Comments from GFeret

Showing 176 - 200 of 245 comments

GFeret commented about Navy Pier IMAX Theatre on Mar 17, 2008 at 2:49 pm

I’d love to watch more IMAX films; have caught 2 over the past few yrs.

But unfortunately I doubt it’ll happen, because of the absolutely maddening way this location operates its ticket booth.

If you make it to the front of the line (wherever that may be that night), you could be so frustrated you’ll just skip it. Go buy some magnificent fudge over at Ryba’s a few steps further (the latter I assure you’s a much more satisfying outcome).

IMAX apparently is accustomed to crowds of people standing immobile in long lines at 6 Flags Great America, such is the captive audience. This abuse cannot serve to justify purchasing seats a la Fandango (no, it is not reserved seat).

GFeret commented about Logan Theatre on Feb 27, 2008 at 3:24 pm

There’s a city lot north of LOGAN (behind the McDonalds across Milwaukee) that, if it has meters, me ‘n my car never notice them. So (free) parking’s never been an issue. Public transportation users get off the CTA Blue Line @ Logan Square stop (Kedzie Ave exit south side of Milwaukee) and you’re practically at the LOGAN’s front door. (These points alluded to in above posts).

My memories of this place go back to the LOGAN vs. the HARDING days, and the latter threw in the towel around 1961. The (mens) washroom, with bathtub-sized urinals, has a blaringly huge ventilation fan that hasn’t ceased running since about that time.

The place is clean, bright, and questions of safety aren’t apparent to me so I can recomment LOGAN almost without reservation. Management/employees are polite to a fault. 2nd runs, with the occasional double-feature (!), with no duplication between (4) screens. Even limited release titles, like WAITRESS, INTO THE WILD, LARS AND THE REAL GIRL, and GOOD NIGHT & GOOD LUCK have made their mark here.

So what’s my itty-bitty reservation? No trailers at the LOGAN. Boo-hoo!

GFeret commented about Piper's Alley Theatre on Feb 25, 2008 at 11:25 am

P.A. mgr told me this past wknd their Sat. am bargain matinee admission has just been changed to also apply now to Sunday a.m. too. Great!

GFeret commented about Piper's Alley Theatre on Jan 16, 2008 at 1:39 pm

Yes, PIPERS can be relied on to include films not to be found at all elsewhere each week on 1 or 2 of their screens, as already mentioned in some posts above. It’s a point that bears repeating, if you get frustrated/bored with the other plex’s just repeating the same titles on too many screens, and definitely thirst for something fresh instead. Here’re some they ran that I recall favorably:

The Hottest State, Opal Dream, Angel-A, Paprika, The 10,
Introducing The Dwights, Interview, Year Of The Dog, First Snow

All quite good and would not have caught them otherwise. Plus PA always has a spot for each new Woody Allen release, including Cassandra’s Dream.

Sound quality is excellent, and am having trouble thinking of any complaint. Their Saturday a.m. bargain admission is a deal that makes all this movie-watching I’ve been taking-in lately possible in the first place.

GFeret commented about How many was that again...? on Jan 11, 2008 at 3:56 pm

In ChicagoLand, definitely the PICKWICK, in near-northwest suburb of Park Ridge. So, take-in a flick there, just as our (ahem) next (?) pres. did in her youth.

Technically a 4-plex for several yrs, the main auditorium is a completely separate (original) bldg from screens 2-3-4, and as such can definitely be considered a 1st-run single-screen vintage theatre (I intend to see “Juno” myself there this weekend). In their promotional material they advertise themselves as the largest auditorium of its kind in the area.

Token gripe: I’m a trailer lover, and the PICKWICK’s always been a little lean w/ the POCA’s.

GFeret commented about How many was that again...? on Jan 11, 2008 at 3:52 pm

In ChicagoLand, definitely the PICKWICK, in near-northwest suburb of Park Ridge. So, take-in a flick there, just as our (ahem) next (?) pres. did in her youth.

Technically a 4-plex for several yrs, the main auditorium is a completely separate (original) bldg from screens 2-3-4, and as such can definitely be considered a 1st-run single-screen vintage theatre (I intend to see “Juno” myself there this weekend). In their promotional material they advertise themselves as the largest auditorium of its kind in the area.

Token gripe: I’m a trailer lover, and the PICKWICK’s always been a little lean w/ the POCA’s.

GFeret commented about Lincoln Hall on Jan 11, 2008 at 3:20 pm

I was there when the 3-PENNY ran Woody Allen’s “Melinda & Melinda” and the film jammed in the projector gate (during Bach’s beautuful Prelude #1, IIRC), and (naturally) I had to be the doofus walking over to snack counter telling them “pardon me but in theatre #3…..”. Apparently their machinery didn’t incorporate auto-shutdown if film breaks, and they never ran that title again. At least they gave me a free return pass, which I used there later for Spielbergs “War Of the Worlds”.

I admit over the years I only went to the 3-Penny because sometimes they were the only place (‘art house’) in town showing a particular film I had to see. I.E., “The Beach Boys – An American Band”, “Animal Crackers” (a very poor 16mm print I believe), “Looking For Comedy In The Muslim World”.

This place was only re-opened as a theatre (the 3-PENNY) around 1972(?), probably because business at the BIOGRAPH directly across Lincoln Ave had been better than average in the few yrs leading-up to that time; before that it had been many years since it showed films as the CREST. Under any name, it was a small venue, and that was B4 they ‘plexed’ it.

GFeret commented about Round Up Theater on Jan 7, 2008 at 1:16 pm

The DALE auditorium exterior is most evident even today—just turn onto Wolfram St (WB) from Milwaukee Ave and it’ll hit you like the brick wall it still is, complete w/ emergency exits that haven’t been cracked in 50+ yrs. It’s obviously ‘heythisisanoldtheaterbuilding’ time.

Never saw a film there myself, as they probably showed their final flick just after I made my debut. My Dad told me he knew this as the DALE most commonly, after being changed from the ROUND-UP. Directly across the street (Milwaukee) from DALE was the NITA, but I swear you can’t recognize the NITA now as a (former) theatre from what’s left of the old bldg—too much alteration.

GFeret commented about Canuck does NYC old cinema treasure tour! on Jan 4, 2008 at 9:49 am

P.S.: this is a very good, useful thread. Because there’re many around the country (besides Schmadrian) who’ve a yearning to visit NYC with a view to seek out what (if any) old movie palaces remain there (like myself), and could really make good use of insider tips to that end. Thank you!

GFeret commented about Wicker Park Theater on Dec 27, 2007 at 1:47 pm

Yes indeed – that ‘Fluevog’ store building has every (outward) appearance of once having been a vintage theatre of small-to-medium size, and kept-up nicely too; almost enough of an enticement for me to actually shop there. They probably don’t realize how lucky they are. The street address is just a door or 2 south of the famous ‘Flat Iron Bldg’ there.

GFeret commented about Commodore Theatre on Dec 26, 2007 at 1:43 pm

SUPERMAN 2(1980) probably was the very last feature THE COMMODORE played, I venture to say. This because the poster for that film remained tacked-up to the doors for no less than a couple yrs after the theatre closed and abandoned.

Features I actually saw here I recall are TIDAL WAVE, DEADLY WEAPONS (w/Chesty Morgan), and THE EXORCIST.

GFeret commented about The Official "Kiddie Matinee Stole my Adolescent Brain" Contest on Dec 11, 2007 at 11:59 am

Huh? Yes, any cave would certainly be better than a K. GORDON MURRAY film. The point is, I could tell that even as a kid in the ‘60s, and stayed away from those films in droves, even when the matinee tickets were freebies. There’s nothing more cheap and cheesy a kiddy flick than a KGM release! What in the world have you guys been smoking?

GFeret commented about Tiffin Theatre on Dec 7, 2007 at 1:13 pm

Dean. H: perhaps I knew Tony, ‘cause I went to Alpine Camera store very frequently late '60s and '70s. Bought a great seamless matte DaLite pull-down movie screen (8 ft?) from them, besides endless rolls of Super8 film. Tony was a little short, maybe wiry, but always amiable and energetic if it’s the same guy.

Valendorfs was there for a long time. I shopped frequently (w/ my parents) @ First Distributors, where you ordered primarily out of catologs I seem to recall. There was a Kresge store on the SW North/Pulaski corner where you got Hires Root Beer ‘on tap’ (The ‘K’ in K-Mart originates from Kresge, don’t ya know mon). But what was the men’s clothier just a coupla doors east of the Tiffin (later they moved the local CPL branch into it)?

I’ll remember to make another post if I observe development on the old Ferndell’s Restaurant site.

GFeret commented about Alamo Theater on Dec 6, 2007 at 4:58 pm

ALAMO Theatre photo, somewhat vintage, but clear w/ full vert. sign.

Where? website, news & photos tab, ‘happier times’ pull-down, arrive @ ‘chicago nostalgia’ photos. Voila!

GFeret commented about Tiffin Theatre on Dec 6, 2007 at 4:52 pm

TIFFIN Theatre photo, late ‘50s, albeit it’s in the distance on North Ave.

Where? website, news & photos tab, ‘happer times’ pull-down, arrive @ ‘chicago nostalgia’ photos. Voila!

P.S.; the COOK BROS. store mentioned in above post is on the north side of North & Grand Aves, whereas the former Helene Curtis exploding factory site I described was on the south side of it.

GFeret commented about Lawndale Theater on Dec 5, 2007 at 10:55 am

I rode by it during the summer; it’s boarded-up so there’s no longer a church useage. But it’s obviously also the former theatre (building) that I saw RETURN OF THE FLY at. Up on the Roosevelt Rd side it still had something like an (old) colorful stained-glass emblem or ornamentation. I may be wrong but it appears to predate the church aspect.

GFeret commented about Hinsdale Theater on Nov 28, 2007 at 12:15 pm

Terrible outcome—I’ll miss this charming old hardtop. Took my kids there many times, even tho we’re NW Chicagoans; my oldest son was fascinated by their pipe organ. Probably saw there MR. HOLLAND’S OPUS and MISSION IMPOSSIBLE (#1).

GFeret commented about AMC Showplace Galewood 14 on Nov 13, 2007 at 2:45 pm

‘A’ is how I’d rate this new inner-city multi. This place opened for the 4th of July weekend rather unexpectedly, in a location formerly a large railroad yard (the ‘Homer St’ of the address is somewhat imaginary). It’s really off-street, with plenty o' parking. You enter off of the (recently re-built) Central Ave overpass. Needs more landscaping, apparently still in progress.

Been there many times already; just can’t beat their weekend pre-noon discount admission for 1st runs. All screens are large (enough), sound excellent, seats and line-of-sight just fine.

If there be any negative, the picture focus is typical for automated installations. That is, close but not quite 100% accurate or uniform. There’s a little ambient light spilling onto the corners of the screens from exit signs—I think could easily be corrected w/ simple shrouds. Plus a few too many commercials lead-off a showtime (I’d prefer more trailers instead).

Saved the best for last: I lost my car keys in an auditorium, and would you believe they were found and kept at the customer service desk? I had them back in but 2 days. Kudos to Kerasotes, and lucky me I had a hunch where I might’ve lost them.

GFeret commented about Tiffin Theatre on Nov 13, 2007 at 12:32 pm

NEWS, of sorts, about Pulaski & North Aves (the TIFFIN’s center-of-universe) here: the NorthEast corner of P&N now is demolished! That is, no more Ferndells Restaurant! They were still open for business there (in some form), but a few weeks back.

A few blocks west on North Ave, a Menards is now beginning construction where the old Helene Curtis factory bldg used to be (@ Kostner Ave). Do you remember when that place blew-up in the early ‘60s, shattering all local storefront windows?

GFeret commented about Esquire Theatre on Nov 6, 2007 at 1:10 pm

Correction re. above post – 70mm STAR WARS here in Chicago area: the EDENS in NorthBrook ran it in 70mm right from the (May ‘77) start. Also they seemed to be the very last house to play it – a total of about a year.

GFeret commented about Palace Theater on Oct 16, 2007 at 3:02 pm

Sorry ‘bout this, but I’ve a strong feeling the 'status’ of the PALACE is now squarely under the heading of DEMOLISHED.

Someone (besides me that is) needs to travel by and conduct and official post mortem.

GFeret commented about 70mm World Premieres now listed in introductions of New York City movie palaces on Oct 16, 2007 at 1:46 pm

On a similar note, I’ve wondered how many, and which, cinemas at one time had true horizontal (‘lazy-8’) VistaVision projectors?

This process enjoyed some popularity in the late ‘50s/early '60s, however I understand it was meant to be a 'taking’ or filming format, not actual projection. That said, it’s been mentioned over the years that a scant few premiere theatres actually projected the large-format ‘horizontal’ prints.

(Understand, this is not 70mm per se). Any ideas?

GFeret commented about Tiffin Theatre on May 22, 2007 at 10:28 am

I’m not saying anything new when I tell you the TIFFIN was the mainstay of the North/Pulaski Aves neighborhood—everyone around went there, always a good double-feature. The auditorium ceiling was kind’ve an illuminated ‘dome’, orange-green colored if memory serves. Remember seeing films like PLEASE DON’T EAT THE DAISIES, or KING KONG VS. GODZILLA, or CASINO ROYALE (the Ursula Andress one), or THEY CALL ME TRINITY there. CASINO sticks in my mind for a decidedly odd reason: the projectionist would’ve been a man after my own heart, because he ran it with the framing ‘low’ (potentially trimming head tops) which served to expose Ursula’s nipples at the very frame bottom in some bathtub scene (I kid you not)! My final visit there was late ‘70s for NURSE SHERRI & IN SEARCH OF DRACULA, but the latter title was cancelled because mgmnt said the film had split lengthwise! This once popular venue didn’t adapt well with the changing neighborhood, and I imagine real estate values & heating/AC costs made it necessary to sell off to the laundromat that’s on the site now.

GFeret commented about Chicago Theatre on Apr 26, 2007 at 11:17 am

Mentioned once or twice in all the postings is their Screening Room “for the trade only”. Primarily in the 70s I went there on odd invitation—one entered the Chicago not off of State St but from the doors on Benton Pl, the south side of the bldg. At that entrance there’s a bank of elevators that takes one to the upper floors for that screening room; perhaps it was on flr 7 or maybe 11. Titles I saw immediatley before opening were BANG THE DRUM SLOWLY (DeNiro, Voight), and HAUNTING OF JULIA (Keir Dullea, Mia Farrow). I was with a small group of friends standing in the hallway up there when Roger Ebert walks up to us and gives us his strong recommendation to some other film.

On the CHICAGO main floor I remember seeing BARBARELLA on opening there. And all those above wracking their brains trying tom recall the name of the nearby downtown hamburger joints, will you still haven’t got it right. It was WIMPY’S—after the Popeye character.

GFeret commented about Old Orchard Theater on Apr 24, 2007 at 2:16 pm

In the mid-70s they had a re-release of SOUND OF MUSIC with the strongest (clear and resonant) magnetic (penthouse) soundtrack I’ve ever enjoyed and on a 1st class musical, with uniformly sharp 70mm picture throughout! From then on this installation couldn’t be beat for cinema quality (with one unfortunate sour note, later), proven to me again bringing my young sons on the opening of TITANIC there in more recent times.

On a Friday night late in August of 1981, having just seen CONDORMAN, while walking back to my car in the theatre parking lot off Skokie Blvd there I had my closest encounter ever with lightning.
A blinding ball struck in the middle of the parking lane between me and the theatre, during a thunderstorm of course. I was alone so every once and awhile I have to tell others about it, simply to remind myself.

The sour note was in their final years when I saw MISSION TO MARS (2000?) there, and the magnificent stereo sound system was now little more than an articulate buzz.