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Link to article about this restoration of this theater’s lobby
Here is the text of the article, which also contains photos of the work-in-progress:
Remodel brings 100-year-old theater lobby back to its youth
In honor of the Elks Theatre’s 100th birthday this summer, owner Curt Small is undertaking a year-long project to remodel the theater’s lobby, restoring it in a way he hopes will reflect the importance of the venue to the city’s history.
“So many cities just let theirs go,” Small said of historic theaters. “There was a time those theaters were the jewel of downtown.”
Most of the first phase was finished last week, removing a 1970s-era drop ceiling from the middle of the lobby and restoring the curved 1929 “barrel” ceiling underneath.
“It will give our customers a good preview of what’s to come,” Small said.
The restoration will continue throughout the year with changes to the lobby’s ticket counter area, concessions sales counter and the stairways leading to the balcony.
Small started working at the theater in 1994 and bought it in 2008. He has been itching to make changes, but said his budget is a fraction of what was available for some of the other major remodeling projects seen in downtown Rapid City in the last few years.
Next door, the north half of the Elks Building saw a major, multi-million dollar gut remodel last year by its new owner, law firm Gunderson, Palmer, Nelson & Ashmore.
Small told his contractor, Remodel-King Construction, “It takes a lot of $4 tickets” to fund his project, Remodel-King owner Scott Sogge said.
Sogge, formerly a member of the city’s Historic Preservation Commission, shares Small’s love of historic buildings and the theater in particular.
“If I want to see a movie, I wait and go to the Elks,” Sogge said, calling the theater “iconic.” The theater is known for showing second-run movies, independent films and classic films through its Sunday-evening Nostalgia Night Film Series.
“The experience is worth it to me,” Sogge said. “It’s the charm and the authenticity.”
Sogge said much of that charm was covered up over the years.
“It’s a sleeper,” Sogge said. “There’s a lot of beauty hidden behind that ceiling that we have now started to remove.”
The Rapid City Elks built their lodge from 1911 to 1912 at Sixth and Main streets, and included in it a large “opera house” for theatrical productions. But while the Elks fraternal organization stayed downtown until 1963, it sold the opera house portion of the building in 1920 to Art Rose, who sold it in 1925 to Black Hills Amusement Company, which brought the first “talkies” to Rapid City.
The theater changed hands again three times before Small bought it in 2008.
He is planning several events for the theater’s 100th birthday in June, including showing an original silent film along with the live piano music that once accompanied it.
Sogge said he’s glad the theater is in Small’s hands.
“He’s got a good passion and he’s there for a reason, and Rapid City’s got to hand it to him for having the perseverance to continue what he’s doing,” he said.
Contact Barbara Soderlin at 394-8417 or
Buffalo, when you find some, please post them here! Thanks in advance.
You remain a pompous boor. You are the only one making personal attacks (calling me trashy, promiscuous, imperious and low-class. I resent being called imperious!)
When it comes down to it, you can get an STD at the Waldorf-Astoria if you'e with the wrong partner, so don’t be so lofty.
Anyway, you said in a previous post that you went to two adult theaters and never touched anyone and never went back. (You went dancing instead — how was all the drug use and unsafe behavior in THOSE venues?)
In reality, you never even considered having your so-called “Times Square Experience” in any event. (It seems every city and town in America had porno theaters at the same time; nothing unique to Manhattan.)
There was (is) so much more to the area than merely hooking up. That is the Times Square Experience we have spent years here discussing. And plenty of our members DID just sit there and admire the architecture. (Ed, that’s your cue…)
MovieMan, too bad you missed the entire Times Square experience — from visiting the Lyric and New Amsterdam on 42nd Street, up the square to the Paramount, State, Criterion, Astor, DeMille, Rivoli and especially the Capitol. And why not stop in at the Adonis, Cameo, Tivoli, Pussycat, World and Victory, all old movie theaters repurposed in their last years for the adult trade. Nobody ever got an STD sitting in a theater seat admiring the proscenium.
That’s the Times Square experience I meant — the lights, the sounds, the sights, with a hint of danger and excitement around every corner. The roar of the greasepaint, the smell of the crowd….“Annie” playing next to “Anal Intruders!” It was really unique and will never be duplicated.
I love carbon arc projection (as long as the projectionist is on the ball!)
It seems you have to manually sign up for alerts now; simply posting a comment doe not automatically register you. (Signing up is easy, though — just click the link at the bottom of the page.)
Those are two gorgeous pictures, Brian.
As to the illustration currently shown above (Broadway Comes to Broadway) I saw Oklahoma during that series. It was in the upstairss theater, formerly the balcony with a nicely tapered rake and a gorgeous ceiling.
The Oklahoma print, however, was atrocious — completely faded to pink as (Eastmancolor?) tends to do. What a disappointment, as it was my first time seeing the movie. I didn’t go back for any other films in the series.
My question — what year was this series shown?
I was in this house more than once but can’t remember how many seats?
Direct link to Towleroad website and the Bonnie Raitt video.
Here is a direct link, and below is the text of the press release (for when the link goes bad!)
Austin, TX—– Thursday, April 5, 2012—– Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is pleased to unveil its plans for its first location in New York. The five-screen Manhattan-area theater will be owned and operated by Alamo Drafthouse and located on the Upper West Side, occupying the former Metro Theater at 2626 Broadway.
“My often-stated top priority for the Alamo Drafthouse has been to open a venue in New York,” said Alamo founder and CEO Tim League. “When we discovered the availability of the historic Metro theater, we immediately knew we had found the perfect location for our new Manhattan home.”
The venue will feature five screens of new releases, repertory programming and the Alamo’s unique signature programming. Like all Alamo Drafthouse theaters, the Alamo Drafthouse at the Metro will provide food and drink service to your seat and will uphold its famously strict no-talking policy. The new theater is currently scheduled to open in 2013.
Alamo Drafthouse is now accepting applications for managers, kitchen staff, creative programmers, bartenders and waiters for the upcoming Manhattan theater. Employment applications can be downloaded at www.drafthouse.com/about/employment
For developments on Alamo Drafthouse at the Metro, follow us on Twitter @drafthouse and Facebook.com/AlamoDrafthouse.
How’s the auditorium restoration coming along?
Night time shot from their website Link
Is the theater closed? Any interior photos available?
John Derek: Then unknown, now unknown.
I’d be happy if the Ziegfeld put in a bigger screen. There is so much wasted space now above, below and on the sides — it looks like one of the classic palaces with a giant proscenium and a postage stamp screen. (Not quite, of course, but still…) The screen is out of proportion to the size of the house. Plus a bigger screen could be a real selling point for promoting the theater.
Link to Life Magazine, then scroll through to pages 57, etc. There are a lot of other interesting articles in this special nostalgia issue. (Just close the pop-up offer to join.)
Link to Life magazine, then scroll through to page 57, 58, etc. (Just close the pop-up offer to join.) There’s a lot of interesting stuff in this special nostalgia issue.
From the videos on the church’s website it seems there was no balcony in this theater. The interior is in good condition.
As a child I saw Fantasia here on one of its re-releases. Seemed at the time a long drive from my home in Northport.
Is it still a soccer academy? How’s the interior?
It’s open for the season! Website
I remember the blue sidewalks in front of the theater. Except when I saw them, they were the floor of a souvenir shop. By the time I got to Times Square the Astor was closed, although I knew that the shop had once been a theater, or at least its lobby. I wish I had the wherewithal to try to get a peek inside, but I didn’t. Damn.
Pardon my French, but WTF?
What’s the latest? (Reading the comments on the Regency page made me remember MY favorite revival house, which was this.)
Paging Detective Solero!