Comments from richardg

Showing 76 - 100 of 213 comments

richardg commented about Calo Theatre on Jan 12, 2005 at 4:07 pm

I’m almost positive the Calo was converted to a bowling alley during the 1960’s. Sorry can’t be more specific.

richardg commented about Patio Theatre on Jan 10, 2005 at 4:06 pm

I was recently in touch with the son of one of the three Greek brothers who owned and built the Patio theatre. The family name Michalopoulous, was shortened and Americanized to Mitchell. He has lots of interesting stories about the Patio and the 13 other theatres the brothers owned in the Chicago area. When I visit the Chicago area again, I hope to find out more about the Patio’s history and I’ll share the stories with you.

richardg commented about Hoyne Theatre on Jan 10, 2005 at 3:55 pm

The Hoyne theatre was also known as the Roscoe theatre and survivied into the 1950’s. I first dicovered it as a youngster in the mid 1950’s, but it was already closed by that time. Although I never saw the inside of the Hoyne/Roscoe theatre, I do remember its exterior was tiny. The ticket booth was located between the two sets of double doors constituted the entrance. While trying to located some pictures of other Chicago theatres via long distance, I talked to a woman who lived in what is now referred to as Roscoe village. She told me that the theatre hosted teen dances well into the 1960’s. There was a nice “soda shop” several doors from the theatre as well as an excellent German bakery.

richardg commented about Orpheum Theatre on Jan 8, 2005 at 10:43 am

The Orpheum’s exterior and marquee were quite impressive and it was and maybe still owned by the person who triplexed it about 15 years ago.
He also owns a larger theater in Cairo, N.Y. which is maybe 20 miles from Saugerties. The Cairo theatre, which is named the Community theatre was operating and for sale 2 years ago. Someday I hope to write it up. Anyway, sorry I can’t supply much more about the Orpheum’s history except that Saugerties is very “touristy” and the owner said businees was good.

richardg commented about Auburn Schine Theater on Dec 17, 2004 at 4:58 pm

I remember the video store and talked to one of the partners of the nightclub about the theatre. This was before the nightclub had opened and the theatre was still intact. I’d hinted that I might be interested in purchasing the theatre, but he showed no interest in selling at that time. He did, however, tell me about the Paramount in Hammond, IN. and how they were looking for investors. I’d seen the Paramount in Hammond from the exterior only and remember it had a nice marquee but I wasn’t interested in investing. One of the nightclub investors just submitted comment about the Schine Auburn but it’s posted under the Glove theatre in Gloversville. So for some more information about this theatre go to the Glove theatre.

richardg commented about Palace Theatre on Dec 14, 2004 at 5:40 pm

Ah, now I remember were my comment for the Grand went, it’s under the Palace. Patsy, sorry for the confusion. When you’re at the Riveria, please try to verify that the chandelier came from the Bailey theatre in Buffalo. The man who owned the theatre in the late 1970’s informed me this is where it came from although I’ve heard many other rumors.

richardg commented about Grand Theatre on Dec 14, 2004 at 5:23 pm

Hi Patsy, I wrote a much longer piece yesterday about the Grand but I guess I pressed the preview selection instead of the submitting. Anyway, the theatre was owned by Dietner (sp?) who resides in Angola, N.Y. He was not the last owner but owned the theatre for many years. He also owned theatres in Angola, Silver Creek, and, I believe also owned the Motel Drive-In theatre. His son still owns the Angola Drive-In theatre which is operational so if everything else fails you’ll be able to reach him in the spring. I’m sure he’ll be able to help you with the Grand’s history.

richardg commented about Palace Theatre on Dec 13, 2004 at 4:31 pm

Hi Patsy, A man whose last name is Deitner was the second to last owner of the Grand. He is still alive an living in Angola, N.Y. Im sure he’d be happy to supply you with some history. The Angola Drive-In, which is still operational, is owned by his son and would be one way to get in contact with him. I know they owned the theatre in Silver Creek and possibly the Drive-In Theatre Motel as well. I managed to get into the Grand after it closed and took a little tour. It was very dark so I couldn’t see much but I do remember the cement stairs leading the dressing room were crumbling. While on the stairs you could plainly here the water flowing by — I had visions of the huge adjacent body of water rushing through the crumbling cement.

richardg commented about Fox Theatre on Nov 24, 2004 at 6:44 pm

I saw this lovely theatre in 1980. Art Linkletter was doing a free benefit — it was standing room only. Even though the Fox had definitely been “saved” by this time, there were still a surprising number of cars around sporting “Save The Fox” bumper stickers. This is a must see theatre so if you’re able, go celebrate the Fox’s 75th birthday with a visit.

richardg commented about Ohmann Theatre on Nov 19, 2004 at 4:34 pm

I first saw the Ohmann theatre about two years after it had been shuttered. The for sale sign was still affixed to the building so naturally I called. The agent (I believe the listing term probably had expired) put me directly in touch with Dave Reynolds — one of two owners. Dave and I talked for maybe 15 minutes at which time I had decided it would have been very difficult for me to turn the Ohmann into a successful operation. The first red flag was, why didn’t they keep the Ohmann operating along with the new five-plex they just built. The second red flag was, why didn’t they build the new complex in Lyons which (I not positive of this, but appearances would indicate it to be fact) has a larger population base than Newark. Finally, Lyons, like many originally manufacturing based towns, looked like it was having difficult times. Memory tells me the asking price for the Ohman in 1994 or 1995, was $37,000.
It was a lot of theatre for a small price. If, however, crowds are small, the last thing you want is a lot of theatre.
To me, the Lyons of today looks better than it did ten years ago so let’s hope the new Ohmann theatre is a success.

richardg commented about Strand Ballroom on Nov 17, 2004 at 4:28 pm

Although I’d seen both the inside and outside of the Strand the year before, in early October, 2004, I finally saw a movie in the Strand. The main auditorium was showing “Friday Night Lights. I'ts a great place to see a movie but avoid the "match boxes” in the former balcony. The do a lot of things extra well in New Hampshire but turning down the lighting rheostat isn’t one of them. I only been in approximately eight New Hampshire theatres so maybe I haven’t got the complete “picture”. My idea of proper theatre lighting is when you return to the auditorium from a candy counter visit you need to stop for a second to let your eyes adjust. During my eight theatre visits not only did my eyes need no adjustment, it was so “bright” that I was able to do an entire headcount of the auditorium. On the “bright” side, if the movie was terrible, you could always read a book. I can only add: Theatre owners, please turn down those lights so the kids can make-out and the readers will stay at home in front of the fireplace

richardg commented about Majestic Theatre on Nov 10, 2004 at 7:24 pm

I wanted to see a movie in this theatre so I saw “Maria Full Of Grace” for a second time. Joe Quirk, the owner gave me the complete tour. The twinned theatre in North Conway and the Mt. Valley Mall Theatres (six screens if I remember correctly) make it difficult for Joe to show anything even close to a blockbuster film but he’s survived for many years and is determined to keep the Majestic open. Joe’s upgraded many of the theatre’s mechanics and it’s a great place to see a movie. The opportunity to see the lovely art deco wall sconces alone is worth more than the admission price.

richardg commented about Victoria Theatre on Nov 10, 2004 at 6:42 pm

This was a huge theatre for a town with a population of just 8000, although I understand at one time the population exceeded 40,000. I discovered this theatre (it still had the for sale sign on it) about two years before it was torn down. It had closed just briefly before that time but had been neglected for many years.
I climbed an exterior metal staircase and worked on an exit door until it opened. It had a domed ceiling and an immense balcony. Many of the balcony seats had been removed. The theatre offices were really cool and were on three different levels.
One of the major problems with the Victoria was that it could never be heated peroperly so it was usually closed during the winter months. The second to the last owner kept it open year around with the use of auxiliary propane heaters. A Shamokin native told me that you could barely hear the movie above the roar of the heaters. When seats needed replacing they robbed them from the balcony.
When I saw this once lovely theatre, the last 40 or so feet of the rear portion of building which contained the stage area had begun to separate from the rest of the building. It would have taken millions to make the building structuraly sound and millions more to restore its very faded beauty. I was saddened when I saw this theatre because I knew Shamokin didn’t have the funds to save their faded palace.
I returned the following year only to find fencing all around separated portion so a second inside visit was impossible. The following year the Victoria was demolished. This chain had a number of theatres and many of them were also called the Victoria. I have a number of pictures of the Victoria which I’ll post on my planned website before too long.

richardg commented about Armitage Theatre on Nov 8, 2004 at 3:48 pm

The Armitage was definitely open during the 1950’s and the 60’s. I believe it showed films into or beyond the 1970’s. Evidently, the Armitage also showed classics from time to time. The Chicago Tribune from June 30, 1969, indicates the Armitage was showing, “Gone With The Wind”. The Patio and the Hub were showing the not so classics, “Green Slime” and “Charro” on the same date.

richardg commented about Vintage Drive-In on Nov 2, 2004 at 7:26 pm

Actually, the Drive-In to which I was referring is the Delevan Drive-In which is located in Delevan, N.Y. not Holland.

richardg commented about Vintage Drive-In on Nov 2, 2004 at 3:28 pm

Probably the Vintage Drive-In was one the major factors in demise of the Park theatre in Avon. The Park wasn’t open in the during the summer months. Drive-Ins seem to do okay in western N.Y., there’s a small one (single screen) in Holland, N.Y. which I try to get to once a year.

richardg commented about Ioka Theater on Oct 31, 2004 at 6:18 pm

I drove through Exeter on a weekday morning about 11:30 am and, of course, just as I expected, the theatre was closed. I spotted and interesting restaurant and went for lunch. It was a lucky lunch, because went I walked by the theatre again for a second try to gain entry a workman had the door propped open. I gave myself a tour. One side of the candy counter has integrated stools. This is one lovely little theatre and I certainly reccomend going out of your way to see it. The Chrysler, a 1957 I believe, was nowhere to be seen.

richardg commented about Music Hall on Oct 26, 2004 at 6:39 pm

I got to see this grand old theatre in October 2004. Unfortunately, my timing wasn’t right for the Portsmouth Film Festival, but I did take in a Jazz and Blues concert featuring Dr. John. This theatre pre-dates the ornate movie palaces built in the 20’s and 30’s but it’s still worth a visit. The acoustics are superb and other than a few seats behind the balcony support poles, there’s not a bad seat in the house.

richardg commented about Kingsway Theatre on Oct 24, 2004 at 4:01 pm

It must have been two years since I’ve been to the Kingsway but revisited on October 23, 2004, to see “Collaterial”. More updates have taken place since my last visit. A much larger curved screen and digital sound have been installed. The sub run house had about 125 people in attendance for the Tom Cruise movie. Festival theatre are a nice alternative if you’re willing or able to wait a while to see the lastest releases. Unfortunately, many of todays “instant gratification generation” is not willing.

richardg commented about Pontiac Theatre on Oct 20, 2004 at 9:03 pm

The Pontiac did have a balcony and judging from the photos which I viewed in the Saranac Lake Free Library’s, Adirondack Room, I estimate seating at somewhere betwwen 800 and l000. The renovation which took place during the early years of the Schine ownership, in my opinion, vastly improved the interior appearance of the theatre. I have a nice interior photo of the Pontiac from 1941. If I ever get my website going, I’ll put add a link.

richardg commented about Colonial Theatre on Oct 20, 2004 at 4:39 pm

When I revisited the Colonial in Oct. 2004, to see “Maria Full of Grace”, I noticed some significant changes. Grant monies from all levels of government have been donated and lots of work is ongoing. The marquee was in the process of being rebuilt as well as a handicap accessible ramp, although entry is through one of the side exit doors. A plaque outside the theatre bodly states: “The oldest continuously operating theatre in the United States. I’ve seen this claim by other theatres so I’m not sure how accurate this information is. The Colonial is also a seasonal operation so does that still qualify it as "continuosly operating”? Ah, semantics —how complicated they are. Anyway, despite the controversy I stongly recommend a visit to the Colonial. Yes, the popcorn and soda cans are still served outside before you enter the theatre. A small box of popcorn is $1.00 and you help yourself to the real butter. Some things are just better in New Hampshire.

richardg commented about Palace Theater on Oct 20, 2004 at 3:52 pm

The Palace is now a four-plex and has been for quite some time. The main auditorium is still fully intact and quite impressive. I would have stayed for a movie but could not bring myself to spend money to see “Shark Tale”. Anyway, here’s the new configuration: Main auditorium intact, balcony split down the middle {each containing 160+ seats) a very tiny “auditorium” was created behind the main screen or the stage area which contains 40+ seats.
The “plexing” was done tastefully and the original stenciling was duplicated on the new partitions. The theatre had a good attendance when I looked inside all the auditoriums.

richardg commented about State Theatre on Oct 18, 2004 at 7:39 pm

Hi Joe, Are you sure about this theatre having burned down? I’ve seen this theatre at least twice in the past five years and the owner never mentioned a fire. I do know the roof caved in many years ago after an extremely heavy snowfall.

richardg commented about Premier Theatre on Oct 9, 2004 at 1:56 pm

Update on this theatre: This is a picture of the second Premier theatre which was built on the exact same site as the first Premier in Littleton. The first Premier was built in 1920 and burned to the ground in 1924. The second Premier theatre which is shown above was built in 1941, and in 1949, was also destroyed by fire. The theatre pictured above had 800 seats when built and hosted the world premier of the 1941 Bette Davis film, “The Great Lie”. The event coincided with Bette’s birthday so she attended along with an additional influx of 10,000 tourists. Littleton briefly became the center of attention of all Bette’s fans. When the second Premier theatre burned down in 1949, only a year elapsed before Jack Eames, owner of the two previous Premier theatres, built his 3rd theatre on the same site. It opened in 1951, and was named the Jax Jr. Cinema. It still operates today and I’ll write it up for submission shortly.
The Village Bookstore in Littleton is carrying the new Cinema Treasures' book. So, while you are in Littleton, enjoying the fall folliage, and checking out the Jax Jr Cinema, you’ll also be able to purchase the new Cinema Treasures' Book. So, get going.

richardg commented about Hippodrome Theatre on Sep 11, 2004 at 6:15 pm

I saw the inside of the Hippodrome on the day the demoltion began. Yes, it was huge. A radio announcer was joking about how “you could get lost inside”. I stumbled onto this magnificent theatre because of this radio program. The theatre originally even had an elevator to wisk you up to the upper levels.