Showing 151 - 175 of 379 comments
Dmorg: Thanks for that nice write up of your memories of the South Dekalb. Maybe I saw you on your first visit since on my first day as manager we were running Herbie and Crazy Mary Dirty Larry. This was a very enjoyable theatre to work in and even when busy was easy to run since you could stand in front of the box office and see almost the entire operation. The only time things got hectic was when you had to line people up in the mall for #1 or outside for #2.
Your memories of what type of movies played on which side may be correct, but content had nothing to do with it. During cold weather, we usually tried to put the busy movie in #1 so we could line people up inside the mall. This was always a problem as the line would get confused with the people in the mall and it was too easy for people to hang around the mall entrance and break in line once we started to let the people in. Whenever the weather permitted, the busy movie would be in #2 so we could run the line up the hall and outside.
Of course this all changed when they split the two houses. Then, things got too hectic with different showtimes and exit times so you just had to do the best you could and when possible stretch out the intermissions. On some movies like Jaws 2 and The Muppet Movie, and the Bo Derek Tarzan of all things, the crowds were so large you would have an entire sellout lined up while the previous movie was still on. No amount of intermission could solve that.
I have always thought that the original twin theatre was the nicest theatre combined with the best presentation of any theatre I ever worked in. Glad to see someone else noticed.
Mike, This is an odd page to bring up the Weis chain since this theatre was never operated by Weis and has spent the vast majority of its life as a porno house. However, since you asked, all of the Weis theatres in Atlanta have pages and comments on this site. They are:
Fine Art: /theaters/11485/
Weis Cinema: /theaters/11690/
Peachtree Battle: /theaters/12131/
Sandy Springs: /theaters/12161/
Candler Road: /theaters/16454/
Franklin Road: /theaters/12863/
Only the last two were actually built by Weis. All of the others were already operating, sometimes under different names, when purchased by Weis. You will have to read down into the comments section to get to the Weis information on these.
J.B. Canton Corners is listed on this site as Blackwell Playhouse:
Joe, Many thanks for all of your comments relating to Boxoffice. I never worked for Storey, and never attended this theatre after it was twinned, but I would doubt that new seats were used to keep the total number at 900.
The single screen layout had three section seating with two off center aisles, and I am sure that they just built the wall down the center and the aisles became single center aisles with two section seating. I worked at several theatres that were twinned in this way and the only ones to relocate the center section seats so that they pointed at the relocated twin screens were the Tara and South Dekalb. Since the new screens were much smaller most theatres just added the surplus seats in front of the old front row. I think that the old North Dekalb had a small stage a couple of steps off of the floor in front of the screen. They may have taken this out to give them more room to add new front rows thus allowing them to keep the 900 seat capacity.
I never found quality of presentation to be a concern when twinning theatres was underway. The public never seemed to care so why should the owners?
Yeah, that great waterfall curtain got used for about three weeks until the practice of running advertising slides during intermission caught on. Occasionally they would kill the slides and lower the curtain before the show start, but that did not last long either.
Also, you failed to mention the Coke stain which never got cleaned off of the screen in the big house. Too much trouble I guess.
Dave Poland was gone from Atlanta by the time I went to work for GCC, and his place was taken by Larry Pittman. I first met Larry Anderson when he replaced Webb Brainerd, who was the opening manager for the Perimeter Mall Triple. I think Webb went to Columbia SC, but he eventually ended up in Dallas in the booking department.
Larry stayed at Perimeter until 1978 when he went to open the new Akers Mill. I think that he was replaced by Stu Hoffman. If not, Stu came in shortly afterwards. I never met Larry or Stu at the time, but before our GCC days we were all managers for Loews. I think that they were both in Miami then.
Larry stayed at Akers until he was made DM. I think that at one time he was a DM in another area, but most of the time he was in Atlanta. In the early 80’s he left GCC to become the head of operations for Septum Cinemas, an Atlanta based regional. He must have left with a return option, because in less than a year he was back, not starting over as a manager, but in his old DM job. In the late 80’s he left GCC to work for Storey, another Atlanta based local chain. Within months, Storey was bought out by Regal and last I heard he was in NC.
Stu left GCC and went to work for NCN, the intermission slide show advertising company. I last saw him in 1988 when he came by a theatre I was running to check the slide set up. That job was a natural for him. When he and Larry were managers for Larry Pittman, they would travel all over the Pittman district selling screen ads for the Christmas season. Each manager was supposed to do that, but many did not have the knack or interest, so Larry and Stu would earn a lot of comissions and the results for Pittman’s district would be near the top.
That is too bad about Craig Zacker. I only met him at the Northlake. From my recollection of him I would say the he was a prime candidate for a heart attack. I think that Larry Anderson used him as a helper because Craig enjoyed the work and did not mind the extra duties. Some of the managers thought that Craig was just trying to get in good with the DM and that his own theatre could never measure up to the standard he held them to when doing his inspections.
Managing for GCC was no picnic, at least in Atlanta, and I think that most of the managers were just trying to get through the week without anything bad happening. Some of them hoped to move up in the company, like Anderson, but I do not recall any who did. Some of them did leave GCC for much better jobs.
If you will note the two previous posts, Clifford’s memories are correct, but he posted them on the wrong Capri page. As I pointed out to him, he thought he was on the page for the Capri in Atlanta, where all of those pictures did indeed play. For some reason, when the page for that theatre was started, it was listed as the Roxy. In addition to being a conflict with the old downtown movie palace Roxy, the Capri in Atlanta did not assume the Roxy name until it had closed and then reopened as a music hall. If I knew how to do it I would change the name of the theatre in Atlanta to the Capri, which is what it was known as for most of its movie playing days, or the Buckhead, which was its name when it opened.
For many years that theatre was one of the top first run venues in Atlanta. If you are interested, the page for the Buckhead / Capri/ Roxy is:
I have read all of your Augusta entries with interest. For many years I worked for Georgia Theatre Company, and later General Cinema in Atlanta. Reading about your experiences only confirms my belief that in the 60’s through the 80’s theatre work was pretty much the same no matter where you worked. Only the faces changed.
Of all of the people you mentioned, only Craig Zacker rings a bell. For years he was the unofficial assisstant for Larry Anderson, the Atlanta based DM. He would do pre inspections of the theatres to point out all of the flaws he spotted so they could hopefully be corrected before Larry did his real inspections. I only met him in passing and have no opinion either way, but I do know that most of the managers hated his guts. Didn’t he either come from or move on to Athens?
I think that you have this theatre in Augusta confused with the old Capri in Buckhead. That one is listed on this site as the Roxy. It is one of two by that name in Atlanta, the other one being the old downtown house. Really, the one in Buckhead should be listed as the Capri or the Buckhead, its name when it opened. It never showed movies under the Roxy name.
Lost Memory has found an ad for this place as well as the Westgate from 1980.
The Cinemas 3 which is also shown in that ad was the former Riverside Twin which was built in the early 70’s by the Weis company and operated under the name Weis Cinema. Weis later sold all of its Macon presence to Georgia Theater Company which twinned each side of the Riverside. Obviously, this ad was from a time when only one side had been split.
It is nice that your mother noticed the quality of the picture since it was presented in 70MM. Although it was a blow up from 35MM, like all 70MM of its day, it still looked so much sharper than the regular 35. So sharpe in fact, that in the final shootout between Paden and Cobb you can notice that in alternating shots one of Kevin Kline’s cuffs changes from buttoned to unbuttoned and back.
That photo looks a lot like the Gwinnett Place 6, Akers Mill, Perimeter Mall, Hairston 8, and for a while, Merchants Walk and Parkside.
Parkside sat closed for a year before an independent outfit reopened it. The popcorn and candy were still there too. They served it of course. Parkside closed again, sat empty for a year, reopened for a year then closed again. The current operator has kept it open and running well for over five years. Great neighborhood house.
Well, if it is not my senior class president from Sandy Springs High School gracing us with his presence on this page.
David, I remember your Dad working for Columbia from the days when you would bring promotional handouts to school. One that I particularly remember was the fake dollar bills promoting that epic of comedy, “Who’s Minding The Mint?” That one was a tough sell I suppose, but not nearly as hard as what he was trying to do ten years or so later. By that time I was serving my second sentence as manager of the theatre at Lenox Square. I had business dealings with him in his days of working for AFD Pictures, which I think stood for Associated Film Distributers. There he had the thankless job of trying to sell two of the biggest stiffs of the 80"s, “Raise The Titanic” and “The Jazz Singer.”
Reading your post, I did not realize that the Capri and Fine Art (which is listed as Garden Hills on this site) were still Carter Theatres during your working days there. You might find this link of interest:
Last year, I came across a stack of old newspapers from the 60’s. I have always been interested in the look of movie ads and the design of the theatre logos. My friend Mike shares that interest and he wrote an entry on his blog describing the catch phrase some theatres used in their ads and reproduced the logos from the papers. The Capri is one that he used.
During our high school and college years, theatres were a hobby as well as a job for me, and I enjoyed keeping track of the booking patterns at some of the first run theatres. I still have the log, and here are the bookings for the Capri starting with when my family moved to Atlanta:
8/2/67: To Sir With Love
11/15/67: Don’t Look Back
11/22/67: More Than A Miracle
11/25/67: The Comedians
2/14/68: Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner
6/5/68: A Dandy In Aspic
7/24/68: The Swimmer
8/21/68: Belle de Jour
10/23/68: Funny Girl (reserved seats)
9/24/69: Easy Rider
12/19/69: John and Mary
2/4/70: The Magic Christian
3/18/70: Zabriskie Point
4/8/70: The Wild Bunch
5/20/70: Lover and Son
5/27/70: The Sicilian Clan
7/1/70: The Out of Towners
9/30/70: Tell Me That You Love Me Junie Moon
10/21/70: Baby Maker
11/18/70: No Blade Of Grass
12/25/70: Love Story
6/23/71: Wild Rovers
7/23/71: Hellstrom Chronicle
10/8/71: See No Evil
11/25/71: Going Home
12/25/71: $ (Dollars)
3/22/72: The Godfather
8/11/72: The New Centurions
11/17/72: They Only Kill Their Masters
12/20/72: The Poseidon Adventure
4/12/73: Lost Horizon
6/29/73: Oklahoma Crude
7/27/73: O Lucky Man
9/14/73: Stone Killer
10/26/73: Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
I no longer have the last page of that log but I do remember that in 1974 the spring booking was The Great Gatsby, summer was For Pete’s Sake, and for Christmas they put in the super subs and ran Earthquake. After that, I decided to use that fine college education my parents provided me with to manage movie theatres. I no longer had the time for keeping lists, nor the interest since I had enough problems with my own theatre to care what anyone else was playing.
Still, the years from 1970 – 1990 were good times to be working in theatres. As I have said in other posts on this site, those years were the bridge between the downtown movie palace days of old, and the megaplexes of today. At least I was able to experience the final years of what working in movie theatres was like before they turned into the fast food dominated carnival atmosphere of today.
Sail On, Sail On
Clint is correct. The lobby was street level. You went down about 25 or so steps to get to the orchestra via the lower lobby which was also the location of the concession stand.
The balcony that was slightly above street level was really the mezzanine. It only held about 12 rows of seats.
The true balcony was located above the false ceiling that Martin installed during the Cinerama conversion. It is just a guess on my part but I think that it was about two thirds the size of the orchestra. I only saw it as a shell, with all of the seats removed. There was a walkway built out over the false ceiling section that we used to change the auditorium lights.
Like the Fox, the original projection booth was located above and behind the balcony which gave it a long throw and big vertical keystone. For Cinerama to work, the projectors had to shoot straight on to eliminate this keystone, so the booth was moved to a small area underneath the mezzanine. I do not know what this space was used for in the pre Cinerama days, but it might have been a sound or spotlight booth for live shows.
Write up on 35MM single strip and three projector presentations of How The West Was Won as well as 70MM single strip Cinerama. Half way down is a newspaper ad for Circus World at the Martin Cinerama.
Write up on the 1964 single strip presentation of How The West Was Won at the Cobb with newspaper ad:
Write up on the Fox attraction from August 1964 along with a picture of the newspaper ad:
Sorry, wrong link above. Try this one:
Write up on the Plaza Theatre and its longtime motto: “House of Hits” along with a picture of the stand alone Plaza newspaper ad.
For those of you interested in theatre design, this is a link to the Rialto Theatre in Atlanta Ga. Although more spartan in its appointments, the layout and size of this Rialto is almost identical to that of the Ziegfeld. It was built in the early 60’s and replaced an earlier version on the same site. It is now the performing arts center for Georgia State University.
If you are interested, its CT page is:
Same day and feature (Elvira Madigan) as the Peachtree Battle.
Link to the Drive In ladder ad in the Atlanta paper on August 5, 1964. The blogger has also written up some of his memories of working at these places. Worth a look if you are interested in the drive in culture from 1970 – 1990.