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Here’s a photo of the Northpoint early in its history, from the Pacific Bus Museum website (naturally there’s a bus in the foreground.) The movie featured on the theatre’s marquee, “Up the Junction”, was a British film released in the U.S. on March 13, 1968.
The architects for the renovation, Khun-Riddle Architects, describe the project thusly:
“A multi-use conversion of an unoccupied, 1920s town-center cinema to include a new 3-screen cinema addition, retail, restaurant and office space.”
Crown Theatres has popped its last kernel of corn. As of October 1, 2007, its last remaining seats were transfered to Kerasotes Theatres. Most of its east coast operations had already been sold to Bow Tie Cinemas. RIP, Crown Theatres.
According to an article in the Bakersfield Californian of December 13, 2007, Pacific Theatres is going to sell this multiplex and a number of others that are outside the greater Los Angeles area (a total of 15 of its 29 locations) to Reading International, a theatre and real estate company which is based in Commerce, California. Reading operates cinemas in Australia, New Zealand, the U.S., and Puerto Rico, as well as several live performance venues in the U.S., mainly in New York.
Reading’s best known cinemas in the United States are probably the Angelika Film Centers in New York and Texas.
I think that this multiplex may have replaced an early 1960s theatre called the Valley Plaza, which was originally built by Statewide Theatres and then operated by Loew’s Theatres beginning in 1967, but I can’t find any confirmation that this shopping center was that theatre’s actual location. Does anyone familiar with Bakersfield in the 1960s know anything about it? The building would have been a near-twin to Statewide’s Inland Theatre in San Bernardino.
The Orange Cinedome was another of the many Syufy theatres designed by the San Francisco architect Vincent G. Raney.
I notice that the link in the introductory section of this page no longer works, nor does the link added by papibear in his comment of October 13, 2003. Here’s a link to the “From Script to DVD” website page about the Cinedome, where a few photos are displayed.
According to a 1974 newspaper ad now displayed on this page at the “From Script to DVD” website, the Cinema 21 was located at 810 N. Euclid Avenue.
The Cinema 21 and the three nearly identical theatres built by Statewide around that time were all designed by the San Diego firm of Tucker, Sadler & Bennett. The Anaheim theatre is listed at Cinema Treasures as the Century 21, but I can’t currently find a CT listing for the Inland Theatre in San Bernardino or for the theatre in Bakersfield.
The architectural firm still exists as Tucker Sadler Architects, and Harold G. Sadler is apparently still active in it. It would be interesting if he turned up at Cinema Treasures and told us something about these theatres.
Although this theatre bore the name Century 21, it was not a Syufy house and was not designed by Syufy’s architect of that era, Vincent G. Raney. Raney’s Century 21, 22, etc. designs for the Syufy/Century chain were domed. Statewide’s Anaheim Century 21 was not domed. The Century 21 Theater in Anaheim was designed by the San Diego firm of Tucker, Sadler & Bennett. It was one of four similar houses designed by that firm for Statewide Theatres. One of them, Cinema 21 in San Diego, has only recently been listed on Cinema Treasures. The other two (the Inland Theatre in San Bernardino and a theatre in Bakersfield) are apparently not yet listed here.
There was a Raney-designed Syufy domed theatre in Orange County, the Orange Cinedome, opened in 1969 as a twin screen (each in its own dome) house called the Cinedome 20 & 21. I guess they used that name because they found their “Century 21” name had already been taken locally by Statewide’s earlier theatre.
Though the domed theatre in the Cine Arts complex superficially resembles the earlier Cinerama Dome in Hollywood, they are very different structurally, and they were not designed by the same architect. Pacific’s Cinerama Dome was designed by Welton Beckett & Associates and was intended to be the prototype for a chain of concrete, geodesic dome theatres in which to show Cinerama movies. The building proved more costly to erect that was expected, and the demand for Cinerama movies proved less than the company had hoped, and thus the Hollywood dome remains the sole example of its kind.
The CineArts dome, on the other hand, was one of several non-geodesic domed theatres designed for Syufy’s Century Theatres by San Francisco architect Vincent G. Raney. Through the 1960s the Syufy brothers erected domed theatres in many western cities, and at least as far east as Utah, where their seventh Century 21 dome was opened in 1967. From the description of South Salt Lake’s Century 21 on this page, it was typical of Century’s Raney-designed domed theatres. Click on the “Photos” link in the left panel of that page to see how Raney’s domes were put together.
There’s a bit about the early history of the Criterion on this page, which is devoted mostly to the Rodgers Theatre and its builder, I.W. Rodgers.
The Criterion was built in 1911, by William N. Barron. After it was damaged by a fire in 1914, Barron leased the theatre to Rodgers, who repaired it and later bought it from him. Rodgers closed the Criterion when he opened the nearby Rodgers Theatre in 1949, according to this website, but another Poplar Bluff history website has a photo which leads me to suspect that the Criterion might have been open into the early 1950s.
This page features a couple of nocturnal color photos of Poplar Bluff ca.1954 (click them to embiggen). The second one shows the Rodgers Theatre at 4th (now Broadway) and Pine, but the first picture shows Main Street, and it includes a bright but blurry set of lights in the distance which look to me very much like the marquee and vertical sign of a theatre, and it looks to me as though the vertical says “Criterion”. The caption of the photo doesn’t mention the theatre, though, so maybe I’m imagining I see it.
Also, there’s a black and white aerial photo from 1949 sharing the page with the two night photos which shows the geographic relationship between the Criterion, facing the town’s Courthouse square in the foreground, and the Rodgers one block farther down and across Pine Street, to the right.
A recent photo of the Grand Theatre. And there’s a brief announcement near the top of this web page that says that the Grand will be reopening soon and will feature “supper, film and performance”. No date is mentioned.
Like most of the Cinemark Megaplexes of its era, the Cinemark at Seven Bridges was designed by the Kansas City firm, TK Architects.
The former MegaStar 16 in Edina was designed by the Kansas City firm TK Architects.
To expand briefly on the comments made back in 2004 by Bryan Krefft and Jim Rankin in response to the question by DavidH about the early popularity of the name Iris for movie theatres; The name was an apt appellation for movie theatres because the movie camera itself has an iris, so called after the iris of the eye. The camera iris was an intricate technological wonder of the age, and probably impressed people of the time as much as our various electronic gadgets impress us now.
Both the iris of the eye and the iris flower had, because of their varied colors (and, in the case of the eye, because it conveyed information, i.e. messages), received the name of the ancient Greek Goddess Iris who, as Bryan pointed out, was the Goddess of the colorful rainbow, as well as a messenger of Olympus.
I checked the address on Google Maps, and their satellite view of the neighborhood confirms ArchaeoNut’s claim above. The crested buildings in the photos show from above as the nearest of four adjoining structures located between the corner of E. 15th Street and the transit line. The address 1602 Avenue U would be on the near side of the Avenue, and at the corner of E. 16th Street farthest from the transit line, and thus in these photos the theatre’s location would be entirely out of view, off to the photographer’s right.
According to the City of Cornell website, “The theatre is closed until further notice”. Google’s “Showtimes for Cornell, WI” link currently brings up only the Micon Cinemas in Chippewa Falls. Maybe they close the Cornell down during the sort of weather they’re having tonight:
PARTLY CLOUDY. SCATTERED FLURRIES AFTER MIDNIGHT. LOWSAROUND 5 ABOVE. NORTH WINDS 5 MPH.
On the front page of the city’s website there’s a small historic photo of the main street, and most of the buildings look like they have had false fronts in the past, so the one on the theatre is not a rarity for the town. The white clapboard building behind the plastered front is typical of structures in old lumbering towns such as Cornell all the way from New England to the Pacific Northwest.
Incidentally, the town is named for Ezra Cornell, founder of Cornell University, who had extensive holdings in the area.
This house was also known as the Valley Theatre, from 1948 until it closed in 1954, according to Mrs. Snokes' history.
The history also tells about an earlier theatre called the Gustine Opera House which showed movies from the time of its opening in May of 1912 until it was destroyed by a fire (which originated in the projection room) in 1920.
I’ve run across a card in the L.A. Library’s California Index which claims that there was also a Gustine Theatre in Gustine in the 1930s. The card cites a Motion Picture Herald article of February 15, 1936, which says that an Elwood Laws had leased the Gustine Theatre. It’s only the library’s caption on the card that says that the theatre was in the town of Gustine. I don’t know if this was yet another name for the Victoria, or was another theatre altogether, or is just a mistake in the index (I’ve previously found a number of others.) It seems to me that if there’d been a second theatre in Gustine at that time then Mrs. Snokes would have mentioned it in her fairly thorough history.
I’d be less inclined to skepticism in this particular case were it not for the fact that there was a fellow named William Gustine who was in the theatre business in the San Joaquin Valley during the 1930s, and it has occurred to me that the Gustine Theatre in question might have originated as one of his operations and, if named after him, could have been anywhere in the region.
From the Wichita Orpheum Cinema Treasures page:
“In his book, "The Picture Palace”, Dennis Sharp has classified the Orpheum’s style as “pre-atmospheric”. However, further research indicates that the Wichita structure is in fact an authentic atmospheric with all the accoutrements associated with the style.“
But as much as I’d like to see this disagreement settled the old fashioned way (by mass gladiatorial combat between the respective populations of the cities of Houston and Wichita), I’m going to take a cue from Will Dunkin’s comment of December 14, 2005, above and say that the title of “World’s First Atmospheric Theatre” should go to Andrea Palladio’s 1580 Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza, Italy. The place is just loaded with accouterments, deny it who may!
That means the contretemps between fans of the Wichita Orpheum and the Houston Majestic (deceased) over which of the two theatres may or may not have been the second atmospheric ever built will have to be settled, as tradition in these situations (to wit, which gets to be considered the first also-ran) dictates, by a spittin' contest. My money’s on Wichita, by the way, since Wichita had the ‘nads not to let its historic Eberson (pre-or-full-on-atmospheric) theatre get knocked down. Ladies and gentlemen, start your saliva glands!
Here’s a whole page about Detroit’s Telenews Theatre, with pictures and text.
San Francisco’s Telenews Theatre was the first in a chain that would eventually expand to 13 newsreel houses, according to a web page about the history of newsreels from the University of San Diego (I found the University’s website to be a massively unusable mess, so here’s Google’s cache of the page.)
This page at the Dallas Historical Society’s website has a couple of articles about Telenews Theatre in Dallas, including one about the grand opening. The 1941 article says that the Dallas Telenews was the 11th in the chain. It gives a description of way the place operated which probably applies to the other theatres in the chain as well.
The first article at the Dallas site names one Herbert Scheftel as the president of Telenews. Scheftel, it turns out, went on to be a pioneer in the television and cable industries as well as a real estate mogul who was one of those responsible for New York’s monstrous Pan Am Building, and he died as recently as 2000. Neither his obituary in the New York Times nor his paid death notice in the same paper mentions Telenews, but the latter does lead with the fact that he was the grandson of Ida and Isadore Straus, the elderly couple who owned Macy’s Department Store and who famously made their final journey to Davy Jones' Locker on board the Titanic. I wish newspapers would get their priorities straight. We want to know about the theatres, dammit!
Incidentally, on page 41 of Jack Tillmany’s book “Theatres of San Francisco” there’s a photo of the entrance to the San Francisco Telenews, showing the yards and yards of neon in the splendid soffit that extended from under the marquee all the way to the front doors. Sitting on the terrazzo was a stuffed polar bear, it’s slightly-open maw no match for that of the theatre.
All the cards (there are four) in the L.A. Library’s California Index referencing the architect of this theatre spell his name Meinardus. Elimor E.B. Meinardus also designed Jensen’s Recreation Center in Echo Park, which also survives and is a city landmarked building.
A July 23,2007, article from the Peninsula Examiner (Google cache because the Examiner’s website bites big) said that this theatre opened in 1930. The article also said that a developer had recently applied for a permit to demolish the building, to make way for a mixed use development. There’s a photo of the exterior which looks as though it’s been pretty drastically altered already, with the whole front walled up. There’s probably even less left to lose inside.
Dick Sylvester: Cinema Treasures has a page devoted to the Worcester, Mass. Warner Theatre:
One thing I find very interesting about the c1946 photo of linked by TC is that there’s a dog lounging on the sidewalk in front of the theatre. Yep, that’s Sierra Madre, alright!
This theatre was probably built in 1923. This card in the California Index gives the name of the architect, but it’s unreadable. Somebody needed to change the ribbon in the typewriter. Is that supposed to be an “M” by any chance? J.T. Meller?