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I was at the 7th st again and want to report that the old projection equipment that was removed is still at the 7th st. The Simplex E7 projectors, RCA Photophone soundheads and the Perlees Mac-n-Arc lamps have not been sold and are in storage in the theater. One complete projector is set up and on display in the lobby. It brings back a lot of fond memories as I enjoyed using that equipment and others like it in the other Harbor theaters. I have always felt that the old manual way of projecting a movie was preferable to the modern automation. The old way allowed for a little showmanship, automation generally doesn’t. I’ve done both, and find platters and automation to be rather souless.
Hooray, At last the work can now begin!!!
Rick, everything I’ve posted is from memory, and research. I worked for Grays Harbor Theatres in the early 1980’s at the D&R, Aberdeen and Harbor Drive-In as a projectionist. I also worked at the 7th St for a short while when Bob Serradel owned it. The D&R was always my favorite theatre so I did a lot of research as a personal project. At the time the place was open there was a lot of old documentation stored in the building so there was always plenty to read and look at. Sadly thats all gone but I’ve tried to relate most of it here and on the pages for the other theatres on the harbor. I look forward to assisting Harbor Arts at some time in the future when they get things going.
Was at the 7th St last week for a screening of North by Northwest, great movie in a great theater. Things are getting better, but they have a long way to go. Although it is good to see people coming out for movies there again. They have a very good picture and sound, especially their SCOPE picture.
As best as I can tell the D&R was always connected with FOX in some way. While the theater was locally built and owned, FOX or one of it’s subsidiaries provided product for the theater through out it’s history. The last remodel in the 1940’s even resembles the decorations being done in FOX theaters. The only time it wasn’t connected with FOX was during its days with Grays Harbor Theaters at the end of it’s first run life.
The Aberdeen Theater is no longer for sale. It was sold over 2 years ago and the church that now occupies the building is not interested in selling. To bad it could have been a nice theater again.
Just had the pleasure of touring the D&R and was pleasently supprised. The building is in very good condition. It will need a complete replacement of all its systems ie: plumbing electrical etc. but that is to be expected. There is a lot of peeling paint but overall very little plaster damage. While Dave and Shaun have there work cut out for them this should prove to be a real gem when they are finished.
Does Harbor Arts Foudation have an e-mail address?
After Grays Harbor Theatres closed due to compitition from Luxury Theaters in the Mall, a young couple re opened the theater and ran it for about a year. That is when the video games were installed and after that failed Nomah Productions took over. Nomah was comprised of John Carlberg, Mark Richey, Ron Carlson, Mark actually lived in the theater during this time. All three of us worked for Grays Harbor Theatres and wanted to see the D&R stay open. Since movies were not an option John wanted to use the theater for live performances. Unfortunatly funds ran out and the group disbanded and the owner Grace Dolan (daughter of builder Ed Dolan) gave the theater to the city of Aberdeen who sealed the building up and then sold it to the current owner who is now selling to Harbor Arts.
There are also pictures of the theater in all of it’s incarnations in the Jones Photo collection. If the collection is still in Aberdeen, Harbor Arts may want to get copy’s. There are exterior and complete interior photo shoots of the theater in it’s original form (1920’s) first remodel (1930’s) and final remodel,(1940’s). These would be invaluable as the blue prints are not exactly what was built originally. During construction there were some changes made in reguards to interior decoration. Also Joe Kruft is correct 87 was about the time that the place closed as I was also a part of Nomah and enjoyed many of those productions.
Thanks for the info.It’s much appreciated.
The original box office was on the outside of the theater but was built into the wall between the entrance doors like the 7th St theater. The current box office is actually the 3rd one to grace the theater. The current marquee is also the 3rd one. The original was quite simple, but there was a verticle blade sign running down the front of the building and there were no verticle stripes on the front. While the original signage did not have the glitz of the later additions, I think a nicely restored facade would be good.
A-Men!! And clean up the entrance, along with replacing the glass in the ticket booth. Getting rid of the chicken wire.
I’m glad to hear that the E7’s are being used while they were very old they were good machines. I have the original manuals for those proj. heads and all the equip used at the 7th st. D&R, Aberdeen and Harbor Drive-In. As for the 7th st. “seeing the light” there are those who are trying to improve things but it is an uphill battle. As Katie stated the people who run the theater have good intentions but they are not “Theater people” and that is the big chalange. But things are getting better although there have been some serious errors made in how things have been done at the 7th st. ie: the large hole in the booth wall.
Thank goodness someone is willing to do something with the D&R. My best wishes for Harbor Arts. This was always the BEST theater on the harbor. This is just the kind of enterprise that can start a revitalization of the down town that has seen so much of it’s business move out.
The “new” equipment I was referring to is the equipment you installed. Which is new compared to the Simplex e7, RCA photophone soundheads and Peerless Magna-Arc lamphouses I used when I was a projectionist there in the early 1980’s. They now also have a real projectionist, Mark Richey, who is trying to teach the people who run the theater what showing a movie is all about. Mark ran the D&R booth for many years befor it closed. The 7th street staff saw no need for screen masking, or using the curtain. There is a contigent at the 7th street who feel the theater should be a live venue only and movies are treated as 2nd class.
You may be right about the Art theater, I was just trying to think of something but first run. But the “stage” at the Aberdeen is really only large enough for a screen and speakers. There is no fly space or lighting, or dressing rooms. Having worked at both the D&R and Aberdeen for many years, the D&R was the only one equiped for stage shows. The Aberdeen was built only for movies. Unfortunatly the D&R has been closed for about 20 years and stripped and would take a vary large influx of cash to re-open. The Aberdeen should be just about turn key with the only issues being projection, sound equipment and a screen.
I agree, someone should do domething with the D&R. If not a theater maybe some kind of performance space, or restaurant and dance club, or comedy club. Something that is going to showcase the buildings attributes. Many large theater have been re-used for other purposes with-out destroying there interiors.
The restoration is coming along, all of the projection equipment has been replaced along with the stage lighting. The theater is working at getting the auditorium cieling re-plastered as there are many large holes due to prior roof leaks. Also they are looking at replacing the original seating and new carpet. The old seating is all wood except for 2 rows of loge seats and the water did a lot of damage. The old carpet is thread bare, in some places held togather with duct tape. It all takes time and money. When they are finished this will be a very nice and comfortable performance venue.
Thank You for the sales info, this is a great opportunity to save one of the areas movie theaters. I think someone could make a go of it if they don’t try to compete with the 10 plex for product. I might be interrested in trying if there is someone out there who whould be willing to partner with. Having grown up in Aberdeen I believe the area would support an alternetive cinema. The closest
Art house is the Capital Theater in Olympia. Besides I have heard that the 10 plex at So Shore Mall is'nt all that great.
I wonder whats left of the theater now that the churuch is going to sell it. The front has been extensivly altered, but if the lobby and auditorium are still intact this could be a nice art house as there is no theater in the area that shows those kinds of films. There is a 10 screen in So. Aberdeen that has the first run product tied up but the art/foriegn/classic market is untapped. A price and condition would be nice, anyone know? Before this became a church it was a nice Warner Bros theater. The only alteration being the removal of part of the wall between the lobby and the auditorium to put in a snack bar.
The Chehalis is a nice place to see a movie. The owners should be comended for efforts to keep a downtown house open in this day of multi meg screen theaters.
Having grown up in Aberdeen I have to agree with Mr. Layton that the So Shore 10 and the mall it resides in is a dump. The Elma theater could be a lot more but it is nice that it is open at all. My grandparents lived in Elma and the whole time I was growing up I don’t remember the theater being open. If it was it seemed that everyone went to Olympia or Aberdeen to see movies. Sometimes people don’t know what they have in their own backyards. The old theaters in Aberdeen are a perfect example of this.
Any information on the projectors would be nice, ie: brand name, age, are they just picture heads or are there sound heads and lamps along with pedastals, etc. Thanks
The Lynwood now has air conditioning. The manager Tj is a personal friend of mine and has done a great job rescuing this theater from closure. The theater is owned by the same people who own Bainbridge Cinemas in Winslow. Parking is still a bit of a challenge, but thats true anywhere on the island. Tj took the theater from first run to art house when it was decided that the place could not support itself anylonger. Since then the Lynwood is a solid money maker, always turning in a healthy profit. The theater is now in the midst of restoring the original marquee. The interior is rather plain but all the original elements are still in place except the procenium which was widened in the 1950’s for cinemascope. The Lynwood is a great example of how a single screen can survive in todays market. And Tj does not show any commercials or advertising, she refuses!! Instead she deliveres a 1 to 2 minute talk on the film your about to enjoy and then its on with the show. Well worth the drive to Bainbridge Island in Kitsap County Washington.