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This week you can see “Zodiac” at the National. It moved over from the Bruin. Now you watch the movie at the theatre where filmed scenes! Too bad they didn’t just open “Zodiac” at the National. In earlier days they probably would have as its a Paramount Picture. Now the National just seems to get the leftovers and the move-overs. Sad.
The Tacoma Mall Twin Theatre has a long lost cousin in Lakewood CA! In 1968 Pacific Theatres opened an identical theatre to the Tacoma Mall Theatre in Lakewood, California. And it still exists. Somebody correct me if I am wrong, but I think United Theatres, a Pacific Theatres company, built the Tacoma Mall theatre.
The same chandeliers that graced the Tacoma Mall Twin during its life STILL HANG at Pacific’s Lakewood Center 16! The 2 theatres have had rather different lives however. Where Tacoma Mall Theatre’s auditorium was twinned (one big, one medium sized) the Lakewood kept its large 1200 seat auditorium intact and added screens in 1974 and 1999 resulting in a 16-plex.
I have not been in the theatre, but peeked in the lobby windows before business hours and saw the chandeliers, the curved lobby, similar box office, everything that would make fans of the old Tacoma Mall Twin feel nostalgic. I hope to get down to see a film someday. Hopefully they have not altered the large auditorium too much so I can see what Tacoma’s was like before twinning.
Here is a link to a newspaper article that shows a model for the Lakewood (look familiar?):
Here is Cinematour’s photo and detailsof the Lakewood: (again, look familiar?):
I found other photos on some website, both old and new (including the inside of the large auditorium!), however, since they are not my property I shouldn’t post them. I will try to find the link again.
Although I personally cannot make a statement on this, several Directors of Photography that I have worked with have commented that Digital cannot yet match the rich color saturation that film offers.
I have never been too happy with any digital presentation I have seen. Part of this is because of how hyper real it is without the flicker, etc. But part of me is just nostalgic and old fashioned. I love movies, warts and all! Scratches, reel markers, hisses, pops and all! ANything that reminds me that I am watching film and not video.
Digital Cinema will never be 70mm.
Wow Paul! I would love to see them. First, have you sent them into Cinematour? I know they would love to post them. Second, would you be happen to be a Mac person and know how to drop photos on an iDisk? I am also going to shoot you an email…
Dan, I have seen pictures of the Eastgate on Cinematour and my mouth waters. What a shame it is now closed.
Regarding the Coliseum, I was surprised by the 70mm Dune showing. I wonder how the sound was, being that it seemed that all 35mm presentations there were mono. (or at least never advertised as stereo). Did they only have stereo when it was 6-Track Magnetic? The Coliseum also had the exclusive 70mm showing of Clan of the Cave Bear. I never had a chance to go to the Coliseum but always wanted to (more for curiousity factor and the fact that it was an old palace). It pains me that it is a Banana Republic now.
One unfortunate thing back in the 80’s when I was a teen was that films in the Seattle Area were usually booked almost exclusively with one chain or another. So, if that chain was Luxury Theatres, you almost had no choice unless you wanted to go for a long drive. An example would be the Bond films “Octopussy” in 1983 and “Living Daylights” in 1987. Both were almost exclusive Luxury Theatre bookings, so if you wanted to hear the films in Dolby Stereo, forget it! Luckily we had no Luxury Theatres in Tacoma and I was able to see “Octopussy” on the giant Temple Theatre screen in Dolby and “The Living Daylights” at SRO’s Tacoma South in Dolby.
BTW I saw the only other Western Washington 70mm “Dune” presenation, a second run showing for $2 at the Temple Theatre in Tacoma. The presenation there was rather impressive.
Dan, Yes they did indeed have comfortable high back chairs. At the Puyallup 6, however, it was only in the back half of the auditorium.
Just for your nostalgia, here are pictures of the Luxury Theatres horrible color scheme at the Lacey 8:
I thought that Act III had given the same makover to the Kent 6 that they did to the Puyallup 6. Here are pictures of the Puyallup 6 post-Act-III-ization:
I have to admit, not a bad job, considering how they used to be. While we are in a dumping-on-Luxury Theatres mood, here is one of my favorite Puyallup 6 moments: During a screening of “Trek” (a strange documentary that I cannot find anywhere, not even listed on IMDB!) the projectionist misses a projector changover. The screen goes bright white as the tail of the film leaves the gate. Then, the projectionist opens the port window and calls down to the audience that there will be a brief intermission, as if it was a regularly scheduled event. (It probably was at this theatre).
My other pet peeve with these theatres was that they had heavy wood doors to the auditoriums with latches that clicked whenever the doors were opened or closed. The doors also went directly from the hallway into the aisle with no light trap. Every auditorium had 2 doors. I have seen many Self -Storage Buildings with more thoughtful design, architechture, lighting, color schemes etc. The difference between these theatres and the nice SRO builds of the same area were night and day. At least Luxury got their act together when they built the Alderwood 7, Crossroads 8, and the Lloyds Center (in Portland) in the late 80’s (Luxury Theatres with THX and 70MM! Who would have expected it!).
Please keep dumping! Ah, the memories…
This theatre was built by Tom Moyer’s Luxury Theatres in the early 80’s. “Luxury” is really not how these theatres should be described. In fact all they were quite bad and built on the ultra-cheap. Only a makeover by Act III Theatres in the 90’s brought them to any sense of normalcy in presentation and comfort. (Although the fixed aspect ratio screens stayed). Regal was quick to shut it down after taking over operations.
All of the above could be said for the nearby Puyallup 6 cinemas, a clone of the Kent 6. My family took us kids to see Mr. Mom on opening weekend of the Puyallup 6 in 1983. After we left we all felt it was worst 1st run theatre we had ever been to. It was even worse than many of the 2nd run houses in the area.
The Kent 6 is definitely not a Cinema “Treasure”.
Question: Are there any pictures out there of the post-conversion balcony auditoriums? Just curious.
I too love the Egyptian from my Seattle days. Have they cushioned the old wood seats in the loge? I wonder when they sell out the theatre if they sell tickets for all those seats as well. As I recall, some were behind posts or faced the center of auditorium, perpendicular to the screen (no doubt because the auditorium was not originally conceived as a theatre).
As well as “Mulholland Drive” and an upcoming Sci-Fi Noir thriller tentatively titled “Dark Streets”
Its too bad there are not any proper double-bill revival houses left in the Los Angeles area, with the notable exception of the New Beverly (where the presentation was a bit lacking a few years ago, but have sice upgraded to Dolby Stereo!) I was recently in Melbourne, Australia, and visited the Astor Theatre, a spectacular revival house combining old art-deco movie palace glamour, revival house programming, a large screen, and top-noch presentation (Dolby Digital, DTS Digital, and several 70mm engaements a month). This is the theatre I wish the Rialto could be (although the Rialto could never have a screen the size of the Astor’s). I think in the U.S. home video and DVD has killed off such theatres, even in cities such as LA. It’s too bad. There is nothing like seeing a classic on the big screen. I got some good pics of the Astor and plan to post them on Cinematour at some point. Until then you can see it at:
http://www.astor-theatre.com/ (check out the calendar!)
If you are ever in Melbourne…
Saw a matinee of Superman Returns as a “farewell” to the theatre this weekend and found out that Mann has signed an additiona 6 month lease! That would get it through the holidays.
I got deeply nostalgic watching the traditional Superman opening credits in the National glorious 1970’s decor auditorium. Even the smell of the place reminded me seeing the original Superman as a kid at the Tacoma Mall Twin in 1978.
The National’s presentation was excellent as usual.
I love the above idea! Lots of 70mm engagements.
Question is: If Mann can’t make the National work, what could Regent do better?
What irks me is that Mann added this pit to their roster, but is getting rid of the National, one of the best theatres in LA. If I were King, Pacific would take over the National and give it the Arclight treatment just like they did the dome.
Last week the National shared Poseidon with the Bruin. Right now it is sharing The Da Vinci Code with the Festival. Next week’s schedule shows the National holding DaVinci, The Bruin getting The DaVince moved up from the Festival, which gets a Poseidon downgrade.
The Rialto has gone with Summer Blockbuster programming with the opening of “The Da Vinci Code” this last Friday. Perhaps it is the only way it can survive with so many Laemmle screens in the area showing art house fare. The Landmark ad announced “New Digital Sound System”. I guess this means that Landmark intends to keep the theatre going…
Perhaps someone with resources could do it with The National in Westwood when/if Mann gives up its lease. Where is Paul Allen when you need him (restored the Cinerama in Seattle).
Although we get our fair share of 70mm revivals here in Los Angles at the Cinematheque’s Egyptian and Aero theatres and the Arclight Cinemas among others, my dream would be to have a screen devoted to 70mm presentations. With the overscreening of many booking zones, it seems like an aging multiplex could do well to devote a screen for fans of 70mm in LA. Would probably do a heck of a letter better business than a second run movie at first run prices with 5 people in the audience. Do you know how well a 70mm revival of Raiders or Star Trek II would do in this town?
Anyone know what changes or upgrades have been done by Mann if any. It reopened very quickly…
Photos posted here:
Taken a few months prior to closing. I counted a whopping 67 seats in that small auditorium.
Interesting. Anyone know what happened to the 14th Screen? Perhaps a wall was broken through because the largest house had well over 200 as well as the 2nd largest (the 2 screens on the 9th floor, both with balconies).
Probably just a misprint…
In LA AMC got rid of most of its GCC acquisitions pretty quickly:
Sherman Oaks 1 & 2
Sherman Oaks 3-7
They kept the Avco in Westwood and Redondo Beach Galleria
In Seattle Area they closed Everett Mall 1-3, and 4-10
They kept the Renton Village, Cinerama, and Pacific Place 11
Ironically, they closed their only last remaining AMC build in the Seattle area, Seatac North 6, soon after acquiring GCC, thus making all the theatres listed in the AMC ads in Seattle papers as ex-GCC.
This makes me wonder what AMC really gained out of acquiring GCC?