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Opened February 12, 1931.
That 25 cent price seems to be for seats “in rear of balcony” which was pretty damn far from the screen. Probably good for taking a nap, though, or other “rear of balcony” activites that sometimes occurred.
After examining the ad for Frankenstein, I belive it is for its first run engagement, seeing how it’s a single feature presentation (with a newsreel.) Frankenstein was re-released many times over the years, but usually as part of a double bill with Dracula or similar second feature. Also, note the 35 cent admission price, which seems right for depression-era 1931.
As to Sitting Bull, while westerns were usually B pictures, this one, with its nearly brand-new CinemaScope and Eastmancolor, and billed as “the mightiest spectacle ever staged!” seemed to have higher aspirations.
Maybe Bosley Crowther said it best in his NY Times review — “…it is such a lot of nonsense, for all its dazzle in color and CinemaScope, that one is inclined to drop it as just another noisy western film.”
I just checked ticket prices — Zone A (up front) are only $651. each.
Put me down for two!
Bway, can you add that pic to the photo section?
Put the word you wish to highlight,such as “Here” or another word directing the reader, in brackets [ ] and then right next to it (no spaces) put the link in parenthesis ( ) and when you post your comment the word in brackets should be blue and when clicked on it will lead to the link provided in the parenthesis.
It’s hard to remember which comes first, so I remember it alphabetically, that is, the Bracket comes before the Parenthesis (B before P, see?)
Here’s the direct link to the NY1 report, but it seems you must be a Time Warner subscriber to play the video. (And they spelled marquee as marquis and I don’t see a way to submit a correction!)
I was watching “Born Yesterday” last night and Judy Holiday said while visiting the National Gallery that it was fancier than the Radio City Music Hall… I had to smile and think of you guys!
16 of these 17 theaters are closed or demolished, and the Roosevelt Field is a rabbit warren of a multiplex.
Bow Tie is just doing the booking. The theater is still controlled by lessee Cablevision.
While the auditorium is a wow, the ticketing area (lobby?) and the concession area are less than sensational.
I thought this passage may be of interest to our readers:
On entering the lot, I saw the dimmest picture I had ever seen on a drive-in screen.
Parking in the third row from the screen, I got out of the car to investigate. I kept wondering “Why is the picture so dim?”. The ambient light level was so low that I had difficulty making out the shapes of the cars parked around me.
I searched the projection booth and the concession stand for the tell-tale light of a projector. Nothing. I just couldn’t see it. One remote possibility came to mind. The screen of the Apache sits up on a dirt hill most likely created during the clearing of the lot and the construction of the berms. Perhaps a dozen feet in front of the screen sits a small enclosure.
The day I was there before, I didn’t have time to scale the hill to investigate the purpose of the enclosure. Looking into it at night confirmed what I now suspected. The enclosure must house a projection TV unit. I could see a variety of green status lights inside the enclosure. That fact, coupled with the lack of light from the projection booth made a remote projector the only possibility that made sense.
This is the first drive-in theater that I’ve seen that uses a projection system other than standard film projectors. While not a digital projection system, the Apache’s equipment does demonstrate the potential for using non-traditional projection systems.
I also added six photos I found in Lost Memory´s post made back in 2004. The photos seem to be from 2001. That post has a long article about this place, from which I may post some excerpts.
Ran across this report on a blog…
In east Texas near the town of Tyler, Texas is a dinosaur of a drive-in movie theater called the Apache. It shows only xxx rated movies on the outside big screen and has private video rooms and upstairs indoor movie theater which is open from about 10AM to about 1AM. It is a cool place to cruise and meet someone …
Here’s the text of the report about Fred and his organ:
(CBS News) RACINE, Wis. — From the outside, the three-bedroom ranch in Racine, Wis., looks like any other house. On the inside, it looks like any other house.
But if you make your way down the stairs, you’ll find a cellar unlike any other cellar. And it’s down here where 87-year-old retired insurance salesman Fred Hermes works on his hobby in front of a live audience.
“It makes me happy to see the enjoyment they get out of this,” Fred says.
Yes, here in the basement, where most of us keep our water heaters and paint cans, Fred has a giant Wurlitzer and balcony seating.
Fred built this theater-in-the-ground in 1959. It wasn’t so much that he wanted a theater as he needed a place to keep his organ and the 3,000 pipes that came with it. He rescued the organ from the old Michigan Theater in Detroit.
“Biggest organ that Wurlitzer ever made with five keyboards,” Fred says of the organ. It was made in March 1926, which Fred notes was the “same month I was born.”
Fred says he feels a kindred spirit with the organ.
That explains the Wurlitzer, but what about the rest of his place?
“Then they started tearing down all these beautiful movie theaters around the country,” he says. “And that’s when I thought, ‘Why not pick up some of this junk and make it look like a movie palace?’”
Which leads to the question: Why would anybody want that?
“Because they’re crazy,” Fred replies.
A few years ago, word got out that Fred had this theater and the tour buses have been stopping by ever since — which is fine by Fred. In fact, he says he has a responsibility to share his place.
“Here’s the way I look at life: this is a gift that God gave me,” he says. “And I think I owe something. And that is why I have people coming around here.”
They say God works in mysterious ways. And if this is one of those ways, Lord knows what he’s trying to tell us. Maybe follow your dreams, or share your passion, or maybe we’re just supposed to appreciate the quirks of this great country.
Like Fred’s home theater, sweet home theater.
If you want more information or would like to visit Fred’s basement organ, go to RealRacine.com.
You plan to go to the Fair for the classic movies? Reminds me of another exchange:
Renault: And what in heaven’s name brought you to Casablanca?
Rick: My health. I came to Casablanca for the waters.
Renault: The waters? What waters? We’re in the desert.
Rick: I was misinformed.
What’s playing at the Roxy?
I’ll tell you what’s playing at the Roxy.
A picture about a Minnesota man falls in love with a Mississippi girl
That he sacrifices everything and moves all the way to Biloxi.
That’s what’s playing at the Roxy.
At the Fair, however, it’s more likely to be a double feature of Acres of Ass and Nudies go Berserk. Or variations thereof. And really, who is watching the screens anyway?
She retired from pictures in 1933 and moved to her husband’s ranch, so I wonder how many personal appearances she was making that year.
Bow Tie is NOT in the house. I wonder why.
Bow Tie is in the house, effective this week.
I am an eternal optimist.
You and Nellie Forbush!
1958 was a great year if you were a straight, white Christian male. Otherwise, you may have encountered some roadblocks.
As late as 1965 the Lyric was still “premiering” motion pictures albeit smutty ones:
Per NY Times 8/12/65: BOB HOPE, get some soap and scrub out that blue humor! “I’ll Take Sweden,” which United Artists opened yesterday at the midtown Lyric Theater, is altogether unworthy of a beloved sunshine man who has cheered millions. The picture is an altogether asinine little romp, laboriously eking out a winding trail of sexual innuendoes, with some pasted-on backgrounds of Sweden and much mad racing in and out of bedrooms. And it couldn’t be duller or more obvious.
I wonder why this theater is not yet listed in the newspaper movie clocks.
This was the first porno theater I ever tried to enter — I was about 15, and the manager at the door wouldn’t let me in, saying “You don’t wanna know what goes on in here.” But I really did want to know…!
Alas, it wasn’t until Cabaret opened here, decades later, that I finally passed through these hallowed portals.