Showing 901 - 925 of 1,267 comments
Hey LuisV, upon looking again at the photos from the 10/21/08 post, there is a large amount of light coming from the projection booth, which makes me wonder if the roof is gone.
What a shame, such a once beautiful place has been left to rot away.
After making my above post, I got to thinking of all the stuff I got from Menlo when it closed, stuff that was just in boxes and forgotten about. So up to my attic I went and found it, and much to my surprise was the original blue prints to Menlo, along with a B&W photo of the projection room from the Majestic Theatre in Perth Amboy N.J. taken in the late 1940’s. All these years I wanted to go thru these boxes, but never did until today. They were in an old closet in menlo, and when I was there with my booth partner Ed, we found the box, threw it in the car and I stored it away and forgot about it.
I feel honored to be the first to post a comment here. As the very last projectionist to work at the old Menlo Park, and one of the last to work at Blue Star, ( I left 3 years before its closing ), I must say that my memories are so many that I could sit here and write a book. But for now, let me say, that I worked far longer at Menlo Park ( 15 years ) vs only 5 years at Blue Star. I was at Menlo when we had all 3 “Star Wars” movies, Mookraker, Alien (in 70MM) The Abyss (also in 70MM). That place use to jump. I caught Blue Star in its waning days, the last big movies I remember there was “Lethal Weapon 2” and “Hoffa”. If I may add one more thing, another central Jersey theatre that was equally as busy thru those years was also a GCC, the Woodbridge 1 & 2. They had such hits as Saturday Night Fever, and many of the first few “Star Trek” movies. I also worked there on and off from the mid 80’s till it closed in ‘92.
It is almost a foregone conclusion Justin that HSM3 will be number one this weekend, for 2 reasons. 1) almost every theatre playing HSM3 will have it on multiple screens, meaning more showtimes, (like the place I work which will have 3 prints) and 2) Saw V is rated R, so that takes away the teenage crowd.
Looks like many the graffitti artists have been inside. With all that damage, does anyone think it could one day be saved and revived?
This theatre was originally operated by the Nathan chain. When it opened in the early 70’s each auditorium seated 300. I would guess that each of the 4 now seat about 130 each. I remember my dad taking me here to visit the projectionists, and ended up seeing a Walt Disney double feature, “Snowball Express” and “Lady & the Tramp.” They had one print of each mounted on 6000 foot reels, and alternated shows between each theater. Those were great days.
The theatre is looking great. Its amazing what they did in a little over 3 months.
Well I hope it continues for you. Don’t give up. I remember thru my life, in ‘83, my theatre closed, the union had me on a job the following week. Same in '91, '94, and again in '05. I now for an independant, in his 2 theatres, about 50 hours between the 2. I learned a long time ago, when one door closes, another opens. I heard for years thru the 80’s how projection was done, and I would out on the street by the mid to late 80’s. Well look at me, almost the end of 2008, and still going strong. Good people like you always come out on top.
Yeah newt, I know what you’re saying. I have loved doing this for 33 years too, but the big companies, the Loews, Cineplex, Regals, have all made it that a good hard working, caring projectionist like me cant make a living. They say its a union thing, but really its just that the technology has made it that they can pay a kid $7.25 an hour to run 20 screens, and the hell with showmanship.
Great great job Micheal.
You beat me to it Peter. I remember in the late 70’s, some of the old grindhouses I worked at did not cut the apertures on the keystone, and wow, our image would be 3 feet over on the bottom of the side maskings. If the Ritz in Elizabeth ever gets sold, and gets going, that is one place that will have a heck of a keystone.
Lets hope not John J. Fink
Well it is sort of refreshing to here that some more recent people like you newt seem to take pride. I remember how my father always pounded that into me as I was joining the union in 1977. He stressed that till the day he passed on to that giant movie palace in the sky in 1993.
Hi newt, I’m sure you know quite a bit about projection, but how about changing a gear, filing an aperture plate, timing a shutter?? Of course its not really fair to compare, since I have 33 years in the business, which by regal’s standards would make me a dinosaur. By the way, on a seperate note, is there any good news on the Ventnor twin??
Any news on the sale? I may be going there in 2 weeks, to check on things. In the meantime if anyone knows anything about the impending sale, please post. Thank You
Only a guess here, since I don’t work in the city, but maybe Bowtie Cinemas could be involved? They are always looking for theatres, and one of their top execs use to work for Clearview, the previos operator.
You know LuisV, its also true that what one sees, another may not. I know in the multiplex I work in, sometimes the manager comes up and says “the picture in theatre 7 is blurry.” I’ll go take a look only to find its in focus. So whos right, and whos wrong. No one.
If I didn’t have elderly family to take care of here in the east, it might have been worth a look. But even so, with the economy the way it is now, even with those bargain basement rent prices, its a risk.
Best of Luck!!! Lets hope more can open in the years ahead.
In response to you macbear, and I am not picking on you or anything, but you must realize this, in the case of Loew’s Jersey, they use volunteers, some of which learned to operate projectors on the job, not from a trained person like me. In the case of the Ziegfeld, lets just say its cablevision, and leave it at that. As far as BAM, I have never been there. You also must remember that the projection equipment in use is old, and in some cases parts are not even made anymore. I know this was the case when I was attempting to restore the booth at the Ritz in Elizabeth, N.J. And as you said, film companies are not striking any new 35MM prints, because they all want digital, and this is how they will force everyone to get it.
Points well taken CinemarkFan, and I know someone who might know how to go about it. Also like the idea of a fansite, something similar to this here at CT, except devoted to film and the alike.
You know CinemarkFan, this is really going to be one giant cluster-you-know-what. As I have been saying, and I’m sure you agree, ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’
I’m off to work now, to run my 6 century 35MM projectors, which do a great job projecting the films we are showing.
CinemarkFan, if I’m ever lucky enough to be able to get to Chicago, I have to absolutely meet you. You speak my language.
A similar situation happened a few years back in Akron Ohio at the Rolling Acres Mall. The entire mall is empty, except for a J.C.Penney outlet store and a triplex theatre originally built by GCC. As of this past August, only these 2 are left, as the Sears and Macys anchors closed up shop in the spring. The problem here was roudy teens, as well as stolen vehicles.
It amazes me how much hype goes into these weekends, then I read about all these projection problems. I know everyone here is volunteers, but I also know that up till a few years ago, there actually was a person who was a union projectionist running the films. After constantly banging his head against the wall with the people in charge, he left. Any wonder why the shows are the way they are? And to GabeDF, yes, carbons do get extremely hot. I know, because I ran them for the first 7 years I was in the union. I remember climbing those mountains, with film cans in arms. THOSE were great times. I would give anything to do carbons and changeovers again.