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This was one of my favorite cinemas. I first knew it as the KB Cinema. After the KB chain closed, Cineplex Odeon reopened it and placed their tree-looking sconces on the side walls of the auditoriums. Eventually, C.O. also installed new luxury chairs. In the mid to late 1980’s, it played mainstream blockbusters. After the early 1990’s, it hosted some mainstream films in the summer, but mostly played arthouse films
It had 826 seats. The screen was 40 feet wide and looked even bigger. The screen was perfectly set, for wonderful sightlines! Before it closed, it advertised as having the second largest movie screen in Washington, D.C.
The ability to showcase mainstream blockbusters diminished when Cineplex Odeon opened the Wisconsin Avenue Cinemas, since most blockbusters played there or the Uptown. Later, the Mazza Gallerie opened, so most mainstream films played Uptown, Wisconsin, or Mazza for Northwest Washington and mostly arthouse films were shown at the Cinema. Before the Mazza Gallerie opened nearby, the projectionist told me he didn’t understand why the Cinema would close because it was doing a million dollars business a year. He wasn’t looking forward to Loews taking over, as he thought the Cineplex Odeon concessions including candy had better selections.
The moviehouse’s problem with getting enough people to see arthouse films probably resulted from the openings of the suburban and downtown Landmark multiplexes.
Until it closed, samples of food, gum, etc. were often given out to departing movie patrons.
I saw many movies to sold out crowds in this once very popular moviehouse.
In December, 2006, I visited it in its current form as a furniture store. Staff told me trucks had used much concrete to level the auditorium. They said the store opened in May, 2006. The decorative metalwork and stairs leading downstairs to the former auditorium, now a furniture showroom, survived. Before going downstairs to the main floor is the former projection booth, now a gallery for dining and kitchen furniture.
The 70 mm projectors were retrieved by the Loews Jersey volunteers.
Here’s a photo I took in 2004 when still a cinema:
“A Very Long Engagement” indeed! That was the last film.
This website isn’t about parades or flowers!! It is for people who cherish historic theaters. I didn’t get to the Tivoli when it was open, when I visited Chicago, but it was on my list, and if had been restored, nothing would’ve stopped me from visiting your town. And, many other people reading this website would’ve have visited, paid to see a show, had a meal nearby, etc. Now, I won’t ever visit your town, and my guess is that when most of the other readers of this site visit Chicago and the region, visiting Lombard won’t be on their list either!
your signature of FIENDS tells us all we need to know. Perhaps this weekend you will see the new movie about zombies, 28 Weeks Later, and root for the flesh eating zombies.
Throughtout the nation, many movie palaces that hit their highlight in the 1950’s or 1960’s have been saved, restored, and reopened, as community treasures. This site is for those who respect that history. You are presumably pro-development, presumably seeking something newer, instead- fine. But, there’s no need to gloat on this website over the destruction of a historic building. Surely you must have a community blog where you can do that.
It is truly a sorry day in America when people (3 above) are gloating over the destruction of a once beautiful movie palace, one that meant a great deal to many people in the community.
I am going to guess that Mann is NOT, repeat NOT, reopening the theater. If it is going to reopen soon under a different operator, the newspaper ad is probably simply wrong. Often, the studios that place the ads mistakenly use the former name until they realize otherwise.
Recent exterior photos by Rob Bender of exterior and balcony:
Like the Ziegfeld, the Chelsea West is closed until Spiderman 3 opens.
Other people may wish to advise what eating or drinking establishments are nearby, but I am happy to advise you that there is a full bar in the Tower Theatre open for shows. As to food, when shows are presented, there is pizza, hot dogs, pretzels, candy and cookies.
This week, for a few more days, the Senator is featuring the restored 1964 epic “Becket”
I’d love to see more classic films shown at this classic, and class act Art Deco gem!
My exterior photo taken this month:
Visiting London, last Friday eve, I enjoyed “Lives with Others” with live Q & A with the German director. The sold out audience was thrilled with his interesting, entertaining answers.
Here’s a photo I took of the beautiful auditorium:
My exterior photo taken this month when I visited this Art Deco gem:
my April 2007 photo of the ceiling dome.
my photo of the Wurlitzer organ is blurry, but I was told it is now played Thursdays about lunchtime.
On way to visit Horniman Museum, I spotted this ex-cinema and was astonished to see so many original decor features survive though used as a pub. Couldn’t tell if balcony (circle) is used, but could see it from main floor.
View of exterior, taken April 2007:
View of Proscenium Arch of Auditorium, taken April 2007:
The Paris is giving out a leaflet describing the current feature, The Namesake (a very good film which was well attended), and specifying Coming Soon: Paris, Je T'aime and La Vie En Rose.
Leaflet also states “Opened in 1948, the Paris Theatre is the longest continuously operating art cinema in the United States. We are proud of the Paris which has premiered many of the best American independent and international films throughout its history. The Paris Theatre is a landmark in the heart of New York City and in the hearts of discerning New York filmgoers”
Friends of the Boyd www.FriendsOfTheBoyd.org appreciate the mention on this website, and your ongoing support. Philadelphia must not lose its last surviving premiere motion picture palace.
for photos of this theater.
Today’s Philadelphia Daily News reports Dan Gross | LiveNation dumping Sameric?LIVENATION has “launched a process to divest” the majority of its North American theatrical assets, the company announced in the fourth-quarter financial report released on Thursday.
The report includes a Philadelphia theater among those to be sold. That would be the Sameric at 19th and Chestnut streets.
The theater, built as the Boyd in 1928, is Center City’s last great movie palace and was closed in May 2002. Clear Channel, of which LiveNation is a subsidiary, bought the theater in January 2005 from the Goldenberg Group, and said it would turn the Sameric into a multi-use entertainment house. We reported in September that LiveNation had ceased construction and renovations on the Art Deco theater, and said its sale was “possible.”
Howard B. Haas, chairman of Friends of the Boyd, a nonprofit group working to preserve the theater, is upset that the theater could again face demolition if sold to an owner who is not interested in operating it as a live venue.
Haas said his group will do whatever it can to ensure that the theater is not demolished.
“We are looking at all options for the property and a sale is one possibility,” LiveNation spokesman John Vlautintold us in an e-mail. “But nothing definitive has been decided at this point about the Boyd,” he wrote.
LiveNation is also selling its Broadway Across America business, which programs touring theater shows. Industry speculation is that LiveNation is looking to sell the venues as a package.
“We cannot predict when, or if, any transaction will occur with respect to these properties,” the company’s economic report said.
Last year the Pearl Group bought three small auditoriums attached to the Boyd from the Goldenberg Group and is seeking retail or restaurant tenants.
It would be unacceptable for the Senator to close! It is an Art Deco gem, and one of the best remaining historic moviehouses in the nation. It is a great theater and a huge asset to the Baltimore-Washington DC region. Something should be worked out to avert the immediate crisis. Afterwards, donations, grants, etc. should be obtained to ensure continued operation and community enjoyment of the Senator.
This sounds like terrible news.
News story at View link
The theater has been rescued by Lori Nay and Diana Spencer. They had been trying for 20 years to rescue the theater which opened in 1912. A potential one million dollar restoration is planned for the Beaux Arts theater. A unique feature of the theater is a well in the basement which was used for cooling and heating the theater.
He continues as a leading member of the state house.
Although the screen isn’t a giant like the Uptown in DC, it is a very big screen. I usually sit towards the back of the “orchestra” seating and appreciate how large the Ziegfeld screen actually does look. It is bigger than most screens in megaplexes, though not all of them.
Has Clearview in fact already been sold to Liberty Media? I didn’t find a sale in a quick google search.
A friend suggests to me the following (after I also sent him the links to exterior photos for two Phila. area theaters- Bala and Anthony Wayne:
“The photos were taken with a fish-eye lens. The blue color is probably cause they didn’t want to use normal color photos and didn’t want to use black-and-white either, so they went for a tinted monochrome photo. I get the feeling they didn’t care at all about showing off the theatres, but just wanted some distinct placeholder graphic for each one.”