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It was indeed a movie theater. When I showed the movie, “The Chehalis Story” a few months ago the nighttime scenes showed a couple of movie titles on the marquee. I forgot what those movies were though.
The building still exists but has been converted to retail store space. This theater is shown in the Reelife Productions movie, “The Chehalis Story” (early 1950’s). I had the pleasure of projecting the only remaining copy of this movie in the Chehalis Theatre a few months ago. It shows the interior of the St. Helens Theater and some beautiful nightime views of it’s marquee all lit up with flashing neon and border chasing lights.
The stage show ‘faction’ of the group carved up the wall of the projection booth because they wanted to make it their “lighting and computer control” booth. Now with that huge picture window in that front wall all kinds of noise and extreneous light get out in the audience.
That machine and the lamphouse parts were partial payment (along with some money) by the 7th St to me and my friend the late Paul Thompson in exchange for us installing their ‘new’ projection equipment in their theater. This was authorized by Matt Hershfelder at the theater.
I know for a fact that at least one of those E-7’s went to Wisconsin as I helped load it into the car. We stripped some good parts off one of the carbon arc lamphouses and took those parts too. They had one complete E-7 setup in the lobby.
The main sticking point is the rent. The theater could never survive at $7,000 a month for rent! The rent should only be $1,500 a month. This wonderful little theater needs to be open!
The east side of the marquee currently has nothing in it! All the glass panels and letter tracks are gone. This marquee has major rust problems!
Join the forums at www.bigscreenbiz.com and read the Frequently Asked Questions there as this question gets asked all the time. When you get there be sure to change the “default topic view” from “show posts from last 20 days” to “show all posts” or you’ll miss somre great information.
That site is only about video projectors and not the line of Eiki 16MM FILM projectors. :(
In general anytime a film distributor pulls stunts like that it means the movie sucks bigtime.
Wow, he was one of the greatest theater designers of all time!
The Super Wal-Mart started out as a regular Wal-Mart but quickly became so popular they had to expand. It’s located at the north end of Shelton where all the development is going on now. There’s a good spot right next to the freeway with easy access that still hasn’t been developed yet which would be a good spot for a theater. Oh, the Super Wal-Mart is right next to the huge high school. I think a new theater complex here would make you some good money!
The city of Shelton proper has a growing population of around 10,000. It is located in Mason County and there is probably at least 80,000 in the surrounding radius. Five miles from the theater is the huge “Little Creek” Indian casino that draws big crowds to the area. There is tons of new development on the north side of town near the Super Wal-Mart in Shelton. This area is begging for a new theater.
How about the Shelton, Washington area? There’s a poorly run twin theater there (with sloped floors) that’s over 20 years old now. The same people that run this theater also run the nearby drive-in theater even worse. Only theaters for miles.
My photocopy of that article came from the Washington State Library directly from an actual copy of the magazine (not microfilm!). It’s too bad the day I was there (several years ago) the photocopy machine wasn’t working very well so my copies came out so-so. The library is no longer open to the public (just State of Washington employees now) so I can’t go and make new, better copies. The picture quality in the original hard copy of the magazine is outstanding. I understand that Architectural Record renewed all copyrights on their magazines so it wouldn’t be likely to get permission to post their photographs or text on a website. That’s why I suggest going directly to the magazine publisher.
You could check with your own or neighboring state libraries to see if they have actual hard copies of the magazine that they could photocopy for you.
That article is available by contacting the archives at Architectural Record magazine.
There is an excellent detailed article about this theater, illustrated and photographs included, in the July 1938 issue of Architectural Record magazine (pages 100 and 101). It states the original seating as 1,040.
There was a beautiful and detailed writeup (with photos) of this theater in the July 1938 issue of Architectural Record magazine. Armand Carrol is listed as the architect. The marquee was manufactured by Philadelphia Sign Company.
Do not confuse this company the the www.galaxytheatres.com that operates theaters on the west coast.
jnjeisen is indeed a theater operator. As I said in a previous posting, ALL theater owners, be they independently owned or chain-owned are free to book or not book any film. If that owner feels that the local customers would not see it then why book something that would lose money?
There is a Mormon-owned theater about 90 miles from me way out in the sticks that does not show any “R” rated movies—-period. Their local community does not like movies with sex, violence, crude language, etc. That theater is still open and business is fine.
I suggest contacting Scott Hicks' AMERICAN CINEMA EQUIPMENT (www.cinequip.com) in Portland, Oregon.
Well, Coming Attractions is attempting to come into the already fine Centralia-Chehalis, Washington market to ruin my friend Daryl Lund’s wonderfully restored single screen Chehalis Theater (featuring top-notch projection & sound) and the stadium seating Yardbirds 3 Theater by opening a 10 plex. Daryl has spent lots of his own money restoring, upgrading, and modernizing both theaters. The Chehalis was an old Tom Moyer theater that was run down and had closed in the early 80’s. The Yardbirds theater was a dump that was run into the ground by Regal Cinemas. Daryl took it over and completely redid everything there and converted the auditoriums into stadium seating. There’s also a wonderfully run McMenamins theater called the Olympic Club in Centralia. Now Coming Attractions wants to build a 10 plex here and destroy the business of these already fine theaters. A 10 plex would be way too many screens here. Even here in Olympia we are going to have way too many screens. Presently we have a new 16 plex run by Regal that opened back in August. Now we are adding a 14 plex from Century Theaters and an independent 12 plex from the Cafarro Company.
Every theater owner has the right to choose to book or not book any movie. The theater owner will book movies that will bring in the most money to his theater. In this case his customers probably would not have attended that movie and he would have lost alot of money if he would have shown it.
Conversion = bastardized
When I worked at the State, we used Always Safe & Lock (just down the street from you) to repair the door locks and Davis Door Service (from Tacoma) to repair the doors (closers, pivots, and how they hang).
Those original commercial solid 1" thick glass doors are very common in movie theaters of that time period. In fact the Avalon Theater (the next block down from you) used the very same doors.
In 1986 I replaced the plastic rods in the door handles on all the front doors at the State. However, I did not replace the plastic door handle rods on the rental (which was the pottery store) space.
Those doors at the State were originally purchased and installed by the B.F. Shearer Company in Seattle in 1949. They can still be repaired.