Comments from bigjoe59

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bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Pacific 1-2-3 on Aug 23, 2012 at 12:12 pm

Hello From-

i first traveled out to L.A. in the spring of 1980 and did so for the next several years. to which my question- the first several years i went to the Pacific on a handful of occasions. by the luck of the draw the film i chose was always playing in the main auditorium. when i first went came out to L.A. in 1980 i could
swear in fact i’m 99% certain they still had the curved Cinerama screen up in the main auditorium. so did they keep it up from the early 80s to when the theater closed in August of ‘94 or was it replaced with a regular flat screen at some point?

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Pantages Theatre on Aug 23, 2012 at 11:29 am

Hello From NYC-

i read above that the theater closed up as a movie house in Jan. of ‘77. to which a question- the last reserved seat engagement was “Tora Tora Tora” which opened the fall of '70. so i was wondering what was the decor of the theater’s interior at that point as opposed to today?

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Ziegfeld Theatre on Aug 21, 2012 at 1:44 pm

corny and hokey as it might be the film has always been a favorite of mine. i wondered how long it ran at the Ziegfeld so its nice to know it still holds the long run title. i’m guessing the main reason for the long run was that the film was released when studios still did exclusive engagements at one theater for “big” films. so if you wanted to see “Ryan’s Daughter” you had to go to the Ziegfeld. this was some years before studios started opening their “big” films in 2,000 to 3,000 theaters across the country on the same day.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Cinerama Dome and ArcLight Cinemas on Aug 20, 2012 at 7:13 pm

Hello from NYC-

i thank my fellow posters from L.A.for info about the Dome’s single lens “Cinerama” engagements. i have a new question for you.

as i see it the heyday so to speak of reserved seat or to use the proper term roadshow engagements was the Oct. 1955 opening of “Oklahoma” thru the Dec. 1972 opening of “Man of La Mancha” after which the studios dropped the use of said policy. now in the immediate Hollywood area there was the Cinerama Dome and up on Hollywood Blvd. the Pantages, the Warmer Hollywood known on this site as the Pacific 1,2,3 and the Egyptian for a total of four theaters. but during the aforementioned approx. 17 year period the studios released a number of their “big” films on roadshow engagements so i should think more than four theaters were needed.

so this is my question- during the 17 year period mentioned above what other theaters in the L.A. area were regularly used by the studios for exclusive roadshow engagements other than the four in the immediate Hollywood area?

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Ziegfeld Theatre on Aug 20, 2012 at 6:55 pm

Hello-

in recent years the Ziegfeld has had an occasional exclusive engagement. for instance the two week limited engagement of “The Princess and the Frog” with an accompanying show at Roseland. but discounting such special engagements what was the last time this theater had a regular open ended exclusive engagement of a new film?

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Cinerama Dome and ArcLight Cinemas on Aug 13, 2012 at 12:36 pm

Hello Again From NYC To My Fellow Posters
In L.A..–

i thank my fellow posters in L.A. for answering my many inquiries about the Cinerama Dome. a new two part question-

*since the Dome was rather technologically advanced for 1963 i assumed the period from groundbreaking to the opening night of “It’s A Mad Mad Mad Mad World” was at the least a year if not more. yet a fellow poster replied that the period of time from the ground breaking to the opening night of IAMMMMW was only 18 weeks. is that true? it seems like an awfully short period of time in which to build a fairly large theater. the reason i bring up how long it took to build the theater is simple. i am trying to determine if the decision to abandon the 3-Strip Cinerama process in favor of the single lens version was made before the groundbreaking or after construction of the theater had begun.

*now if my count is correct there were 10 single lens Cinerama films. “Its A Mad Mad Mad Mad World” from Nov.‘63 being the 1st and “Krakatoa-East of Java” from July'69 being the last. to which a question- did all 10 single lens Cinerama films play the Dome or did some play whatever old time movie palace in the Hollywood area that had been converted to show the original 3-Strip process?

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Cinerama Dome and ArcLight Cinemas on Aug 10, 2012 at 1:25 pm

Hello From NYC-

i thank my fellow movie buffs in L.A. for
answering my questions about L.A. movie going.
i have a new question that i’m betting has
an interesting answer.

the Cinerama Dome opened Nov.‘63 with the premiere of the 1st single lens Cinerama film “Its A Mad Mad Mad Mad World”. now considering how technologically advanced the theater was for Nov.'63 i’m guessing the groundbreaking for the theater was at least 1 year maybe 2 years? before the opening night. which is where my question comes in. when the groundbreaking took place the 1st narrative 3-Strip Cinerama film “The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm” hadn’t even opened yet. so does that mean before “…..Grimm” and the 2nd narrative 3-Strip film “How The West Was Won” even opened the powers that be knew in 1961 that the 3-Strip process would go the way of the dodo bird and built the Dome from the get go as a single lens Cinerama house?

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Roxy Theatre on Aug 9, 2012 at 10:33 am

Hello Again-

as i mentioned in previous posts in the late 50s Hollywood was still operating on the A movie and B movie production level. now just because a film is a A level picture doesn’t mean its going to any good or receive critical acclaim or be a hit at the box office. to which what was the last A level picture to play the Roxy that was both critically well received and had a healthy run?

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre Centre on Jul 23, 2012 at 5:03 pm

Hello Again-

i hope i understood my fellow posters replies correctly. to which that none of the grand old movie theaters or palaces to use the popular term built in Toronto specifically to be 1st run houses are still in operation as such from the day they opened. this puts Toronto in the same boat as NYC, Chicago and San Francisco.

also to my fellow poster’s comment on the Castro Theater in San Francisco. the Castro is most certainly a movie palace and it deserves our admiration in that its in damn good shape and has continued in operation since it opened in 1922. but and there’s always a but. my original post or inquiry was about grand old movie theaters/ palaces that were built from the get go specifically as 1st run theaters. unfortunately the Castro doesn’t qualify since its always been my understanding that the theater was built from the get go as a 2nd/3rd run neighborhood theater.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre Centre on Jul 18, 2012 at 2:01 pm

Hello Again-

i admit i’m not the world’s best typist. so in my post it should read “even if they’re still standing”.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre Centre on Jul 18, 2012 at 1:55 pm

Hello To Canadian Neighbors-

i’m from NYC and have been posting a question on pages for big cities of which Toronto is certainly one. here goes- the big era of grand old movie theater building or palaces to use the popular term in the U.S. was approx. 1913-1941. now none of the grand old movie theaters/palaces built in this period in NYC specifically as 1st run theaters continue to do so if if they’re still standing. now L.A. has Grauman’s Chinese among a few and Washington,D.C. has the Uptown but like NYC San Francisco has zippo. so i was wondering if any of the grand old movie theaters/ palaces built in Toronto in the above mentioned period have continued to operate as 1st run venues in more or less their original condition since the day they opened.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Roxy Theatre on Jul 16, 2012 at 4:53 pm

Hello-

sorry about that. i thought anything to do with motion picture exhibition was a legitimate topic. oh, well. never said i was perfect. :–)

therefore since this website is apparently only for the discussion of actual physical theaters rather than motion picture exhibition policy do you know where i could discuss the topic of souvenir programs? thanks in advance.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Roxy Theatre on Jul 15, 2012 at 2:10 pm

Hello-

as always i thank my fellow posters for their replies. today i have an interesting two part question. hear from you soon.

*i have a decent size collection of souvenir programs. i think approx. 120? these are actual souvenir programs that were sold in the the theater lobbies and not the thin but colorful leaflets or pamphlets theaters often gave out
during a film’s run. here’s part one- for all of you with a sizable collection of actual souvenir programs which are your favorites? now this has nothing to do with the quality of the film itself just how well designed you think the program is. my top 3 are “The Greatest Story Ever Told” which may be the most elaborate souvenir program in my collection.“Don Juan” starring John Barrymore. not only is the program itself in mint condition but its a complete program in that is still has the separately printed colorized full length portrait of Barrymore that was placed in the middle of the program. then i would choose “The Ten Commandments” from 1956 which rather than have photos from the film had full color paintings of the scenes. so for people with sizable collections what are your favorites?

*part two. everyone who collects x,y or z whether it be coins, stamps, 1st edition books has a “Holy Grail” that one item they have always wanted but never been able to locate. for movie souvenir programs mine would be the one for “The Birth of a Nation”. i believe TBOAN was the 1st film to sell a souvenir program in the lobby. i found a copy in a movie memorabilia store in L.A. a few years ago but it was in such frayed worn condition there’s was no point in spending the $35. i would be willing to spend a reasonable amount for a near mint if not a mint condition copy.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Roxy Theatre on Jul 12, 2012 at 5:47 pm

Hello to Simon S.

thanks for the info about the engagement of “The Robe” at the Roxy. now the film had a souvenir program of which i picked up a almost mint condition copy of in a memorabilia store about ten years ago. which leads to this question-if a film playing at the Roxy had a souvenir program when the film ended its run would the Roxy send all the unsold copies back to the studio in question or did they keep a few? i have always wondered about that.

the reason i ask is simple. in early 1966 i was at my friend’s house after school and noticed a souvenir program for “The Great Race” on the bookshelf. he mentioned his parents had gotten it when the film played its first run engagement at Radio City Music Hall. when TGR had played my local theater they didn’t sell the program. so i said “oh,well”. the next week i had an idea. i wrote a letter to RCMH and inquired as to whether they had any copies left. now this was several months after the film had left the theater. i included a $1 for the program and $1 for s&h. guess what? the next week i received a package from RCMH which contained not only a mint condition copy of the souvenir program but the two $1 bills. :–)

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Roxy Theatre on Jul 12, 2012 at 11:36 am

Hello-

the first Cinemascope film “The Robe” debuted at the Roxy. but how long did it run on what i assume was an exclusive engagement? the reason i ask is simple. in the approx. 50+ years it was a first run venue even the most successful films ran just so long at Radio City Music Hall.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Ziegfeld Theatre on Jul 9, 2012 at 1:05 pm

Hello Again-

i always enjoy reading my fellow posters comments. to which i myself do not consider this theater in the-“Out Sight~Out of Mind” category. i mean Radio City Music Hall is within spitting distance and people don’t have trouble finding that theater. so considering we humans have the ability to walk and Manhattan has both great bus and subway lines i don’t see how this theater is anymore “out of the way” than any other movie theater in Manhattan.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Ziegfeld Theatre on Jul 9, 2012 at 11:18 am

Hello To My Fellow Posters-

there’s one statement in the doom and gloom article from this past Sunday’s N Y Post that seems made up simply to give the article bite. it says patrons were shocked when they arrived at the Ziegfeld the Memorial Day weekend an the doors were looked. but why would people have shown up at the theater that weekend if it was temporarily closed and there- fore couldn’t have had any advertised screening times.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Roxy Theatre on Jul 2, 2012 at 11:39 am

Hello- the Roxy was torn down if i remember correctly June/July of 1960. which prompts this question-

at that point Hollywood was still operating on the A level and B level movie system. so does anyone know what the last successful long run of an A level film was a the Roxy?

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Embassy 1,2,3 Theatre on Jun 26, 2012 at 3:08 pm

Hello To techman707-

as always i thank my fellow posters for replying to my posts but as the saying goes the plot thickens.

in her book “"42 Street” Mary C. Henderson chronicles the life as it were of the 12 theaters that were built on 42 St. between 7th and 8th Avenues. the 12 essays are chronological by the date the theaters were built. the first essay is
for the American which opens with this statement –“the American has the dubious distinction of
being the 1st theater built on the block and the first one torn down.” now Henderson herself acknowledges Hammerstein’s Victoria as one of the 12 theaters.

now several weeks ago i mentioned that the statement that opens the chapter on the American didn’t make sense since the Victoria was torn down at the end of 1915 to build the 1st Rialto which opened in 1916. as a reply a fellow poster said that Henderson didn’t consider the 1st Rialto of 1916 a completely new edifice/ structure implying it encompassed a part or parts of the Victoria. yet in your reply you said the Victoria was completely torn down to build the 1st Rialto. so since Henderson considers the Victoria as one of the 12 theaters built on 42 St. and you said it was completely torn down to build the 1st Rialto doesn’t that make her statement that opens the chapter on the American incorrect?

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Chicago Theatre on Jun 26, 2012 at 1:25 pm

Hello From NYC-

if i am not mistaken the big building period for grand old movie theaters or palaces to use the popular term was 1913-1941? this is where my question comes in.

none of the theaters built in Manhattan to be exclusive first run engagement theaters survive as such. for instance Radio City Music Hall is now a multi-purpose venue and hasn’t been a 1st run theater since 1979. so i was wondering if any of the grand old movie theaters/palaces built in Chicago in the period mentioned above have continued to operate in more or less their original condition as exclusive 1st rum theaters since the day they opened? Washington,D.C has the Uptown and L.A. has Grauman’s Chinese
among a few but Manhattan comes up zippo as does San Francisco.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Embassy 1,2,3 Theatre on Jun 26, 2012 at 12:48 pm

Hello To Al A.–

you seem to be quite knowledgeable so i have a good question for you and it pertains to the 1st Rialto on 7th Ave. between 42/43 St. which opened in 1916.

in Mary C. Henderson’s book “42 Street” she states that the American of 1895? was the first theater build on 42 St. between 7th & 8th Avenues and the first to be torn down. but then i said to myself- “wait a second wasn’t Hammerstein’s Victoria torn down at the end of 1915 almost 16 years before the American?”. one of my fellow posters replied that the reason for Henderson’s comment about the American is that she doesn’t consider the Rialto of 1916 a completely new structure. this would imply that the Victoria wasn’t completely razed and some part or parts of it lived on in the Rialto. so if this is true then how much of the Victoria did in fact live on in the Rialto of 1916 that Henderson doesn’t consider it a new structure?

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Embassy 1,2,3 Theatre on Jun 19, 2012 at 5:40 pm

Hello to Ed S. –

thanks for your reply. you of course make a valid point about whether the projection/screening set up at the Crescent was permanent in other words constructed along with the rest of the theater or perhaps hastily put up at the last minute and then later made permanent. i guess we will never know since anyone who went to or worked at the theater is long gone.

also after reading your reply an interesting thought occurred to me. if the theater this page is for the Embassy 1,2,3 were still showing films wouldn’t it be the oldest theater building in Manhattan being used as a movie theater? after all it opened in 1910 as the Columbia a burlesque house.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Embassy 1,2,3 Theatre on Jun 19, 2012 at 2:00 pm

Hello Again To My Fellow Posters-

as always i thank my fellow posters for their thoughts/comments on my posts. its nice to have a lively discussion.

now if you read my last two posts i never use the term “movie only theater” just “movie theater”. i admit the Cresent in terms of its size or
ornateness wasn’t in the same class as the Rialto of 1916. but since it did have movies as part of the bill on opening night that would imply i’m sure you’ll agree that the intention of screening movies as well as having vaudeville acts must have been part of the design and construction phase. i can’t imagine they chose to show films on a whim the morning of the opening night. so what are your thoughts on this as a more valid way of describing the Cresent-“the oldest theater i could find in my search that was built from the ground if not as a movie only theater at least as a combo movie/vaudeville house”. i admit that’s a bit much but since is it the oldest purpose built theater i could find that screened movies on its opening night and for some time after i think its distinctive place in the history of movie exhibition in Manhattan should be duly noted.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Cinerama Dome and ArcLight Cinemas on Jun 19, 2012 at 11:09 am

Hello To My Fellow Posters In L.A.–

i live in NYC and enjoy reading this page to see what’s going on in the movie going world of L.A. so i have a question for fellow posters in L.A.. does anyone know what the oldest continually in operation movie theater is in L.A.? my one qualification is that it has been a commercial house the entire time. for instance the Egyptian on Hollywood Blvd. doesn’t count since its been a non-profit film society type house for a number of years.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Embassy 1,2,3 Theatre on Jun 18, 2012 at 1:32 pm

Hello Again to AL A.–

thank you for your quick reply. its always good too read your thoughts on the subject.

as i said i have a rather liberal definition of what constitutes a built from the ground up or to use the proper term purpose built movie theater. now no one can contest that the Cresent was designed to be and was built from the ground up as a theater and opened on the night of Dec. 16, 1909. now i don’t know this to be fact but i’m guessing the technical know how and equipment needed to show movies or photoplays as i believe they were called in the early years was a bit more complicated by 1909 from when they made they debut at Koster and Bial’s Music Hall in April of 1896. my point being since movies were a part of the bill on the opening night of Dec. 16, 1909 the thought to exhibit movies as well as vaudeville must have been a part of the whole design and construction phase. that’s why i am classifying the Cresent as the oldest purpose
built “movie theater” i could find in my search.

whether is was a large theater in terms of seating capacity or whether is was ornate in its exterior or interior design or whether is was considered a major theater in terms of the product or performers it got isn’t important. the important fact is that on the opening night movies were part of the bill.