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The airplanes didn’t show movies in 35 mm. Did the Queen Mary?
Dreams are great. Reality is that nowhere in the USA is there a movie palace that was built to seat more than two thousand people and still open for daily movies ! There are many movie palaces hosting live performances and some have a film series. Clear Channel believed, and Friends of the Boyd agree, that the Boyd is a viable theater. New owner Live Nation is changing its focus on Rock N'Roll rather than Touring Broadway Musicals, so the Boyd project is stalled.
Advocacy as a daily movie palace, with one screen, would be useless. Bloggers kept suggesting such for New York City’s DeMille, /theaters/501/ and that space is being gutted! There just aren’t enough fans who would keep any theater built this big in the black, not in New York City, and not in Philadelphia.
Friends of the Boyd follow the path that has saved countless former movie palaces nationwide, which is mixed use. Live events will pay the bills and bring many people to the Boyd to enjoy first class entertainment there. A film series of classics, festivals, and premieres, will enable people to also experience the Boyd for film. Restored to its original Art Deco glamour, the Boyd will once again be a showplace and entertain future generations.
Regarding Bob’s post of September 13, I hope there’s photos somewhere of the 1930’s era ceiling light fixtures and the original colors of the column!
When I see Warner/Grand appear on Comments, I know that it is THIS theater and none other, so the current label is quite functional!
Is REndres projecting film in a residence or at a film studio?
Ed, There’s NO digital projector available yet to capture the high resolution of 70 mm. At most, a 4k projector might equal 35 mm. I’d much rather see 70 mm.
Exterior photos here:
That beautiful photo is from Opening Day 1928 and belongs to the Irvin R. Glazer Collection of The Athenaeum of Philadelphia. It shows the original Art Deco vertical sign, marquee, and ticket booth.
Photos of this theater:
Entry from Shopping Mall:
HugeLobby of movie theater:
Mural in Lobby:
Ceiling Light Fixture
What time last night was it over?
Did they use the 4 track sound?
So, signed. Good luck, Michael.
The restored Spartacus was in 1991 with Cineplex Odeon as operator. I’ve seen many great classics especially at the Uptown in DC, but I missed this one there & at Ziegfeld. I caught up with it at the Cineplex Odeon Worldwide, in one of the large auditoriums with 40 feet wide scope screen, and a perfect presentation of Spartacus in 70 mm restored version, with proper use of the curtain. Whereas C.O. opened the main curtain 1st at Ziegfeld, and on a featured movie’s title/opening, opened the see thru white curtain, current operators open both curtains together.
It is easy to visit the Internet site from Philadelphia. I’ve never been to Oregon or Washington, but eventually….
It would appear balcony was split up:
The website says:
The Hollywood Theatre became a mecca for film-goers in the early 1960s when it became the only Cinerama theater in Oregon. Portions of the building – especially the frame of the massive curved screen in the downstairs auditorium – are a testament to that time.
and also says:
The main floor auditorium seats 460 (35mm/16mm/DLP/live performance).
The upstairs west auditorium seats 171 (35mm/16mm/DLP/live performance).
The upstairs east auditorium seats 219 (35mm only)
The Mezzanine lobby can accommodate up to 125 comfortably for a reception(depending on table set-up)
NY Times article-
In this pleasant Ohio place called Bexley, in this Midwest place close to neither New York nor Los Angeles, a boy named Rupert calls his grandfather George. His grandfatherâ€™s name is Jeff.
Rupert, who is 2 years old, bears no blame for this mistake because his grandfather introduced himself as George before the boy could form words, and has insisted on being called George ever since. The man has his reasons.
In Bexley, a leafy old suburb of the sprawling capital city of Columbus, everyone plays a role. Maybe you answer questions at the Bexley Public Library. Maybe you tend bar at the Bexley Monk. Maybe you fill prescriptions at the Bexley CVS, paying close attention to details.
George, whose full name is Jeff Frank, runs the old movie theater in town, the Drexel, and has done so for 26 years. He is 56 now, bald and bespectacled, settled and successful. Still, he cannot help but wonder what might have been had he not been seduced long ago by the Drexelâ€™s red-neon call: those bright lights dazzling the East Main Street sidewalk; that Art Deco sleekness; the faint echoes of hereâ€™s looking at you, kid.
What might have been had he not shrugged one day and thought: â€œWell, I love the movies. Why not run a movie theater?â€
The day the Drexel opened on Christmas 1937, certain Columbus lights winked with the promise of cheap escape. Come stand beside the â€œStage Door,â€ or find momentary serenity in â€œLost Horizon,â€ all at neighborhood places that were not as grand as, say, that downtown palace, the Ohio, but were still magical portals to someplace else.
Eddie Cantor, that apostle of pep, was mugging it up in â€œAli Baba Goes to Townâ€ down at the Thurmania; the theater is now an art gallery and gift shop. Jimmy Savo was bounding about in â€œMerry-Go-Round of 1938â€ at the Main; it is now a cavernous medical center, absent of anyone who might remember the little clown named Jimmy.
Warner Baxter, a box-office draw at the very beginning of his careerâ€™s decline, was leading the cast of â€œVogues of 1938â€ at the Hollywood; it now houses three empty stores whose awnings say Jihadâ€™s Gifts, African Heritage Shop, and Zawadi Childrenâ€™s Books, Jewelry, Oils, Etc. The owner of the mini-mart next door says his place used to be a bar, as if to suggest things change, so what.
And Shirley Temple, whose hair featured exactly 56 curls, was melting a cranky grandfatherâ€™s heart in â€œHeidiâ€ at the tiny Wilmar. Marc Eller, the propertyâ€™s owner, says he had the theater torn down 20 years ago for a parking lot.
â€œI curse that now,â€ he says, as he presents old photos of the theater that he keeps in a plastic bag. â€œIt had the little hexagonal tiles, and the projection booth…â€
The Drexel, though, survived. It opened that Depression Christmas with Sally Blane, Loretta Youngâ€™s sister, in â€œOne Mile from Heaven,â€ and kept its screen flickering through the decades. By 1981 it had lost much of its luster, and was showing bargain movies just to survive, but it always managed to catch the eye of a young man with plans named Jeff Frank.
Mr. Frank had grown up not far from here, giving his Saturdays and more than a few of his high school days to the cool darkness of his neighborhood movie theater, the now-gone vessel by which he traveled to the moon, to the Old West, to places far from Columbus. After graduating from a university only an hour away, he returned with a degree in film studies and a plan to leave as soon as possible.
â€œGo to Hollywood! Go to New York!â€ he says. â€œBe involved in the film industry. Be a part of it.â€
Mr. Frank never left Columbus. He worked in an art museum, where he met his future wife, Kathy Wooley; her favorite western is â€œRed River,â€ his the â€œThe Searchers.â€ He then became the assistant director at the restored Ohio Theatre, with a daily commute that took him past the Drexel.
One day the Franks rolled the dice of life and bought the Drexel. They closed it down for 30 days of restoration, removed the hundreds of plastic flowers that hid its Art Deco grandeur, and reopened with a screening of â€œTop Hatâ€ that included a personal appearance by Herself, Ginger Rogers. Movie history was made â€" at least in Columbus.
Over the years, at the Drexel and a handful of theaters, the Franks became masters of promotion, purveyors of escape, always with an emphasis on art films and the classics. They provided free passes to those who wore red shoes to â€œThe Red Shoes,â€ offered Shirley Temple movies for children on summer Saturdays, invited people to dress up for â€œCasablancaâ€ and sing when the band at Rickâ€™s strikes up â€œLa Marseillaise.â€
As Mr. Frank became the local Mr. Movie, he came to think of himself as a sort of George Bailey, who never fulfills his dream of leaving Bedford Falls, yet comes to realize that remaining in his hometown is his passage to a wonderful life. So Rupert calls his grandfather George.
Now and then Mr. Frank travels to a film festival, but mostly he stays here, fully aware of his role as an escort into the imagination. â€œFor a short time,â€ he says, â€œyou take people someplace theyâ€™ve never been to before.â€
Another night has fallen on the quiet streets of Bexley. The lights of the Drexel beckon. And a man called George is selling tickets for the 3:10 to Yuma.
The Shirlington Cinema 7 opened December 18, 1987 at cost of $2 million, by Circle Theatres. Circle was bought by Cineplex Odeon, which eventually merged into Loews, and Loews merged into AMC.
The auditoriums are separated by 11-inch-thick sound-proof walls.
From Washington Post online:
The small lobby in the Cineplex Odeon Shirlington misrepresents the clean, comfortable and large-screen theaters inside. Three of its seven screens are curved, and seating capacity ranges from 165 to 350. Thus, it’s well equipped to handle any flick, whether it be an action-packed blockbuster, an independent or an unrated foreign film. But you probably won’t see the latest Disney release here. The movie choices generally target an adult audience. You can buy a cup of coffee; you won’t find a video game. The restrooms are inconveniently upstairs, and like the lobby, small. The theater towers over the nearby Village of Shirlington, and offers a pleasant art deco style reminiscent of a different place and time. Street lamps illuminate the village, which has various restaurants and small shops. From the village, you can easily spot the neon lights of the theater marquee. A large lot behind the theater provides free parking.
— Shesha Pancholi
Piddy says Shirlington may close /theaters/15213
It has such a nice looking exterior, judging from the photo.
when built, the screen in the main auditorium, the Loews, was huge, 65 feet wide, 26 feet high. The curtain rose & lowered. They should use the curtain.
I stayed at the hotel in 2001, knowing that it had formerly this huge movie palace. The facade doesn’t look anymore like a former theater. I’d love to see vintage photos of exterior and especially interior!
here’s the link to the page on the former Embassy theater, mentioned above:
The April 3, 2000 Washington Post report that this theater reopened in 2000 as the Visions Cinema Bistro Lounge, under an independent operator, after being renovated into one auditorium of 210 seats plus a 32 seat balcony, and a second screening room with 115 seats.
Closed as JodarMovieFan reported above.
In its original configuration as the Embassy, it was never one of DC’s grand moviehouses, but in the age of dwindling single screen movie theaters, I liked it!
The photo linked above on May 14 is of the premiere auditorium mentioned in the intro.
Here’s today’s Weekly Update:(1) After last week’s update, we were asked why the Boyd owner ceased renovation. The Boyd and other theaters nationwide are for sale because the new company Live Nation chose to focus on Rock n'Roll rather than the mix of entertainment uses that Clear Channel intended for the Boyd when they purchased it. Friends of the Boyd have asked Live Nation to sell the Boyd to another company that wishes to program it broadly. We will help obtain sufficient funding for the renovation.
(2) Today’s Philadelphia Inquirer discusses the $1.3 billion dollar impact, and 40,000 jobs that arts and culture has on the Philadelphia area. View link
Arts and culture will have an even bigger impact on Philadelphia when the BOYD reopens as a major showplace theater! We have told you that the Econsult report summarized here http://www.econsult.com/files/boyd.pdf shows that a reopened Boyd Theatre would generate $120 million a year including related expenditures, and when including those related expenses, a total of 520 jobs.
As the Inquirer states, the arts do not receive enough public funding in Philadelphia. The Boyd will not need annual support as the shows will run in the black, but may need onetime public support to assist with the physical rehabilitation so it can reopen. Most movie palaces nationwide received funding from cities and states, for restoration and updating, so they could again serve their communities.
(3) This Weekly Update has frequently mentioned the Philadelphia region’s historic cinemas, most of which now show arthouse films. Since the Boyd then named the Sameric closed in 2002, Philadelphia residents see mainstream movies in multiplexes. http://cinematreasures.org/ encourages moviegoers to comment on those theaters, and record the history of those theaters. Philadelphia multiplexes showing mainstream movies include the BRIDGE /theaters/10911/ the PEARL /theaters/17993/ and the RIVERVIEW /theaters/20973/
http://cinematreasures.org/ also profiles historic movie palaces. All the movie palaces featured in downtown Philadelphia are history, except one -the Boyd. We must not allow the Boyd to be enjoyed only on cyberspace! The Boyd must be restored and reopened. Thanks to Patrick Crawley and Ross Melnick for inventing cinematreasures in 2000, as volunteers, and thanks to them and to YOU for your continued support of the Boyd.
Howard B. Haas