Pacific's Hastings 8

355 N. Rosemead Boulevard,
Pasadena, CA 91107

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Ed Collins
Ed Collins on August 27, 2007 at 12:39 pm

See my post four posts above this.

Friday afternoon someone from Pacific finally returned my phone call. Of course by this time I pretty much knew the final night was Sunday. The woman from Pacific said that they would go dark on MONDAY! I asked her what does this mean… that Sunday was the last day to see a movie or that Monday was? She confirmed again… Monday would be the last day to see a movie. Ha! I didn’t bother telling her that moviefone.com did not list any showtimes for Monday. How could she get that wrong?

At least they returned my call.

Friday afternoon I took the time to go there. (It’s quite a distance from where I live.) I met an assistant manager, introduced myself, told him of my history with the place, and asked if I could take photos of the lobby, the large auditorium, the marquee, etc. He told me no. He didn’t even offer to let me in. I went ahead and took photos of the outside of the theatre, and all the while kept expecting the cops to show up and arrest me for trespassing or something. I walked around the entire building, and tried to take as many photos as I could, from all different angles, of not only the building but the parking lot, the marquee, etc.

Sunday evening after work, about 9:00 pm, I returned. THIS time I made a few prior phone calls to a few people I still know, and with a friend of mine who also used to work there YEARS ago, (Rick Landis – he’s mentioned in the article I posted) the two of us had “permission” to go inside and take a few photos. (The reception we received wasn’t very warm at all.)

Alas, my little digital camera doesn’t have a very good flash at all. I don’t even believe the photos I took of the large auditorium, which was quite dark at the time, are even worth posting.

At least I got to see the large auditorium again. I’ve been there just twice in the past 22 years and both times I obviously saw a movie in one of the smaller houses. The large house was left much larger than I would have guessed. I would have thought they would have chopped it up even more than what they did, when redesigning the place. It still seats 900+, according to the occupancy sign posted above the door.

Note: By now all of the seats in ALL of the auditoriums may already have been removed. A 30-man crew was there, beginning to dismantle them. They were going to work all night long and they said they hoped to have them all out by morning.

gbachlund
gbachlund on August 26, 2007 at 1:27 pm

A friend told me of the coming closure of the Hastings so, out of curiosity, I joined her Saturday afternoon to see “The Simpsons Movie” there. It was playing in one of the cracker box add-on rooms, but before the show we ventured into the big room, or “once big room,” to see what time and corporate greed hath wrought. It was sad indeed. I recalled the many times I had enjoyed great films in 70mm in that house on its giant curved screen.

I wish there was a way to keep the Hastings alive as I and many other knew it, but I know this is impossible. At least I can say I enjoyed it when it was a real first run theatre and was on hand when it sank into the oblivion of cinema history. RIP showmanship!

markinthedark
markinthedark on August 26, 2007 at 12:02 pm

Anyone going to make it there before it closes this evening? Last shows all start around 7:00 PM. If I could I would…

markinthedark
markinthedark on August 25, 2007 at 10:54 am

Pacific’s ad in the LA Times Friday announces Sunday as the last day of operation and thanks everyone for their patronage.

Ed Collins
Ed Collins on August 24, 2007 at 1:57 pm

For anyone who lives in the area, please note… the last operational night for the Hastings appears to be this Sunday, August 26th. Mike Lancaster, a friend and former manager of this theatre, informs me Moviefone.com has no showtimes after Sunday. I checked and he’s right… there are listings and showtimes for Sunday but not Monday.

In the past week I’ve called Pacific’s Corporate Office TWICE and both times left messages (on two different extensions) asking them for confirmation on when the last night is and to call me back and left me know. No one has yet returned my calls. Unbelievable.

Scott Neff
Scott Neff on August 17, 2007 at 6:38 pm

Ed – I’ll let you know if my company gets high speed color scanners again. I scanned just about every issue of Box Office I owned this way.

markinthedark
markinthedark on August 17, 2007 at 5:44 pm

Thanks Ed. I wish had taken photos of the Tacoma Mall Twin when I worked there in the summer of ‘89 while home from college. That theatre is a bit of an obsession for me. It’s where I saw many of the great blockbusters of the 70’s and 80’s growing up in Tacoma (many in 70mm). Its gone now, with a @*($& Krisprey Kreme in its place. I have seen pictures prior to the split in 1974, but none after. Hopefully SRO would have touted the “grand reopening”!

Sorry everyone for getting this thread off topic. I’ll work on my Hastings photos and get them over to cinematour. And for anyone going there before it closes: I did not get a good shot of the large auditorium.

Ed Collins
Ed Collins on August 17, 2007 at 3:45 pm

Mark – I’ll look through my issues for any info regarding the Tacoma Mall Twin.

Scott – Scanning all of my SRO newsletters would be a moumental task! Even copying every page (via a copy machine) would take more time and energy than I currently have time for! And no, I regret to say I don’t think I have any photos of any of the theatres I used to work at. I wish I did. :(

Scott Neff
Scott Neff on August 17, 2007 at 3:24 pm

And I meant to say as well, that if you have any photos of ANY theatres back from the day, we can scan them for you and return them unharmed.

Scott Neff
Scott Neff on August 17, 2007 at 3:23 pm

Ed — If you managed to scan your SRO newsletters I’d be happy to try and get them archived over at Cinematour. We go nuts for that stuff over there.

markinthedark
markinthedark on August 17, 2007 at 1:44 am

Ed, I know of the Danz family and saw many shows at the John Danz theare in Bellevue, WA., before it became an electronics store. Other SRO theatres i’ve been to (including during Cineplex ownership: Tacoma WA: Tacoma Mall (worked there one summer), Tacoma West, Tacoma South. Seattle: Cinerama, Uptown, Northgate (RIP) Southcenter (RIP) Lewis & Clark. Bellevue, WA: John Danz, Factoria. Lynnwood: Grand.

If you had any issues regarding the Tacoma Mall Twin I would love to see. Especially about when it was twinned.

Ed Collins
Ed Collins on August 17, 2007 at 12:31 am

Yes Kram, the original theatre, before it was converted to a mutli-plex, was large and plush and absolutely beautiful. The small black and white photo I posted of the inside of the auditorium doesn’t even begin to do the theatre justice.

Someone, somewhere, certainly has much better photos of the inside. I’m sure some day they will surface.

Note: I found another online source which lists the final day the Hastings will be open as August 31st. I’m still hoping to get confirmation if that’s the date or if the date is the 27th. Late yesterday afternoon I called Pacific’s Corporate Office (I couldn’t get a live person when I tried calling the theatre directly) and left a message asking, but so far no one has called me back. :(

Ed Collins
Ed Collins on August 17, 2007 at 12:22 am

Mark,

This is beginning to get a little off topic but to answer your question…

…I worked for SRO for 7+ years, from 1978 to the mid 1980s. During that span I was the manager of several of SRO’s theatres here in Southern California… The Rolling Hills Twin in Rolling Hills, the Paramount and the Holly in Hollywood, and then finally the Pasadena Hastings. (I think you’ll find a few comments from me here at Cinema Treasures for all of these movie theatres.)

I began my stint with SRO in 1978 at the La Mirada Swap Meet, a large outdoor marketplace located in Santa Fe Springs.

If you’re familiar with SRO you might be familiar with the Danz family. I’m currently working for Tad Danz and his son Greg, and have been since 1999.

After all these years I still have a small stack (about 20) of SRO SPOTLITE magazines, a monthly magazine that the company put out each month. (And no, I won’t part with them!) Each issue is filled with articles about the company, events going on at our theatres, etc.

KramSacul
KramSacul on August 17, 2007 at 12:18 am

Wow, the original theater used to be not so shabby.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 17, 2007 at 12:00 am

My memory of my one visit to this theatre (which was before it was multiplexed) is that it had a curved screen.

markinthedark
markinthedark on August 16, 2007 at 11:52 pm

Worked for me too. I was told earlier in this thread that the original screen was flat. Looks curved to me in Ed’s article.

ED: Where did you get this gem? I am from Seattle originally and grew up with SRO theatres in my area. Got anything else?

I will love one day to see some of the old SRO Policy Trailers again…

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 16, 2007 at 10:03 pm

Yes, that works. Thanks.

Ed Collins
Ed Collins on August 16, 2007 at 9:54 pm

Ok, I also received the 404 error.

Try copying the link I provided into memory, and then pasting that URL by itself into a new tab or window. That worked for me.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 16, 2007 at 9:51 pm

Ed: I get both a “Forbidden” message and a “404 Error” on both of your links.

I’m not surprised at the orignal seating capacity of 1500 for the Hastings. It was by far the largest single-floor theatre I ever attended in the San Gabriel Valley. In fact I’d say the only larger single-floor theatre I’ve ever been in was Grauman’s Chinese.

Ed Collins
Ed Collins on August 16, 2007 at 9:47 pm

Hmmm… interesting. I checked the validity of the links myself after I uploaded it, to make the file was uploaded correctly. Let me see if I can figure out what might be wrong…

markinthedark
markinthedark on August 16, 2007 at 9:43 pm

Ed, I am getting “forbidden” messages when I click on the links:

(Forbidden
You don’t have permission to access /images/hastings-article-small.jpg on this server.
Additionally, a 404 Not Found error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.)

Ed Collins
Ed Collins on August 16, 2007 at 9:37 pm

FOUND IT!

800 seats? 1,000 seats? 1,200 seats? Ha!! It may comes as surprise to know the Hastings seated 1,500! Again, as a former manager of the theatre, I suspected it was much more than 1,000 and I’m glad I now have some proof.

The following article is from the November 1982 issue (Volume 1, Issue 6) of SRO SPOTLITE (A Sterling Recreation Organization Publication):

—– begin —–

With the purchase of a one-year-old drive-in in 1948 in Pasadena, CA, came the beginning of a new generation of SRO. The Hastings Drive-in, accommodating 1,000 cars, was the first theatre that SRO purchased in California.

The drive-in was unique in the SRO circuit in that it had in front of the screen a miniature train which children could ride. A well-equipped playground was located near the train. While the kids played, their parents were free to enjoy the benefits of an efficient and well-stocked snackbar, and together the family settled down for an evening of good movie entertainment.

As the 1960s neared the end, so did the drive-in. The value of the property had increase dramatically, and with the good business insight, SRO executives began building “a theatre of the future”.

The Pasadena Hastings Theatre opened its doors to the public on Oct. 2, 1968. The 1,500-seat showplace was designed to provide elegant and luxurious accommodations with the maximum comfort and spaciousness for the movie patron. A unique feature of the theatre is its beautiful patio garden at the lobby entrance.

The Pasadena Hastings is equipped with a pair of Norelco projectors, which have been called the Cadillacs of projection equipment. With both these machines, the theatre can provide 35mm, Cinerama, or 70mm presentation. (The 70mm size screen opens to 25 feet top to bottom and 60 feet side to side.) The theatre’s sound system is capable of mono, 35mag., 70mag, and four-track and six-track Dolby stereo.

The Pasadena Hastings Theatre also has its touch of art, created by Mexico’s famous artist Aurea Aguilar. The facia on the front entrance mixes lights, colors and mosaic to provide a look of beauty and class, and an illuminated mural decorates the entrance to the auditorium in the lobby.

The first Operating Director of the Pasadena Hastings was Nat Levine, who had previous experience in the are of movie production, distribution and exhibition. Other past members of the Pasadena management staff whose names you might recognize are George Pearn, Gerrit van der Bend, Jim Conley, Diana Nilsson, Mike Lancaster, Ray Wright, Richard Landis, Jan van der Bend, Pat Lancaster, Peggy Yocum and Joe Lancaster.

The present management staff includes Manager Bill Stevens, Jr., a 14-year SRO veteran. Bill Wilson, who has worked five years for SRO, is Assistant Manager.

When the Pasadena Hastings opened in 1968, it was billed as “An Adventure in Entertainment”. This standard is upheld today. The theatre staff takes pride in maintaining the theatre as though this were the first year of its opening.

(Credit goes to Bill Stevens, Jr., for providing the information for this article.)

—– end —–

A scan of the entire article, which includes three photographs, can be found here:

View link
View link

The small file is 772 KB in size. The large file is a monster (7,595 KB in size).

markinthedark
markinthedark on August 16, 2007 at 8:44 pm

Ed, when you scan the newsletters etc. please send them to Cinematour as well. They will post them with the rest of their Hastings stuff.

www.cinemetour.com

(Cinematreasures looks like they will have a photogallery offering soon)

Ed Collins
Ed Collins on August 16, 2007 at 8:28 pm

Somewhere I still have a small collection of SRO newsletters. In at least one of these newsletters I recall seeing a photo or two of the inside of the Hastings, circa 1985, back when it was a large, single-screen house. Give me a day or two to look for these and if I find them, I’ll scan whatever photos I can find and post them on my website, and provide the link here.

With the rather unusual design of entering the auditorium from the front, coupled with the sheer size of the auditorium (1,000 seats? 1,200?) I truly believe it was one of the nicest theatres in all of Southern California. SRO often referred to it (along with the Paramount) as its flagship theatre. It’s still somewhat hard for me to believe it’s going to be demolished!

Scott Neff
Scott Neff on August 16, 2007 at 7:10 pm

This is truly an awesome theatre. If somebody lives nearby, please please please set something up with the manager to take pictures on the last day. Most GM’s are happy to do this. I was irritated I couldn’t get any good shots of the big theatre witout a tripod, but I can tell that this theatre had evolved from an awesome single screen.