Showing 151 - 175 of 220 comments
It’s good that this has survived, although someone should consider restoring the interior decorations. The original colors and painted designs on the walls and cielings were quite fantastic and were a part of the architects original designs. As it now sits it is rather dull. Although better than being demolished.
Well the July 5th birthday celebration was a great success! Everyone enjoyed the films and score played on the organ by Dennis James. It looks like the theatre will make this an annual event every July 5th as there is a real interest in this type of programing. It is a great way to wrap up the July 4th holiday, and see a type of entertainment that is rarely available today.
There are a few photo’s of this theater at www.jonesphotocollection.com be shur to search using different spellings for “theater” and “theatre” as they may not all pull up at once.
There are great photo’s of this theater in all it’s incarnations at www.jonesphotocollection.com be shur to search using different spellings for “theater” and “theatre” as there are many different photo’s and they do not all pull up at once.
The weir was closed by 1953 so it wouldn’t be in the guide for that year. This theater was originaly owned and opperated by D&R Theatre’s Inc. when they were still under the family control of Ed Dolan. I believe that all D&R Theatre’s were affiliated with Fox both for the films they booked and later after the company was sold and managed by Fox west Coast ie; Evergreen State. The Weir was permanantly closed by the Dolan family mainly because it was the oldest theater in their chain (1916 I think) and it needed major work. It was very old fashioned even for the 1940’s. By the time it was decided to close the theatre the thought was to drive the business to the over the the newly remodeled D&R theatre only half a block away. The Weir had very old electrical systems and equipment that all needed to be replaced. And the building was brick but the interior was built of wood and a fire trap. The D&R had just recieved a major remodel that made the theatre esentially brand new so their was no ecconomic sence to keep the Weir open.
Thank you Dave, it makes me very happy that someone has the forsight to see what Aberdeen can be instead of what it is. This area has so much going for it with the Olympic forest and the beaches so close that tourists can and should be a major ecconomic force along with all the locals who would also patronize both establishments.
This is good news, Aberdeen is ready for some-one with the resources to come in and get the ball rolling. Usually if one or two properties are renovated or restored the rest of the town will follow along. I would be most interested to talk with Yonich at some point and share my knowledge of the area’s theatres with him. Having grown up in Aberdeen it pained me to see the town slide the way it has in the last 30 years, this could be a wonderful destination town.
Another birthday is coming up for the Lynwood on July 5th and this year we are showing another silent film with Dennis James on the organ. We will have “The Black Pirate” staring Douglas Fairbanks (I think) and a short film with Buster Keaton. The Black Pirate is one of the first full length freature films to be photographed in 2 strip technicolor, a silent film that is in color is very unusual. 71 years and still counting!!!
When Fox released Star Wars they did not believe that anyone would want to see this film. I don’t remember what the “Big” fox film for 1977 was but if you were a theater owner and you wanted to play it you had to agree to take Star Wars also. As it turned out the “Big” film was a flop and Star Wars is part of movie history. We had 2 theaters in my home town of Aberdeen Wa. and they put Star Wars in the smaller house (Aberdeen Theater) thinking that it would only do a small amount of business. Boy were they wrong. The “Big” fox summer blockbuster for that year played at the Large theater (D&R) and did nothing.
I agree, Ken was way out of line to bring up the above item as it has nothing to do with the 7th St. or theaters in general.
Lost Memory, took a look at your pucture and read the copy posted with it, and I have to agree I miss this place a lot! I worked in all the harbor theaters and this was my favorite, The D&R had a grand and magical quality about it. Every time I’m in Aberdeen I walk by and my first reaction is to sit on the curb and cry! Then I usually get mad that this was allowed to happen.
Thank-you David for coming to the Lynwood, I’m glad you had a nice time. TJ and I are always working at improving the theater and trying to make it a comfortable community oriented entertainment destination. We also welcome any sugestions from our patrons on how we can do better.
To answer your question about the Lynwood, yes and no. The second owners Glen and Lucille Nolta who owned the theater from 1950 untill 1982 made changes to the auditorium in 1953 to acomodate Cinema Scope. They tore out the entire stage area and rebuilt it so wide screen presentations could be shown. The Lynwood does have the original wall covering and lighting in the auditorium and the general layout is the same but that is about all. We are always adding 1930’s elements to the theater to bring the feeling back. The 7th street is very lucky that basicly nothing was changed from the time of construction. You have a rare gem that was not cobbled up during it’s life. The 1950’s were especially bad for a lot of theaters with reguards to remodels.
I totally agree that the work done on the dressing rooms and roof and wiring were absolutly nessesary. I also agree that the stage rigging needs to be replaced, and the carpet and the seating needs to be restored. These are all GOOD things that have been done or are going to be done to help save the 7th st. As I have stated many times the things that I have problems with are when changes are being made to a significant historical structure with out first exploring how to make the changes invisible. Sometimes things can not be avoided, but more often than not updates can be made that maybe are a little more difficult to use by the staff but the benifit is that they are invisible to the general public. The behind the scenes should be 21st century but the public spaces should be 1928. The audience should NEVER see the inner workings of the theater. They should be transported back to 1928 as if in a time capsule. This is the basic premise of historic restoration. Looking at many historic buildings that have been restored, some done all at once and some done a little at a time, the best ones are those that have sucessfully hidden all the modern updates. The only exception is restrooms. People generally want modern clean restrooms. I see the 7th st is trying to do the best that they can with the funds that are available but there are some things that are just not in keeping with a 1928 movie theater. I have already stated what those are previously. Also any time any theater sells out a show of any kind this is a GREAT thing. I’m not trying to be negative but just want those in charge to stop and really take a look at what they are doing before they do it. And to always keep in mind the look and feel of the theater. Circa 1928.
Haven’t heard anything from Harbor Arts or anyone else in quite a long time.
While the hype is definaltly saying that the picture quality is better, I agree with CinemaSightlines in that if the presentation or showmanship doesn’t return there really isn’t much point in spending thousands of dollars to convert as no one is really going to care. The giant theater chains don’t listen to their customers, all they care about is the bottom line. Lots of ads no stage curtains and boring rooms to show the movies in. I long for the day when going to the movies was fun, an escape from reality. Thankfully I work in a small art house that listens to what our customers tell us and we impliment what they say. We show no ads and have most of the trappings of how movies were shown in the “good old days”. And amazing as it may be we are very sucessful.
David, I hate to disagree with you but I was projectionist at both the D&R and Aberdeen theaters when they were open with Grays Harbor Theaters and later with Luxury, and the screen at the D&R was larger than the Aberdeen and neither screen was curved. The Aberdeen procienium opening was smaller and both theaters had the screens on the stage. While the screen at the Aberdeen may have apeared to go from wall to wall because the auditorium was narrower than the D&R it was smaller. The D&R also had Boush & Lomb cinema scope lenses that were for their time the best money could buy but the aberdeen had very cheap scope adaptors that hung on the front of the projectors and used the existing flat lenses as the base. The Aberdeens scope picture was always hard to focus and very severly cropped because the maskings at the Aberdeen were fixed while the D&R had movable maskings and separate flat lenses. The Aberdeen’s capacity was about half what the D&R was. The Aberdeen was a fine picture house but the show at the D&R was better from a technical point of view.
I’m sorry if I sounded bitchy when I wrote about the new sound system but the fact remains that the speakers are hanging from the cieling where they don’t belong. This is an atmospheric theater and the cieling is an illusion of the sky, go look outside, there arn’t speakers hanging from the clouds. Also I know that the new light and sound booth was put where it is based on the people on the board and the company in Olympia that sold you the system. And the booth is in a place where the customers have to sit around it. The comfort of the techs who run the shows is of the last importance. The audience should come first. The booth should be located at the top of the balcony or directly in front of the projection booth! There by no one would have to sit behind it. Yes you need new rigging for the stage, and the newly cleaned up dressing rooms are nice, but that does not sell tickets. A clean comfortable evenly heated theater does. As far as the movie sound, why did the company from Olympia even mess with the movie sound in the first place? It is OK to have 2 separate systems, now you have to go back and try to fix what wasn’t broke to begin with. I know that your movie audience is growing and this part of your programing is making money. Thats a good thing, but there needs to be a little more sensetivity with reguards to the alterations to the theater, so many little things have been done that are not in keeping with the historic fabric of the 7th st. I wish you all the best but so far I see a lot of good and a lot of bad. By the way their are several nationaly known companys who specialize in building restorations including theaters. Why not gather up all the grants and other monies that you can and hire one of these companys to come in and restore the theatre. This will also include updating the mechanical systemns, there by getting the job done all at once and correctly instead of doing it piecemeal.
Ken: Yes I’ve heard the HVAC on the roof, their was no problem when the theatre was heated with steam, and you are right that the people who want stage shows are calling the shots. One of the problems with the 7th st in reguards to stage shows is that the stage house is to small. Most old theaters that have been re-opened as performing art centers have enlarged their stage houses. If this is what they want to do they need to tear down the back wall of the stage and build out on the vacant property behind the theatre. (They already own the extra land). This would double the size of the stage and allow for modern stage productions. (The Paramount in Seattle did this). As the theatre now stands their audience is dwindling and the place will eventually close again with the asumption that Hoquiam can not sustain a historic arts center. I feel that this is NOT true but there needs to be a drastic change in attitudes at the 7th st. Upgrading the working end of the operation is important but customer comforts come first! And to answer your other question, no they did not move the projection equip.
OK I’ve just been to the 7th st and took a look at thier $90,000.00 sound system, and their new light and sound booth. What a huge screw up! First I don’t know what they were thinking putting the booth in the middle of the auditorium for everyone to see and second they got TOOK on the system! This is a Historic building and their has been NO restoration of any of the public area’s. The new dressing rooms are very nice but that does not bring in an audience. The price of the sound system would have re-plastered the cieling. The carpet is in pieces being held together with duct tape and there isn’t even Hot water in the restrooms! (No hot water heater) This is an atmospheric theater and now there are 7 large black JBL speakers hanging from the cieling (Sky). Not to mention they have totaly screwed the movie sound by running everything thru the new amps and having the movie sound come out of the cieling in an effort to eliminate the back stage speakers! Their movie’s make them money and their live performances lose money, people complain that it’s cold inside because the NEW heating system does not work properly and the list goes on and on. The Parks dept said not to alter the theater and so did a couple of architects, but the egoes in charge just don’t want to listen! I have 20 years in theater operations and the direction that the 7th st is heading in is nothing short of criminal. Yes the roof was replaced and some of the main wiring but there is so much that needs to be done spending $90K on an unneeded 40 channel sound system was wrong. I’ve also been told that there is a good chance that this system is so large that it will prove to be worthless in this building. The 7th st has naturally occuring perfect accoustics, a person talking on stage can be heard in the last row with almost no amplification. Hoquiam has one of the few remaining intact atmospheric movie theatres. This is especially true because this theatre is located in a very small town yet it has never been remodeled and even has the original seats. The only changes have been projection equip. carpet and stage drapes. All the experts who have viewed the place say that it should be preserved as an example of a small town theatre dating from 1928. And any moderizations should be done in a way that the public spaces are not compromised. Unfortunatly this is not what’s happening! At some point all these things can be undone but it always costs more to put things back, especially when the changes being made are unnessesary. If it ain’t broke don’t “fix” it.
As a theater manager I can only say that while my staff does everything they can to maintain the integrity of the ratings system, many times it is to no avail. Parents will come and buy tickets for their children to see R rated films but not accompany them. Children will also buy for one movie then slip into the R film. Or an adult will buy a block of tickets and then bring a group, some of which are not 17. The ratings are voluntary and the theaters usualy don’t have the staff to police the individual auditorium entrances. And lastly Movie Theaters are NOT parents or babysitters, it is not our collective responcibility to be the moral arbitrator of youth. Also the ratings system is corrupt and useless, I’ve seen hundreds of films and many times can not figure out how a rating was given. Some R films should be PG-13 and other PG & PG-13 should definatly be R. I know for fact that their are no guidelines at the MPAA, the ratings board uses its own personal judgement based on each film screened and who is sitting on the board that day. Anyway I have found that most theaters do what they can, but it is an almost imposible task given the nature of how modern theaters are conctructed and ethics of most kids today.
Just read the article on the home page about the Palace theater In Superior WI. being torn down, I would hate to see that happen to the D&R. Unfortunatly the 2 theaters have much in common, both have been closed for over 2 decades and there is much decay and neglect with reguards to the interiors. Both theaters have sound structures but there is no plan to revitalize them. Unfortunatly the Palace lost the battle due to an uncaring city goverment. No one seems to want to try and be creative and save anything historic or old in their towns, the idea is tear it all down and build new, but new is not very exciting and their is no way most developers can match the scale and craftsmanship of building built in the boom years of the early 20th century. So once again instead of thinking about future generations and the fabric of a comunity some small minded politicos determine that all new cheap building that won’t last 80 years are the way to go.
Hooray for the theater management, Anyone doing anything to disrupt the other audience members should be ejected in the manor most likly to make an impression that their behavior is not going to be tollerated. There used to be etiquette on how to behave in public and specifically in movies. While I’m not the biggest fan of the corporate movie theater (AMC and others) I do appreciate their commitment to try and provide an uniterupted movie experience. And to send a message that the ticket you paid for does not grant you the right to do what ever you want. Especially if your behavior is bothering the others and not in keeping with watching the movie.