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Kram, I’ve read a bit about the Alex, but am not the best person to compare its interior to the Rialto. On vacation from Philadelphia, I have seen movies at the Rialto, and at the Warner Grand,(and visited dozens of historic LA area moviehouses) but the Alex I haven’t been to. The Alex was restored as a nonprofit, and was never a huge movie palace but was a nabe theater like the Rialto, so I made my suggestion.
Can somebody in LA answer Kram’s question?
June 1999 Philadelphia Magazine rated the UA Riverview 17 as a “3.5” on a 1 to 5 scale with comment “Best Center City mainstream choice – for now” Very high ratings were given in the categories of Seating and Cleanliness.
Philadelphia Weekly November 2006
“the poor old UA Riverview can’t seem to ditch its negative image despite two enormous screens that, along with the main theater at the Ritz Five, are the best venues to see a movie in town.”
Because the main floor auditoriums changed with the addition of the 2nd floor & stadium seating, I waited for the Comments to mention a Feb 2, 1997 Philadelphia article, page A 22. The then General Manager, Ron Angeli, described the largest auditorium as follows:
The screen is huge: 41 feet wide and 18.5 feet tall. The action blasts out of a 2400 watt Surround system that includes 3 stage speakers with horns, 8 on the sides, and 2 in the back. 457 seats.
(My own note to above would be that the main screen at the Sameric, aka Boyd, that United Artists was then operating in downtown Philadelphia, was larger, at more than 50 feet wide.)
The June 1999 Philadelphia Magazine rated the County a very high “4” on a 1 to 5 scale, with comment “Bucks County’s answer to the Ritz. Best Bucks art-house choice.” Highest possible ratings were achieved in the categories of Cleanliness and Service, and very high rating for Seating. For movie Selection, whereas Ritz and Roxy theaters in Philadelphia were specified as “Art-house and indie” the County was stated as “Highbrow fare”
I will add that the movie selection is always top of the line arthouse.
The June 1999 Philadelphia Magazine rated the AMC Woodhaven 10 a “3.8” on a 1 to 5 scale with comment “Across the road from GCC Franklin Mills and just as nice.” (that’s now AMC Franklin Mills). Highest possible rating was achieved in the Seating category, and very high ratings for Cleanliness and Screen & Sound.
The June 1999 Philadelphia Magazine rated the UA Oxford Valley a very high “4” on a 1 to 5 scale with comment “Best of Bucks mainstream theater choices” Highest rating was achieved in the Cleanliness category and very high ratings in the categories of Screen & Sound, and Seating.
Despite the comment, an even higher rating was awarded the Regal Barn Plaza 14.
The June 1999 Philadelphia Magazine rated the Regal Barn Plaza 14 a very high 4.5 on a 1 to 5 scale, with comment “Still has that new-car smell.” Highest possible rating was achieved in the categories of Seating and Cleanliness, and very high ratings in the other categories: Screen & Sound, and Service.
This was the highest rated theater in Bucks County, and higher than almost all theaters rated then in the Philadelphia area.
June 1999 Philadelphia Magazine rated the AMC Neshaminy 24 a “3” on a 1 to 5 scale with comment “One of county’s busiest, and the wear and tear shows.” Highest possible rating was achieved in the Seating category, and very high rating for Screen & Sound. The “Service” rating was lower than any other in the Philadelphia area.
The June 1999 Philadelphia Magazine rated the Ritz Five a “3.8” on a 1 to 5 scale, with comment “Screening rooms are small and tight, with thin walls, but this is still the best art-house choice downtown.” The highest possible rating was achieved in the Seating category, and a very high rating in the Cleanliness category.
The June 1999 Philadelphia Magazine rated the AMC Orleans 8 a “3” on a 1 to 5 scale, with comment “A former cutting-edge theater that has dulled considerably.”
The June 1999 Philadelphia Magazine rated this theater (then a GCC) a 3.8 on a 1 to 5 scale. The highest possible rating was achieved for Seating, and very high ratings for Screen & Sound and Cleanliness. Comment was “Big hair and big attitudes, but not the worst place to see a movie in the Northeast”
By Northeast, the magazine means in Northeast Philadelphia.
On a 1 to 5 scale, the June 1999 Philadelphia Magazine rated this movie theater a very high 4.3 with Comment that it has “All the lastest bells and whistles” It received the highest possible ratings in the categories of Screen & Sound, Seating, and Cleanliness.
On a 1 to 5 scale, June 1999 Philadelphia magazine rated this theater a “4” with comment “Brand-spanking new” It received the highest possible rating in the Screen & Sound category and very high for Seating and for Cleanliness.
Exterior photo here on this realtor’s site:
I think Terry’s recent comment refers to the El Capitan in its pre-restoration years, as the Paramount. A photo of its exterior is depicted here:
I’m not in Los Angeles, but there used to be a display of photos from when El Capitan was the Paramount (including the above photo) outside the theater. Those photos include the auditorium. Are those photos online anywhere?
One our Friends of the Boyd volunteers wrote to me after seeing the photos:
I remember going to all of these theatres…First “date” with my former husband was at the Cinema 19 (“I Am Curious Yellow”) !
Another supporter wrote the following:
Great memories, and thanks for making me feel old. I actually saw Finian’s Rainbow at the Stanley, as well as Ice Station Zebra in Cinerama at the Randolph.
Here’s the Riverview you mention:
makes me want to visit!
I seem to recall reading that the auditorium was in total ruins? It does seem likely this will complete that process. Fortunately, Kansas City has or is restoring at least one movie palace, regardless of whatever is being done to this one.
The Grand Lake added 3 screens in Oakland. London’s Odeon Leicester Square has tiny additional auditoriums which aren’t so relevant to this example. Movies really move over to the twin Odeon West End (until that falls). The last I read the Grand Rex in Paris was in danger because redo plans for the additional screens, etc weren’t being approved.
There’s pharmacy chains almost every block of downtown Philadelphia now. They will oversaturate the market, and every city one will close? NO.
Many sales activities, such as shoes, antique row, etc prosper with more rather than less.
Sound movies (and the growth of the neighborhood moviehouse), TELEVISION (killed Philadelphia’s Earle in 1953, the Mastbaum later in the decade, and resulted in the downsizing of seating at many including the Stanley), the move to the burbs, and multiplexes, killed the movie palaces. Same story played out everywhere in the world. Cities had many, then as of the 1950s…..
Interesting that William mentions the Alex.
Like other theater chains, Landmark is likely going to be more concerned with their megaplexes like their new Westside /theaters/20482/
2000 seats, 12 screens. That’s their for-profit economics.
It is unlikely the Rialto will reopen with the existing auditorium for daily movies, regardless of whether additional screens are added to the auditorium or not. I don’t know whether Landmark would consider dividing up the auditorium, but maybe that misses the point of saving the interior.
Perhaps either of these could be models for South Pasadena to follow with the Rialto:
Aleks in Glendale
Warner Grand, San Pedro
Photos including interior and including the former main chandelier of the auditorium, here:
link was omitted to Dennis' photo of Theatre 1812
As to Box Office:
(at the Goldman) Funny Girl was # 1 at 1968 box office.
(at the Midtown) # 6 was Oliver
Planet of the Apes followed, then Rosemary’s Baby, then Yours, Mine and Ours,
(at Theatre 1812) # 10 was The Lion in Winter
(at Cinema 19) Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was # 17
Yes, large curved marquee.
Photo by Dennis Zimmerman with Lion in Winter on marquee:
Thanks to Dennis for taking the photo & allowing it to be posted.
Photo by Dennis Zimmerman of Funny Girl in 70 mm on the marquee (before the twinning that horrified Vince):
Thanks to Dennis for taking the photo and for allowing it to be posted.
Photo by Dennis Zimmerman with Oliver on marquee:
Thanks to Dennis for taking the photo & allowing it to be posted.