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The address for the Uptown theater is 394 Academy Road.
The Uptown was Winnipeg’s only atmospheric theater, designed by a local architect. Little of it’s former splendor is evident as the interior was totally gutted in the conversion to a bowling alley. The exterior however, remains as built in a Spanish mission style with pinkish stucco, twin cupolas, niches and wrought iron railings. The original marquee, minus attractions panels still has the original neon lettering proclaiming ‘Uptown’. Originally there were two small stores at either side of the entrance doors under the marquee. One of them was a snack bar that made great hot dogs. The other was used as an office or storage for the theater. Considerable detail went into finishing the interior to look like a Mediterranean village. The stucco and scored plaster theme was repeated on the interior false building fronts. Windows of the buildings along the side walls were back lit with amber lights while the side wall false balconies had persian rugs over the railings. The theater was a true atmospheric with deep blue ceiling pierced with twinkling stars to resemble the nightime sky. A Brenograph projector provided cloud effects, rising and setting moon and even a plane flying over. The only additional lighting (during intermissions) was a row of ‘port hole’ lights along the front edge
of the main balcony. The Uptown was a Famous Players neighborhood
house offering sub run double features along with Saturday matinee
fare. Currently it is still a bowling alley.
Not having seen the Nativity sequence I’m curious to know just what the ‘message’ is that the management is promoting (although I have my suspicions).
The Arlington was supposed to have an organ installed when it was built. Meanwhile, the depression intervened, talking pictures arrived and it never happened. It wasn’t until the late 1980’s that the Arlington finally got it’s organ….the Wonder Morton from Loew’s Jersey. I had a chance to hear it being put through it’s paces by the crew working on it while on a whirlwind trip through Santa Barbara. I wish I’d had more time. The theater is fabulous.
There is a listing for a Capitol 4, 216 First Av South. It’s a Famous Players theater and shows 1929 as an opening date. If the info is accurate, this is probably the former Capitol that was quadded from a single screen house. If so, then it should be listed here as open, not demolished.
Patsy, the movie you’re thinking of is Miracle on 34th Street, with Natalie Wood, Maureen O'Hara, John Paine and Edmund Gwenn as Santa.
Then you’d be getting into an even greater grey area, since you’d have to add in the Atlantic City Convention Hall main auditorium (now called Boardwalk Hall) and the Atlantic City Convention Hall Ballroom, since it was originally intended that movies would be shown in that venue (the ballroom). The ACCH would win the size game hands down, as well as having the largest, albeit currently unplayable, organ in the world, which, if in full working order, would blow the roof off either RCMH or the Shrine.
Dipson Theatres' corporate office is located in Williamsville NY (a suburb of Buffalo). In addition to the North Park, they operate several theaters in the Buffalo area as well as a number of other theaters in western NY. According to their website they operate 37 screens in total.
Bob Vila hasn’t been associated with ‘This Old House’ for several years. He has his own show now called ‘Home Again’ which is mostly sponsored by Sear’s, with a heavy emphasis on using Craftsman tools on many of the projects, in addition to the commercials. Nevertheless, the idea of Vila and Sears, with the possibility of Sear’s lending it’s name to the project, could be a good one.
Talk about your covert operations. I can understand why they wouldn’t want a bunch of oglers wandering through a hard hat area because of the liability question, but are the plans for the restoration of the Paradise that secretive? Meanwhile I’m still trying to digest “clandestinity”!
According to the official totals listed on their sites here, RCMH beat the Roxy by 20 seats….5940 for RCMH and 5920 for the Roxy.
By Roxy’s calculations, however, the Roxy had over 6200 seats, but he was notorious for counting every seat in the house, including the musicians chairs as well as the stools the box office cashiers sat on.
According to RCMH’s site, movies were shown there just two weeks after the grand opening in 1932 which would, I suppose, indicate that projection facilities were in place from the beginning.
I can recall when I first learned of the changeover cue marks and the fact that changeovers occurred approximately every 20 minutes.(hour changeovers must have been a later development). I even got to the point of noticing the cue marks at the top right of the screen and anticipating the change to the next reel. A few times the warning bells could be heard from the booth. Most often the changeover would be seamless, but occasionally there’d be a glitch and everything went to black, or for whatever reason there’d be a wobbly start to the next reel. I gather that the cue marks were a permanent part of the film since I notice that they still appear in some of the older movies shown on tv.
Sadly, there is nothing ‘popular’ about todays prices…… the term usury comes to mind.
The Teck theater died a slow death. The auditorium was one of the buildings demolished when the city seized the property to extend Pearl St to meet Main. That left the lobby, entrance and marquee standing, ending suddenly at a brick wall and with no useful purpose. Even access to the lower level was sealed up with concrete. With the closing of Main St to vehicle traffic, downtown redevelopment came to a halt and no offers came forth for reuse of the remaining property. Eventually the last few buildings at the end of the block, including what was left of the theater were demolished in the late 80’s-early 90’s. I believe it’s still a vacant lot.
The combination of “dent” and “auto” gave me a laugh too. Sometimes you have to wonder……..
The thought of fluorescent colors, flowers and who knows what other grafitti in a Rapp & Rapp designed house absolutely boggles the mind. Also, I can’t visualize Kmart being in the theater business. They have a hard enough time competing in the retail business as it is.
Warren, over Roxy’s dead body, I’m thinking.
The Elgin and Winter Garden are still two separate stacked theaters. Contrary to the opening comments above, they shared a common entrance under the marquee. Behind the entrance, two
lobby/corridors divided by a wall down the center led you to either the Elgin at ground level, while the 2nd corridor led to a bank of elevators (there were three shafts, but only two were originally installed and working) up to the Winter Garden seven storeys above the Elgin. Apparently this arrangement has been augmented or replaced by new stairwells and elevators on the opposite side of the theaters (see Ontario Heritage site photos where that structure is visible). Although closed in 1928, the Winter Garden was used during WWII as a canteen for servicemen. Later it was used from time to time as a location for filming. (e.g. Jack Palance in a CBC made for tv movie of Jekyll & Hyde). Some years prior to Ontario Heritage Foundation acquiring the property, several proposals had been made for use of the Winter Garden, but nothing came of it. Until the restoration of the theaters, the Elgin was known as Loew’s Yonge.
Every time I think of the Tampa theater I keep recalling the comment in Ben Hall’s book, “The Best Remaining Seats..” where he says..it is replete with a statue of Christopher Columbus discovering the orchestra pit!
Oops. you’re right. I was dredging the title up from 20 or so years back. Well I tried. Thanks for the correction.
I remember going to the Allendale in it’s less than glorious years. For a time it showed a wild mix of movies…from the french version of La Cage aux Folles to Taxi zum Close, and everything in between. The original ceiling had been covered up, lowered with panels and painted black (either to cover up damage, since the roof leaked badly, or to help with the heating in winter). Restoration took far longer than originally anticipated. A less than sympathetic city administration, in power for a time, added to the delay. It didn’t help that structural weaknesses caused the old marquee to collapse in the middle of Allen St one night. As I recall the theater was taken over at one point by a party who had no viable plan for it’s restoration and use nor adequate financing in place to carry it out. At one point it came close to being demolished until TOY stepped in and saved the day. It’s encouraging to see that it has finally been restored.
At one time there were 10 Shea’s theaters in the Buffalo area alone, as well as Shea’s Hippodrome in downtown Toronto. That theater was demolished in the early 60’s to make way for Toronto’s new city hall and civic square. There may have been other theaters elsewhere. Except for the North Park and Shea’s Performing Arts Center, all other Shea’s theaters in Buffalo are gone.
You’re right ziggy, North Buffalo and Hertel Av still is a great area.
A couple of corrections. The Bijou was located at 498 Main St, not 438. The Photoplayer from another local theater ended up in Ontario, not the one from the Bijou. That’s what I get for trying to read a blurry, yellowed photo of an old newspaper article covering the 1979 fire that levelled the theater and surrounding buildings.
There had been a short-lived earlier theater on this site, occupying space in the old courthouse/jail building before it was demolished. Known as the Royal theater, it offered vaudeville and burlesque, but had an unsavory reputation, since it included a saloon, as well as a house of ill repute. This ‘theater’ along with the rest of the old courthouse was torn down in 1881 to make way for the building that eventually housed the Bijou.
The North Park is the only Shea’s theater still in existence in the Buffalo area besides Shea’s Performing Arts Center (formerly Shea’s Buffalo theater). Offering a mixed palate of art and foreign films, it has a tough time competing with other theaters who began offering similar fare, including one located not too far from it. Parking can sometimes be difficult even at night and the other theater is located in a plaza with plenty of parking.
Some seating was sacrificed a number of years ago for the addition of a concession area. Even so its still a sizeable house.
The impression I received is that the management has all it can do
to keep afloat and there is little, if any, funds for refurbishment of the theater. I sincerely hope that the North Park will survive.