Comments from KenLayton

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KenLayton commented about Thomas W. Lamb on Feb 10, 2006 at 5:47 am

Wow, he was one of the greatest theater designers of all time!

KenLayton commented about Wanted: Theatres on Feb 1, 2006 at 5:59 am


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!

KenLayton commented about Wanted: Theatres on Jan 31, 2006 at 6:14 pm

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.

KenLayton commented about Wanted: Theatres on Jan 31, 2006 at 1:48 pm

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.

KenLayton commented about Penn Cinemas on Jan 25, 2006 at 5:27 am

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.

KenLayton commented about Penn Cinemas on Jan 24, 2006 at 8:27 pm

That article is available by contacting the archives at Architectural Record magazine.

KenLayton commented about Penn Cinemas on Jan 24, 2006 at 6:32 am

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.

KenLayton commented about Dante Theatre on Jan 24, 2006 at 6:23 am

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.

KenLayton commented about Galaxy Theatres closes Kendig Square 6 on Jan 17, 2006 at 5:07 am

Do not confuse this company the the that operates theaters on the west coast.

KenLayton commented about Utah Theater Cancels 'Brokeback Mountain' on Jan 13, 2006 at 5:49 am

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.

KenLayton commented about I want to buy used theater seats on Jan 13, 2006 at 5:40 am

I suggest contacting Scott Hicks' AMERICAN CINEMA EQUIPMENT ( in Portland, Oregon.

KenLayton commented about Egyptian Theatre on Jan 10, 2006 at 6:38 am

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.

KenLayton commented about Utah Theater Cancels 'Brokeback Mountain' on Jan 9, 2006 at 4:53 am

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.

KenLayton commented about Any other 'Urban Outfitters' theaters? on Jan 5, 2006 at 6:06 am

Conversion = bastardized

KenLayton commented about Historic Theater Needs New Doors on Dec 23, 2005 at 5:07 am

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.

KenLayton commented about Freeing the Phoenix on Dec 21, 2005 at 5:42 am

What about all the amber, blue, and white neon you yarded out of the auditorium? You ruined the whole ceiling in the auditorium by dropping the heighth so low. What about all the bums hanging around the theater shooting up drugs out front? Why don’t you use the free-standing boxoffice?

KenLayton commented about No Cell Phone Signals in Theaters? on Dec 19, 2005 at 12:50 pm

In the times we live in today, terrorism, criminal activity, natural disasters, robberies, health problems, etc. requires we need access at all times to that cell phone. Just last night I heard on my police scanner a woman had a severe seizure right in the auditorium during the movie. The dispatcher reported to the medics that the call was received from a cell phone call by a theater patron in the auditorium. That cell phone caller was able to direct medics to the exact auditorium and seat. A person’s life was saved by this cell phone call when critical seconds counted.

KenLayton commented about Multi-Purpose Venue For Sale on Dec 6, 2005 at 4:59 am

I didn’t see any pictures of the projection booth on that link. Looks like a nice old theater. What was it’s name?

KenLayton commented about Downtown Theaters on Dec 2, 2005 at 5:00 am

The single screen Chehalis Theater in downtown Chehalis, Washington is a fine example of a movie theater re-vitalizing a downtown area.

KenLayton commented about Egyptian Theatre on Nov 30, 2005 at 5:14 am

“Coming Distractions” theatres sure throws away money. They built that 10 screen crap-plex (South Shore) in Aberdeen, Wash. that’s just barely staying open. That area cannot support that many screens plus all the jobs being lost there due to two large lumber mills closing now. So now they throw up an 11 screen in Coos Bay. Are they crazy? They’ll never make it —– too many screens in that area. They should have kept the Egyptian and taken better care of it.

KenLayton commented about Fox Theatre on Nov 29, 2005 at 12:47 pm

Yes the theater has opened. They just did an opera last weekend. Movies are scheduled to run on these dates: Dec 17-18, and Dec. 23-24, 2005.

KenLayton commented about State Theater on Nov 23, 2005 at 4:49 am

Movies could be be shown again at the State. The “ban” on movies that many theater companies place in the covenants are for first run product. This applies only to properties that the theater company actually own outright and not lease. Also please remember there are two things working in Harlequin’s favor if they wanted to show movies again:

  1. Act 3 Theaters was only leasing the theater from the then building owner Henry McCleary.

  2. The entity (Act 3 Theaters) that placed the “ban” no longer exists thus the “ban” no longer exists.

Many stage production groups are finding out that only stage plays don’t pay the bills. Some have found that also showing movies have really helped their bottom line. The Opera Pacifica group that’s restoring the Fox Theater in Centralia is going to be running movies and stage plays/operas. I will be installing 35mm projection/sound equipment for them.

KenLayton commented about Lawford Theatre Wants Your Help on Nov 22, 2005 at 12:53 pm

It would be helpful to know what kind of sound equipment you have now. Specifically we need to know makes and models of:

audio processor/preamp
monitor amplifier
power amplifier
screen speaker(s)
surround speakers (if present)

KenLayton commented about Digital Cinema Standards Announced on Nov 21, 2005 at 5:34 am

You need to visit the wonderfully restored single screen Chehalis Theater in Chehalis, Washington. It’s a very successful first run movie theater with top-notch 35mm projection and sound. This was a dead neighborhood theater until Daryl Lund bought it and restored it. The pictures currently posted on this site and don’t show the latest upgrades to the Chehalis. The owner vows to stay with film projection as it’s been very reliable & economical.

In Centralia, Washington is the McMenamin’s Olympic Club Theater which is a “brew pub” (food and a movie) setup in a single screen historic building. They show second run 35mm movies and are also very successful. The McMenamin chain is well known and well run here in the Pacific Northwest. Check out for more information on their theaters (all single screens!).

KenLayton commented about Digital Cinema Standards Announced on Nov 20, 2005 at 7:21 am

“And from the movie theater operator’s perspective, the advantages of digital cinema over conventional film projection are tremendous!”

Will it lower ‘program’ rental costs? NO! Will it lower ticket prices? NO! Will it make the story or acting better? NO!

“And aside from overcoming high film dstribution costs. Unlike how it is with digital, film wears out.”

With proper handling film can last a long time. Many lost classic films have been saved thanks to someone finding a film print that had been squirreled away somewhere. Motion picture film standards have been in place for 100 years and those same standards are constant throughout the world. Video standards & formats change from minute-to-minute and standards are different in different countries.

“Not only that, but it can break suddenly, causing dark screen in the middle of a presentation.”

And the video server can lockup, skip, strobe the image, crash, or just plain die at anytime during a show.

“Furthermore, there’s very little that can be done to enhance the image that’s being projected from film.”

Keep the film clean, keep the projector clean, keep the booth clean, make sure the lamphouse has the proper wattage bulb, keep the reflector clean and adjusted properly, clean the lenses, clean the porthole glass, monitor the audio volume.

“With digital cinema, suddenly the projectionist has the power to increase or decrease color saturation, adjust the contrast, etc., to enable the customers to see the movie at its absolute best. In brief, the projectionist becomes part of the art making process in that sense.”

Oh great, now the ‘projectionist’ is a censor/editor. Now he/she/it can blur out things the projectionist thinks I would be offended seeing. Or the projectionist could cut out words I shouldn’t hear. Or the projectionist could ‘remove’ the cigarettes that the characters are smoking on screen.

Video in theaters——NO THANKS.