Comments from HowardBHaas

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HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas commented about Beekman Theatre on Feb 2, 2006 at 5:12 pm

Thanks for the clarification, Astrocks.
As to the Beekman, I photographed the Art Moderne hardware, in the interior, too, and I hoped somebody salvaged it.
I’m gonna miss the Beekman!

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas commented about Yeadon Theatre on Feb 1, 2006 at 1:28 pm

Thanks! The Yeadon theater was one I attended often for decades, seeing many movies like “The Sting” which won the Academy Award for Best Picture, and many blockbusters ranging from James Bond films to the disaster flicks. I recall Mrs. Friedman and how she furnished the lobby areas with antique furniture. The house was always full of people!
I continued attending movies in the 1990’s at the Yeadon, because I love the ambience of a historic single screen theater. The Milgram family of theater operators had taken over. The best movie I saw there in the 1990’s was “Malcolm X” for which Denzel Washington deserved an Academy Award, but didn’t get it. Never has an actor been more convincing in a biographical role.

Throughout the United States, there are vacant lots on main streets where movie houses used to be, and they stay vacant for decades. The Yeadon theater is in the middle of Yeadon’s main street, and they should consider carefully all the possibilities, including that of Greg Wax reopening the theater as a state of the art moviehouse. He has various ways of doing so, some without any funding from government.

Towns in our Philadelphia area that have kept or reopened historic movie theaters have seen restaurants, stores, and nightlife blossom! Examples include Phoenixville (the Colonial), Ambler, Wayne (the Anthony Wayne), Narberth, Bryn Mawr, Jenkintown (the Hiway), and Bala Cynywd, but there are more.

Towns that have seen their theaters close include Ardmore which let its historic moviehouse be gutted for a health club. Now the town leaders are very upset and debating a redevelopment plan most people seem to hate. If only they had kept a theater open!

The volunteers that I have led to save Center City Philadelphia’s last movie palace, the Boyd (www.FriendsOfTheBoyd.org) have seen that with the theater’s reopening announcement, many nearby restaurants have already opened- even before the theater! And, they’ve told us they opened there for the expected theater crowds. And, the street that the Boyd is on, Chestnut Street, had been dead at night. Theaters have a great effect, if they are reopened and are in the right locations to attract an audience with good programs. And, Greg Wax has shown he knows how to do so in his other theaters, no suprise, he’s a third generation movie operator!

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas commented about Yeadon Theater May Be Demolished on Feb 1, 2006 at 1:10 pm

In addition to the Yeadon, Rob Bender has other marvelous photos on his site including those he took of some open historic Philadelphia suburban theaters (Bala, Bryn Mawr, Narberth, Phoenixville’s Colonial), closed suburban theaters in Ardmore and the closed Philadelphia’s Uptown (including interior shots of this Art Deco masterpiece), and some in New Jersey and elsewhere.

http://www.robbender.com/gallery/theaters

I’ve put my photos of the Bala, and another open movie house in the Philadelphia suburb of Jenkintown, the Hiway, here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/howardbhaas/

Please patronize the historic theaters!

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas commented about Yeadon Theater May Be Demolished on Feb 1, 2006 at 8:12 am

Thanks, Ross, for posting. We in the Philadelphia region haven’t done a great job in preserving our movie theater heritage. Many of us have dedicated ourselves to saving our French Art Deco movie palace, the Boyd Theatre in Philadelphia (www.FriendsOfTheBoyd.org), but it would be a shame not to also keep the remarkable “American Art Deco” (i.e. streamlined moderne) Yeadon theater designed by John Eberson.

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas commented about Loews/AMC Merger Now Official on Jan 30, 2006 at 3:53 pm

I haven’t reviewed the numbers, but I think there are way more Loews theaters than there were GCC theaters. This will take some time, both with newspaper ads (which can go faster) and with theater signage. assuming AMC intends to rebrand the theaters.

I also hope the Tower East survives. Clearview tookover what they now call the Beekman One and Two, so perhaps they would operate the nearby Tower East. I’m also interested in seeing the Uptown in Washington D.C. continue with movies.

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas commented about Loews/AMC Merger Now Official on Jan 30, 2006 at 2:54 pm

Ron,
The Philadelphia Inquirer still lists the Loews Cherry Hill 24 in the movie clock.

As AMC announced that all theaters will be renamed?

As to signage, don’t expect instant sign changes at this many theaters! If they are going to change the names to AMC, that will take time.

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas commented about Ziegfeld Theatre on Jan 28, 2006 at 4:47 am

Please excuse my third comment in a row, but I have just seen this posting by Theaterbuff1 at /theaters/7096/

“Actually what I really should’ve said in my earlier commentary above was that after the federal government moved its Northeast Philadelphia headquarters into the former GCC Northeast 4 building — along with all Philadelphia attorneys who practice Social Security Disability law — at that point it would make perfectly good sense to bring out the wrecking ball and go ahead and knock the whole building to the ground.”

My question is whether Theaterbuff1 is saying he would use a wrecking ball or other means of destruction like a bomb to attack a federal building and kill people inside. After Oklahoma City and 9-11, we should all be on the alert for such threats, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and other government agencies would be interested in knowing of such threats or intentions of death and destruction.

As New York City pages including the Ziegfeld page seem to be the pages most heavily used, it seems appropriate given his comments above, to enter this here. Like all Americans, Philadelphians were shocked at 9-11, and we don’t need these kinds of postings.

I don’t find the post amusing, especially he knows that I am among the lawyers he is referring to. And, before I hear his reply, I will say that I’ve never advocated for the destruction of any theater building. I’ve volunteered since 2002 to save movie palaces and theaters and other buildings, not destroy them.

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas commented about GCC Northeast 4 on Jan 28, 2006 at 4:18 am

Theaterbuff1, are you advocating destruction of a federal building and death to federal employees by use of a “wrecking ball”? Are you suggesting you might man the “wrecking ball” or bomb a federal bulding? Or that you might seek other people to do so? If so, there are government agencies that may wish to interview you, starting with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the F.B.I, and the Philadelphia Police.

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas commented about Mayfair Theatre on Jan 28, 2006 at 4:09 am

On 1-27-06 at the Ziegfeld page /theaters/12/
Theaterbuff1 wrote “in no instance have I ever requested that merchants, Hollywood, or the City carry the burden themselves.”

But, on 1-17-06 above, he wrote: “Thus I would suggest the city should foot the cost of its full restoration and day-to-day operational expenses….”

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas commented about AMC Orleans 8 on Jan 28, 2006 at 3:59 am

It is my impression that customers don’t have a hard time finding WalMart and Target stores, which serve themselves as showrooms. Those companies neither need to, nor will, ensure a future for the Orleans.

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas commented about Ziegfeld Theatre on Jan 28, 2006 at 3:25 am

Also, my political views have never been expressed on the Internet or the media. My political views are not the business of cinema treasures. Considering how he manages to relay his own views, TheaterBuff1 should not be attempting to relay or interpret my views of historic figures that he may gleam off site in any way including replies to emails. Nor should he be extracting such comments from direct email correspondence. I am not going to comment on this website or any other on which historic figues I admire or don’t.

Theaterbuff1 is used to putting down people as “Taliban” and the like (see the Holme theater pages above), since they don’t have views as he does, but this website is supposed to celebrate our movie palace and movie theater heritage, not comment on people’s politics.

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas commented about Ziegfeld Theatre on Jan 28, 2006 at 3:01 am

After hdtv267 referred above, yesterday, wrote
“I’m looking forward to the upcoming schedule announcement and actually doing something to help bring back a great old theatre and just not pontiificate about it and expect merchants to perform magic tricks.”

I wrote above “we have never requested merchants, Hollywood, or the City to carry the burden by themselves, as the other gentleman has suggested.”

I’m am a very precise attorney so as TheaterBuff1 says that’s not his expectation, I copied below his quotes from the 3 theater pages on this website at which he proposes that merchants, Hollywood, and the City carry the burden, and I urge everybody visit those theater pages and read more. Of course, merchants, the city, and Hollywood, are not going to save the Orleans from demolition or reopen the long closed Mayfair or Holme theaters.

Now whether it’s to be a Wal*Mart or a Target store that’s to be taking over that site, whoever it’s to be could foot the entire bill of restoring and covering its day-to-day operations in such a way so that on their behalf it could serve as a major showroom for their products, ranging from carpeting to tile to curtains to toilets to DVDs they sell of movies being exhibited there and so on and so forth. 1-27-06 AMC Orleans 8, Philadelphia
/theaters/3328/

Thus I would suggest the city should foot the cost of its full restoration and day-to-day operational expenses rather than any private benefactors or corporate sponsors assuming this cost. 1-17-06 Mayfair Theatre, Philadelphia /theaters/8257/

And it wouldn’t be a case of Hollywood’s getting behind restoring this building as a theater as an act of charity, mind you, but rather, in full recognition of its tremendous money-making potential, and in terms of creating the perfect prototype of the neighborhood theater of the future. 12-15-05 Holme Theatre
/theaters/9141/

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas commented about Ziegfeld Theatre on Jan 27, 2006 at 7:07 am

Although I am sure you are referring to someone else who posts on certain Philadelphia theaters, rather than me, that might not be clear to readers on this theater page. The Friends of the Boyd and Committee to Save the Sameric have already done much to save the Boyd and advance an excellent restoration and program. We are now working with the new theater owner, Live Nation, to accomplish our mission. Of course, we have never requested merchants, Hollywood, or the City to carry the burden by themselves, as the other gentleman has suggested. Fortunately, Live Nation is making a tremendous investment, and we will assist in any way we can. Other thoughts about the Boyd should probably be directed to that page rather than this one.

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas commented about Ziegfeld Theatre on Jan 27, 2006 at 6:44 am

I am not a huge fan of movie musicals. I didn’t like Chicago. I was charmed by Moulin Rouge, which I also saw at the Ziegfeld. I skipped seeing anywhere Rent and The Producers. I would have seen The Producers, but the critics said it looked like they just filmed the play raher than making a movie, much like what you are saying.

To comment further on Rhett’s remarks, I think the Rings might have an audience, especially for people who want to see them all at once on the very large screen. Gladiator is also a movie that plays much better on the large screen than on a TV, but I’m not sure if it reached any legendary status among filmgoers. We all know Ben Hur reached that status.

Frankly, I’d doubt there is going to be a huge success during weekday screenings of the same movies playing during the weekends. I hope many attend the weekend shows.

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas commented about Ziegfeld Theatre on Jan 27, 2006 at 4:13 am

We don’t have dates or films scheduled yet. We are working towards this goal.
Most likely our films will be during the summer.
I don’t understand why the link doesn’t work, but I tried it and you are correct. No problem directly going onto our website.
In the meantime, our 1980’s Philadelphia themed film will be at International House in Philadelphia on Friday eve May 12, in 35 MM, Brian DePalma’s Blow Out.

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas commented about Ziegfeld Theatre on Jan 27, 2006 at 2:07 am

We know we will see you, Vince, at our 70 MM film shows at Philadelphia’s Boyd, www.FriendsOfTheBoyd.org, which we are working to have after the movie palace reopens.

There aren’t very many theaters that can still 70 MM since so many have closed. There are others in NYC that would be wonderful venues that likely still have their 70 MM projectors such as the Paris theater.

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas commented about Ziegfeld Theatre on Jan 27, 2006 at 1:54 am

I’ve seen almost all of these movies on large movie screens, most in reissue, the newer ones when issued, but I haven’t seen The Godfather II on a movie screen and have been eager to catch it immediately after The Godfather I. So, I am looking forward to enjoying The Godfather I and II on the large screen. I think II was issued in 35, not 75, so I won’t be worrying about format. And, I am grateful that we are getting so many great films in 35 MM. Of course, I’d love to see a 75 MM film festival at the Ziegfeld and at Radio City. If many attend this event, then with credibility we could make such a request.

They usually (though not always) use a curtain, but if a projectionist doesn’t, people should tell them that classic film fans NEED a curtain!

I saw Chicago when it was issued at the Ziegfeld, and doubt it was a wise choice, but maybe there are fans who will see it.

Everybody should spread the word, because Rhett is right on the money. The Ziegfeld needs way more people attending than the usual suspects on this site in order to be interested in hosting more classics.

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas commented about Mayfair Theatre on Jan 27, 2006 at 1:41 am

Yes! That’s a splendid way of using positive thinking to return the moviehouse to single screen daily operation as a “classy neigbhorhood movie theater” in our great city!

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas commented about Mayfair Theatre on Jan 26, 2006 at 4:59 pm

Agreed!

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas commented about AMC Orleans 8 on Jan 26, 2006 at 4:03 pm

Thank you for your kind comments about the Boyd Theatre. The City did not feel “compelled to maintain its grandeur.” Three owners in a row fought historic designation. With designation denied, and the theater closed, and the owner obtaining a demolition permit, the Art Deco showplace appeared doomed. I organized the Committee to Save the Sameric, and later, the Friends of the Boyd, and countless hours later, the Boyd, under new ownership, will reopen, and the Friends of the Boyd continue to assist for a comprehensive restoration, and a program to include films, public tours, and exhibits of the theater’s history. www.FriendsOfTheBoyd.org

As to the Orleans, I think you are correct. I went to see it as after it had been divided. From what I know, the Cine Capri was nicer.

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas commented about GCC Northeast 4 on Jan 26, 2006 at 3:52 pm

Closed, site waiting for reuse.

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas commented about GCC Northeast 4 on Jan 26, 2006 at 3:39 pm

Let’s clarify. Are you saying the federal government agency should move into the former movie theater, and then that the former movie theater should be demolished???

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas commented about Mayfair Theatre on Jan 26, 2006 at 3:33 pm

It will be interesting to see you convince the City of Philadelphia to provide “the cost of its full restoration and day-to-day operational expenses”

It would be equally interesting to see pigs fly.

Maybe we can all clap our hands and make it happen?

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas commented about Boyd Theatre on Jan 26, 2006 at 3:28 pm

Anybody who wants to help Friends of the Boyd with our mission for the Boyd Theatre can visit www.FriendsOfTheBoyd.org

To answer recently asked frequent questions, the Boyd will likely reopen in 2007. What used to be 3 small auditoriums next door has been gutted to become a big space for retail or restaurant, still owned by the former owner of the Boyd, the Goldenberg Group.

The Boyd Theatre is owned by Live Nation, the spinoff company from Clear Channel. Friends of the Boyd are helping in any way we can.

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas commented about AMC Orleans 8 on Jan 26, 2006 at 3:22 pm

Ok, great, if we are in fantasyland, maybe for Christmas, Santa Claus can bring a magnificient single screen movie palace to the area!! And, maybe he can stand in front and let everybody in for free and give them super cheap refreshments! Why not?

Or, if we want to live in the real world, and if we are lucky, a new stadium seat multiplex might arise somewhere in the area if the Orleans closes. Otherwise, people will need to travel some distance to a movie theater.