Comments from Crazy Bob Madara

Showing 101 - 119 of 119 comments

Crazy Bob Madara
Crazy Bob Madara commented about Margate Theater on Sep 7, 2006 at 8:28 pm

The Sensuround films were played at the Ventnor, which was a single screen in 1975. The Margate was twinned by “THE FRANKS” in 1973 and could not have Sensuround. I believed that the reopened it early in December of that year. The Main projectionists at tha time were Ed Hodge & Al Greenwood. The Margate opened in 1937. It had simular architecture to the Embassy. The roof of the autitorium was barn shaped and ran paralell to Ventnor Ave. The door to the booth open right behind the snack bar. This made it fun to interact with the cute candy girls. “THE FRANKS” built a new projection booth in front of the old one. It was a semi automated change over booth. The original Simplex XL’s were retained but got new Christe xenon lamphouses. the smaller side got the old E-7s from the Towne Cinema (Astor), Peerless Magnarcs. Both side got 6000' reels. I’m sure that it was still open in 1984. I was hired to just manage. Bob lord of Northfield was the projectionist. The shows were “Lady In Red”, and “Places In The Heart” By that time the Margate got Platters. BTW, at the time time all of “THE FRANKS” concessions were leased out to the Walter Reade Organization.

Crazy Bob Madara
Crazy Bob Madara commented about Lyric Theatre on Sep 7, 2006 at 8:00 pm

In 1973, The cumberland county business agent, Ed Pepper, offered me a job there paying 14.00 a shift. The Lyric looked kinda like the Landis on the outside. They were playing spanish language films there in 1973. Around the same time I was offered by the Atlantic City local 310, business agent Rich McSweeny, Matinee’s at the Charles for 21.50 a shift & Evenings at the Ventnor for 23.00 per shift.

Crazy Bob Madara
Crazy Bob Madara commented about Colonial Theatre on Sep 7, 2006 at 7:04 pm

It was located on the main drag (Philadelphia Ave.)I believe that it was part of the early “The Franks” chain. My good friend John Rogers of MaysLanding, NJ use to work there as projectionist. John. is now in his eighties. He visited me in the booth of the Delsea Drive-in, when I was running it in 2004.

Crazy Bob Madara
Crazy Bob Madara commented about Garden Theatre on Sep 7, 2006 at 6:42 pm

Going north on Broad St., it was on the right hand side. Around 1972, It had Garden Theatre painted on the south side of the building but very faded. The name on the Marquee was hand lettered It said “Teatro Puerto Rico”. They were showing Spanish language films. The booth was one of my all time favorites. Very early Regular Simplex projecctors, Western Electric (Mirror-phonic?) sound heads. When you opened the soundhead door, you would loose the sound. The carbon arc lamps were called Strong Mogul’s. Instead of an electric change over behind the aperture, The had two sliding metal plates on tracks that were mounted on the wall and slid in front of port holes. The place had a large wooden balcony with windows ob the back wall.

Crazy Bob Madara
Crazy Bob Madara commented about Towne Cinema on Sep 7, 2006 at 6:03 pm

It was on Atlantic Ave, Between New Jersey & Delaware Aveenues. I believe that Al & Barbera Frank acquied it in the late sixties. They changed the name from Astor to Towne Cinema. They were following the same trend that the Charles did. It was their entry into the Atlantic City Market. When in Oct. 1969, they opened the brand new Towne Twin located next to the Atlantic Drive-in, near Pleasantville, The Towne Cinema lost it’s luster in a hurry. In 1971 “The Franks” leased the Towne Cinema to Luis Hernandez. He ran as a discount 3rd run house showing old James Bond 007 films. I was helping him learn to run the equipment. The Union looked the other way. The Booth equipment was Simplex E-7’s, Peerless Magnars’s & Motor Generator. The E-7’s were moved to the Margate when it became a twin in 1973. The Towne Cinema was closed by then.

Crazy Bob Madara
Crazy Bob Madara commented about Capitol Theatre on Sep 7, 2006 at 5:38 pm

I worked there in thr mid-seveties for Al Baker. The manager was an AC cop, I think his name was Mike Freil. I ran a lot of 16mm XXX films there. The 35mm equipment was Super simplex projectors & very early model of the Peerless Magnarc carbon lamps. I ran a 35mm film there called “Snuff” It was shot in Mexico and suposedly showed a guy really killing people by cutting them up while they were tied dowm! It was sick! To get to the booth, I remember going out a back door at the back of the autitorium, and up some real skinny metal steps. The Center & the Astor were kind of like that too.

Crazy Bob Madara
Crazy Bob Madara commented about Beach Theatre on Sep 7, 2006 at 5:22 pm

George Perry was the owner of the Beach when it was XXX. He also owned the Ventnor Twin Plaza (new build in 1973). The Beach had Brenket BX-60 projectors & Brenkert Enarc Carbon lamps. I think that we were running a motor generator too. One evening in 1982, I was running a film “The Filty Rich”, I was sitting there reading a hot rod magazine (seriously), when I smelled smoke. The Autotorium was filled with smoke. It looked like a drive-in on a foggy night. I called down to the cashier and told her to call the fire dept. I shut off the show, turned on the house lights, and pulled the chain to close the metal port hole covers. As I left the booth, I closed
the steel corrugated, fire door. I couldn’t see and was choking on smoke as I found the hallway by the abbandoned apartments and the
door tha lead dowm the steps to the back of the balcony. A fireman
opened the balcony door and yelled hurry up! Get the hell out of here!
As I ran down the steps, they were on fire! I got out safely and
didn’t get burnt. Because I closed all of the fire doors The Beach was able to reopen in a few months. I think that it closed forever in 1983, and George Perry became a District Manager for “The Franks”. The beach was next to “Lit Bros.” dept. store. and the marquee said “Beach” in vertical neon letters.

Crazy Bob Madara
Crazy Bob Madara commented about Roxy Theatre on Sep 7, 2006 at 4:46 pm

I remember Super Simplex projectors & Ashcraft arc lamps. The water circulator to cool the carbons was a sink of running water connected to the lamhouses. The theatre entrance was on the boardwalk, but the theatre ran paralell to it. You got to the booth though the back of the large balcony. I stood on the back roof on the way up to the booth and looked at the Traymore Hotel. One of the projectionist, Richard DeHaven, use to sunbath on that roof. He also use to swim around The Steel Pier at the age of 80!

Crazy Bob Madara
Crazy Bob Madara commented about Shore Theatre on Sep 7, 2006 at 4:34 pm

The Shore was on the corner of Ohio & Atlantic Ave. There was a “Greans Army-Navy store” on the same corner. I met the main projectionist there, Herb Kraig, in 1971. I think I got his name right. He lived in a large house on Chelsea Ave. He was showing “Sexual Pratices In Sweden” & “Tobaco Roody” or somthing like that. The small booth sat in the middle of a very steep balcony. The equipment was Super Simplex & Peerless Magnarcs. Herb refered to the Shore as a “Shooting Gallery”. I think that it was part of the old Warner Bros. circiut.

Crazy Bob Madara
Crazy Bob Madara commented about Embassy Theatre on Sep 7, 2006 at 4:20 pm

The Embassy was at New York & Atlantic Ave. The lobby was an old bank. You entered on Atlantic Ave., but the autotorium was paralell to Atlantic Ave. The screen was towards KY. Ave, similar to the Margate. Baccarach BLVD. ran behind the Embassy at 45 degree angle. The unemployement office was beind the Embassy. The main projectionist there was Rich McSweeny. I believe that he said that it opened around 1940. The projection equipment that I remember was 35mm Simplex (flat gate) XL’s, Peerless magnarc cabon lamps, a motor generator for DC supply. Magnetic sound heads. They ran “Deep Throat” the in ‘72 or '73 continuious and packed the place. I did matinance for “The Franks” around 1974-75. I remember scrapping and painting the Marquee(the city made us do it), and pumping water out of the first ten rows and stage area every time it rained! They usually just roped off those rows and the stagnet water drained away over time. Smelled great! and the theatre was open.

Crazy Bob Madara
Crazy Bob Madara commented about Center Theatre on Sep 7, 2006 at 3:53 pm

The Center Theatre had 35/70mm Philips/Nelrelco projectors & Ashcraft Super Cinex carbon arc lamps. Ed Hiltner of Brigantine was the main projectoinist there. My last memory of the Center was in the Summer of 1976. I was running matinee’s at the Hollywood, next door, and Ed was showing a film called “The River Niger”. It was in the summer of ‘73 that the Center showed “The Devil And Miss Jones” for many weeks.

Crazy Bob Madara
Crazy Bob Madara commented about Pike Drive-In on Sep 7, 2006 at 3:40 pm

We acquired the Pike Drive-in early in 2006 and are winding down our first season. The third screen is now open. We hope to re-open the flea market next year and have more cool events, plus keep fixing the place up. We just had a “dusk ‘til dawn” show on Sept. 3rd. Here’s our web site:

Crazy Bob Madara
Crazy Bob Madara commented about Landis Theatre on May 10, 2004 at 1:21 pm

There is a fund raising car show in front of the Landis, the first Tuesday evening of the month. I too these pics. 5-4 04. I put some on our server.

Crazy Bob Madara
Crazy Bob Madara commented about Brunswick Theater on Apr 13, 2004 at 10:37 pm

I showed “Class of 44” there in april of ‘73. I think that it was still RKO.

The Bruswick, located on the Bruswick Circle, was a carbon copy of the RKO Hamilton on south Broard Street. I remember the Hamilton as being an “END-O-ROLL” carpet store in the early ‘70s.

Crazy Bob Madara
Crazy Bob Madara commented about Crest Theatre on Apr 13, 2004 at 9:54 pm

I visited the Crest projection booth in January, 1973. Don Dingler, with whom I worked in Atlantic City and Trenton, NJ, was the projectionist. I remember a pair of Strong carbon arc lamps.I think that feature was Disney’s “Greatest Athlete”. The theatre was beautiful and had a nice balcony. The street out front was converted into a pedestrian mall.

Crazy Bob Madara
Crazy Bob Madara commented about Warren Theatre on Apr 13, 2004 at 9:01 pm

Located at Arkansas (AR-Kansas)Ave and the Boardwalk. My mom told me she saw a Miss America Pagent there in the ‘40s. She said that the ceiling was lit up with the stars and constellations. I believe that George Hamid corveted the Warner into the “Boardwalk Bowl” bowling alley in the eary '60s.

Crazy Bob Madara
Crazy Bob Madara commented about Ventnor Twin Theatre on Apr 13, 2004 at 7:13 pm

Also in 1979, a pair of Brenkert BX-60 or 80 projectors from the Laurelton Drive-In were installed. The autowind had one five platter unit situated between the two machhines. We’d push a button in the new box office to start the shows.

Crazy Bob Madara
Crazy Bob Madara commented about Ventnor Twin Theatre on Apr 13, 2004 at 6:58 pm

In 1970, Al & Barbara Frank took over the Apollo theatre circuit theatres which I think included The Ventnor, Margate, Embassy (New york & Atlantic Ave) Apollo, and Strand (on the Boardwalk). At the time, the Franks were operating the brand new Towne Twin (next to Shore Mall), the recently re-located Atlantic Drive-in, the Absecon DI. the Towne Cinema (formerly the Astor, on Atlantic between New Jersey & Delaware Aves). The Circus DI. the Rivoli in Hammonton, and the Greenwood in Trenton.

I was assigned to work at the Ventnor in April 1973 by Rich
McSweeny, business agent of local 310 I.A.T.S.E. The Ventnor was still a 800 seat single screen venue and was on the “run down” side. I was told that the theatre was sometimes used as an indoor golf driving range! The booth had a pair of Super Simplex projectors with Sentry Fire Shutters. Peerless Magnarc carbon arc lamps, Western Electric (ERPI) sound heads and tube amp. A DC generator was in the adjacient room (wall now removed)

In March 1974, I showed up for work, but the theatre was dark. The Marquee said “CLOSED DUE TO ENERGY CRISIS”. A few weeks later, they remodeled the Ventnor. They put installed a drop ceiling and put blue & silver drapes on side walls. They never repaired the original ceiling and when it rained,-you guessed it, a chunk of the old concrete & rusted mesh came flying through. SCARRY! The old booth equipment was 86ed and the Super Simplex,Peerles, and Motiograph pedastals from the Rialto in Pleasantville wre installed. The Western Electric,(from the days when they leased the sound equipment like a telephone),was replaced with a university sound 35 (Altec)solid state amp. We re-opened with Blazin' Saddles. The summer of 1975 brought us Senssuround & the film “EaRtHqUakE”. The next year we had “ROLLER

The Ventnor became the Ventnor Twin in the summer of ‘79. Doug Rieck and I installed the Christe xenon lamps and autowind platter system. I then put on a suit & tie and became manager/operator. The original marquee(read VENTNOR in red-orange neon) was damaged by a truck and replaced with the marquee from the Apollo.

Even after the Ventnor was twined and it rained, -you guess it! Bring a hard hat! I’m pleased to see that the theatre has been restored. I married my first wife in 1974 and we lived in one of the overhead apartments. My CB radio use to bleed through the Ventnor’s sound system!

Crazy Bob Madara
Crazy Bob Madara commented about RKO Lincoln Theatre on Apr 12, 2004 at 7:46 pm

I worked at the Lincoln as a projectionist from 1970-72. I counted 75 steps from the lobby to the booth! There were three Super Simplex projectors & Ashcraft Superpower carbon arc lamps. We had a Hall & Conelly spotlight. I once saw Bolton Holmes play on a Sunday afternoon. We had some great R&B concerts featuring James Brown, The Stylistics, The Staple Singers, and the Delphonics. I was sick when they tore it down. I also worked at the RKO Trent, Mayfair, Brunswick, Greenwood, and also many theatres in Atlantic City. Crazy Bob.