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I was just in Springfield last week. Went to the Springfield 8, which, although small, still has decent projection and comfortable auditoriums. Hats off to Goodrich for at least keeping the place up. They said earlier this year that they were looking into expanding it. Of course, as I noted in another post about Kansas City, they also said the same thing about the Glenwood before running it into the ground. Time will tell.
I went to SIU from ‘81 to '83, and the instructor mentioned by “jackhicko” I think was Dave Daly, who went on to teach at Southwest Missouri State University. I met him there and he got me interested in going to SIU to get a degree in film. Sadly, Dr. Daly died a few years ago. A read awhile back that Kerasotes basically closed all of the smaller theaters in Carbondale and now the only theaters are two larger complexes out by the mall (8 and 12 screens I think). I haven’t been back to Carbondale in 20 years, but I might go next year. Anyone know if there is another theater complex near the newer mall in Marion?
The Glenwood NEVER had cup holders, as far as I can recall. One thing that modern theaters do better. Like the arm rests that fold up, another plus. I get so tired of people bemoaning the old theaters going away and trashing the new megaplexes. Yet the big auditoriums in the new megaplexes offer plenty of legroom, great sound, and a view that isn’t blocked by the person in front of you. I saw “Star Wars” when it was re-released at the Glenwood in 1997 and it was sad how Goodrich had let the place deteriorate. Goodrich bought the Glenwood with the promise of renovating it and adding 10 modern stadium theaters to the complex, but never did. They also briefly operated the SouthGlen 12, another earlier experiment by Dickinson to build a “new” Glenwood, which is now a health club. Typical.
A friend and I nearly killed ourselves driving to the North Town (in a driving rainstorm) to see “Altered States” when it was first out. The fourth auditorium had just been added and it was an attraction because it was one of the first theaters in the area with Dolby Stereo. When the Town & Country 6 opened in 1983 both theaters suffered. The North Town mall now stands mostly deserted although rumors have persisted for years that Wal-Mart might built a Super Center on the site.
I worked at the Fremont in the early 80s. Our rival was the Petite 3 across the street. Dickinson Theaters tried to save the Fremont by upgrading the sound to all digital and turning it into a dollar house but ultimately it wasn’t enough. I also worked at the Town & Country 6, which opened in 1983 near I-44 and Kearney. That location became infamous because the manager there ran into some problems with money disappearing. Springfield at the moment is very underscreened. A metro area of over 350,000 only has TWO first run theaters, with a total of 24 screens. One was built in the late 80s, the other opened in 1996. They’re both “OK.” A new 14-screen theater located downtown (behind the old Heers store) has yet to break ground.