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I saw an ad in the ‘disturber’ in the late 40’s advertising a movie there. There’s a site that lists theaters past and present across the country. The one for the “Jamestown” area I think showed this one as being open for a short time. I don’t know anything beyond that. I’m currently on a mission to find out when the Japanese sub toured Dunkirk. :)
I’ve been playing with Google Earth as well. High resolution images of the Cine (before it was knocked down), the Regent, Van Buren DI, and the hotel drive in in Westfield.
Oh, and I thought I saw a snippet in the Observer that Dalton Burgett was a Sheriff’s Deputy during the 40’s.
Patsy – Tim finally made a movie theater page on his website.
I wasn’t the one who claimed to know its current whereabouts. I just know where it was when the theater was operating.
It was in the auditorium, to the left hand side, near the rear exit.
On the Western New York Heritage Press website they have a short article on the Thruway Plaza. View link
No mention of the theatre, but then, it is a bit far from the plaza/mall proper. The article states that it’s initial competition came from the Seneca Mall in 1969, which itself was razed in the early 1990’s. (With rumors of a multiplex being built there, but those plans never materialized.) SO much for the 125 years ….
Theater was converted to an 8 screen in the mid 1980’s.
As far as inexplicably buying the WG cinemas, I suspect it had to do with the Thruway plaza not longer drawing customers at a rate that they would like. That said, I did prefer Thruway Cinemas to the Walden Galleria Cinemas. That may explain why Regal is readdressing their position at the Galleria Mall.
When it reopened as Movieland, it was as a second run theater. At about this time, the Appletree AMC second run house closed. (Also fairly close to the Galleria, 3 movie houses in 5 miles or so.)
Hey, I’m get old a couple of years ahead of you.
I couldn’t find the ad again, and really haven’t had the chance to explore like I wanted to. Those old newspaper scans are hard on the eyes. And I haven’t been back home in a while to explore. My plans are to get back in May.
The renovation began in ‘89, during the dark year for Dunkirk. The filming of “Gone in 60 seconds II”, and the sudden ending of that production; and the loss of 6 kids who lost a race with a train in the 4th ward. I remember that last night, as while the kids were meeting their end, there was a guy up on the scaffolds around the Opera House threatening to jump. The only “Jaws of Life” in the area was on a truck that was assisting the jumper situation. Not that it would have mattered anyway. The kids were beyond help, anyway. Too many big funerals that, it seemed half the town went to them.
Martin – That video place (I think it was called something else, but brain fade is occurring right now) was short lived. I don’t think it lasted more than 18 months, including the time after it changed to a regular video rental store. Through the 80’s the Cine was fairly busy for average to good movies. (I left in January 1990.) [After thought, Mickey’s Flicks, maybe?]
Patsy – I think the Cine arose out of the loss of the Capitol, and the need for a theater between Dunkirk and Fredonia. It had a Dipson logo on the side of it for as long as I remember. (I lived closer to the Regent, so went there more often than the Cine. That changed with the summer of ‘77. :)
I suspect the Cine closed due to a lack of business. When they got greedy and divided it into two screens, they killed it. The Cine was a small theater to begin with, seemed like it was half the size of the Regent, but probably 2/3 its size. In 90/91, an old Ames store was converted into a multi-cinema, and provided the viewers with more choices, even if the viewing experience was of similar (low) quality. The last movie I saw at the Cine was “Blown Away”, released in the summer of 1994. I think I saw it late in the summer, perhaps suggesting it was second run by that time, but I don’t know for sure. My friend and I were the only ones in the screening room at the time, don’t remember what was showing in the other room, or how many other paying customers were in the building at the time.
Martin (whose name I remember from a few years behind me in school):
The Theater in Fredonia (Cinema One at the time?) had a balcony. The Regent that had the balcony went up in smoke in the late 20’s.
Leeds was between Penney’s and Sidey’s on Central. View link 6th photo up from the bottom, a parade involving unusual garb. I wasn’t the one who brought it up, but agreed it was there. Nice clock, the numbers and arms lit up, but you couldn’t see the background.
I know a Reed who used to run a garage, and his wife used to own (maybe still does) a carpet store on LSDE.
It’s about Dunkirk, and DHS mostly, from what I gather. I haven’t seen the CD yet, so I can’t say what is on it. But since it is directed toward “high school”, I suspect that a trip to the historical society may also be fruitful. I say may, as I haven’t visited there, so haven’t any first hand knowledge of that, either.
I didn’t find it.
Have you thought about stopping by Matt’s news for his CD? I know that there is more in there than you will ever want, but maybe it has those Regent photos. Matt’s is just down 3rd street from the Regent, near the corner of Main, right near Weiss Hardware. And shares (nearly) the back wall of Bells, oops, Quality Market. A hop, skip, and jump from where the State used to be.
A page with the top photo taken from the local paper. The marquee from the Capitol being removed. Last line from the caption: It is expected that the property will be used as a parking lot for the time being.
For the time being? I guess if you look at it from a geological perspective.
If this works, bring some kleenex.
Yes, that is the Tim. I have been looking through the site, but haven’t found it yet. He has some new pictures on here that I hadn’t seen before.
If the above link works, you can see the train wreck that may have had a hand in the collapse of the roof of the Capitol. (My mom and siblings were able to out run the wreck, mom driving and seeing the wreck happening behind her.)
Also, in the background upper left of the bootom photo you can see McClenethans. It was an office supply store by 1989. (And may have been back then.) All that paper and ink, and a source of ignition. Fire companies from Westfield helped fight the fire. The rail traffic was stopped for hours. And now the area is, well, a parking lot. I’ve heard that they can’t rebuild because the lot is too close to the tracks. SUNY Fredonia is building a “high tech incubator” across the street. We’ll see how close to the tracks they get. (I thought that spot would have been great for a new cinema. :)
Back to looking.
Here’s the basic page, the pic you want should be on here somewhere.
Don’t tell Tim I sent you, he won’t talk to me anymore. :)
I’ve saw another reference to Dalton later on. Donald could have been an error. Or there were two generations in movies,followed by the next generation in a more honorable business.
The Observer was slamming the group that owned the Regent over their slow path to rebuilding.
After WWII started, there were some delays in the construction due to concern over whether building supplies were being misdirected from the war effort.
Always finding out something new. Apparently the manager of the Regent at the time of the 1929 fire was Donald Burgett, not Dalton as I had thought I read.
The Drohen Avenue Theatre (Capitol) opened on December 25, 1918. 6 weeks after the other theatres in town were closed for a short period of time due to the flu pandemic.
The State Theatre opened on October 7, 1934. It had a capacity of 700. The lobby was on the ground floor, the auditorium was upstairs.
For some reason, every article about an opening theatre mentions its fire exits.
The Capitol Theatre was built in the mid teens as the Drohen Avenue Theatres. Shortly after the sale of the Drohen Theatre (which, upon reopening was renamed Regent) the Drohen Avenue Theatre changed its name to the Drohen Theatre. On October 20, 1923 the Drohen Theatre was renamed to Capitol Theatre. I don’t know the date it transformed into a parking lot.
To give the history as I know it.
Opened in late 1910 as the Drohen theater.
Closed June 22, 1920.
Reopened March 21, 1921 as the Regent.
Closed October 1929 due to devastating fire.
Reopened Thanksgiving 1942 in its current form.
Closed November 1992.
I “met” the elder, as I did attend a few movies in town back in the late 70’s and 80’s. The elder was usually seen at the Cine. I would estimate that he was in his 80’s about 1980, which means he would have been late 20’s/ early 30’s for the fire. Likely the man you met wasn’t very old, or maybe not born yet at the time of the fire, so didn’t have direct knowledge of the organ.
The 1910-1929 Drohen/Regent was of metal skinned wood construction, not the sturdier brick of today.
Boy, it’s taking me a while to finish this one. The Regent reopened on Thanksgiving, 1942, as a second run house. “Constructed by Dalton B. Burgett for a syndicate headed by Clyde R. Lathrop of Brocton.”
This is all based on an article in the Dunkirk Observer.
The reconstructed Regent celebrated it 50th aniversary by closing its doors. Ironically both beginning and ending as a second run theatre. In 1942 a seat cost 35 cents, in 1992 $1.50.
Ammentment to the above, and likely answer to the missing Wurlitzer:
October 28, 1929
REGENT THEATRE A TOTAL FIRE LOSS
By this time it was operated by the Berenstein Theatre company of Elmira. Nothing was left standing but the front and west walls.
Dalton Burgett was manager by this time. Yup, the pipe organ was lost in the fire. (Sorry, I am writing as I read.) The Capitol was also owned by the same company by this time. The Regent was purchased from Lally in May of 1926.
The building was built by James Drohen in 1910. Drohen built the Capitol, also.