Comments from richardg

Showing 176 - 200 of 218 comments

richardg
richardg commented about Kingsway Theatre on Feb 12, 2004 at 6:39 pm

The address of the Kingsway is 3030 Bloor Street, west. The Kingsway theatre, located in an upscale area of Toronto, has been a part of the Festival Theatre chain for many years. Neither the owner or Festival spent much on upkeep until recently. I remember before its updating there were several broken seats which really wasn’t such a bad thing. If you chose a seat in the row behind the broken seat, you always had a clear view. Despite the always upscale surrounding area the Kingsway is a very basic theatre in appearance. Up until approximately 15 years ago, there was a tiny second theatre on the second floor of the theatre building. It was called the Screening Room and showed 16mm prints of films that you had no hope of seeing anywhere else.

richardg
richardg commented about Colonial Theatre on Feb 12, 2004 at 4:44 pm

The Colonial was sold a year or two ago to the present owners. It previously had been owned by a wealthy businessman who also owns the movie theatre in Littleton. I saw one of the weirdest movies I’ve ever seen at the Colonial. It was titled “Northfolk” and starred James Woods and Nick Nolte. The theatre was also a little strange. It had no candy counter. They sold popcorn from a popcorn wagon outside under the marquee. Possibly the reason for this was because, as I remember, as soon as you entered the theatre you were in the auditorium — there was no foyer or at least I don’t remember one. The theatre is very basic but the popcorn was good and the staff very friendly. There’s a great restaurant directly across the street from the theatre.

richardg
richardg commented about Premier Theatre on Feb 12, 2004 at 4:14 pm

If you’re positive this theatre is in Littleton, N.H., I can definitely confirm that it’s no longer operating. I don’t believe the building is still standing either. Littleton has one movie theatre in town which I’ll submit information about in the very near future.

richardg
richardg commented about Strand Theater on Feb 11, 2004 at 4:20 pm

This is the flagship theatre of a small New Hampshire chain called Spinelli Cinemas. The theatre has been triplexed but the main floor auditorium left intact. Two additional screens were added in the balcony area. They’re tiny with under 50 seats in each. I’ll update with more facts as soon as my notes turn up. There’s a terrific smoked meat restaurant two doors from the theatre. I defy anyone to finish one of their portions. Dover is picturesque community and the theatre is worth seeing.

richardg
richardg commented about State Theater on Feb 9, 2004 at 4:57 pm

Although I never saw the State, I knew of its existance. A friend of mine performed there in the 1950’s. I was in Hartford around 1980, but the theatre was already gone. I can vividly remember the picture that my friend, Charlie Gracie, had of the State theatre with his name on the marquee. I’ll bet he still has the picture and I’ll submit it if this feature ever gets back on line.

richardg
richardg commented about Beacon Theatre on Feb 9, 2004 at 4:36 pm

On two different occasions I was denied a peak into the Beacon’s auditorium. I think both times I got the “song & dance routine” about since the theatre was dark their insurance prohibited anyone prowling around the auditorium. The second time I walked around to the stage door and it was open. The stagehands were setting up for a Billy Idol concert. I gave myself a great tour and before leaving stood on the stage, imagined the applause and gave a couple of bows. I decided an encore wasn’t necessary. The Beacon’s a great theatre and my only regret is that I never saw a movie there

richardg
richardg commented about Glove Theater on Feb 8, 2004 at 3:59 pm

Roger: You’re probably right. It was a long time ago and I couldn’t find the notes I took about the Glove. Schine had a lot of great looking theatres including the one in Auburn, N.Y. I was interested in purchasing this one but it had just been sold to someone who was going to make it into a night club. That, of course, failed. Do you think any of the Schine family still lives in Gloverville? I’m sure some relative has pictures and information on the theatres.

richardg
richardg commented about Sheridan Theatre on Feb 8, 2004 at 3:40 pm

The Sheridan was the flagship theatre of a small Chicago chain run by a wealthy Greek businessman. Although it was the chain’s flagship theatre, it was the weakest link in the chain and the first of the group to close. In just a mere 25 years or so after opening, this movie palace would close and shortly afterward begin a new life as a synagogue. I believe it remained a synagogue for a longer time period than it was a movie theatre. Eventually, the building was born again as a movie theatre— this time showing Spanish language films. Memory tells me this would be the mid 1980’s. Although I tied for over 20 years to see the inside of the Sheridan, it wasn’t until it’s reopening in the mid 80’s that I succeeded. In size it was comparable to the B & K movie palaces but the auditorium was very plain. The ceiling was “tented” with a gray fabric and just below that, parallel to the ceiling, spanned a 50 to 60 foot Menorah. The Menorah, no doubt, a left over from the synagogue days. I don’t know if the “tenting” was original or not. The Menorah stayed intact, I’m sure, because it would have taken a massive crane to remove this huge heavy object. The huge balcony was closed but I ventured up anyway. After a few minutes if surveying the scene, I was greeted by the friendly Mexican projectionist who proceeded to give me a tour of the projection booth. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to provide any information about the theatre’s history. The night I toured the theatre there were maybe 30 people in attendance. For the theatre historians, other theatres owned by this chain included: on the northside, The Vogue, North Center, Patio, and Sheridan; on the southside, The Marquette, Hiway, and Colony.

richardg
richardg commented about Paradise Theatre on Feb 8, 2004 at 2:09 pm

The Festival theatre chain has run the Paradise for a number of years but closed it briefly a few years back. Low attendance caused them not to renew their lease on the theatre and it remained closed for a few months. Shortly after this decision someone out bid them on their lease renewal of their flagship theatre, The Bloor Cinema. Festival then reopened the Paradise. The Paradise is my favorite of their 7 theatres because it’s never crowded and the balcony is always open. Usually there’s never more than six people in the balcony. This is actually a good thing because the pitch of the balcony is very gentle. If anyone sits in front of you, you.ll need to move four rows back to get a clear view. Festival has done a nice job in restoring the marquee. Wide seating has been installed in about two thirds of the main floor so seating is down to about 470. Prior to the Festival chain running the theatre and in its adult cinema days, it was called Eve’s Paradise. The address of the Paradise is 1006 Bloor St. west. I have photos once the system is working again.

richardg
richardg commented about Glove Theater on Feb 7, 2004 at 5:50 pm

I looked at this theatre maybe 25 years ago when the whole theatre complex was for sale. The Schine family got their start with this theatre and it remeained their headquarters until the chain folded. I don’t know that flagship is the right word for the Glove Theatre because most of their theatres were larger and nicer than the Glove. The building complex had a private screening room where the Shine family and executives would review the movies and decide which theatres would show what show movies. The private screening room was definitely more impressive than the theatre. The Glove had already closed as a daily run movie theatre by the late 1970’s and possibly before. I know it was still used periodically during this time frame for things like yearly children’s Christmas parties with cartoons etc. Memory tells me the Glove was much smaller than 1100 seats annd as I recall it had no balcony. Years ago, when the USA actually made instead of importing clothing, Gloversville was the glove capitol of America.

richardg
richardg commented about Rialto Theatre on Feb 7, 2004 at 5:08 pm

The theatre changed hands twice since the owner’s death. It was originally bought by the person who owned the antique store next door. He, however, I was informed, lacked the cash needed to get the theatre up and running. It was sold again to the Spenelli (sorry I know this spelling is wrong} threatre chain out of Dover, N.H. They fully insulated the theatre, restored the marquee, and cleaned it up. They even bought the most expensive popcorn maker money can buy. One of the things I like to do when touring a theatre is watch a movie in the theatre. To give you an idea how dedicated I am, I sat through “Sweet Home Alabama” in this theatre.

richardg
richardg commented about Milford Theatre on Feb 7, 2004 at 4:27 pm

The Milford was another reduced admission priced theatre. There was also a ballroom in part of theatre building complex. I saw many movies at the Milford but didn’t go as often as I would have liked because quite often they showed Polish films. I was in Chicago when it was being torn down, but by the time I drove by there was just one wall standing. Memory tells me it was torn down the same time as the Granada but I’m not positive. The Milford had no balcony and ufortunately I never took a picture of the theatre.

richardg
richardg commented about Rowland Theatre on Feb 7, 2004 at 4:07 pm

I’ve been to this theatre twice and enjoyed it both times. The balcony is always open to patrons. Philipsburg is a small community and I find it amazing they have a theatre this large. What’s more amazing is there’s another large theatre just a block away. Although now closed, I think that when it was open it would have taken the entire town’s population to fill the two theatres. There’s a terrific chocolate store across from the theatre with lots of homemade candies.

richardg
richardg commented about Strand Theater on Feb 2, 2004 at 6:26 pm

Tom, How many years has the Strand been closed? I’m guessing I first discovered the theatre 15 years ago and it was closed then. I remember the buildings’s exterior well and am surprised it seats only 750. The people who run the Music Box in Chicago, (I believe they even have a theatre restoration business) might be one place to begin.

richardg
richardg commented about Midland Theatre on Feb 2, 2004 at 4:50 pm

I tried for years to get inside this theatre. I actually suceeded once but couldn’t see a thing. There was a store in the foyer section of the theatre which sold musical instruments about 15 years ago. The owner opened one of the auditorium doors and let me look inside. It was blacker than coal inside and my little flashlight was useless. It’s wonderful that the theatre has been restored. There used to be a great ice cream store a few hundred feet from the Midland that made their own waffle cones. Newark is a great little city. I know all the theatre buffs who go to look at the Midland will have an enjoyable time. Sometime soon I’ll submit some information about Newark’s other theatre.

richardg
richardg commented about Brighton Theatre on Feb 1, 2004 at 6:40 pm

The has been closed for many years and is located approximately for blocks south of The Revue on Roncesvales Ave. I was in the theatre only once about 20 years ago. I think it was the smallest, original sized, older theatre I’ve ever been in. It was managed by Festival theatres for a few years then when back to being independently run.

richardg
richardg commented about Revue Cinema on Feb 1, 2004 at 6:16 pm

Originally, the Revue sat about 400 but with the installation of wide rockers and reduction of some aisles, seating is now at 240. There is no balcony. The interior has some great looking wall sconces which look art deco and supposedly are original from 1911. Since 1911 predates the art deco era, we can only assume this lighting manufacturer was ahead of its time. The Revue has been part of The Festival theatre chain for approximately 20 years. The chain currently operates 7 older, single screen, neighborhood theatres. I believe they own four and lease the others. The Revue is the smallest of their theatres.

richardg
richardg commented about Latchis Theatre on Jan 27, 2004 at 7:57 pm

The Colonial theatre in Keene, N.H. is a Latchis theatre. I saw “Return of The Black Stallion” when it was first released along with maybe 25 other people. I'ts a beautiful theatre and I only hope it’s drawing more people today. I saw your remaining portion of the theatre just two years ago. Judging from the size of the parking lot, the auditorium must have huge. I believe there is a bicycle store in the remaining portion. If you get to Keene, I know there’s another theatre just a block from the Colonial which has been converted into apartments. I believe a local resident told me it was a Latchis' also.

richardg
richardg commented about Chicago Theatre on Jan 27, 2004 at 7:32 pm

Yes, quite often the Chicago coupled a first run movie and a stage show for one admission. I remember seeing Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis at the Chicago theatre. The Chicago theatre was kept up much better than the Uptown in the 50’s but it still wasn’t as impressive.

richardg
richardg commented about Mode Theatre on Jan 25, 2004 at 8:23 pm

If the Mode opened in 1913, somewhere in the 1930’s or 40’s it was given an art deco make over. The front exterior of the building was large yellow tiles with brown accents. The vertical “Mode” neon sign had a brown background. The Mode had a “real” marquee unlike the flush mounted milk glass signs found on the Sheridan, Pantheon, Lakeside, and Catlow. I remember asking my father about these “peculiar” looking theatres and why they didn’t have “normal” marquees. He thought the reason was because certain areas of Sheridan Rd. had “boulevard status” and were not permitted to display protruding signage. Since the Mode had a Normal marquee and its neighbor one block north, the Sheridan, did not, it looks as if Irving Park was the southern boundry for this restriction. The southern boundry reasoning could be incorrect though because the Sheridan had already been closed many years before I discovered it. Perhaps the now tenanted synagoue had removed the marquee. Since the Granada had a huge marquee, I’m assuming the northern boundry was Devon.
Memories: The two things I remember most about the Mode are a lost love and food. The Mode sold hot dogs during the 1950’s. I know of no other movie theatre at this time period in Chicago that sold hot dogs. They were bright red (probably loaded with sodium nitrate) and reaked of garlic. I never tried one.
When I was about 15, I spotted a really cute girl at the theatre about 3 weeks in a row. On the fourth week I decided I should make a “move” but I didn’t see her. About 20 minutes into the film a flashlight wielding woman shines her beam on my “cutie” seated about ten rows in front of me. She grabbed the girl by the arm and drags her from the theatre while screaming at the sailor seated beside her, “She’s only 13.” I guess my lost love got grounded because I never saw her again.

richardg
richardg commented about Belmont Theater on Jan 22, 2004 at 7:19 pm

The exterior and the lobby of the Belmont were quite impressive. Memory, however, tells me the auditorium was not so ornate. Once you entered the foyer, directly in front you, stood a beautiful, overwhelming, marble staircase leading to the balcony. When your eyes finally reached the top of the stairs, you saw (besides the main floor candy counter) another huge candy counter. I was very impressed and what kid wouldn’t be. Only the Uptown could match this number of candy counters. The Belmont’s gigantic balcony had such depth that if you were seated in the last few rows of the theatre, the top of the screen was cut off. The bottom of the balcony, which was in reality the ceiling above the patrons seated underneath it, had frequently spaced recessed lights. These remained on during the movie and were very annoying. The beautiful marble staircase remained intact after the conversion to a bowling alley. One can comprehend the vastness of the Belmont once it’s known there were three floors of bowling alleys.

richardg
richardg commented about West End Theatre on Jan 22, 2004 at 3:56 pm

The West End Theatre was still standing but not oprerating during the early 60’s. I used to pass by it frequently when visiting someone who lived nearby. I saw this person again in the mid 60’s and was informed the theatre had burned down.

richardg
richardg commented about Bryn Mawr Theatre on Jan 21, 2004 at 4:46 pm

The last film I saw at the Bryn Mawr was Psyhco 2. It had been a cut rate admission theatre for years and at this time admission was, I think, 60 cents. During this time period the theatre’s clientele had drastically changed. There were huge signs everywhere cautioning patrons to “Hold your purses tightly” and the theatre was never completely darkened during the movie. Prior to my last visit I always felt secure at the Bryn Mawr. When visiting Chicago I always checked to see what was showing there. I saw many good films and saved a lot of money seeing them at the Bryn Mawr. The Bryn Mawr was very plain inside and had no balcony.

richardg
richardg commented about North Center Theater on Jan 20, 2004 at 7:14 pm

Yes, the theatre was where the Osco Drug now stands, and in fact, Osco wasn’t the initial tennent of the building. It was originally occupied by a super market — can’t remember its name. The supermarket folded after a year or two and the building stood empty for maybe a year or so. I remember thinking what a waste to tear down this theatre complex and replace it with an unrentable store. The Jewel/Osco store was, however a sucess from its first day.

richardg
richardg commented about Patio Theatre on Jan 19, 2004 at 6:31 pm

Dan, I wish I could be of more help but the phone number I have for the Patio has been disconnected. It was 773 545-2006. If you’re out of the Chicago area, I’d bet the owners of the Music Box or maybe even the group trying to re-open the Portage Theatre (check in cinema treasures, theatres in need) might be of some help. If this is of no help, add another comment and I’ll see if I can get a friend or relative in Chicago to get you the information you need.