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Most theatre screens are made out of vinyl, which is then stretched around a frame of some sort. The are small perforations in the material to allow the sound to transmit through from the speaker(s) behind it. The front surface of the screen is generally a matte white surface (silver is sometimes used – that’s what we use at the Lafayette Theatre – mostly for installations that plan to run 3-D) that has a slight bit of reflective material in it. Cleaning a screen is difficult, most products will remove the coating and the screen darkens in those sections. There are companies that professionally clean screens, but it’s expensive and can not always remove the dirt & stains.
The Kubrick story is that when A Clockwork Orange was set to premiere in New York, the theatre had a screen mounted on the front wall (not projecting on the wall itself) with no curtaining or masking on the surrounding wall. The theatre painted the wall and ceiling around the screen an orange color, which would look awful with a projected image in the middle of it. When Kubrick heard about this (he always sent representative to the first-run theatres to check their presentations), he demanded the wall be painted the proper flat black color. I don’t know of any theatres that use the wall, but I’m sure there’s one someplace.
Here is the link to the news item posted last week telling of the plans for the property:
Glad to hear you enjoyed the show, Robert.
I think it was a stage house, the “Hines Playhouse”. I didn’t see any ads for it in the papers starting in 1928, so it may have only existed prior to then. There was another movie house in Suffern, it was called “The Strand” and opened sometime in the 30s and was gone by the 50s. I came across ads for it in the newspaper microfilms when researching the 3D films that played at the Lafayette, The Strand billed itself as “The Family Theatre”, or something like that. I have to look at my files at the office to see if I saved any copies of their ads.
Hope you guys made the show yesterday, it was a doozy!
Director of Film Programming
Big Screen Classics at the Lafayete Theatre
The re-opened this weekend, I heard there were some problems. Did anybody go?
The idea is that the new multiplex will replace the Tenplex & Route 17 theatres – the same company is building it.
I looked at a map of where David’s Bridal is located, that spot was not the Bergen Mall Theatre, the theatre was on the other side of the mall. I don’t know what that might be, except that there used to be a live theater company that had its auditorium in the mall. I can’t remember their name, however. Perhaps the shape you saw in the photo was their performance space?
Thank you very much, Stephen. I’m glad you’ve been enjoying our shows and I think you’ll be pleased with the special events planned for 2005.
Director of Film Programming
Big Screen Classics at the Lafayette Theatre
Anybody go to the grand re-opening this past weekend? How are the renovations?
How did the event go Saturday night?
Just to clarify and to avoid confusion, the Galaxy Theatre Corp. of Guttenberg, NJ, is not associated with this theatre.
Loews is trying to build the multiplex at the Garden State Plaza as they do not want to maintain the Route 4 and Route 17 theatres.
The (Bergen) Mall Theatre was located almost centrally in the building, facing the back roads (I’m not from there, so I don’t know the name of the road), not Route 4. The entrance was on the outside only, facing the parking lot. It was a split design, you entered in the middle of the auditorium and could go up to the left or down to the right. The last show I saw there was a double-feature of Star Trek V and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. I was nearly ejected for complaining about the soft focus and trying to get in the booth to fix it myself!
I don’t know what it turned into, but there was a theatre in that mall called, not surprisingly, the Bergen Mall Cinema. It was a single screen with, I would guess, around 500 seats and the entrance was on the outside of the mall. I think that at one time it was run by the B.S. Moss organization, I don’t know who was running it when it closed.
The company I worked for in the early 80s owned the Paramus Drive-In for a time. We were probably the first – if not only – drive-in that used the radio sound system to transmit in FM Dolby Stereo. At that time, most drive-in’s used AM transmitters (because you could control very precisely how far the signal traveled). The FM transmitter we used had no such control (and was probalby illegal), lucky drivers on Routes 17 & 4 could often hear several minutes of the film sound. “American Pop” sounded great in the car while on the road!
This Week’s Big Screen Classics Show:
HOLD THAT GHOST – starring Bud Abbott & Lou Costello – SATURDAY, OCTOBER 30 at 11:30 am
Presented in an extraordinary-looking new 35mm print direct from Universal Pictures! Plus selected short subjects: “Scrappy’s Ghost Story”, 1935, a Columbia cartoon; “Tall, Dark and Gruesome”, 1948, starring Hugh Herbert and Dudley Dickerson
In person at the HOLD THAT GHOST show: Chris Costello (Lou’s daughter) and author Bob Furmanek (“Abbott & Costello in Hollywood”). NOTE: Bob will have copies of his Abbott & Costello book for sale in the lobby after the show. Bob’s book, “Abbott & Costello in Hollywood”, lets you join Bud and Lou on the sets of their 36 films. Drawing on studio archives, family scrapbooks and over 75 interviews, each A&C film is described in extraordinary detail, including complete cast and crew credits, script excerpts, production notes, cut scenes and final reviews. Introduction by Jerry Lewis. Foreword by the Abbott and Costello families. 272 pages/150 photos/Index.
“Certainly the best and most exhaustive book about A&C to see print…an impressive piece of scholarship.”—-Filmfax
“More details on the making of their films than any book I’ve ever seen.”—-Leonard Maltin
HOLD THAT GHOST shows on Saturday, October 30 at 11:30 am at the Lafayette Theatre in Suffern, NY. Ticket price: $6.00. Log on to www.bigscreenclassics.com for further information.
There was a giant rectangular opening cut into the ceiling for the lights, see my post of May 3 above for the details. I do hope that if the restoration on this facility continues that it is repaired back to its original condition.
Sure, that could work. It would probably be very expensive to make it not look out of place, but it could work. But some valuable seating capacity would probably be lost. In fact, the limited seating of the whole theatre (fewer than 500 between both houses) is the chief difficulty with the location right now (aside from the dreadful condition) in terms of being able to meet projected operating expenses.
No, the auditorium is far too small for a Cinerama screen installation.
Platters themselves are not inherently damaging to film. But there are many more surfaces that the film must touch and all of them can add up to increased wear on the print if the platter is not well maintained. Also, the make-up and tear-down process on the print is where most of the damage occurs, especially if it’s done rapidly (which is usually the case in most platter operations where they are working 4-18 screens at once).
As of Monday, Peter Elson was simply acting as a consultant to the landlord Albert Bialiek, I do not believe that Elson is going to be operating the Metro.
Sadly, the place is in terrible shape and needs a lot of renovation, at least $100,000 worth to make it look really good again. Even replacing the seats in the upstairs theatre can’t cure the chief problem up there – lack of legroom. And the downstairs auditorium’s screen unfortunately can’t get much larger – the proscenium was designed for 1.37 Academy ratio films – it was never enlarged when the wide screen boom hit in the 1950s. It doesn’t appear that more than another 4 feet in width can be added as the screen frame is recessed – the projection beam would get cut off if the screen was made much wider.
As for revivals on one screen, anything is possible…
I think I know what’s in the works for the Metro and its future is looking brighter than ever.
I think I know what’s in the works for the Metro and it’s future is looking brighter than ever.
Jim Rankin wrote:
“…but it would never work for real movie exhibition as open to the general public these days for the reasons given above.”
You should make the trip to see the Lafayette Theatre in Suffern, New York, some day. First-run movies seven-days-a-week, cinema classics on Saturday, Wurlitzer Pipe Organ, silent films and special film weekends throughout the year. Well-maintained, staffed, and with a respectful audience, including the teenagers. And it’s profitable. So it can work, given the right location and the right attitude of the operator.
I do hope the plans for films come through. For an idea of the types of shows you might want to consider running, check out two film classics series that are currently running in the New York/New Jersey area:
Big Screen Classics at the Lafayette Theatre, Suffern, NY – www.bigscreenclassics.com (this is the series that I run)
The Movie Palace Experience – at the Union County Arts Center (Rahway Theatre), Rahway, NJ – www.ucac.org (Bernie Anderson is in charge of this series)
Feel free to contact me if you’d like any assistance.
Keep the weekend of April 8-9-10, 2005, open. “The Sounds of Silents” three-day event has been in the planning stages for several months now and we hope to reveal the entire program soon. Symphony orchestra, organ, piano, and guest accompanists will bring the glory days of the silent film back to life that weekend. The upcoming Phantom showing will give you a taste of what to expect…
Thanks also to you, as well as Jeff and Bob, for the comments about last weekend’s event.
The Science Fiction film festival begins tonight! Hope some of the denizens of Cinema Treaures can make a show or two!
Yes, they would have had to use a mag reader interlocked with the projectors. Actually, it looks they would have used two if the Paramount did not show the intended intermission segment in the WarnerPhonic system prints. Other non-3-D films from the era also used a separate mag track fpr stereo sound – War of the Worlds, From Here to Eternity are two that I know of. This was prior to mag striping the prints when CinemaScope came in, of course.