Showing 26 - 50 of 232 comments
Although the Starland is listed as a Winnipeg Heritage site and is afforded some protection, according to sources it is in pretty poor condition. This doesn’t bode well for it’s survival. It hasn’t been occupied in years and hasn’t been heated either. It’s also located in a pretty seedy area of town and has probably been broken into more than once and used as accomodation by the homeless.
The exterior looks to be in decent shape though. It has an old rectangular marquee, which may or may not date back as early as 1911. It also still has its large vertical sign consisting of STARLAND spelled out in letters lit by individual incandescent lamps inside of metal circles also lit with incandescent lamps.
I agree with the larger seating capacity of 1349. Although I haven’t been inside of it for years the theatre was fairly spacious and had a full balcony and a stage house.
At one time it had a Samuel Warren two manual organ with possibly seven ranks (a guesstimate by the current owners). It was removed in 1947 and stored along with parts from another area organ in a barn in the Ottawa ON area. However a fire in the barn destroyed some parts of the organs and no record of the actual number of ranks from the Starland organ exists. Eventually the remaining ranks and possibly the console ended up being incorporated into the O'Brien Theatre organ in Renfrew ON.
I lived diagonally across from the Senate theater for a number of years, but by then it was (and probably still is) the Senate Gun Club. I’ll have to ask a friend of mine who lived on the street for many years before I did if he recalls the collision shop. There was a service station/garage (Caruso’s) across from the Senate at Rhode Island and West, (since demolished).
I don’t recall the building being a collision shop, but in recent years it had been used as a walk in community services center and health clinic for residents of the lower west side.
Those photos show the Capitol as I remember it, not the hacked up horror after twinning. By 1978 (the year of the photos) all traces of the orchestra pit and organ are gone (except for the organ grilles) along with the large central chandelier hanging from the dome. Could the chandelier have been removed as long ago as the 50’s when the Cinemascope screen was installed?
I don’t think there was ever a Charles Lamb theatre architect. That was another blunder fostered by the Winnipeg Heritage site (who should know better and get their facts straight). The Capitol in Brantford ON was the only Allen theatre designed by Thomas Lamb as far as I’ve been able to learn. Subsequently all their theatres, including the Met (nee Allen), were designed by C Howard Crane. Crane was also the architect for the fabulous Detroit Fox theatre which has been totally restored. Winnipeg should be so lucky.
That cracks me up. Every church parish hall, legion hall and VFW post in the area had bingo games at least once a week. Were they ever raided…not likely!
The only other original Wurlitzer organ installation is in the Riviera theatre in North Tonawanda (almost within spitting distance of the old Wurlitzer factory). That organ has been enlarged with some ranks salvaged from other Buffalo area theatre organs. Also, I’ve read that there is at least one Buffalo church (quite possibly there are others) containing a Wurlitzer organ.
schmadrian, sadly all the Toronto movie palaces that you mention are now gone, with the exception of the Elgin (former Yonge). Also, on that list should have been the Pantages (now Canon), although it too no longer shows film, the Odeon Carlton, Shea’s Hippodrome (probably the granddaddy of all Toronto movie palaces) and Shea’s Victoria. There were more that don’t immediately come to mind, but this will give you an idea of the Toronto theatres that were easily in the category of “movie palace”. Even if they had survived it is doubtful that they would still be single screen theatres. If you’ll recall, the Pantages, renamed the Imperial 6, had been carved up mercilessly
as a six screen shoebox before being restored as a legitimste theatre.
Just by coincidence I was going through my copy of “The Best Remaining Seats” by Ben M Hall again and spotted the photo reported to have been taken just prior to the opening of Loew’s Kings in 1929. The photo shows the following, all on separate lifts in the pit; orchestra on one lift, the organ console on it’s lift and grand piano on it’s lift. These could be raised or lowered individually to various levels; e.g. movie, overture or stage height. On the stage was a band car, capable of holding the entire orchestra on yet another lift, plus another full width lift upstage from that. That’s a lot of machinery.
Except for a few inaccuracies in the copy it’s quite good. Also, one photo claims to show the interior of the theatre when it was still in operation, but it is of the Walker (Burton Cummings) Theatre during its Odeon years and not the interior of the Met at all. Besides the major alteration to the lobby and entrance area in the late 40’s, an earlier reworking of the stage area had been done. (compare early photos of the interior when it was the Allen to more recent photos). No photos seem to exist from the peak Famous Players years before they ripped all the silk damask coverings off the auditorium walls and painted it in those horrendous colors. (not the
first theatre to be massacred by FP). It was at that point that the Met lost most of it’s former grandeur.
I still reserve judgment on the future use of the theatre, at least until more information is released by the new owner. I still don’t see the point in their proposal for a rock and roll museum when a national r'n'r museum is supposedly in the works elsewhere.
The comment under the night view photo of the marquee says “It was barely lit! I know I’ve seen it all lit up before though.”
It all depends on who’s working that night. They can be forgetful. I’ve driven by more than once when the exterior lights, attractions panels and neon sign were off. The only thing that was on was that circle of incandescent lamps under the marquee. You could never be quite certain if the theatre was open or closed unless you looked carefully and saw the cashier sitting in the box office.
Crane also built Winnipeg’s Metropolitan Theatre (nee Allen) a year or two earlier for the Allen Brothers. Some reports claim that the Calgary Allen (Palace) Theatre opened first, although the Allen theatre in Winnipeg is reported to have opened originally either in 1919 or 1920. Both theatres ended up owned by Famous Players after the Allens went bankrupt. This probably accounts for the name change from Allen.
Except for the color of the brick above the ground level, as well as a 1950’s remodelling to the facade and marquee of the Met in Winnipeg, there is considerable similarity to the facades of the two theatres. I wonder if the interior is similar too.
garro: try Googling “Phantompalooza” (not Phantapalooza) for info on the extraordinary local popularity of “Phantom of the Paradise”. As recently as last year the Ramada/Garrick centre was used to host a get-together of cast, crew as well as fans of Phantom of the Paradise.
Just to clarify, which of the chandeliers from the Genesee theatre ended up in the Riviera auditorium? I gather from opus 1280’s posts, as well as others, that it is the Genessee auditorium chandelier and not the one from the lobby, although John Basil’s comments suggest otherwise.
That leaves only one nagging question. What happened to the remaining (presumably) large chandelier from the Genesee?
The address needs to be changed to 1533 McAdoo’s Lane, Kingston ON. 1533 McAdoo’s Lane maps out as running off Perth Rd just north of Hwy 401. North of the Hwy 401-Division St interchange (exit 617) the road name changes to Perth Rd. McAdoo’s Lane is 0.5 miles from the interchange.
The theatre is listed on their website currently as Kingston Family Funworld Park Drive In. According to their site it’s now three screens, plus other entertainment, including go-karts, mini putt, batting tent and amusement rides.
This theatre was built as Shea’s Kensington theatre and should probably be listed that way to differentiate it from another Kensington theatre that existed on Grider St. It was one of the chain of theatres operated by Michael Shea and was located at the corner of Bailey Av and Kensington St. In it’s later years it was renamed the Oscar Micheaux theatre with a mix of live theatre and films. A mysterious explosion in the 80’s reputed to be from a natural gas leak destroyed most of the building. The entire building was then demolished. A strip plaza occupies the rear portion of the property today.
IMRadioactive: By any chance would you be referring to the Sanfilippo residence? If so, recordings exist of that Wurlitzer hybrid organ which is housed in a specially built room that was added to the home. There is also a proscenium arch in the room with a replica of the Paradise theatre stage curtain.
Panzer: If I’m not mistaken the alternate stooge’s name was Shemp. I don’t recall offhand if he was a replacement for one of the others or he himself was replaced.
The immediate area was for years mostly industrial lands. A couple of strip plazas appeared in the past few years along with a Home Depot across the street. The Regal 16 was then built on land that had been cleared, next to one of the plazas.
As far as I have been able to learn this theatre was indeed named after the actress Ellen Terry. It was being used intermittently as a church in it’s last years with the name of the church on the marquee, but in the photo posted by Lost Memory on Jul 13 it has been painted over. Demolition must have been within the last few years because the building was still standing when I lived in Buffalo.
LOUB: …and that, sad to say, is the ongoing story of Niagara Falls NY.
Period streetscapes frozen for the camera. In addition to Marnettes Frocks, did you notice the store across the street with a neon sign extending from the front advertising “House Dresses”. Do you suppose that they would spend the money on neon for such an item today? Also the sign for Household Finance. Once upon a time you could find one of their loan offices almost anywhere in North America.
Someone must have a very slow computer. I thought this discussion had been put to bed many months ago with everyone in agreement on the original address for the long defunct Great Lakes/Paramount theatre. Likewise, Harvey & Carey drug stores and McDoel’s Restaurant are also a part of the ancient history of Buffalo and only a dim memory now.
Do you have any specifications or requirements in mind for the proposed equipment, as well as a budget? Having gone through a similar predicament a number of years ago I have a vague idea of costs for theatrical equipment. Fortunately I wasn’t paying for it, but the necessary funds came out of a recreation equipment budget and we only had so much to work with each quarterly period. We had to go begging for the rest. Often it was a case of “make do” with whatever we could scrounge or patch together. As I recall it took a long time to assemble an adequate lighting board and we planned far ahead for future acquisitions whenever funds became available.
In that case I suppose the Rockettes would have to do at least one number wearing nuns' habits.