Showing 26 - 50 of 79 comments
Once, there were so many Drive-Ins around Bridgeport and its neighboring towns, one would never imagine the day would come when the nearest drive in was close to 70 miles away. But the PLEASANT VALLEY DRIVE-In, in Barkhamsted (which I’ve often mentioned in my comments) is worth the drive, most of the time. I say most of the time, because the secret is getting out and last time I went, there was barely room for a mosquito to squeeze through, and the people next to us behaved like I used to in the seventies! Guess I finally got ‘paid back’! Seriously, the managers make an effort to show a top-notch first-run double feature at all times. For anyone has has never truly known an old-fashioned Drive-In experience, in Connecticut, PLEASANT VALLEY is the only place to be!
I’m the guy who used to haunt every showing of “Casablanca” whenever possible and drive the audience nuts by delivering all the dialogue along with each character. I’ve “tamed down” now, but I sure wish TCM would schedule a showing in my area!
A much-deserved and long-belated “Thank You”, C.R.
Perhaps spurred onward by the poll question involving theater chains, I decided to visit this theater, as I had not patronized it previously. My daughter wanted to see “Monster House” and, of all the regional theaters, this was the only movie theater offering it in Digital 3D. Let me say the presentation was spectacular, and the theater was perhaps the cleanest and the staff, all of them, the most polite and courteous I had ever encountered. Also, let me say, it was THE MOST EXPENSIVE MOVIE THEATER I HAD EVER PATRONIZED! And, for an additional fee, you could enjoy a movie (in this case, it was “Lady In The Water”) in their “Directors' Hall” with leather seats and wait service. I might have done this, but I wasn’t ready to re-finance my home!
It’s been well over a month since this was posted, but recently there was a story in our local papers about a woman (who formerly used the theaters as such) who is attempting to use the POLI (PALACE) and MAJESTIC properties as a Worship Center. Should anything “develop” out of this, I’ll apprise you!
Any chance this worthy film will make its way to the GARDEN CINEMA in Norwalk? If so, you can count on my patronage!
Just add a couple of dittos to the above, plus the fact it will be waaayy after my retirement age!
$6 a ticket? For one movie? In my childhood, thast would’ve been highway robbery! I remember arguing with the manager of the LOEW’s MAJESTIC because I felt $1 a ticket was too much for a double-bill that included “King Kong Vs. Godzilla”! (Some of us remember when $1.60 gasoline was considered high!!) However, there is even a better solution to the movie admission situation-Connecticut’s “secret”-the Barkhamsted PLEASANT VALLEY DRIVE-In, where TWO first-run features are always $7!-For those of you who haven’t yet decided which “blockbuster” to see, this week, they are featuring BOTH “SUPERMAN” and “PIRATES”, and, with the money you save, you can buy hot dogs and sodas!
To ex-Waterburian: Thanks so much for the photo. Wow! Imagine seeing “Treasure Of The Sierra Madre” at the Capitol!
It would be really great if they could telecast the piece as a whole, rather than “chop” it up with other segments in-between.
I’m glad I happened onto this page-For years, I’d been saying that I have to go to this theater whenever I passed it. I thought it was totally closed down. Hope to plan a visit soon!
Thanks, I have been a lifelong resident of Bridgeport, save for a few years here and there, and I never realized until recently the number of places that used to be theaters that I used to pass all the time. It’s only a matter of time before the Poli (Palace) and Majestic bid us “adieu” (I’m afraid the city neglected them too long) and then all we’ll have are memories. Thanks for your research.
I concur with ERD! The original AMC is fondly remembered. At least its broadcasts from the old movie palaces were intertwined with films and shorts that were relevant to the subject matter. The “new” AMC bills itself as TV for “people who love movies” but it is anything but! The terrible and ntimely commercial interruptions and the juvenile banter between movies are enough to turn any movie lover off! This A&E special had too much choppiness and the stuff in-between just seemed like added material that did not fit, and would’ve been fine in some other TV broadcast. What a disappointment! At least some of the “Cinema Treasures” regulars had some shining moments!
I’m waiting, but I won’t hold my breath. I am not able to find anything concrete yet about the Bijou’s opening-I think a return to its heyday would be as likely as casting Eminem in a remake of “Have Gun Will Travel”!
I’ll be proud to view your photos on this noteworthy show!
I just discovered on Cinematour.com that the address of the BEVERLY was: 3029 Fairfield Avenue, so either the addresses changed through the years, or these are two different theaters. Also, FYI, the BEVERLY opened in 1949. I recall it showing movies through the eighties.
Thanks, S., for this posting. One of my pet peeves is, even if there is a decent movie playing, I cannot enjoy it as much in a theater if the screen and image are not much bigger than a big tv. I may as well get a video or DVD and save the aggravation! I have many wonderful memories of my sister (now departed) taking me as a child to see Cinerama movies in New York and and “grandiose” movie-viewing in my own local area in the fifties and early sixties before everything was doubled, tripled, or demolished.
Thanks, Lost, for your photo. It is a familiar sight as I often pass by it on the way to work. I attended another screening after the one I described above, and there were no problems whatsoever, and all had a great time. This is a community treasure that should be supported.
One other thing: I believe THE COLONIAL existed at least into the mid or late fifties. I remember perusing the theater ads as a kid and seeing it posted, but it was always too far from my home to go there.
I posted a comment yesterday, but I think it may not have gone through. I just wanted to say, very simply, that before we suggest further poll questions, the main question that needs to be answered should be: Just why do you want to see the poll continue? (If the responses are to your likeing, then continue it!)
I’d probably make a loussssy businessman, but I’d tell you not to compromise your values for the sake of making a buck. I’d do all I could to secure decent, quality movies, not just the ones Hollywood is shoving at us all-If possible, and there is not already such a venue in your area, an Art House or classic film fare might be jsut the different sort of thing that would strike those in your area to attend. It depends a lot on the demographics, a word I hate, but I do know when I attended college in New Haven 30 years ago, such fare sold a lot better than it does today. Discover the need, and present it well, with the inviting flourishings of the filmhouses that are so tragically lost today in this world of glorified shoeboxes. If you do go through with your plans, I hope you’ll share the name and location of your theater. Good luck and God Bless!
Sorry for the typos and the fact the above as double-posted.
Yes, Patsy, old posters are a great idea-I’ve got a few, but some of them are too expensive for me with all my “vices” (videos, DVDs, etc). But there is something about those old posters-I remember as a kid in the fifties just loving to walk by neighborhood theaters (like the Rialto) or downtown shows (Strand, Warners, etc.) and just gazing at wonderful posters. Even today, often when I watch one of my classic films I like to download a page with the poster first, if possible. There is very little today to beckon one inside the theater-sometimes I think they make one or two generic posters and just “tailor” it slightly to meet the needs of the film on hand. I feel in the production of today’s films, and the way they are advertised, the one crucial element that has been grossly overlooked is…imagination. The writing of yesteryear’s films was greatly understated and often allowed the viewer to thin for him or herself and develop creative skills. Today everything seem “blurted out” and allows one no time to exercise imagination or thinking. The same with the posters. I remember driving by the Fine Arts Theaters in westport shortly before they closed. If there was a Chevy Chase film playing, there would be a tiny poster with a large face of Chevy Chase. Some theaters use no posters at all. There was nothing to draw patrons inside, unless those people had already decided they were going to see the movie. It wasn’t long before those shows were gone.I realize this is an over-simplification but, what has happened to our society has been we’ve gone from a time whn entertainment was avaialble to every neighborhood and wide-eyed children could stand by their neighborhood theaters in wonder staring and dreaming at the psoters to a sociey in which people clump together collectively in a group of little shoeboxes featuring every movie playing at the moment, and very little to stir their imagination.
I just submitted my simple question and was quite surprised to read your two responses. Thank you so much, Jim and Mike!To Jim: In the sixties I can remember doing lots of reading in a top floor of our main library and, as I recall, you could actually see and handle the old papers in those days. I have been meaning, Jim, to go to our library and do just as you suggested. Also, to Mike: Your website is tremendous and shows much effort. It saddens me to see those nostalgic old names from my hometown that are now just fond memories to those who knew them. You have done such a good job that I don’t want you to feel this is in any way a criticism, but there are some revisions you might consider to your section on Bridgeport: The KLEIN MEMORIAL is still very much open, and often has live shows, often of local interest. I have not attended a show there in many, many years, but I hear it has been refurbished into quite a showplace. Also, the theater you list as BLACK ROCK and ART CINEMA on 2740 Fairfield Ave., was the BEVERLY. It was known by that name at least from the fifties to the time of its demise, which, I recollect, was in the early 80’s. It was an Icon to the neighborhood and is sorely missed. In fact, there is a local Pizza Place which named itself after the theater, BEVERLY PIZZA HOUSE which has not only outlived the theater, but has branched off in another section of the city! And, the Candelite-Pix, I’m pretty certain, was on River Street since either the late forties or early fifties.Unfortunately, much of my family has passed on,so there aren’t too many I can ask about these things anymore, but I seem to remember hearing that, prior to its becoming a Drive-In, this was some sort of a Speedway. Again, I’m not entirely sure, but it may even have borne the name Candelite at that time.
Thanks again, for your responses!!