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Hello from Long Beach, Ca…
Congratulations on your project! I am in the finishing stages of a new book on “The Movie Houses of San Francisco.” This has been a seven year on-and-off research and now need to find a publisher who is interested in the woprld of theaters.
Would you care to share publishing info and any special tips?
Many thanks Simon Overton
This is an amazing little cinema with (what looks like) the worlds smallest projection booth… God forbid another earthquake.
They manage to find the most unusual films never heard of before; I went to the Roxie to see “The Art of Masterbation” and was completey amaaaaaaaaazed at what we (the audience roaring with laughter)were shown. I swear I blushed in the darkness!
As a visiting Royal Navy “killick” matelot in the early 60’s, I spent a lovely (wet) day in the Regent with a couple of dozen movie-starved sailors.
The manager gave us “head of the queue” privilages and half priced tickets. They were playing a “Carry On” flick and it was one of the funniest ever.
Thank you everyone at the Regent for brightening our day. Proudly wearing our uniform ashore certainly paid off. Nowadays, one never sees any members of the Armed Services in uniform. Aren’t they proud any more?
Here in Hollywood, California, I’m the oldest usher (69) at Disney’s EL CAPITAN THEATRE and still love to spoil the countless visitors!
Thank you, Michael, for a heart-wrenching article and the wonderful array of photographs on the NATIONAL THEATRE.
Just think of the number of multiplex “boxes” who began as an acorn and flourished into a giant tree. We really need to save the few remaining single screeners for future generations.
Here in America, we simply tear just about everything down as soon as it’s classified as “old.” And that is why Americans love to travel to Europe… to see the old buildings preserved for our future generations; Castles, Churches, Cathedrals, Abbeys, Pyramids, Stately Homes, Palaces AND theaters, etc.
I think San Francisco may have suffered the worst annihilation of theaters… close to 40 in a 30-year period. It’s insane!
The film stars of today need to step in and with support by actually going to the movies like the patrons and be seen. The movie fans will love it.
I well rremember sitting close to Malcolm McDowell at a regular screening of “Clockwork Orange” in Salt Lake City and Nicholas Cage was in the same row as me at the Castro Theatre in San Francisco… I was thrilled at those and other similar occasions but retained the courtesy to allow them to enjoy the program.
This practice will certainly help boost the box office receipts!
If we really care about the grand old movie palaces, then we should place ALL of them at the top of our priority list to see a movie.
Living in Long Beach, Ca, I miss the wonderful array of single screen houses in the Bay Area!
My wife and I went out of our way to support these places and wince when reading about another closure or demolition. Dear God, enough is enough.
What about the movie makers who live in the S.F. area… how about Messrs Spielberg and Lucas shelling-out s tax deductible donation to assist in restoration, etc???
As I’ve said before… “Hello, is anyone else out there?”
In 2000 (?) my wife and I drove through this pleasant town and went into the EUREKA THEATRE.
It was good to see the restoration underway with scaffolding still in position but with room to still see a movie on the big screen.
Unlike SOME theaters, they were happy that I took some photos of their progress.
If you enjoy “art-deco” theaters, then cough-up your bucks and buy a ticket to support a local single screen house.
Very many thanks for your clearly understood explanations. I truly wish there was something like your “system” in effect in the USA… but “No” we do not… yet!
As soon as something is old (say 30 years or so) this generation of numbskulls we sadly spawned start the destruction process in favor of a replacement that’s as exciting to look at as cold mashed potatoes.
And so the insane cycle continues.
Will some kind person in England PLEASE explain this “grading I, II, III” system and what it means in terms of history, protection, etc?
Perhaps the L.A. Concervancy or the L.A. Main Library may have info-to-know or even more photos? Good Luck!
If memory serves me correctly, my late English grandmother (who switched me “on” to the love of historic theaters) played the “Pianola” for silent flicks at this theater during WW1.
She was a striking blue-eyed, tall, blonde known as Constance May Mallard, who eventually married a British Army man Thomas Clinton. She also worked in a Vancouver ice cream parlour run by a former boxer and lived on Vancouver Island.
Can anyone shed any light on any of the above info? Thanks!
In San Diego, the VILLAGE THEATRE closed late last year but, I am informed, is fully equiped. It’s owned by an elderly couple but is in need of a little spring cleaning and some TLC!
Jimmie; You can view info-to-know about this theater on Cinema Treasures.
If you want to reopen this house, I’m the man!
Yes indeed, John but life is too short and there are so many “old ladies” awaiting his personal touch.
Right now, JOSEPH MUSIL.com is bubbling with new energy at taking-on the FOX POMONA planned restoration… and I can’t wait to look over his big shoulders to see what Joe’s magical brain is sending down his sketching pencil onto paper!
The dear little MAYFAIR looks so forlorn with ivy creeping over her lovely facade and the pidgeons dumping their drops everywhere.
If this historic property has been condemned, because of the long-ago earth-quake, why not demolish the unsafe auditorium but RESTORE AND SAVE THE BEAUTIFUL FACADE as part Santa Monica’s early building boom? Now this makes sense! Yes?
On front page of the Mar 22, 2007 Orange County Register are twin photos of the PORT THEATRE with headlines: “IT’S CURTAINS; Death Scene in Script for Port."
Readers can see the For Sale sign on the marquee with a web address for plans: www.theporttheatre.com
Some wonderful remodeling plans were designed by the renowned Santa Ana theater architect JOSEPH MUSIL.com with a fabulous new facade, but it sems the owner declined to actually want to pay for the restoration… with the hopes (don’t laugh) of the people taking over to fork out the dollars! -Now you can laugh!
I rated the ABC FORUM as the best in presentation, followed by the GAUMONT (former Empire), Rank’s PLAZA then Rank’s ODEON.
Does anybody know of or have a complete list of all of the (many long-gone)cinemas and theaters in the greater Southampton area?
Thanks; Simon Overton in Long Beach, California
There have been “murmors” this past year that the church, now occupying the old FOX WESTCOAST, are/were looking for a larger facility… yes?
To borrow the expression, your cinema looks “absolutely fabulous!” My congratulations on your accomplishments, especially with the use of CURTAINS. No show is complete without the use of stage curtains. It’s the magic as to what is about to happen behind them.
Get that organ back out from mothballs and play it… we do at Disney’s fabulous EL CAPITAN THEATRE in Hollywood. All audiences are treated to half-an-hour before each show (of the former San Francisco FOX)pipe organ and the young audiences are asstounded as to what “grandpa” invented for us a century or more ago!!!
And don’t forget the follow spotlight as the console sinks slowly into the orchestra pit… the applause (in San Francisco’s CASTRO THEATRE) gives me goosebumps and tears of joy.
Put your boxing gloves back on again and fight the system.
Do what they did with the massive FOX THEATRE, SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA; They simply built around and over it… So simple!
Now known as COPELY HALL, they have NO more worries about a leaking roof -it’s all protected forever along with lower operating expenses.
Heartiest congratulations to JOHN TRAVOLTA for his generousity in supporting a theater that presents his trade.
It’s about time that many more film stars start NOW and donate towards the SINGLE SCREEN THEATERS across the country. These owners are desparately trying to keep the lights on “in the name of Hollywood” and what they are producing.
Donations are tax deductible and that makes good sense and even better public relations between the movie-going public who can make and break the Hollywood system.
“Hello Hollywood… is anyone listening???” Naaaah!
You may wish to contact the CASTRO THEATRE -1922 in San Francisco. The last time I was poking around back and underneath the stage, there was enough old equipment (from their other former theaters) to sink a ship!
The last time I saw the VARSITY in Palo Alto it was being converted into a book shop. The marquee was still in position and the auditorium had not been chopped up.
If you are interested in “courtyard” theaters, have a look at the current restoration of the FOX in Fullerton. That place will be magnificent when completed. Plaudits for Fullerton!
John – Thank you for the into-to-know… I’d be obliged if you are able to scan and e-mail it to me.
You’re so right about Joe… What a man!!!
One of the last times I visited the Alameda Theatre was when I served in the U.S. Naval Reserves, stationed at Alameda. Later on, I returned only to find it had been converted into a gymnasium with the balcony enclosed with ugly looking plastic drop sheets.
The stage had been completely removed however, the set of beautifully ornate curtains, which I photographed, were still hanging there but looking very sad indeed!
The facade of the Alameda was always so impressive; looking like a huge “lace doily.” Let’s hope she will be protected like her sister
ALAHAMBRA, another gymnasium across the S.F. bay on Polk Street.
I believe this theater was once owned by San Francisco’s Nasser family ie; ALHAMBRA, CASTRO, FILMORE, NEW MISSION, ROYAL and more?