre. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts I plan to contact the last manager, Tom Tetrault who still lives in Westfield on Crandall when we return to Chautauqua County in May and also a man who was on the demolition committee to raise money to demolish the theatre so the Lincoln/Bedell Park could be erected. Have you visited Westfield to see this site? It’s very nice, but would rather see the statues in Moore Park and see the theatre STILL STANDING IN 2005! Gee, most towns raise money to save something and not to destroy something! It will be most interesting to sit down and talk to one of the men who was on THAT infamous committee! It should be an easy task as I’ve known Carl for many years through our families. Also, I’m sure you’ve noticed the book that is featured on this site, Cinema Treasures. I ordered it and it is wonderful so if you haven’t gotten this book for yourself or for your wonderful sounding father you might think about doing so as it is truly a ‘treasure’! Question: How did you find the cinema treasures site? I found it through a local organ society member. I don’t play organ, but have been in contact with a few members who are involved in saving the local Carolina Theatre in downtown Charlotte. The Carolina dates back to the 1920’s…the auditorium stills stands, but the lobby was demolished….long story!
Thanks Tom. It was on a corner so that address is correct, in my opinion!
Well, I have returned from the 75th anniversary open house at the Fox Theatre. For those of you who were there you know how much fun it was though the theatre was packed and for those who couldn’t make it you truly missed a “Fabulous Fox” event. I wore my cinematreasures.org nametag and since nobody came up to me I did mention it to Larry Douglas Embury, organist in residence. I rec’d his business card and have sent him a thank you. When we finally entered the lobby I knew I had finally arrived! The sights and sounds were all there to take in. We quickly proceeded to the auditorim and it was only then that a small tear appeared at the corner of my eye as I stood and ‘drank in’ what was before my very eyes. The thought that the Fox came so very close years ago to becoming only a memory was more than I could comprehend as I stood and looked around then up at the star filled ceiling! We attended the 4:30 show sitting in the FRONT ROW right behind the organ as it slowly rose from the orchestra pit with Larry sitting at the keyboard! The restorer of the organ as told on the Fox documentary video is now the “Phantom of the Fox” as he was given the theatre apartment in return for his work restoring the organ! He lived up to his name as he was never seen by me that day nor by anyone I asked! Before the “1929” show we all sang Let Me Call You Sweetheart. We then toured the 2 ballrooms where an orchestra was playing, anniversary cakes were cut and served, dance lessons were underway to anyone who wanted to learn in the Egyptian ballroom and in the other ballroom were displays of the theatre’s vast and rich history. Mayor Fergeson was the Mayor at the time the Fox was to be saved and he was directly responsible for one of the demolition permits to be halted! Unfortunately, Mayor Fergeson didn’t live to attend the 75th anniversary open house event yet I feel that he was smiling down on that special day in Atlanta GA. And in the concession area which was a large room off the lobby they were selling cokes at 1929 prices along with chili dogs from The Varsity!
Correction: Please to to www.ticketmaster.ca/venue/180227 to find the Warner schedule!
Lois: Also go to www.ticketmaster.ca/venue/180277/ and it will take you to the Warner Theatre/Erie website. It has a list of upcoming productions.
Go to www.erieplayhouse.org and I think you’ll enjoy seeing what is playing there now….“The Taffetas” which is a nostaglic musical with songs sung by 4 gals in taffeta dresses and pouf hairstyles such as Where the Boys Are, Mr. Sandman, and many other familiar tunes! Let us know how the show was if you can still get tickets!
Steiner: I suppose you have located and read all of the theatres that are listed for Erie PA and know about the Folly Theatre which was located on W. 26th Street. (Exact address is on the Folly site) Go to the site and read about the Folly then under Pennsylvania read about all the many others that were once in Erie. Thank goodness the Warner and the former Strand (Erie Playhouse) still proudly stand today! I know the Warner was to be demolished, (I have been in contact with the general manager), but former Mayor Tuillo helped save that one when he was in office! Thank you Mayor Louis Tuillo! He died of a rare blood disorder called amyloidosis which also took the life of a dear friend.
Steiner: I also have the Corry Drive-In listed on my favorites page and would like to see a movie there this summer. I know when they have some car cruise-ins at the Wal-Mart in Jamestown NY some of the cars caravan over to Corry to see a flick! Isn’t this cinema site just wonderful! I’ve learned so much about other theaters and met so many nice folks who have the same incurable ‘cinema’ bug which is just so great!
Steiner: Gosh, what a very ‘grand’ surprise to read your email! When I read “my father owned the theatre” I could be seen jumping up and down in the computer chair! :–) I have recently sent letters to the last manager of the Grand, Thomas Tetrault and to a man who was on the demolition committee, but no response from either as yet! So I would dearly love to chat with your father either by phone and/or in person as we spend our summers in the Chautauqua Lake area and frequently travel into Erie. If you notice, a member by the name of Richard G posted about another owner by the name of Dietner who also owned the theater. Does your father know this name as I plan to contact that person, as well this summer. I didn’t realize that the theater was owned by so many different people over the years. I was going to send you a personal email, but I see that you have chosen not to provide that information on your profile page but my email is there so I’ll be anxiously awaiting a ‘grand’ reply! :–)
“The theater has been restored to all of its original beauty.” That is what we all want to read for every theater still standing today!
Lois: Do you mean at the Erie Playhouse?
“You can still tell where the box office used to sit and the current receptionist desk is the concession stand but modified. The brilliant Art Deco curvatures in the ceiling exist as does the domed lobby and brass railings. To the right of the desk is a commissioned letter by, I believe Paramount Studios, that contains well over 50 autographs of then famous stars and directors.” I must go see this for myself!
Ok, Thomas I’ll simmer down, but was just concerned over another former theatre. I have friends from Concord NC and asked them tonight about this former theatre so will check it out for myself sometime. Your quote “Don’t worry downtown Concord will have a renovated theatre soon enough” did interest me though.
And Pasadena isn’t far from Hollywood, home to many movie studios whose movies appeared in such theatres as the Raymond so it’s a natural to SAVE THE RAYMOND! They did it in Atlanta with the Fox, so it can be done in Pasadena with the Raymond!
Someone needs to sit down and talk to Gene Buchanan about his plans to reinstitute his 1987 plans to ‘gut the Raymond’! Shame on you Mr. Buchanan!
Pasadena, home to the Rose Bowl Parade but not many old theatres? I watch the parade every year come down Colorado Blvd.
McGee: Found it interesting to read that a resident of S.W. Atlanta HAD possession of the Wurlitzer! I wonder if Larry, organist in residence, at the Fox knows this fact? Also, where is the organ today?
I hope to locate a copy of Popcorn Palaces to see the Loew’s Grand Theatre. Thanks to those who have offered photos of this Atlanta theatre.
How do you put this page into My Favorites? Thanks
These are great questions and the answers would be of great interest to us all so hope that someone can elaborate on it all. The 2 hour video that was narrated by Hal Holbrook alludes to the GWTW-Fox saga. BTW, I haven’t had time to put my thoughts together on my visit to the Fox for the 75th anniversary open house, but for now I will just say that I met the organizt in residence, Larry Embury and that was a thrill of a lifetime!
This theatre is located in a relatively new area of West Palm Beach called City Place. The interior is opulent, but new.
LOL! Boy, that eggnog is good!
You are a very talented person, Mr. Grossman and thank you for sharing your work with all of us on Cinema Treasures!
I’ll be at the open house tomorrow and will be wearing a nametag CINEMATREASURES.ORG with my name beneath PATSY so if anyone sees me, be sure to say hello!