Showing 176 - 200 of 325 comments
There are probably many who would be interested in the details of the architectural history of your Father-In-Law’s firm, and which theatres he designed. I think the Northshore Cinema in Peabody, the South Shore Plaza Cinema in Braintree, and other shopping center theatres owned by General Cinema in the 1960s, were some. I wonder if he designed any of their bowling alleys in the late 1950’s or 60s? I sent you an email and hope you’ll reply. Thanks for posting here.
Anyone who visits NYC should make a point of taking the backstage tour they have there. They take you onstage, and upstairs to Roxy’s private apartment. You’ll even get to meet a Rockette!
The ad to the right is the directory, the ones you see, are the display ads. In many papers, the directory is a concise list with times, and the display was an extra, paid for with co-op money. In this case, the directory has quite a few more theatres than are listed in the display.
Maybe the fire was around 1950, and it was rebuilt around the same time, thus the reason for the differences in seating. The Film Daily’s probably just keep listing it with it’s old name.
The Film Daily Yearbook of 1957 only lists the Princess. Same with the 1942 edition. Next step would be the check the local newspaper files, microfilm in the library, hopefully. Or the telephone directory for those years, again hopefully in the local library.
Liberty Tree Mall was one of the competitors. The Northshore Cinema, (it’s actual name in GCC records) was one of the companies slowest theatres, in the ‘70s, 80’s until it closed. That was probably why it suffered from a small capital repair budget. The theatre housed the Division Office, with Bill Romanoff as District Manager, until he passed away and the New England Division was realigned.
I’d suggest a seperate section for legitimate theaters and nightclubs. There should be a distinction between movie theatres and “theater”, however, and I think most people think of this website as being for the movie theatres.
There may be only a handful of cities which had legitimate theaters, however, so the issue may not be a problem. However, nearly every city had Civic auditoriums, Knights of Columbus, Elks, Masons, Eagles Halls and school auditoriums, and a town or organization would set up a 16mm projector for a special presentation. Or you might find listings in local papers of the 1920’s and ‘30s for traveling stage shows or bands. If all of these auditoriums were listed here, it would probably be questionable.
Many years ago, ( circa 1960’s to early 1980’s) the Westgate Mall Cinema, owned by General Cinema, was one of the busiest in the circuit. At some point, the area lost it’s decency, and movies weren’t the focus of the population. Where did the folks go, for movies? Probably to a discount store for a big screen TV and a Blockbuster to rent films.
Sometimes Corporate Annual Reports paint an optimistic picture. I recall the era and location. BU students were more often found dancing at Lucifer’s in Kenmore Square, a block away.
Sounds like AMC isn’t keeping an eye on facility maintenance. Or else (and more likely) the Manager isn’t paying attention.
I’m wondering why you left in March of 1956, and if you stayed in the theater business, or went onto other things. It’s interesting that you remember even to the month, after nearly 50 years.
I’d guess that you’ve got a lot of theater history to tell us about.
Sorry, I forgot to put my email in, it’s
I’d love to see the photos of the interior of the Elm, if you would care to email them to me.
Both the Uptown and the Paramount were General Cinema Theatres when they closed.
I guess the next question is what building was called the Cleveland Circle Cinema in 1962? Unless 1965 marked the year Redstone purchased it from ATC and renovated it. It certainly has a late 1950’s look about it, and as for modern amenities, I’d question the writer’s priorities. It was a gorgeous modern building, rivaling anything else built in the early sixties. Certainly not the shoebox-like buildings that GCC was putting up at the time.
The only problem was the addition of four tiny screens in the back of the main building, which I think may have been done in the 1970s.
I wonder if Donald King has an explanation for the Paris being the last single screen theatre opened in Boston in 1964, meanwhile the Cheri being listed as only one screen in 1966.
He had a screening room in his home. Here’s a link to a photo
of a projector. View link
Thanks to Ron for pointing out the error of my previous message. Guess the mystery of the Capri is solved!
I don’t know if any of you had a chance to visit Ben Sack’s former home this past weekend. Here is a link to a few of the photos I took. View link
Here’s a link to the ad in the newspaper.
The best movie theatre site on the web, and user friendly too! There have been a couple of times that I needed to have corrections made, and they were taken care of, promptly. This site is an invaluable research tool, for anyone interested in the history of movie theatres, worldwide. Imagine someday if every theatre that appeared in a Film Daily listing shows up here, with accurate details that can’t be found anywhere else. It’s the reminicenses that make this place special.
In 1998, GCC decided that they needed to save on payroll, so they bumped the union from full time operation, to weekends only. (In Chestnut Hill and many other locations) When the quality presentation became second to money, and the attention to the floor operation was diverted to the booth, it became painfully obvious that the “good ole days” were past. A single screen in an old downtown theatre would be a pleasure, I’m sure. In the old days, the theatre manager was a well known fixture in all the small towns all over the country. And you could find him standing in the lobby, greeting the patrons. Today, you’ll have a hard time finding him.
Jaws opened in Framingham the same month I was promoted from Assistant Manager in Framingham, to my first theatre as a Manager, at the Worcester Center Cinemas I, II, and III. The Manager in Framingham was Jim Mahoney, who was there for about a year, before transferring to Hanover. I became the Manager of Framingham in Sept of 1977, just in time for films like American Graffiti, Saturday Night Fever, Animal House, Poltergiest, Empire Strikes Back, and many other blockbusters from 1977 until I transferred to Braintree in 1983. We held an advance screening of the Blues Brothers one night to a full house, and John Landis came in to check out the audience reaction. (I got him to sign a still, which I still have. He wrote, “to the Cinema Crew, get back to work!”
My descriptive “only” was in reference to your position. Managing one of GCC’s top 10 was a pretty darn good job too. Lots of hours, (about 60 a week, but in those days it was fun. We had occasional trade screenings for the buyers and once in awhile a special event)
I’m out of the business now, but still get national weekly grosses via email.
Thanks for posting your excellent site. The photos deserve an audience, and CinemaTreasures has it. Including the topographical views of the drive ins is a fine bonus bit of research that must have taken a lot of time.
I was only a theatre Manager, but from 1986 to 1999 ran the Chestnut Hill theatre across the street from the Home Office and next door to Corporate Harcourt. I began working in Management in 1972 and ran one of their busiest theatres, Framingham from 1977 to 1983.
The buyer you mention is a familiar name, but I don’t think I ever met him. I knew Chuck Mason, Carl Bertolino, and a few others over the years. I think GCC’s problems were due in part, to poor leases on newer locations, negotiated in the 1990’s. At one point, they provided everyone with monthly balance sheets on every theatre so that we would be better informed. I wish I had saved a few. They stopped doing it after about 3 or 4 months. This was after Corporate spun off the theatre division. At that point, I think the Smith family was more interested in the Neiman Marcus and Harcourt business.