Comments from Mike (saps)

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Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) commented about 50th Anniversary of "Premiere Showcase" for "Dr. No" (5/29/1963) on Aug 18, 2013 at 11:18 am

16 of these 17 theaters are closed or demolished, and the Roosevelt Field is a rabbit warren of a multiplex.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) commented about Ziegfeld Theatre on Aug 16, 2013 at 6:07 am

Bow Tie is just doing the booking. The theater is still controlled by lessee Cablevision.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) commented about Ziegfeld Theatre on Aug 9, 2013 at 5:09 pm

While the auditorium is a wow, the ticketing area (lobby?) and the concession area are less than sensational.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) commented about Apache Drive-In on Aug 8, 2013 at 9:49 am

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.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) commented about Apache Drive-In on Aug 8, 2013 at 9:40 am

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.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) commented about Apache Drive-In on Aug 8, 2013 at 9:29 am

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 …

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) commented about Michigan Theater on Jul 21, 2013 at 10:57 am

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.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) commented about Fair Theatre on Jul 17, 2013 at 1:12 pm

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.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) commented about Fair Theatre on Jul 7, 2013 at 2:54 pm

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?

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) commented about Roxy Theatre on Jul 6, 2013 at 4:23 pm

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.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) commented about Clearview's First & 62nd on Jul 3, 2013 at 8:39 pm

Bow Tie is NOT in the house. I wonder why.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) commented about Ziegfeld Theatre on Jul 3, 2013 at 8:37 pm

Bow Tie is in the house, effective this week.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) commented about Shore Theatre on Jun 20, 2013 at 8:46 am

I am an eternal optimist.

You and Nellie Forbush!

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) commented about Capitol Theatre on Jun 19, 2013 at 9:58 am

1958 was a great year if you were a straight, white Christian male. Otherwise, you may have encountered some roadblocks.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) commented about Lyric Theatre on Jun 15, 2013 at 8:20 pm

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.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) commented about Williamsburg Cinemas on Jun 11, 2013 at 7:24 pm

I wonder why this theater is not yet listed in the newspaper movie clocks.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) commented about Henry Miller's Theatre on May 31, 2013 at 2:24 pm

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.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) commented about Astor Theatre on May 29, 2013 at 10:36 am

16 of the 17 theaters listed in the Dr. No ad are gone, except for the Roosevelt Field, which is now a multiplex. (The Green Acres was around until last year, though.)

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) commented about Commack Multiplex Cinemas on May 26, 2013 at 8:36 pm

Too bad it’s not a Loew’s.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) commented about Islip Cinemas on May 25, 2013 at 6:41 pm

Still closed as of this week. Here’s the direct link and here’s the text of Wally’s post:

The aroma of hot buttered popcorn will soon be wafting through the long-shuttered Islip Theater.

The circa-1946 venue on Islip’s Main Street, closed since 2006, could be playing first-run movies by mid-March, through a planned remake of the community touchstone.

Rudy Prashad, who owns two theaters in Queens, has signed a long-term lease to operate the three-screen theater, which seats about 900. He’s spending $500,000 on renovations to the interior, including paint, carpeting and new seating. The theater will be outfitted with new digital projectors for Real-D — the latest in 3-D technology.

“I love the area, it’s a beautiful, beautiful neighborhood,” said Prashad, who operates the Center Cinema in Sunnyside and Main Street Cinemas in Kew Gardens. “I just want to keep it as a neighborhood movie theater.”

The theater was once the pulse of Islip’s entertainment district, with patrons lining up to buy tickets at a marble box-office. In 1982, the single theater was turned into a three-screen movie house; and in 2006, with increasing competition from mega cineplexes, it closed.

James Nazzaro, a real estate investor who bought the closed theater at auction in 2006, has tried since then to lease the property. Several deals — which would have turned the venue into a day care center or a symphony hall — fell through.

In 2009, Nazzaro withdrew an application before the town’s Planning Board to demolish the building and build a day care center.

“For six years, I’ve been painstakingly trying to find the right tenant,” said Nazzaro, of the Bay Shore-based Nazzaro Group Llc. “It’s just really gratifying to see it come to fruition.”

When Suffolk County Legis. Tom Cilmi (R-Bay Shore) posted news on his Facebook page earlier this month that the theater was set to reopen, the message garnered more than 600 likes.

“It’s a tremendous shot in the arm for the community,” Cilmi said. “Main Street in Islip has always enjoyed the community’s support. We have a pretty successfully cohesive area in the Islip hamlet. This missing piece has always been like a blemish on our community. Now that blemish will be healed.”

Prashad, who lives in Great Neck, said he has been greeted warmly as he has supervised crews working on the renovations. “We will have passersby knock on the glass door and say, ‘What are you guys doing? Is this going to be a movie theater?’ They’re very excited.”

Prashad said he anticipates keeping prices “very low,” – in the range of $2 less than the average movie ticket — and that free municipal parking will be available.

“I want to attract neighborhood folks,” he said. “There’s no reason for people to have to go far … to go to the movies. They should be able to walk and drive a close distance and enjoy a movie with their family.”

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) commented about Ziegfeld Theatre on May 17, 2013 at 8:51 pm

According to Lou Lumineck at the NY Post: Moss says the programming at the 1,131-seat venue would remain “pretty much as it is'‘ — first-run movies, movie premieres and special events like high-definition opera presentations. Cablevision spokeswoman Kelly McAndrew also declined to discuss the theater's finances or the length of the lease — believed to have around 10 years to go — but stressed that "this great partnership allows us to keep the Ziegfeld, which is open for business.’'

Link here

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) commented about Lyric Theatre on May 13, 2013 at 8:03 am

So the Lyric wasn’t strictly a playhouse until 1934?

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) commented about Lyric Theatre on May 13, 2013 at 7:42 am

Was the 1922 Robin Hood a movie or a play?

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) commented about Roxy Theatre on May 8, 2013 at 6:20 pm

And as Eliza wondered about her late aunt, “what become of her new straw hat that should have come to me?”

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) commented about Ziegfeld Theatre on May 3, 2013 at 7:14 pm

Wasn’t 1933 the year a lot of the 42nd Street playhouses — including Ziegfeld’s Follies' home the New Amsterdam — converted to first-and-second run grindhouses?