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Bedknobs and Broomsticks was my first movie here, too.
In Times Square, the “big ones” were at Minksy’s!
Maybe the “big ones” referred to the strippers that performed there, or is that only a happy coincidence?
Spill, Bill. What else do you remember? Did you save anything from those days that you can share? Any specific thoughts or stories about the St. George or any other theater in your circuit? We’re waiting!
I don’t care for all the streamlined starkness, typical of the decade. A misguided attempt to get away from the dizzy gaudiness of prior styles. Looks like the United Nations or JFK International Airport, circa 1962.
Dead, no doubt. Ask not for whom the bell tolls…
I recently visted this theater and had an excellent experience. The renovation was superb; the lobby reminded me a bit of the United Nations/JFK Airport International Style, bland but clean, with blue tile thoughout.
I was happy to see a lovely pale purple curtain covering the screen, rather than pre-show advertising. The curtain opened to reveal a tremendous screen, which seemed to go from floor-to-ceiling and wall-to-wall. The manager later told me that the Cinerama screen is folded up behind this screen, and is ready to be reassembled whenever a Cinerama feature is presented, such as How the West Was Won, which screened a while back.
The auditorium seems to be done in a post-modern atmospheric style, including twinkling lights that go out when the feature starts. The orchestra level seats were comfortable rocking ones. I sat in the balcony (because I could!) where the seats didn’t rock, except, oddly, in the front row, which thus provided a good view of the ceiling and a not-so-great view of the screen.
Needless to say, the presentation was first-rate, with a bright, clear picture and crystal clear sound.
The locals really seem to love this theatre, especially since it was recently spared from the wrecking ball. I join them in their support.
(While in Seattle I also visted and have commented upon the Paramount, the 5th Avenue, the Egyptian, the Colisuem and the Meridian.)
“The show is fine at 9th and Pine!”
This place is the real deal, the one by which others should be measured. What a rare treat to walk in those doors, through that lobby, up those stairs. To sit in a balcony with a thousand or more seats. To see a Buster Keaton double feature with hundreds of fans — everyone on this site should immediately see “Sherlock Jr.,” a very funny comedy about a movie projectionist — accompanied by a mighty Wurlitzer. All was right with the world on Monday night, and I may never be the same again.
Saw a picture here today and it was an average modern city multiplex, with big screens, bright images, clear sound and lots of coming attractions. Loews does run a decent show, so its mainstream fare is decently presented. I spoke to another patron, and he told me he prefers the nearby AMC, because the bathrooms are on the same floor as as the auditoriums. Different strokes for different folks, I guess. We could do worse.
Took a quick peek inside this house today, and while it does have an Egyptian theme, it is done in a very subtle and low-key way, with a touch of funkiness. There are a few Egyptian-style flourishes here and there, and a lovely proscenium, short and wide rather than tall and grand, also with a few appropriate touches. I was glad to see a curtain in front of the screen, instead of a blank screen or pre-show advertising. There’s a small raised loge or mezzanine, behind the orchestra seats rather than over them. This place reminded me of 1920’s non-palace movie theatre, functional rather than elaborate, like something out of “Paper Moon.” I wouldn’t have been surprised if the wooden seats weren’t cushioned. (They were.) That said, I know the locals love this place and I would recommend a visit if you’re in the area.
Visited the Coliseum today, and while the outside is stunning — the terra cotta seems to gleam a bright white and the name “COLISEVM” is clearly visible at the top of both sides the facade — the interior is not recognizable as a theater. There are about a dozen pieces of ornate plasterwork artfully displayed throughout the store, but since none of them are the traditional masks of comedy/tragedy, they don’t seem especially theatrical. I actually stumbled across this building a couple of days ago was very impressed, not even realizing that it had once been a theater, until I noticed the plaque on Pike Street. It really does stand out, and it’s hard to imagine this ornate monument had once deteriorated into a grindhouse, especially since the neighborhood seems like a real silk stocking district.
I am visiting Seattle this week and had the opportunity to visit this eye-popping gem. The manager let me in for a quick peek and it is breathtaking. There is so much to see and feel…As Lucy Ricardo once said, it’s like a bad dream after eating too much Chinese food, only in this case in a good way. Every surface is covered in something ornate, but I was especially impressed by the auditorium dome, which features a huge golden dragon. Even my 13-month old daughter broke into a big grin when I had her look up at it. I am so jealous that people once paid 25 cents to come see a regular movie show in this dizzy den. In a word, wow.
Katie, I have some bad news about those signs. They are gone as of today. I am staying right around the corner from this site, and this morning they took down the marquees, leaving just the “United Artists” sign atop. As I looked into my bag to grab my camera to take a picture of that sign, and the construction worker next to it BANG it was gone, falling 50 feet to the ground. Jesus! Just like that. And I missed it. It stood there for years yet in the 30 seconds I wanted to capture it….
You’re right, Shoe, a search for Valencia should have turned up this listing. The search feature aropund here is a little rudimentary.
Thanks for the tip, BobT.
Boo-hoo, Shoe, here’s the link to Valencia /theaters/903/
I am in Seattle now and hope to make a report when I return!
I just saw the Joan Crawford picture “Daisy Kenyon” (1947) and her character lived on 12th Street; there was one scene where she looks in the newspaper to see what’s playing at “the Greenwich,” and then there was a long, long look at its lovely wraparound marquee. I couldn’t make out what was supposedly playing, but it was cool to see this theatre so prominently feaured.
Located at 81 Larkfield Road. 500 seats. One screen. Independent theater owned by Stuart and Sarah Baker, and sort of associated with AIT, but not quite. Booked by Lightstone. Closed in the early 1980’s.
It’s still there but has been converted to offices.
I wonder in general how many prints an individual theater with a long booking would use. In this case, The Red Shoes is so lovely in Technicolor I would hate to think of seeing it with scratches, splices, fading, or any of the other wear and tear problems that come with frequent unspooling.
Less easy to skip a reel when it’s all on one platter. But there are times when I wish I had a fast forward button.
How many prints would be used during the course of a two year run?
Forrest, you have selected some of the worst 70mm musicals ever made; it was over-produced, lumbering dinosaurs like these that helped close some of our best picture palaces. Audences didn’t come to see these movies then, and they won’t come now.
That said, I do agree that a well booked and promoted 70mm fesival is a great idea; any well-selected and well-advertised fesival would help fill the seats in this last example of a New York showplace.