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The link above has this history:
Located on Main Street in the City of Yuma’s central business district, the Yuma Theatre building was constructed in 1912 and originally functioned as a vaudeville and movie house. The Yuma Theatre building has performed an important role in Yuma’s commercial, cultural, and social history ever since.
In 1911, Miss Anna Desmond, a resident of Los Angeles, who had earlier lived in Yuma, and her two sisters, Catherine and Nora owned the property fronting on Main Street. The site was occupied by two small brick and frame store buildings, one housing a laundry and the other, the Parks Plumbing establishment. Deciding to improve the property, Miss Desmond engaged Brooks and Cargill, Yuma architects and on November 2, 1911 a construction contract for a theater building was let and awarded to Charles Olchester, a local contractor. Miss Desmond also arranged to lease the new building to A. J. Zeller of Yuma, one of the operators of the Airdome Theatre located at Madison and First Street.
Known as the Zeller Theater, the building was 50 feet wide and 125 feet deep with a 12 foot high ceiling. The interior was finished in “old mission style” with a seating capacity of 900 on a sloping floor. The Zeller Theater was also the first theater in Yuma to contain fixed seating and to have a raked orchestra. The Theater also had the ability to show motion pictures.
The grand opening for the Zeller Theater was February 21, 1912 with A. J. Zeller operating the theater until about the spring of 1913. At this time, he abandoned his lease and removed the fixed seating. The building was then used for the occasional boxing match with temporary seating.
On September 8, 1913, the Zeller Theater burned in a spectacular fire that destroyed the theater portion of the building. The roof was destroyed as well as the interior, the temporary seating and the “moving picture machine.” Fire damage to the roof framing the store room still exists.
Within three months of the fire, Miss Desmond made arrangements to repair, rebuild and lease the new structure to a new tenant, Riley’s Garage. Riley’s Garage officially opened the first week of January 1914 and occupied the building for eleven and a half years.
In May 1926, Miss Desmond announced she would spend $40,000 to reconstruct the building for theater purposes. Miss Desmond also entered into a 10-year lease with the Arizona movie and theater promoters Rickards and Nace to operate the theater. The Yuma Theatre had the grand opening on January 12, 1927.
Rickards and Nace operated the theatre, using it almost exclusively for films, until January 25, 1936. On that date, a fire broke out in the attic above the stage while an afternoon film was being shown, with much of the theatre portion of the building damaged beyond repair from smoke and water.
Miss Desmond announced that repair of the building would begin at once with the design contract let to local contractor Lee A. Dennis. The design included a new stage, lighting fixtures, decorations, seats, drapes, carpets and a modern cooling system. The lobby and theater were redecorated by the Tony Heinebergen Company and included Art Deco light fixtures with a “wheat shaft” theme and a bas-relief cast plaster mural installed in the lobby. Construction was reported to “run into a considerable sum.”
The Yuma Theatre re-opened on April 11, 1936. In the decades since, the exterior of the Yuma Theatre has gone thru several architectural styles but in 2004 the Theatre’s front facade was restored to its 1912 grandeur. The Yuma Theatre has been in operation almost continuously since 1936. Today, when you enter the Historic Yuma Theatre, you will see an interior decor that has remained virtually unchanged since 1936, complete with two monumental mermaid murals in the audience chamber and the only functioning carbon arc projectors west of the Mississippi.
The Historic Yuma Theatre is now managed by the City of Yuma with events occurring year-round including original film screenings, community theater productions, Saturday children’s matinees, Arizona Historical Society tours and film series, jazz festivals, art symposiums, education workshops, graduation ceremonies, choir concerts, and special events and presentations in connection with Downtown Mall events.
Forming the centerpiece of the Yuma Art Center, the newly restored Historic Yuma Theatre features seating for 640, ADA accessibility, excellent acoustics, plus state-of-the-art lighting, sound, and digital projection capability. The Historic Yuma Theatre is available for lectures, film showings, demonstrations, presentations, seminars, artist-in-residence programs, and other education gatherings.
Recent news article:
The volunteers, staff, and especially the crusading leader, Juliet Goodfriend, should be commended for the great work they’ve done so far at the Bryn Mawr!
Rob Bender’s recent exterior photo especially the wonderful towering vertical sign:
Great report. Thanks so much! You could post on your photos on a free photo website like www.flickr.com and that link that gallery to this page. I’m sure many people would love to see them.
Recent exterior photo by Rob Bender:
One of the travel books in the bookstores states auditorium seating sizes ranges from 96 to 260 seats.
In January 1997, I saw “People vs. Larry Flynt” in the smaller auditorium (former loge) after the theater reopened as a two screener. 13 rows of tall chairs in sections of 7, 14, 7, total of 364. Estimated screen for scope at 35 to 40 feet wide. Orange red curtain used. Film projected in SDDS but no surround sound appeared to have been used then.
In the same month, I saw “Evita” in the large auditorium. 21 rows of 6, 16, 6 seats, total of 588 seats. Screen size 50 feet wide, curved, by 20 feet tall. Curtain not used. Dolby Digital There were 4 speakers in the back, but they didn’t use the 10 speakers on the side walls at that time.
in case link breaks, here is above story:
BEACH THEATER MAY HAVE A BRIGHTER FUTURE
Corin Wilson – 9/7/07 04:46 pm
CAPE MAY—A loan has been approved to help save Cape May’s beach theater.
At a special meeting Friday in Cape May, a check was presented to the Beach Theater Foundation for $100,000 to help keep the 60-yearâ€"old movie house open.
Officials say this money will hopefully secure the theater’s future in the city, “This will enable them to sign their lease agreement and take possession of the theater for 12 to 18 months with the hope of permanent acquisition,” said Councilman David Kurkowski.
The theater will be open to the public and fundraising efforts to help keep the theater open will be ongoing for the next 12 to 18 months.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a chance that the Ziegfeld will be landmarked. The Beekman should’ve been landmarked!
The Ziegfeld is a wonderful moviehouse, with an interior far more interesting than its exterior. I’ve posted these before, but they are lost with so many posts above.
oops- the “Can’t wait for this one. I may have to take the day off” comment is from the Ziegfeld poster, not me. I might go there & see it, though.
Steve Guttag- you are an expert.
It seems that the NYC Ziegfeld digital projector will show a digital print (if I understand this correctly). Will it look as good as the original 70 mm print? or at least, will it look as good as 35 mm?I myself saw the version shown at the Uptown only in 35 mm in 1998 at WB 75th Anniv Film Festival. Blade Runner looked great on the Uptown screen then. I hadn’t fallen too much for the movie on TV, but on the big screen…
this from the Ziegfeld thread, which I place here as I’m not sure whether you are reading that thread, but feel feel to comment there
or here, of course-Can’t wait for this one.
I may have to take the day off.
SPECIAL ENGAGEMENT AT THE ZIEGFELD
Deckard is a Blade Runner, a police man of the future who hunts down and terminates replicants, artificially created humans. He wants to get out of the force, but is drawn back in when 4 “skin jobs”, a slang term for replicants, hijack a ship back to Earth. The city that Deckard must search for his prey is a huge, sprawling, bleak vision of the future. This film questions what it is to be human, and why life is so precious.
Friday October 5th – Thursday October 18th (New Print)
<<All of this was occurring as the fifth version â€" Scott’s final cut â€" was painstakingly assembled from original elements, including the original 65mm negative. De Lauzirika has been working on it over a seven-year period. â€œAnd this time, Ridley approved every single thing that went into it â€" every single cut, every single effect,â€ he says.â€œWe’re right back to square one,â€ Galvao says of The Final Cut elements. â€œWe scanned the cut negative, plus the negatives we dug out of vaults in England, here at Warner Bros., and [co-executive producer] Jerry Perenchio’s vault as well. We went through and viewed every frame of every roll that we could find.â€ â€œHonestly, I got to go through 977 boxes and cans of mag, IP, INs, 65mm visual effects comps, 35mm original dailies â€¦ everything ever printed,â€ de Lauzirika says. â€œI saw amazing, amazing material â€" much of which we’ve been able to pull and put on the DVD in some form, even if it didn’t make it into The Final Cut.â€œI think The Final Cut is the best version of them all. The picture and sound on it are just astounding. We really put a lot of work into the restoration, and we transferred the actual original neg at 4K, and it just looks stunning. Even more stunning are the visual effects, which were originally 65mm elements, then scanned at 8K. It looks like 3D. It’s so sharp, with all these details that I’d never seen before.â€
According to Galvao, the assembly and restoration for The Final Cut included some reworking of the original effects â€" tightening some mattes, doing some wire removal, etc.>>
posted by celboy on Sep 7, 2007 at 10:51am
Such a contrast to today’s movie going!
You probably mean Mr. William Goldman, the owner of this and other theaters?
Exterior shown last night during Fox TV Channel 29 news story about closure of AMC Orleans 8:
Exterior shown last night on Fox TV Channel 29 news as part of story on closure of AMC Orleans 8:
shown last night on Fox TV Channel 29 news in its unfortunate state as a bank (during the story of the closure of the AMC Orleans 8):
shown last night on Fox TV Channel 29 news as an office building now, part of story on closure of AMC Orleans 8:
Shown on Fox TV Channel 29 news last night as a 99 cent store, as part of story on closure of AMC Orleans:
In June 2002, I saw Insomnia (Al Pacino as a detective) in one of the twin auditoriums. I could tell how large the main auditorium had been. Even though some seats didn’t perfectly face the screen, there were many seats that had fine views. I liked the Baederwood as a twin and would have enjoyed seeing more movies there.
In November, 2005, I saw North Country and was surprised to see it on a reasonably large screen in of the smaller auditoriums of the then 4 screener. The screen was larger than often found in the smaller auditoriums of stadium seated megaplexes!
Hearing that the theater was going to close, I attended during its last weekend to experience a movie in one of the larger auditoriums. I saw the animated Cars.
The Baederwood was an even better theater than it had been as a twin. All four screens were decently sized.
The neighborhood had interesting shops including a Barnes and Noble bookstore. The strip mall had a deli since it opened, a pizza shop, and other eating choices. The exterior of the theater had the appearance of a single screen theater. The canopy that had been added gave people a sense of arrival at an elegant theater.
Here is my photo of the exterior from 2006 shortly before it closed:
And, my photo of the soaring glass enclosed lobby:
These exterior photos are from The Exhibitor magazine:
my 2007 photo:
The “zone” of movie theaters which didn’t show the same movie at the same time included the Plaza, the nearby King and Queen, a movie theater at the Valley Forge Convention Center (possibly in the hotel), and the Gateway at Devon, which was a three screener operated by AMC.
Mainstream movies were shown. In September 1994, I saw Forrest Gump at the Plaza. The next month, I saw Quiz Show. In November 1998, I saw The Siege.
Philadelphia Inquirer 8-30-07
photo 19 at slide show has photo of the theater:
Greetings from Asbury Park
In his 1973 calliope rock song “4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy),” Bruce Springsteen was already looking to put his adopted hometown in the rearview mirror.
“This boardwalk life for me’s through,” sang Springsteen, a native of nearby Freehold. “You know, you ought to quit this scene, too.”
That’s the thing about Asbury Park: The songs that romanticize the Jersey resort town’s honky-tonk charm are about getting out of town, as quickly as possible.
There’s a Promised Land out there, somewhere. But it’s located far “beyond the Palace,” as Springsteen put it in “Born to Run,” in a reference to the boardwalk amusement park that was demolished in 2004, but whose iconic clown face, Tillie, now looks out from a wall of the Wonder Bar, a few blocks north on Ocean Avenue.
But the faded beach town – whose onetime residents include Jack Nicholson, Stephen Crane, Danny DeVito, and wrestler Bam Bam Bigelow, who named his trademark over-the-shoulder reverse pile-driver move “Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J.” after Springsteen’s debut album – has retained a ghostly allure as it has struggled fitfully to renew itself.
For me, growing up an hour down the Garden State Parkway in Ventnor, Asbury was a place to escape to, a destination where there was a music scene, unlike the rest of the culturally barren Jersey Shore. We made pilgrimages to the still-active Stone Pony – the gypsy-punk band Gogol Bordello plays there Oct. 15 – in hopes of catching a Springsteen pop-in. Sometimes, we hit the jackpot. Others, all we got was Gary U.S. Bonds.
In director John Sayles' Baby, It’s You, Asbury Park – always regarded with suspicion by the Methodist community of Ocean Grove, just to the south – is where Vincent Spano and Rosanna Arquette play hooky from a Trenton high school in search of teenage kicks.
And in the new memoir Greetings From Bury Park, Pakistani-born British author Sarfraz Manzoor gets Springsteen fever and finds himself on a strangely abandoned beach, delighted to see that Madam Marie’s fortune-telling booth still stands. (Bury Park is the name of the neighborhood where he grew up in Luton, England.)
This decade, a revival is under way in Asbury, whose heyday as a vacation getaway for New Yorkers came in the years before World War II, though it has hardly transformed the place overnight. There’s a thriving gay community, and downtown, posh Portuguese and sushi restaurants.
A row of condos stands where Tillie used to entice couples to risk a ride on the Tunnel of Love. There’s a $200 million development plan to preserve the town’s cultural heritage in the form of a rehabbed Convention Hall, as well as the art deco Paramount Theatre and the (non-gambling) Casino, along with a couple of thousand condo units.
But when I drove there on a hot Sunday afternoon in July – stopping on the way into town at what seemed like the loneliest Starbucks in the world – I saw the same Asbury that Eric Mencher captures in these photos, the same one Springsteen wrote about in “My City of Ruins,” with a handful of people on the beach, a spooky stillness in the air.
All shore towns have a touch of sadness about them, because summer is forever ending, and good times disappear along with it. So looking out at forlorn empty lots and an all-but-abandoned boardwalk in Asbury in high season can be doubly heartbreaking.
You get a sense of being lost in time in a place trying valiantly to hang onto what’s best about its past, while telling itself that there really is a brighter future ahead.
8-30-07 photo by Rob Bender of exterior:
Beautiful photo by Rob Bender of exterior, 8-29-07 here:
8-27-07 photo by Rob Bender of exterior especially vertical blade sign:
Today’s Philadelphia Inquirer:
fight for the Beach
By Jacqueline L. Urgo
INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
GERALD S. WILLIAMS/Inquirer
Jerry Gaffney hopes his committee can save the Beach Theater from destruction.
CAPE MAY – Preservationists in this Jersey Shore town, where Victoriana has long reigned as the architectural sensibility, are mounting a surprising fight to save a 1950s-era movie theater.
Beach Theatre – built in a Neocolonial Revival style that merged a flashy red neon marquee with Early American lanterns and wainscoting – is as much a part of the colorful fabric of this resort as the 600 Victorian houses that line its narrow streets, according to those looking to save the structure.
“People love this theater. It’s been here for years and it’s a big part of this town, both for the people who live here and for visitors,” said Jerry Gaffney, a member of the board of directors of the Beach Theatre Foundation Inc., a nonprofit group that has collected about 1,300 signatures on a petition seeking to preserve and restore the theater.
The group’s vision for the property, which is just across the street from the Atlantic Ocean, is to create an art-house style theater that would show varied genres of films – including animated, indie and foreign – on its four screens. The dozen or so retail stores and eateries that surround the theater, which was built in 1950, also would be upgraded.
But Frank Investments, a Florida-based entertainment and real estate development company, earlier this year obtained permits to demolish the 860-seat theater and adjacent stores to build an upscale condominium and shopping complex.
Gaffney said preservationists might be able to stave off the development – at least for a year – if the Cape May City Council approved a $100,000 payment to Frank Investments.
The payment would give the foundation control of the theater for a year; in that time, the foundation would try to come up with $12 million to buy the property or find an investor who would agree not to tear down the structure.
A public hearing and City Council vote are scheduled for Sept. 4 at 1 p.m.
Bruce C. Frank, president of Frank Investments, has said that if his company moves forward with the project, it will be “posh, in the Ritz-Carlton style,” providing something that “is missing in Cape May.”
“People want luxury. They want high end,” Frank told the New York Times earlier this month.
Since the 1970s, the town, which in its entirety is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, has followed strict architectural-preservation codes within its downtown district. Home and business owners are required to adhere to historically accurate paint colors, exterior trims, doors and fences.
What has evolved is an enclave of Victorian architecture known nationwide for its numerous bed-and-breakfast inns.
There are signs, however, that Frank may be right about an appetite for the high life.
When a group of investors spent $22 million five years ago to remake the closed Congress Hall into an upscale establishment charging as much as $950 a night for a room, longtime Cape May residents said it wouldn’t fly.
But now Versace-clad New Yorkers and Philadelphians sporting Hermes luggage arrive by the luxury SUV-load for stays booked months in advance. The hotel’s 106 rooms and suites have consistently been booked solid during prime vacation times since the facility reopened in 2002.
“I think since they redid Congress Hall, you really can feel a change in the air when you walk around the [Washington Street pedestrian] mall,” said Terry Wilkins, 48, of North Cape May, whose family has been in the area since the 1860s.
“People are much more urbane, better dressed than they used to be,” Wilkins said. “But I think, in a way, it’s eroding the small-town feel that Cape May always had. I don’t think a lot of people like the word upscale when they hear it used in relation to Cape May.”
Some people simply like Cape May the way it is. A few years ago, officials proposed a parking garage to alleviate congestion, but it didn’t get far.
“We don’t need a parking garage,” said Fred Jones, 77, who has lived in the area his entire life. “Imagine what that would look like here. Talk about ruining the character of the place.”
Those fighting for Cape May’s lone movie house also talk about the town’s unique character.
“It’s a David and Goliath situation when it comes to the idea of preservation vs. condos,” said Lelah Eppenbach, executive director of the Beach Theatre Foundation. “But it’s a defining moment for the town, and I think that people are in favor of saving the theater. There’s a lot of potential there, and I think people realize you can upgrade the space without completely demolishing the theater and building condos.”