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WHEELING twin was the first Drive-In I took my kids to, a double-feature of GREMLINS 2 and QUICK CHANGE.
A kinduva ‘precious moment’: I’d told the boys we’re going to a drive-in movie that Sat. nite, but the expression meant nothing to them and I didn’t offer advance explanation what’s in store. So when we pulled up to a speaker post they both asked me “but Dad, where’s the theater building?” (they thot we were just parking in the parking lot). I lifted each up and sat them on the hood of our car, and pointed to the great white wall ahead, and replied “just sit here and keep looking that way”.
The above posts mention the Dancing Hot Dog intermission film clip ad: maybe not at this D-I, but I remember the same ad running somewhere that was so incredibly well-worn that the hot-dog in the cartoon had turned all green from scratches.
P.S.: the movie QUICK CHANGE I still think is an absolute riot. Now, driving out on Milwaukee Ave (Rte 21) I find it impossible to place where the old WHEELING TWIN D-I once stood with any certainty, the various new developments scrambling the landscape so.
M. Coate, continuing the discussion about STAR WARS at the Edens, transplanted from the Esquire Theatre page:
remember I w/ my buddies were at those early unattended SW screenings there. Apparently you yourself weren’t.
M. Coate: tone down your rhetoric.
I believe the SW display ads did omit the matinee Edens showtimes; check again.
Most of us can tell a 70mm screeining vs. an anamorphic one, simply by virtue of circular vs. elliptical cue marks for reel changeovers.
This is how one verifies, despite what the advertising may claim. Or you can just peer into the ptojection booth opening(s), if possible.
Me +2 buddies are one of the few who can truthfully say we saw SW before it was a hit—specifically about 2-3 hrs before.
At the EDENS they had generally unadvertised matinee SW shows Fri. 5/27, and at the very first reel changeover point of the 1:15 pm show the 70mm print broke and the screen went dark until they fixed it. About 30 secs. of film was lost at this point, and the EDENS never in their entire run bothered to replace it, 70mm replacement footage being non-existent. This gap became well-known in these parts, a kind of an in-joke about where you last saw the film. When the EDENS closed its doors, a magazine article explained something relating to this, that their deal w/ FOX for this film was unique among local theaters in that they technically owned the print, which is why their exibition of it was of a maverick nature.
Back to me and my 2 buddies, because the 5/27 matinees weren’t common knowledge that day the EDENS had just us handfull for the 1:15 show, and a slightly bigger audience for the 3:45 show (which I stayed for). For the 6pm SW show however the floodgates did open, and it was ‘swimming against current’ just to exit the EDENS.
I’d love to watch more IMAX films; have caught 2 over the past few yrs.
But unfortunately I doubt it’ll happen, because of the absolutely maddening way this location operates its ticket booth.
If you make it to the front of the line (wherever that may be that night), you could be so frustrated you’ll just skip it. Go buy some magnificent fudge over at Ryba’s a few steps further (the latter I assure you’s a much more satisfying outcome).
IMAX apparently is accustomed to crowds of people standing immobile in long lines at 6 Flags Great America, such is the captive audience. This abuse cannot serve to justify purchasing seats a la Fandango (no, it is not reserved seat).
There’s a city lot north of LOGAN (behind the McDonalds across Milwaukee) that, if it has meters, me ‘n my car never notice them. So (free) parking’s never been an issue. Public transportation users get off the CTA Blue Line @ Logan Square stop (Kedzie Ave exit south side of Milwaukee) and you’re practically at the LOGAN’s front door. (These points alluded to in above posts).
My memories of this place go back to the LOGAN vs. the HARDING days, and the latter threw in the towel around 1961. The (mens) washroom, with bathtub-sized urinals, has a blaringly huge ventilation fan that hasn’t ceased running since about that time.
The place is clean, bright, and questions of safety aren’t apparent to me so I can recomment LOGAN almost without reservation. Management/employees are polite to a fault. 2nd runs, with the occasional double-feature (!), with no duplication between (4) screens. Even limited release titles, like WAITRESS, INTO THE WILD, LARS AND THE REAL GIRL, and GOOD NIGHT & GOOD LUCK have made their mark here.
So what’s my itty-bitty reservation? No trailers at the LOGAN. Boo-hoo!
P.A. mgr told me this past wknd their Sat. am bargain matinee admission has just been changed to also apply now to Sunday a.m. too. Great!
Yes, PIPERS can be relied on to include films not to be found at all elsewhere each week on 1 or 2 of their screens, as already mentioned in some posts above. It’s a point that bears repeating, if you get frustrated/bored with the other plex’s just repeating the same titles on too many screens, and definitely thirst for something fresh instead. Here’re some they ran that I recall favorably:
The Hottest State, Opal Dream, Angel-A, Paprika, The 10,
Introducing The Dwights, Interview, Year Of The Dog, First Snow
All quite good and would not have caught them otherwise. Plus PA always has a spot for each new Woody Allen release, including Cassandra’s Dream.
Sound quality is excellent, and am having trouble thinking of any complaint. Their Saturday a.m. bargain admission is a deal that makes all this movie-watching I’ve been taking-in lately possible in the first place.
In ChicagoLand, definitely the PICKWICK, in near-northwest suburb of Park Ridge. So, take-in a flick there, just as our (ahem) next (?) pres. did in her youth.
Technically a 4-plex for several yrs, the main auditorium is a completely separate (original) bldg from screens 2-3-4, and as such can definitely be considered a 1st-run single-screen vintage theatre (I intend to see “Juno” myself there this weekend). In their promotional material they advertise themselves as the largest auditorium of its kind in the area.
Token gripe: I’m a trailer lover, and the PICKWICK’s always been a little lean w/ the POCA’s.
I was there when the 3-PENNY ran Woody Allen’s “Melinda & Melinda” and the film jammed in the projector gate (during Bach’s beautuful Prelude #1, IIRC), and (naturally) I had to be the doofus walking over to snack counter telling them “pardon me but in theatre #3…..”. Apparently their machinery didn’t incorporate auto-shutdown if film breaks, and they never ran that title again. At least they gave me a free return pass, which I used there later for Spielbergs “War Of the Worlds”.
I admit over the years I only went to the 3-Penny because sometimes they were the only place (‘art house’) in town showing a particular film I had to see. I.E., “The Beach Boys – An American Band”, “Animal Crackers” (a very poor 16mm print I believe), “Looking For Comedy In The Muslim World”.
This place was only re-opened as a theatre (the 3-PENNY) around 1972(?), probably because business at the BIOGRAPH directly across Lincoln Ave had been better than average in the few yrs leading-up to that time; before that it had been many years since it showed films as the CREST. Under any name, it was a small venue, and that was B4 they ‘plexed’ it.
The DALE auditorium exterior is most evident even today—just turn onto Wolfram St (WB) from Milwaukee Ave and it’ll hit you like the brick wall it still is, complete w/ emergency exits that haven’t been cracked in 50+ yrs. It’s obviously ‘heythisisanoldtheaterbuilding’ time.
Never saw a film there myself, as they probably showed their final flick just after I made my debut. My Dad told me he knew this as the DALE most commonly, after being changed from the ROUND-UP. Directly across the street (Milwaukee) from DALE was the NITA, but I swear you can’t recognize the NITA now as a (former) theatre from what’s left of the old bldg—too much alteration.
P.S.: this is a very good, useful thread. Because there’re many around the country (besides Schmadrian) who’ve a yearning to visit NYC with a view to seek out what (if any) old movie palaces remain there (like myself), and could really make good use of insider tips to that end. Thank you!
Yes indeed – that ‘Fluevog’ store building has every (outward) appearance of once having been a vintage theatre of small-to-medium size, and kept-up nicely too; almost enough of an enticement for me to actually shop there. They probably don’t realize how lucky they are. The street address is just a door or 2 south of the famous ‘Flat Iron Bldg’ there.
SUPERMAN 2(1980) probably was the very last feature THE COMMODORE played, I venture to say. This because the poster for that film remained tacked-up to the doors for no less than a couple yrs after the theatre closed and abandoned.
Features I actually saw here I recall are TIDAL WAVE, DEADLY WEAPONS (w/Chesty Morgan), and THE EXORCIST.
Huh? Yes, any cave would certainly be better than a K. GORDON MURRAY film. The point is, I could tell that even as a kid in the ‘60s, and stayed away from those films in droves, even when the matinee tickets were freebies. There’s nothing more cheap and cheesy a kiddy flick than a KGM release! What in the world have you guys been smoking?
Dean. H: perhaps I knew Tony, ‘cause I went to Alpine Camera store very frequently late '60s and '70s. Bought a great seamless matte DaLite pull-down movie screen (8 ft?) from them, besides endless rolls of Super8 film. Tony was a little short, maybe wiry, but always amiable and energetic if it’s the same guy.
Valendorfs was there for a long time. I shopped frequently (w/ my parents) @ First Distributors, where you ordered primarily out of catologs I seem to recall. There was a Kresge store on the SW North/Pulaski corner where you got Hires Root Beer ‘on tap’ (The ‘K’ in K-Mart originates from Kresge, don’t ya know mon). But what was the men’s clothier just a coupla doors east of the Tiffin (later they moved the local CPL branch into it)?
I’ll remember to make another post if I observe development on the old Ferndell’s Restaurant site.
ALAMO Theatre photo, somewhat vintage, but clear w/ full vert. sign.
Where? www.olafire.com website, news & photos tab, ‘happier times’ pull-down, arrive @ ‘chicago nostalgia’ photos. Voila!
TIFFIN Theatre photo, late ‘50s, albeit it’s in the distance on North Ave.
Where? www.olafire.com website, news & photos tab, ‘happer times’ pull-down, arrive @ ‘chicago nostalgia’ photos. Voila!
P.S.; the COOK BROS. store mentioned in above post is on the north side of North & Grand Aves, whereas the former Helene Curtis exploding factory site I described was on the south side of it.
I rode by it during the summer; it’s boarded-up so there’s no longer a church useage. But it’s obviously also the former theatre (building) that I saw RETURN OF THE FLY at. Up on the Roosevelt Rd side it still had something like an (old) colorful stained-glass emblem or ornamentation. I may be wrong but it appears to predate the church aspect.
Terrible outcome—I’ll miss this charming old hardtop. Took my kids there many times, even tho we’re NW Chicagoans; my oldest son was fascinated by their pipe organ. Probably saw there MR. HOLLAND’S OPUS and MISSION IMPOSSIBLE (#1).
‘A’ is how I’d rate this new inner-city multi. This place opened for the 4th of July weekend rather unexpectedly, in a location formerly a large railroad yard (the ‘Homer St’ of the address is somewhat imaginary). It’s really off-street, with plenty o' parking. You enter off of the (recently re-built) Central Ave overpass. Needs more landscaping, apparently still in progress.
Been there many times already; just can’t beat their weekend pre-noon discount admission for 1st runs. All screens are large (enough), sound excellent, seats and line-of-sight just fine.
If there be any negative, the picture focus is typical for automated installations. That is, close but not quite 100% accurate or uniform. There’s a little ambient light spilling onto the corners of the screens from exit signs—I think could easily be corrected w/ simple shrouds. Plus a few too many commercials lead-off a showtime (I’d prefer more trailers instead).
Saved the best for last: I lost my car keys in an auditorium, and would you believe they were found and kept at the customer service desk? I had them back in but 2 days. Kudos to Kerasotes, and lucky me I had a hunch where I might’ve lost them.
NEWS, of sorts, about Pulaski & North Aves (the TIFFIN’s center-of-universe) here: the NorthEast corner of P&N now is demolished! That is, no more Ferndells Restaurant! They were still open for business there (in some form), but a few weeks back.
A few blocks west on North Ave, a Menards is now beginning construction where the old Helene Curtis factory bldg used to be (@ Kostner Ave). Do you remember when that place blew-up in the early ‘60s, shattering all local storefront windows?
Correction re. above post – 70mm STAR WARS here in Chicago area: the EDENS in NorthBrook ran it in 70mm right from the (May ‘77) start. Also they seemed to be the very last house to play it – a total of about a year.
Sorry ‘bout this, but I’ve a strong feeling the 'status’ of the PALACE is now squarely under the heading of DEMOLISHED.
Someone (besides me that is) needs to travel by and conduct and official post mortem.