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ABC: Associated British Cinemas were the best cinema chain and had the most distinctive Neon signs, indicating the cinema’s name across the center.
It was a shame when they dropped all of their names and went with just ABC where ever. Everything, today, seems to be just bland initials!
So sorry about your loss… I think the smaller neighborhood cinemas are the ‘bread & butter’ for local merchants!
But check the San Francisco “Destroyed” list. It’s so tragic;
They lost over 30 single screen houses in less than a ten-year period; One in particular was due to ‘crooked Mayoral politics’ in City Hall. Hence, the 1929-1963 “fabulous” FOX, a 5,200 seat house was the grandest of the magnificent Fox empire!
Eat your heart out folks…
I proudly have a beautiful Cherub, which was rescued from the 1963 ruins of the 5,000 seat Fabulous Fox, by a lady-friend of ours.
This gold-leafed treasure was situated over the inner center front lobby doors, between the two exit signs. It’s shown on pages 309 & 315 in the awesome book; FOX, THE LAST WORD by Preston J. Kaufmann.
Have you considered applying for a 501-C-3 ‘non-profit license?
Look into what that ‘title’ offers (small businesses & donors) especially in the world of entertainment.
Perhaps there would be many of these now closed or destroyed cinemas still in operation today, had San Francisco ‘the city that knows how,’ provided more parking garages and lessened the so overdone number of yellow; trucks only, or white; no parking zones.
I wasted more gas and time racing around the blocks desperately searching in vain for an empty parking stall, often giving up and not seeing a movie!
Remember MGM’s Louis B. Mayer’s proclamation? “Every empty theater seat cost’s money.” TELL THAT TO YOUR CITY PARKING DEPARTMENT, because theaters bring people into town and that puts tax dollars back into the city bank account!
As a ‘Public afairs’ Navy Reservist at T.I. in the late 70’s-80’s I often saw a good flick at the Basilone Theater.
I was proudly associated with the 45th Anniversary program about Treasure Island and made some 8'x10' b&w copies of stage and projection equipment from historic photos. These also included the California Building fire at the 1939 World’s Fair. I was informed that a pipe organ was destroyed inside.
The renting of a cinema/theater can be quite costly depending on which day you choose… and the rental, plus shipping of films is not cheap.
A decade ago, I knocked my self out hosting a (501C3 non-profit) “British Film Festival” in the San Francisco area on several ocasions. It was a hell of a lot of hard work, long hours, I lost a fortune BUT had plenty of fun entertaining a few fans!!!
Anyhow, you’ll need to get as much advance publicity as possible… go on ‘local’ TV & radio chat shows (especially PBS), talk to the newspapers for a write-up w/photos and pass out hand fliers in the theater lobby and sidewalk. Start a ‘Newsletter’ via E-mail, etc.
Finally, ask all of your family and friends to volunteer some help.
Remember to smile because the show must go on regardless.
Once again… WHY is it all about the almighty “$” regarding ticket sales?
How about the headcount attendance number. hummmmm? I ask this because of the variance of admission prices depending which little black box you decide to attend across this country.
Perhaps there are SCRAP YARDS containing suitable used steel girders to frame the replacement screens. I hope so and good luck!
Yes CT… you deserve a break and thanks for the ever-continuing cinema news items…
This was my first Labor Day holiday since 1965 and that was due to a heart attack.
I watched more flicks on the hospital’s ancient ‘goggle box’ than ever before even though everyone had purple faces with sickly green backgrounds.
My frustrations nearly came to discharging myself earlier than the doctor prescribed, but it’s nice to be home with corrected colors on my big screen TV and feeling swell once again!
Why does everyone have to stand in almost the same spot to take another identical photo that others have posted before?
Bill, Thank you for the incredible and useful information.
I need HELP to name a theater please…
More than a decade ago, I walked the entire length of the Broadway area and found an old 1920’s NAMELESS theater, on a side street, which was used as a black church. They kindly ushered me in, while the service continued, to admire the architecture.
I took three “Brownie”, lobby only, photos;
Brass(?) Three level magnificent chandelier w/clustered candles.
White Corinthian columns w/soft mauve surrounding paintwork.
Lots of gold leaf above/below on surrounding mezzanine.
I think the stage curtains (Austrian ?) were dark green velvet?
Can anyone help me name my pictures please as NYC is a long way from Oregon? Thanks!
The May 19th ‘09 website address above does NOT work!
Hey Quasimodo… You must be a champion tightwad like old Scrooge!
There are countless warehouses across this vast country of closed and destroyed cinemas bursting at the seems with cinema equipment, especially projectors.
It’s known as ‘a helping hand’. They could easily DONATE something as a TAX DEDUCTION and receive some ‘Free Movie Passes’ as an added thank you.
That’s what we need in the greater Portland area is COMPETITION!!!
Someone please tell me… What is so wrong with reopening the lovely old and historic (art deco) Wilshire Theatre by adjoining more auditoriums to current and now closed building?
People with foresight in the U.S. Navy port city of Alameda, Ca., did just this, and successfully, to the historic Alameda Theatre.
Above, Gary Parks made mention of a Nickelodeon on Haight Street near Clayton Street, on your right going out towards Golden Gate Park. It was named the SUNSET THEATRE, later the Superbia (#1). It has an large beautiful crested archway with maroon tiles.
A sales clerk in this (antique clothing) store showed me an original, very early dated full size poster (then) displayed in a dressing room. I also took a photo(s)of it: “The Lady of the Lake” -a 3-reeler, Admission five cents. I suggested it be placed in a more secure area because of theft.
Sadly, a similar 1920’s framed etching (one of a pair) once hung in S.F’s awesome Castro Theatre in the left lobby but went missing during a certain film festival.
How can I send/e-mail you or “Auntie Beeb’s” a copy of this?
Simon Overton (ex-Brit, ABC Forum, Southampton, now in Oregon, USA.
P.S.I do hope your documentary will air in the US -on PBS-TV I hope!
What a grand looking facade, especially the marquee and lights!
Question… If folks cannot afford $5 for a ticket then how much do these ‘yuppies’ blow on a late' coffee or their nails?.
Get a life by removing your fat rear end out of your couch and go see a first-run movie before the cinema is gone… and then you’ll wish you had!
Life is NOT that important to have your cell phone “on” for a 90-minute flick… TURN IT OFF and record a simple message “Hi, I’m at the movies, so call me back in 2 hours.” If it’s not that important, the caller will do as requested.
I get right in these stupid teeny-bopper-offenders face and growl at them about having them ejected from the nearest door… and they actually comply!
So sad… a favorite flick house of mine when not attending the fabulous Castro, super little Roxie, the almost original Clay and a few other classic, classy cinemas!
Can anyone bring us up to date with regard a fire some many moons ago? and I wonder what will happen to the historic equipment plus assorted artifacts? And is a Wallgreen’s drug store moving in before the projector lamp is cold?
It would be of interest to ‘prospective buyers’ to list exactly what you have for sale, along with complete description, quantities and pricing.
Also, WHERE you are located and the cinema’s name, etc. Thanks!
Like I said in a former comment many moons ago…
It would be most interesting to list the countless cinema/theater auditoriums located on the military bases all across the U.S.
Michael, what a wonderful idea you’ve come up with. I truly hope that your petition works.
Perhaps you should clearly remind all of the store owners that cinemas and theaters bring people into that part of town and they, like your proposed cinema(s), will reap the benefits of patrons both ways. You further need to get your plans aired on all of the local television stations!!!
And what about you approaching Carmike’s corporate offices and asking them to hire you to be trained as a future manager?
GOOD LUCK young man… go for it!
How about re-releasing some of the real classic epics in 3D; “Gone With The Wind', "Lawrence of Arabia”, “Titanic” and hundreds more!
I feel our “senior” audiences will begin to patronize the cinema again.
It’s a tough market to get into especially if you have no prior experience.
You really need to get professional advice from movie cinema expert and remember “location, location, location” is most important as well as good foot traffic, buses and parking availability.
One other important requirement is a reputable and well seasoned film booker. Check-out San Francisco’s single screen CASTRO THEATRE -they really have a winning format and L.A. based agency.