Comments from HowardBHaas

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HowardBHaas commented about MacArthur Theater on Jul 22, 2007 at 10:02 am

JodarMovieFan, the community was really upset, which is especially ironic considered how apprehensive they were that a movie theater was going to open back in 1946.

I’ve searched flickr for photos, but none. Can’t somebody photo its exterior?

My 1995 notes are that MacArthur’s 2 small screens, both from in the sides of the auditorium but not all the way to the front, were maybe each about 20 feet wide. The middle auditorium with original Proscenium Arch (screen) had about 500 seats, a stage, and orange curtain that was used before the screen (whereas the vertical curtains in the small auds were no longer used in 1995) and screen that looked like 40 feet wide. There were 25 rows of 2 seats, 13, 2 more, and then additional seats in front of that configuration. Each auditorium had a tiny balcony of 12 seats. There weren’t any bothersome (glaring) lights or exit signs near the screen. I saw John Boorman’s Beyond Rangoon that day, which was beautifully filmed; in 1998, I saw his Hope and Glory but possibly in one of the small screens.

JodarMovieFan, why don’t you post some memories of the Cinema on that page? I saw Empire of the Sun in 70 mm there. I’ve been the only one posting on that page, and that theater deserves way more!

HowardBHaas commented about Ziegfeld Theatre on Jul 22, 2007 at 9:46 am

Hairspray photos don’t seem to be flickr posted yet (wait, people post even years later) but looking at the last half year (difficult because somebody posted hundreds of vintage beautiful Ziegfeld girls), here’s a few of the most interesting:

This photo & a few adjoining photos of A Mighty Heart premiere:

Sicko premiere with director Moore in the auditorium!

not a premiere but a couple nice photos of the Lobby:
View link

HowardBHaas commented about MacArthur Theater on Jul 22, 2007 at 8:51 am

Later, in 1997, a letter to the editor was in the Washington DC Post, stating that Cineplex Odeon didn’t speak to the community, and instead presented 2nd run movies there.

I believe the theater’s last day was 3-30-1997 with English Patient likely having on the big screen, and on the 2 smaller screens, Jerry Maguire and Prisoners of the Mountains (Russian film).

11-10-1997 Washington Post, Business Section reported the theater had become a CVS despite a local boycott “I shall return.” The CVS had been open 3 weeks.

HowardBHaas commented about Wisconsin Avenue Cinemas on Jul 22, 2007 at 8:45 am

Steve, what do you mean “control of the space”? Is Fannie Mae using the space?

HowardBHaas commented about MacArthur Theater on Jul 22, 2007 at 8:43 am

3-23-1997 Washington Post article (page C-2) stated this theater would closed, despite 5000 petition signatures from the community wishing it to continue showing movies. The article says the theater, which opened 12-25-1946, had met with community protest before it opened! The article said that KB & Warner Brothers ran the theater, but in the early 1950’s, WB departed. KB made much money back then, in 1952 with Best of British movies, such as Peter Sellers comedies, dramas with Alec Guiness, Lawrence Oliver. It then had a 2nd floor lounge, assigned seats, ushers, candy but no popcorn. In the mid 1960’s it became 1st run, previously having served a nabe theater ike KBs Naylor, Princess, Atlas, Senator, Apex (and also Ontario, Calvert). In 1981, KB proposed demolition, to build an office building. In 1982 it became a Circle theater, with 2 more screens created within the original auditorium. However, since the 1987 sale of Circle to Cineplex Odeon, Cineplex Odeon lost money operating it.

HowardBHaas commented about Wisconsin Avenue Cinemas on Jul 22, 2007 at 8:25 am

My earlier notes indicate that (perhaps earlier than when closed) theater 1 had 280 seats, theaters 2 & 3 had 190 seats, 4 had 450 seats, 5 had 495 seats, and 6 had 255 seats, and that 4 & 5 had 70 mm projectors.

My later notes indicate that by 1995, 4 had 400 seats, and theater 5 had 460 seats and that this theater was 6 blocks south ofTenleytown

HowardBHaas commented about Baronet West Theatre on Jul 22, 2007 at 7:56 am

According to Headley’s book on DC area cinemas, the Baronet West was a “tiny, drab duplex”

HowardBHaas commented about AMC Loews Uptown 1 on Jul 21, 2007 at 6:12 pm

JodarMovieFan, don’t eat that food often!

I’m hoping that if AMC does depart, that a future operator could in addition to new releases, show some giant screen 70 mm epics again! I saw the restored Lawrence of Arabia at the Uptown, but missed the color corrected version in 2002 and would like to see it at the Uptown. I saw a color faded Dr. Zhivago at the Uptown in 1991, and not that long thereafter skipped the restored 70 mm Dr. Zhivago at the Avalon, but I’d like to see it at the Uptown. And, there’s many more 70 mm classics. The Egyptian in Hollywood has a summer 70 mm classic series.

HowardBHaas commented about Saban Theatre on Jul 21, 2007 at 4:06 pm

Restoration of the original Art Deco glamour would sell more tickets, too!

HowardBHaas commented about Anthony Wayne Theatre on Jul 21, 2007 at 9:59 am

12-11-1998 Philadelphia Inquirer article by Mary Blakinger, Inquirer Suburban Staff, entitled “A movie house in Wayne ready to come back to life"
Wayne- The curtain is poised to rise at the Anthony Wayne Theater, bringing life back to an art-deco landmark here that went dark when AMC left more than a year ago.
Clearview Cinemas Group, the new tenant, has renovated the interior, uncovering and restoring much of the plaster ornamentation adorning the entryway and lobby walls.
Outside, building owner Steve Bajus has given the twin-towered terra-cotta facade a face-lift.
"Hopefully, sometime next week we’ll be open and running,” said John Halecky, a vice president with Clearview, based in Chatham, N.J.
The renovations must still pass a final round of inspections for safety and handicapped access, Halecky said, preventing him from specifying an opening day.
But contractor Peter Cimino, a vice president of Largo Construction in Bensalem, said his crew was intent on having work in the lobby and at least three, if not four, of the five movie auditoriums finished today.
“It’s going to be a fantastic asset to the community as we thought all along,” said Harry Hurst. He served as president of the Friends of the Anthony Wayne Theater, a community group organized in 1995 to save the theater when residents learned the building was for sale.
Clearview, which also operates the Bala Theater in Lower Merion, has divided the Anthony Wayne into five auditoriums with a total of 750 seats. It formerly had two screens.
The theater, designed by architect William H. Lee, was built in 1928 by Harry Fried. People called it Fried’s Folly because it was such a grand movie palace in what then was the edge of the suburbs, said his son, Irving “Bud” Fried of Lower Merion.
Fried, 7 years old when the Anthony Wayne opened, fondly remembers the goldfish pond set in a lobby alcove, which was decorated by a ceramic-tile mosaic.

HowardBHaas commented about AMC Loews Uptown 1 on Jul 21, 2007 at 5:11 am

Since AMC tookover, I’ve been there for Flags of our Fathers, Bobby, Eragon, and Spiderman 3, and haven’t seen scratched prints or screen!

My point is the Uptown will close if you chase people away (and we don’t know if another operator will show films there or not). If customers experience problems, such as scratched anything, they should directly say something to the staff.

AMC doesn’t have union projectionists, classics or 70 mm presentations at the Uptown, but they are operating the Uptown and movies are fun experienced at the Uptown.

HowardBHaas commented about AMC Loews Uptown 1 on Jul 21, 2007 at 4:26 am

JodarMovieFan, did you say something to the staff? I’ve been there since, to Spiderman 3, and didn’t see any scratches.

HowardBHaas commented about AMC Loews Uptown 1 on Jul 20, 2007 at 7:54 pm

I meant that in various theaters, sound sometimes is lowered. I didn’t mean at the Uptown.

HowardBHaas commented about AMC Loews Uptown 1 on Jul 20, 2007 at 7:53 pm

Where do you work? New York? But, you are hearing Uptown customers complain? You are a projectionist, right? A union projectionist?

As an audience member, my perception is different. It seems that 99% of the audience doesn’t complain as long as the movie runs. If you are a projectionist, yes, I’m sure you get complaints. I often hear that the sound has been turned low because one person asked. (I’m not saying you would do that).

Yes, most single screeners are gone, but there are still some special ones that have survived. I don’t know if considering the Uptown’s huge screen, they could also host some live events (other than church).

HowardBHaas commented about Cineworld Cinema - Leicester Square on Jul 20, 2007 at 7:45 pm

Prior marquee seen lit up a little bit in my Oct 2005 photo:

It lit up much, in changing different colors.

Looking at the photos that Ian posted above (which indicate to me that new marquee is boring) it doesn’t appear new marquee lights up? Is that at least a balcony people can stand enter from inside the theater?

HowardBHaas commented about AMC Loews Uptown 1 on Jul 20, 2007 at 6:43 pm

You’ve heard “many” complain? Really! Then pigs are flying. (Link a blog, cinematour, or other website to “many”!) I’ve been to countless theaters in numerous cities and know that no matter how lousy projection is, almost nobody actually commplains to the management. I’ve seen movies at the Uptown since 1985. Yes, I’d prefer 70 mm 6 track films with union projectionist, and 35 mm also with staff of Circle, Cineplex Odeon or Loews (which got rid of the union). However, with its enormous screen, the projection & sound at the Uptown make it a great experience!

I’m not doubting on occasion there have been problems, some mentoned above, just as there are at most movie theaters. But, most screenings at the Uptown have not been a problem.

HowardBHaas commented about AMC Loews Uptown 1 on Jul 20, 2007 at 6:31 pm

I’d prefer union projectionists, but strongly disagree about “destroyed” presentation. The films I’ve seen have been projected fine. The Uptown is still a great movie going experience. Please don’t scare the audience away because you are upset about the union.

HowardBHaas commented about AMC Loews Uptown 1 on Jul 20, 2007 at 6:16 pm

Properly run & programmed, the Uptown still has life left in it for movies!

HowardBHaas commented about AMC Loews Uptown 1 on Jul 20, 2007 at 10:28 am

Stand outside on Sunday mornings and protest the church if you like.

However, boycotting movies would be counterproductive! if people don’t attend movies at the Uptown, then it will for sure cease movies and become something else like a full time church, CVS, etc. For that matter, if movie attendence was higher, there would be no need to rent out the Uptown. The Georgetown megaplex has Sunday morning movies.

HowardBHaas commented about AMC Loews Uptown 1 on Jul 19, 2007 at 4:02 pm

According to your earlier comment, Piddy, the lease is up in early 2008, so if that’s correct, and if you are correct that AMC is who has done the leasing (for which they might need permission from the owner, depending on the lease) then either it is a rather short term rental or AMC has renewed the lease?

HowardBHaas commented about AMC Loews Uptown 1 on Jul 19, 2007 at 3:45 pm

Ah, I found this item on the Internet from this fellow who seems to be listed as the Captain of the Washington DC blogs:

posted by Tom Bridge at 11:12 PM on July 18, 2007
There was some hullaballoo this afternoon on DC Drinking Liberally, and the Cleveland Park Yahoo Group about the McLean Bible Church buying the Uptown Theatre. Not happening. The Uptown is merely being rented on Sunday mornings as an outreach service to the public.

Fear not, you can still get your Godless Heathen on while watching Transformers.

For now.

HowardBHaas commented about AMC Loews Uptown 1 on Jul 19, 2007 at 3:40 pm

This says it is Sunday mornings. Will the Uptown still be a moviehouse?
View link

MBC Uptown is a Community Campus of McLean Bible Church. MBC will rent the historic Uptown Theater in Cleveland Park on Sunday mornings. The campus will impact the District of Columbia and nearby communities in both Maryland and Northern Virginia.

Ministries at MBC Uptown will include:

Videocast messages by Lon Solomon and the MBC Teaching Team
Worship led by the MBC Worship Leaders and Bands
Localized ministry teams and outreach events
Opportunities to connect in biblical community with others who live in the DC metro area
Weekly services will start in January 2008.

HowardBHaas commented about Narberth Theatre on Jul 19, 2007 at 11:08 am

in today’s Inquirer Food Section:
Posted on Thu, Jul. 19, 2007 email thisprint thisreprint or license thisOn the Side | Viva ratatouille – the movie and the idealBy Rick Nichols
Inquirer Columnist
It is the time, almost, of ratatouille, the local, field-grown tomatoes finally blushing up, and skinny eggplants and new zucchini, sweet peppers and cool, porcelain onions, all ripening for the picking – although the peppers are not quite what you’d call abundant, yet.
It is a French peasant dish, as the movie tie-in charmingly informs, a homey, kitchen-sink stew, basically, of all the stuff in the Proven̤al (or Philadelphia) summer garden Рplus garlic, olive oil, and, in some versions, basil, which is nothing if not gone totally berserk next to my pokey tomato crop.

It is the flavor of seriously deep July and August, of sunshine and juicy squash, meaty eggplant, sweet onion and tangy tomato, uncomplicated and mightily soulful. Bake it with fresh eggs cracked into wells on top; it can be a full Sunday supper.

Ratatouille, the movie, of course, is about a lot of things – about the triumph of the little guy, about grace under pressure, about keeping hope alive, about listening to your heart, going the distance, etc.

But it is also about rescuing a culinary reputation (of the late chef Auguste Gusteau) from an impostor who would cheapen it; turn it into a brand to peddle a line of frozen burritos and Chinese dishes – “make it CHINE-easy.”

So it came to pass that on the eve of my second trip to the Narberth Theater to see the film, I found myself contemplating a sample packet of the summer’s new seasoning shaker, something called “Great'a Tomat'a, with Lycopene!”

The Great'a Tomat'a Web site has a succinct critique of what’s wrong with your supermarket tomato: It’s not fully ripened on the vine, the better to enhance shelf-life. So its aroma, color, juiciness, chemistry and flavor are underdeveloped, leaving you with a pale imitation that tastes like, well, you know… .

Even New Jersey’s storied tomato fits that profile, its once-vast acreage vastly shrunken, its genetics – favoring thicker skin and longer shelf-life – now little different from any other commercial tomato. Talk about a reputation squandered!

This is not news. Tomato-modifying began falling on hard times years ago. A bad turn? In 1994, the genetically modified Flavr Savr tomato slowed down ripening, so the fruit could stay on the vine longer, but not spoil on the way to market.

But it didn’t taste very good. And one Cornell horticulture professor was moved to observe, it was bred from a bland variety to begin with: “There was very little flavor to save.”

For $3.49 the shaker-full, Great'a Tomat'a (Flavr Savr? Great'a Tomat'a? Who names these things? Rappers?) promises to restore the tomato’s glory; the missing ingredients of flavor, aroma, the tart, the tang.

So what technology has so carelessly expunged, technology will now artfully restore, cutting nature out of the equation entirely: Lab creates lousy tomato. Lab creates way to mask lousy tomato’s taste.

Except that the seasoning does nothing of the sort. I tried it on a hard, red, so-labeled “Jersey tomato,” and a slice tasted flavorless without it – and flavorless with it. “What is it, baby powder?” to quote my 11-year-old granddaughter.

And so we went on our way, ambling over the bridge humped across the SEPTA tracks, to see Ratatouille.

The movie reminds you, among other things, that anyone can add flavor to food, but with mixed result. (The model for the stunningly swirled ratatouille in the movie, by the way, was created by California’s celebrated master chef Thomas Keller.)

But the very best flavor must already be in the eggplant, squash and tomato to truly get in the dish, the result of good seed and good earth, good sun and good rain.

And there is only one way for a restaurant to get that, the sous chef Colette confides: Grow it yourself, or bribe the best farmer to get the first pick.

HowardBHaas commented about Narberth Theatre on Jul 17, 2007 at 6:33 am

Photo of current exterior, original ticket boothgone in the twinning renovation:
View link

HowardBHaas commented about Outer Circle 1-2 on Jul 16, 2007 at 7:06 pm

I saw in 1985: When Father was Away on Business, 1986: Brighton Beach Memoirs, 1987: The Whistle Blower, 1988: (1) The Dead, (2) The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne. 1995: (1) The Usual Suspects, (2) Persuasion. By 1995, curtains no longer used before the movies. Arthouse crowds often filled these theaters.

Also, I see my notes indicate the decoration on the theater walls was painted. Yep, that’s what I recall. 1970’s visual. That bigger auditorium on the left had a decent enough screen. The smaller one on the right wasn’t big enough.