Showing 51 - 75 of 98 comments
It WAS cavernous —– dark with a lot of closed areas by the 1960s.
A big thanks to the Witnesses for saving this masterpiece, and for the thoughtful and respectful way they share it!!!
I thought I would give this chopped up oldie a try one day late in August. I was in the balcony theater and it was incredibly hot —– no A/C. I stayed just a few minutes. When I asked for my money back, it was refunded but without a word of apology. Unfortunately I wound up seeing the film at the Island 16, devoid of humanity but full of cool air. As do most folks on this site I lament the loss of the old theaters, but the reality is that most of them just got worse and worse in the name of better profit margins. I think they call it deferred maintenance in the business world. What a shame.
I think that what I consider my delicate satire has escaped you. I am more than happy when a theater remains open, paying taxes and making our city more vibrant. If they choose to run sub-titles, operate 24 hours a day or put real butter on the popcorn, it’s all good. My little family of three has even chose to become bilingual, not by learning English but by learning Spanish. You picked the wrong guy. Sorry your indignation was misplaced.
Yes. it’s really terrible for someone to keep a theater running by placing sub-titles at the bottom of the screen. It must be “those people” sending secrets to “their people.” And get this … some of them don’t even look like us. They MUST be up to something. Certainly this couldn’t be a case of the millions of New Yorkers who speak Spanish having a pleasant evening out at the movies. Better watch out … the next thing they will be doing is paying taxes and keeping the city healthy!
An oldie, but not much of a goodie. I had hesitated to post this theater because I was unsure of the address —– at the time there was no Union City Blvd., and of course no Union City. I remember the theater well because during my childhood there were no freeways south of Hayward, so this was on the route to Newark and part of Fremont. The Alvarado Theater wasn’t much —– I remember a boxy white-washed building on which the marquee wasn’t ever changed —– it simply read “Spanish Movies”. This was during the late 50s. I remembered thinking then that I never saw it open, but I’m sure that’s because we always made the drive during the day.
It never ceases to amaze me that anyone who might be serious about such a thing doesn’t know how to research the availability of a building. Call any commercial real estate broker (on the web or in the phone book or plastered on a sign on almost any vacant building in town) and he or she will be able to provide you with more information than you could ever want. Commercial real estate has what is essentially a multi-list service that allows any agent to access any listings.
I think you are right gsmurph. Certainly the dates make more sense, and as you may be aware memories become a bit fuzzy after 35 years.
Hmmmmm, ruthless. Never thought of myself that way, but maybe I should look inward. I do think of myself as skeptical anout the movie business. The theaters located within easy driving distance of my home are all incredibly bad —– each in their own unique way. This is a highly populated suburban area where one would hope that there is room for just one decent theater. You know,.I understand that this all is about the financials. It’s a shame that a theater can’t make a buck without selling an $8 popcorn/soda combo. I know what real estate costs have done to all businesses. I even know (approximately) what it costs to repair a broken chair. But here’s the point: the business has been hit first by television, then by video/dvd and now by better and better home theater systems. The only response I have seen from the movie industry is stadium seating and smaller screens. It just seems like no one is listening. I don’t really think I am ruthless —– instead I am frustrated. And I think there are a lot of folks out there who have similar feelings. I don’t have any unrealistic expectations of the cinema treasures coming back —– I just wish the industry would do what they are doing much, much better.
… a side note to the above. I love movies. I love watching them on the big screen. I just WANT to love the experience of seeing them there. As it stands now, one gets better service at the (improving) Department of Motor Vehicles. Seems kind of sad to me, and THAT is serious.
ifemorena —– if you read my entry as something other than serious, that worries me. You are in the business —– reading what I (and others) say and taking it seriously may be a step toward improving service to customers. The way we are greeted and treated at theaters is generally abysmal. Just for example, last winter I pointed out to the manager of a 16-screen multiplex that the (only) walkway from the parking lot to the building was jammed up with snow. She told me “We cleaned it this morning.” It was 4 p.m. and had been snowing for at least three hours. In my business, this kind of treatment would send me to the poorhouse. Your defensive attitude in your reply appears to me indicative of the problem.
Shoot, all of us know how to run a multi-screen theater. Hire a bunch of gum chewing kids without a clue as to what customer service means (including three with a history of armed robbery to operate the snack bar). Install lumpy seats (30 percent of which must be broken). Turn on the projectors and let them run through pops, burns, breaks and fading sound: after all, once folks are in their seats they aren’t likely to spend any more money. Allow the outside of the building to deteriorate until it looks like the neighborhood crack house. So you think I’m cynical? You bet, last week I paid $10 to see Collateral —– the air conditioning wasn’t working (or wasn’t turned on) —– the theater smelled, and the film broke twice. I walked out after the second unscheduled intermission (customers had to go find someone to fix the film both times) and asked for my money back. “Corporate policy is to give you a pass for another day.” What a business —– the world of multi-plex theaters.
Ohhhh, a great discussion. This is the kind of thing that makes this whole website valuable. Graffiti is clearly a threat to our favorite buildings, as well as a threat to quality of life. It’s been addressed so well in New York City: one has to look no further for a recipe to minimize the problem.
Frankly, I think the neighborhood looks better today than in the old photo.
Well, give Clearview credit for thinking out of the box. The only concern I can see is that the west side doesn’t have a very large Latino population.
Where did this one come from? A buried treasure???
It got hit by a tornado one summer afternoon in 1974. Minor damage and I think it was open that night.
A buddy at work told me that the theater where Howard’s is today was the Sunwave Theater. He said that the last movie he recalls seeing there was “Never Say Never Again.”
That was before I moved to the area, but you’re right about Howard’s Cafe!!!
“Suffering” is an accurate word. Although UA is gone, the “let it run into the ground” theory of management remains. Unrepaired broken seats, marred screens and absolute minimum staffing are the rule today. It’s clear that this is another giant multiplex that won’t be with us for long.
PATH to Hoboken station, then NJT train to Suffern —– about four short blocks away from the Lafayette. An easy trip.
Ooops —– all in good humor. Really!
I agree that we need to be more sensitive to The Warren.
Easy there Gerald. I remember a bank teller avering that they didn’t make mistakes at that bank. I walked out with an extra $100 in my pocket.
(split comment from above —– sorry)… . as long as we define success as something realistic. The only real hope in saving the treasures is a few … here and there … as examples. We are highly unlikely to see a huge glitzy cinema in a city center playing great films to thousands of moviegoers. It’s just a different world —– complete with the idiots running the multiplexes. By the way, I’ll still be there —– all the screens in all the multiplexes are larger than anything I can have at home. The sound is better and it gets me out of the house.