Comments from itswagon

Showing 26 - 33 of 33 comments

itswagon commented about Cinema Treasures seeks community volunteer on Jun 26, 2007 at 4:31 am

I have a passion for Movie Theatres, am an old chief projectionist, am retired (from Training and Development Career), and would like to consider helping with the message board. I operate a huge fan website but have not operated a message board. In any case I’d like to provide time to the support of this fine organization of other Motion Picture Theatre nuts. I think the site is wonderful and fills a long-time need of mine to remain connected to the industry.

itswagon commented about NY Projectionists: Licensed by fire departments? on Jun 26, 2007 at 4:05 am

I “Broomed” (apprenticed) under a union projectionist who paid his dues for fifty-five years in 1970. He died in 1972 or so and the Union did not even send him a flower or a card. Is there any wonder why they lost their significance or influence. Of course as a result of the failure to maintain any standards for projectionists, booths are dirty, film trains are dirty and causing “rain” streaks on film, absolutely bad splices are made, Xenon lamphouses and lamps are handled very carelessly and dangerously and dozens of other faults that cause the deteriorization of the customers motion picture experience continue — and box office profits are reduced. I’ve handled carbon arc and xenon lamps in my time and I can guarantee that the hot xenon bulb is extremely dangerous yet you go into booths that don’t even provide face masks or instruction on the removal and replacement of the bulb to the new projectionist.

In any case the competency of the projectionist is important but ignored in a suffering and often suicidal industry.

itswagon commented about Carolina Theater on Jun 25, 2007 at 10:51 am

The Carolina Theatre is gone. The Fayetteville Police Department building occupies the site.

itswagon commented about Cameo Art House Theatre on Jun 25, 2007 at 10:49 am

The Cameo Art House opened as the Dixie Theatre in 1914.

itswagon commented about RKO State Theatre on Jun 24, 2007 at 2:24 pm

I can remember going to Saturday Matinees at the State where you got to see 1 hour of cartoons, 2 or 3 serials, and a feature film. When you left the theatre you were handed a Dixie Cup of icecream and a wooden spoon. When you removed the cardboard cover from the Dixie Cup there was a picture of Trenton New Jersey’s handsome Mayor, Donal J. Connelly.

I just thought you’d like to know.

itswagon commented about RKO Reade's Trent Theatre on Jun 24, 2007 at 2:20 pm

I understand that the Trent was built with a Masonic Lodge in the Front upper level of the building. It was a first class Vaudeville theatre and featured many top names like Bing Crosby and etc. I was amazed to learn here that it included three projectors. Did it have an orchestra pit on an elevator?

itswagon commented about Mayfair Theater on Jun 24, 2007 at 2:05 pm

Being a projectionist I’ve always had interest in the systems. I understand, mind you this is a rumor, that the Mayfair Arc Lamps had a clock motor (wind up) drive. I’d like to know if this is true or not. I remember the mirrored tile foyer leading from State Street.

itswagon commented about Olden Theater on Jun 24, 2007 at 1:44 pm

Hey! I was the Chief Projectionist at the Olden Theatre and in fact trained there on the E-7s under the tutelage of a projectionist in the union for over 55 years. I knew the only other projectionist at the time and none of the three of us ever called the projectors “Cameras”. I worked for the late Jack Kosharek (PhD) during that time and when the theatre began the soft porn. It was a steady slide down hill from that point. The theatre had 854 seats down from 1410 before the re-build. It featured a private viewing room for parents with small babies. It had a balcony at one time. The booth was made for the days of explosive film with lead sheets and reinforced concrete to contain the blast should one occur. The booth had its own lavatory as many did at the time. The house properly used a curtain for all shows and never allowed a customer to see the screen without a picture being projected upon it.

The only bad thing about the projection system was the heads/lamps were placed upon a post mount and if someone ran into the machine, it could be turned so that the movie would show on the wall. (Not good).

The theatre was the first in the Trenton, New Jersey area to show 3D movies (with the cardboard glasses) and I think the first film was “The Fall of the House Of Usher” with (who else) Vincent Price.
The theatre was originally called the Gayety and it was connected via a tunnel under the stage to the Gayety night club in the other building. It was a bordello I understand in the 30s. The tunnel was for rapid escape from a raid. At one time the theatre log recorded 80 people on the payroll as the Gayety including seamstresses, carpenters, stage hands, and etc. It housed a theatre organ that eventually was installed in the Eastman Theatre in Rochester New York. There were Dressing Rooms, shops, and rehearsal rooms under the stage. It had three Voice of The Theatre speakers on platforms behind a genuine Cinemascope screen that was properly installed so the geometry of the screen matched the curvature of the Anamorphic Lenses.

It was one of the first to have the Cinemascope system installed complete with the perfectly installed aluminized screen and stereo surround sound (Ampex system).

We ran a good house then. The projectors were kept immaculate and the booth was kept very clean (helps preserve the film quality). You could read a newspaper in the booth from the light radiating back from the screen. We had a 100 foot throw just like the Roxy in New York. Jack Kosharek (Mgr) was adamant that we should use as much of the carbon rods as possible without welding the butt savers into each other.

There were many very nice people working at the Olden Theatre. Often we would share pop corn bags with the Greenwood Theatre on Greenwood Avenue about a block away. I miss them all to this day.