Showing 76 - 98 of 98 comments
(Heavy Sigh). I always feel like the bad guy who attempts to introduce a reality check into the conversation. Please understand that I love old (and big, and single-screeen and neighborhood) theaters as much as everyone, but I also understand the realities. So often on this wonderful site I see comments such as “I was only there once” or “Maybe I should go take a look before they close it down.” The reality is that there are rock-solid business reasons that we have lost these treasures. Everything from television to video to no parking to no maintenance to changing cities and horrible maintenance. But it’s good to remember that all of us are part of the reason for the changes. We stay home and watch TV —– we move to the suburbs —– we sit in front of our computers bemoaning the changes. Yes, we ought to work to save history, but it does no good to criticize business for not keeping a 2,000-seat theater open for 20 of us to watch a film. And it does no good to criticize today’s non-filmgoers or (worse) filmgoers for their habits.
Okay, here’s the good news: considering recent banking history, this theater is likely to last far longer than either the bank or the bank’s name.
The loss of the cinema is sad —– but I must say that the photos of the scene of the crime are absolutely outstanding!
I really don’t want to sound cynical, so maybe it’s ME that needs to be set straight, but here’s the deal: I see lots of talk about re-opening various theaters, and how this person or that person wants to do it and is ready to do it, but just can’t seem to find out who has control of the property. Well (and here comes the cynical part), wouldn’t anyone with sufficient resources to finance even the smallest of these undertakings know that one phone call to ANY commercial real estate agent would clear up a huge number of questions? There is a multiple listing for commercial properties just as there is for residential. When people say they can’t find any information, it reminds me of people who post on here saying they can’t find a movier time. Okay, so may I AM a cybnic. We all need dreams.
Okay, I am drawing a blank on this one. I grew up in the area but now live far too far away for a visit. Was this theatre operated under a different name in the 50s and 60s? The address isn’t helping me to remember it —– what else was in the neighborhood? Jeez —– getting old can be painful!!!
Explaining these basics to Michael is like explaining a palm tree to a polar bear.
This is absolutely a super site. It is a resource for many many folks, and a terrific recreation for me. I promise to continue sharing memories as they pop out of my aging head. My personal congratulations to Patrick, Ross, and everyone who plays a part in it. Looking toward number 10,000!!!
You know, I always try to stay positive in my comments on this site, but Vito has a point. When I see a marquee with some variation of “call for information”, I get the sense that the theater isn’t “really” open. Managers, that marquee is your first, and often only, impression. Keep them current and attractive.
I missed the “t” on brought. Here it is: t
Welcome back Hippodrome!!! Great photos! Although I wasn’t fortunate enough to spend any time in Baltimore during the movie palace glory days, it was as if these photos brough back memories. It’s a great example of what can happen. Don’t forget, we have to keep these issues in front of political and community leaders. Saving these treasures will never happen in a vacuum.
Thanks Patrick —– I’ll keep my fingers crossed for the best. With so few single-screeners left (and the recent news about the Astor), it’s hard not to worry.
Tell me I’m not paranoid, but there is nothing listed for the Ziegfeld on either Clearview’s site or on Yahoo Movies. Has the grim reaper unexpectedly arrived???
Grand memories can be made at even a not-so-grand theater. My memory was seeing “Gone With the Wind” at the Esquire in 1974. The Esquire wasn’t much but Tara was still Tara!
Ohhh this place had some bad days. In the porno era, a small section of the main floor was partitioned off for a “live” theater. The porno films in the main auditorium would suddenly stop and patrons would be pointed to the small theater for the “real” entertainment. It seated maybe 75 folks and had a runway down the middle. Of course, I’ve only “heard” about this place —– would never have attended it myself. Hehehe!
The Roxie, with an entrance on a side street, was exceptionally well maintained at least through the 1960s. This was unusual, as most of the downtown Oakland theaters had fallen on hard times by then.
In its final years, this place was an absolute wreck. It was dirty and foul with broken seats and some very questionable patrons. I am surprised it didn’t cave in on itself long before the wrecking ball arrived. However, it had the advantage of being located near the Kress store, where very inexpensive candy was offered from the bulk bins.
Probably more of us saw “educational” films at the Peerlex/Pussycat than would ever admit it. The Pussycat chain actually took pretty good care of its shady downtown theaters.
When I was a kid I thought the signature windmill was pretty cool, but could never understand why we didn’t got a movie there —– I guess a Russ Meyers film would have been quite an education!!!
This nice little neighborhood theater has worn lots of hats —– it also housed a community theater company for a number of years in the 60s, possibly into the 70s.
This was a great house (at least for its era). Among others, I remember seeing The Graduate here.
Does anyone remember the Chimes as a foreign/art film house in the 60s? I think I remember seeing “Closely Watched Trains” here in about 1969. I do remember the theater was somewhere on College Ave.
As a kid living in downtown Oakland, I remember the sputtering close of the Central. Open for a few weeks, then closed for a month or two, then open again. The entire drama was telegraphed by the theater’s huge marquee on Broadway. Hey, even as a youngster, I was paying attention to this stuff!!!
Talk about a great Saturday —– a matinee at the Del Mar, an hour or so wandering through Steve’s Hobby Shop on the corner and a cherry coke at the drug store across East 14th. Ahhhh!