Showing 51 - 75 of 220 comments
Shame, shame, shame, This theater is magnificent and should not be chopped up! I have to agree with what’s being posted that there are empty spaces around playhouse square that can be used for new construction of smaller performance space. The people of Cleveland should rise up and demand that the Allen be left alone. Otherwise when this travesty is finished and the day arrives (which it will) that someone wants the Allen to be returned to it’s original configuration a whole lot of money will again have to be spent to undo this mess. But here in America we like to spend lots of money to fix things then rip them out and then fix them again. Such a waste.
The original marquee for the Harbor Drive-In was a huge Paul Bunyun swinging an axe. The whole sign was done up in bright neon and the axe would swing back and forth. There was also beautiful landscaping and lots of colored lights along the fences and in the trees. The snack bar had disney characters painted on the walls by some local artist, done when the place was first opened, including Minnie Mouse nursing a baby mouse. Something I’m sure Disney would never have approved of! In the 70’s the theater was twinned, and a new booth was built on the roof of the snack bar. Now the land has some houses built on it and a business. All trace of the theater is gone.
I see that the theater finally got new carpet after 40 years. It will be nice to not have the duct tape holding down the seams. I do hope the theater saved the little bit of original carpet from the balcony for archival perposes. But all in all it now looks way batter.
I agree that the current marquee has merit and it appears to be in good condition, that said, it doesn’t really blend with the architecture of the building. Many theaters had their marquee’s replaced over time and usually each replacement was in keeping with whatever was in vogue at the time with no thought to the style of the facade or what the original architect had in mind. So my opinion is to go back to something more in keeping with whatever was originally intended. Also this marquee does not need to be destroyed, it can be removed and sold to grace another theater that may be needing a new marquee. Changing the name is minor and can be done by any good sign company.
Having never been in the state does anyone have any photo’s of the interior before it was split up into 3 cinemas. And any of the way it is now?
As a theater operator I can say that while the concessions may seem priced high and in many cases are, if theaters didn’t have concessions they would go under. While we do get a % of the box office gross the film distributors take the majority of that revenue. So the only way to make any money to pay our expenses is through concessions. People are quick to point out that tickets are high and so are the snacks. The film distributors dictate what you can charge for admissions price based on the theaters geographic location. Theater owners have some leeway in this area but not much. So in order to pay the rent, lights, wages, taxes, insurance, and many other expences we charge a lot for popcorn.
Sounds like the owners are just looking to make a buck. While making a profit is OK, It’s not OK to do so with the demolition of a historic building. There’s no reason why they won’t sell the theater for a realistic value other than to thwart anyone’s attempt to save it. The attitude of “I own this and I can do whatever I want with it” is what has destroyed much of America’s local historical fabric. Many towns are nothing but ugly strip malls due to owners not wanting to invest in the preservation of their holdings and allowing wholesale demolition. He should be stopped.
The photo’s look great! Hooray for the 7th st. it has been a long road to get this far.
The photo’s of the work on the auditorium look great! I can not stress how pleased I am that this is getting done. Hoquiam and Wa. State are getting a very rare gem. The 7th st will be around for another 80 years to entertain and captivate all who enter with her beauty.
Amazing, not many of S Charles Lee’s california theaters from the 1940’s remain in their original configuration. This must be restored and reopened. A true treasure!
There is part of the Music Box installed in the lobby of the City Centre building in downtown Seattle. It is a large ornamental carved stone arch that once graced the front of the building above the marquee. There were 3 of these arches and they contained windows. Don’t know what happened to the other 2, probably purchased during demolition.
Great picture, brings back many memories of afternoons at the movies when I was a kid.
I was in the Broadway in the 1980’s and saw Beau Gest with Marty Feldman. It was playing in the balcony theatre. I remember that the balcony was quite large and had not been changed at all from the original decorations with the exception of the new wall with the screen located on the front edge of the balcony. The theatre was fairly run down by this time and the lobby and entrances to the differant theatres were very cobbled up to try to keep the crowds from crossing from one auditorium to another. To bad as it looked like it had been nice at one time. Tom Moyer wasn’t known for being very simpathetic with his older properties. He liked to chop them up as cheaply as possible.
Glad to see that the cieling is getting restores. This has been the most visible problem area for the theatre. When finished the theatre should look GREAT!
This all rings true, Great idea to try something different, but will anyone come? Also you might draw an audience at the beginning because of the novelty but I don’t see that it will be self sustaining. Also the above comments are very true with reguards to product, most of the newsreels are not available and costs will be prohibitive. In the really old days the theaters were owned by the studios and they provided all this extra programing to stretch the programs out and provide information ( news ) to their patrons but the need is just no longer there.
Renovations at Lynwood Center are coming along with the sidewalks expanded and the parking is much improved. We have a newly paved lot on the east side and another on the west as well as parking all across the front of the building. The new owners of the building are commited to bringing this place back, and making sure that it will be around for generations to come.
I agree with most of what’s been said here with reguard to screen size and maskings. Screens should be as large as possible for the size of the market they are being built in and maskings should open and close from the sides as there is supposed to be a difference in picture width between flat and scope. Nothing drives me crazier that watching a flat movie and then seeing a scope presentation and they look like the same aspect ratio. With top down maskings the scope picture is actually smaller that flat. This is just cheap lazy theater owners who can’t be bothered to do it right.
I do believe that digital is here to stay and “if” the digital equipment can be ordered with specially ground lenses I see no reason why equipment can’t be bought that will reproduce the image clearity and size of the large curved screens thereby reproducing the image of 70MM. In the best large format houses of the past the lens’s were specially ground to match the curve and dimentions of the screen installed in those houses. It was expensive then and it’s going to be expensive now but if the theater owner cares about the presentaion they will pony up.
I agree with all of that.
First I do not book for myself I use a booking agency who books for our entire circuit, 27 screens, and while there is no push at this time for digital in the art market I do believe that at some point this is going to become an issue. Also the increase in revenue is with distributor cost not theater revenue. Most theaters would have been perfectly happy to stay with film but the distributors are the ones who are going to make a killing and they are pushing the industry forward on digital. And now that the largest circuits have inked deals to convert the big push is turning to the medium sized exhibiters, and once those agree to switch then it will trickle down to smaller operaters. This may take a few years to accomplish but that is the goal of the film distribution companys.
This is really no different than the switch from silent to sound. Everyone said sound film was a fad and it would never last. But the studios prduced sound movies and they were the largest theater owners so they wired for sound and pulled in the audience. Next the medium sized exhibitors followed suit and so on down to the smallest theater owner. If you didn’t convert you closed. Today the format is again changing and the money to convert is about the same as the convertion from silent to sound when you factor in what a dollar was worth in 1927 vs today with inflation. The same can be said when cinemascope came along in 1953 with stereophonic sound. Again a format change and you had to convert or not show some of the most popular films. This is a cyclical thing, technology changes and we must adapt, or fade to black. Everyone is so enamored with 35MM film but this is in use because it was the only practicle way to record images and play them back for the last 100 years or so, but there’s nothing wrong with moving forward. Digital is here to stay and eventurally everyone is going to have to switch. It may take a decade to accomplish but I believe it can not be avoided.
Musicalman, what are you ranting about! This organ should absolutly be restored and re-installed in the theater. The 7th street should present both up to date entertainment but also should embrace the past. I personaly know that a working pipe organ can be a big draw for an historic theater. This instrament can be played before any film as well as for concerts and along with any type of live entertainment that is planned. Also Silent films have a very large audience. This may not seem very apearent but it can be built. There are theaters all over the US and the world that are doing silent film screenings to great success. So my opinion is RESTORE AND INSTALL the organ. It will only be a huge benefit for the theater.
Quasimodo hit the nail on the head, this is what I’ve been experiencing for some time. My theatre is running art, independent, foreign films and we have to wait behind Landmark for virtually all our films. They are the biggest exhibitor for this kind of product in the nation and they have an exclusive lock on everything, so I wait, and as the # of prints reduce I can see the wait getting longer all the time. Digital is only going to make things worse. I firmly believe that the small independent theatre’s are the life blood of many smaller markets but the distributors only see $$$$ and the large chains can play films longer even after the audience has died off. My patrons also say they “love my theatre” but they will go elsewhere to see a movie instead of waiting until I can get a print.
As far as 70MM is concerned I see no return to large format productions. A good 70MM movie is usually filmed in 65MM and then blown up to 70. This gives you a picture that is virtually unsurpassed in visual quality. But this is very expensive and with the cost to make a movie these days the added expence to drag out the large format cameras is prohibitive. Also how many theatre’s have the ability to play 70MM? In the old days people would wait, or go to a major city for a Roadshow Presentation but today with saturation releasing I just don’t see it happening.
Picture quality will be another way the distributors will push Digital as they claim that you get the best picture without expensive large format filming and print production that can only be played at a very limited # of theatre’s.
I agree that is is going to take a while for the film industry as a whole to switch to digital, the problem is going to be that once the majors (Regal AMC etc.) switch over and are 100% digital and they control the majority of the screens in the US the availability of 35MM prints is going to shrink. 35MM will be around but the distributors who now make 1500 to 3000 prints of a major release are going to reduce that number way down. So anyone who plays a first run film in 35MM may have to wait for a print. This has already been stated as to what is going to happen by the major distributors themselves as digital is way cheaper to produce and ship. And they are the ones who will reap the biggest benifit from digital. So anyone who uses 35MM, myself included, may find a time in the near future when we can still get movies but how soon is going to depend on the perticular market we are in and how popular the film is and how many prints were struck by the distributor
Also; when wood was tried it was done because the theater was in financial trouble. The employee who tried the wood could get it for very cheap but because the stoves are so large the theater would burn a cord every other day. So not only was hauling it up to the stoves a problem, storage of a quantity to heat the place for 1 week in the winter required about 4 cord. There was no place to keep that much wood. Also the fire dept. approved the use of wood but only grudgingly. And they did not want it stacked all over the place. The theater was designed for oil or gas and nothing else.
In the opening description it states that the theater was heated by a wood fired boiler. In fact there has never been a boiler in this theater. The Aberdeen Theater’s furnace is located on the third floor over the stage house. The original stoves are still in use, they are now fired by gas but they were originally fired by black oil. In the 1980’s one of the staff members tried wood but it was difficult to haul it up three floors of narrow stairs. The stoves are like a wood stove used today in many peoples homes only much larger. the heat is dry and behind the fire boxes is the fan and ducting to circulate the hot air into the theater. This works very well. But there has never been steam in the Aberdeen.
Scott, what make of equipment was removed? When I left in the 1980’s the projectors were Simplex 35’s with RCA Photophone sound heads, Simplex bases and Brenkert EnArc lamps with a generator and voltage regulating equipment. Also the sound system was an Eprad stereo setup with 1 back stage speaker and surounds in the auditorium. Not a very good system. (a poor man’s dolby) That is what Grays Harbor Theatres installed and sold out to Tom Moyer who I believe then sold to Act 111.