Comments from Simon Overton

Showing 201 - 225 of 589 comments

Simon Overton
Simon Overton commented about Looking for theater to buy on Aug 3, 2010 at 12:51 pm

You might like to review the art deco MACK THEATRE (adjoining a large hotel) in downtown McMinnville, Oregon, situated to the west, about 25 miles, between the capitol Salem and Portland. Locals told me that owner “Gary” only opens the place on special occasions.

This is an “all American” clean and friendly town with very good tourism and most major stores!

Simon Overton
Simon Overton commented about ABC Putney on Jul 30, 2010 at 9:22 pm

Ian… you’re dead right mate… it’s not worth the effort after looking at the previous UGLY photos!

Simon Overton
Simon Overton commented about Traditional repertory theaters fading; film festivals gaining on Jul 25, 2010 at 11:35 am

I totally agree with the above statements and my sentiments are with you… and “Yes”, those WERE the days… NOT any more!

Simon Overton
Simon Overton commented about Oakland's Grand Lake owner vows to keep going on Jul 22, 2010 at 1:47 pm

Hey Mister small chain “Rude Boy” JDC…
Go tell your story to the owner of San Francisco’s fabulous Castro Theatre… they do exactly what I mentioned above and are still just about the most popular single screener in the bay area!

Thank God I don’t work for you.

Simon Overton
Simon Overton commented about Oakland's Grand Lake owner vows to keep going on Jul 21, 2010 at 1:21 pm

Don’t you think that if our nation of struggling cinema owners were to cut back on the number of daily presentations -who needs noon-time or 11pm movies?, then operating expenses, and losses, would help ones bank account.

Multiplexes could further $ave a few more bucks by not running the film OR lamp if zero tickets are sold for that auditorium.

Further more, I truly believe that more patrons would attend if admission prices were to drop below the $10 + range. Also, who out there actually publicize that they offer “MILITARY DISCOUNT”?

Two more suggestions… One; CLOSE on the slowest day of the week: Mondays (?) and Two; TIMING is most important to those of us who do NOT have enough time to get home from work, feed the family, drive to the cinema, search for parking, get tickets and a ton of junk food and be seated in time for a screening at 7pm!!!
Please consider a 7.30pm show.

Simon Overton
Simon Overton commented about Ziegfeld Theatre on Jul 20, 2010 at 2:57 pm

Hi Peter and Justin…
My nickname is “Mister Curtains”… and YES, curtains are all part of what show business is all about. Don’t you just love the old days when they used footlights and various colored spotlights on the curtains.
One of the most spectacular use of a singular curtain was in the 1936 (Best Film) “The GREAT ZIEGFELD”… This monster “Austrian” waterfall style drape opened and closed by wrapping itself around a towering circular revolving stage. And to add to the staggering grandeur were numerous props and fabulously dressed people. Please, do get the DVD just for this and other curtain scenes!!!

Simon Overton
Simon Overton commented about Wanted: Old theater equipment from the 30's-60's on Jul 20, 2010 at 2:43 pm

Hey buddy… pay for a newspaper advert or use Ebay
This wonderful volunteer website is for historical movie theater fans NOT “for-profit” retail merchants!

Simon Overton
Simon Overton commented about Oakland's Grand Lake owner vows to keep going on Jul 20, 2010 at 2:39 pm

I’ll never understand WHY fans of CT bother wasting their time and money in multiplexes… sorry, I mean LITTLE BACK BOXES. They’re all alike with postage stamp size screens… and run by kids and CANDY MERCHANTS who have zero talent with regard show business.

I fully resent the “chains” constant bombardment of commercials and trashy movies coming sometime during the next decade.
Leave these cold and loud places to the little teenyboppers and their utter obsessions with their stupid and ridiculous texting.

Even more enjoyable at the Grand Lake is to enjoy the live music from the Wurlitzer pipe organ while looking around in wonderment at the magnificent decorations and beautiful curtains!!!

Simon Overton
Simon Overton commented about Joesph Musil passes away quietly on Jul 2, 2010 at 11:02 am

“bercy”… Your last two lines are well said and important! Here’s hoping $omeone, without delay, will take up the challenge and do just that.

Surely there is room for much of Joe’s fantastic models and props to be secured on display in one of the numerous L.A. Broadway theaters?.

Simon Overton
Simon Overton commented about Joesph Musil passes away quietly on Jun 30, 2010 at 3:13 pm

In my fifty plus years of cinema and theater work, I have never met another person quite like Joseph Musil! He was THE most consummate professional in what ever he undertook and presentation was a major factor in his magnificent creations.

Joe was my next door neighbor and good friend of whom I learned more than I thought was ever possible. He very proudly told me “Hollywood was my playground. I grew up here with the world’s greatest collection of movie and theatrical palaces to visit.”

That gentle giant and I would often chat for ages over iced tea (with extra lemon) all about an era long gone but well remembered.

My fondest memory of Joe will be of the numerous visiting patrons during the THS conclave in 2005… We slaved, yes slaved to present “The Symphonic Cavalcade of Music, Lights and Curtains” for the audience. But the grand finale was, at the end of “The Great Ziegfeld” revolving stage & curtain scene, I raised the screen and Joe stepped forward with arms raised forward, beaming into the spotlight and, with three more sets of beautiful closing curtains behind him, softly announced “And Ladies and gentlemen, that’s Hollywood.”


Simon Overton
Simon Overton commented about More voices weighing in on issue of theater ownership by studios on Jun 23, 2010 at 12:25 am

Thank you CWalczak and AlAlvarez for you fascinating information. Now I can speak with ‘authority’ to others regarding the demise of the cinema system we once knew… and loved… and miss terribly!

I know the multi-black shoe box-plexes have strangled the single screen houses but I still support the few remaining movie palaces here in Salem/Portland areas of Oregon!

Simon Overton
Simon Overton commented about More voices weighing in on issue of theater ownership by studios on Jun 20, 2010 at 12:39 pm

Am I a twit or wasn’t just about everyone doing just fine, many years ago, until some bright “Yankee” spark got a bee in his head to have Congress kill the studio owned cinemas across the country?

To me, it seems that the big houses went into financial difficulty and had to be sold off or closed. Will someone PLEASE set this old former “Limey” showman straight. Ta very much!

Simon Overton
Simon Overton commented about Strand Theater on Jun 13, 2010 at 1:28 pm

Joseph Musil’s brother, Bob, has informed me that since Joe’s poor health and long hospitalization since March, The American Museum of Theatrical Design and Strand Theatre -also known as “The Salon of the Theatres” is regretfully now closed and, in due course, the museum’s contents are to be sold; model theaters, various props, beautiful curtains, lighting, numerous theater books and so on.

On a possibly brighter note, a proposed “FAREWELL TO THE STRAND-SALON” live stage show is in the planning stages. Readers of this may wish to add their names to a future reservations e-mail list at and I will be contact you as plans are finalized.

Simon Overton
Simon Overton commented about Movie theater shares down after holiday weekend on Jun 9, 2010 at 11:47 am

Hello John M…
Thank you for asking about JOE MUSIL… My dear friend has been in a local hospital for over two months now. Joe is very ill and I’m really concerned about the future of his magnificent theatrical museum.
Please keep in touch with me:

Simon Overton
Simon Overton commented about Movie theater shares down after holiday weekend on Jun 8, 2010 at 2:27 pm

The problem of lower sales is that the garbage factories in Hollywood are churning out boooooooooring flicks too darned fast and too often. I’m fed up with repeat plots, slam-bang explosions and dreary scripts from a bunch of scruffy looking unknowns.

And WHY do they announce the box office receipts in “dollars” and not “headcount?” Various cinemas, in different cities, charge different first run admission prices and I’m not including the Matinee’s, Seniors, Military, Handicapped and crying babies, etc.
It’s MORE interesting to know how many patrons went to a show!!!

Simon Overton
Simon Overton commented about Jerry Lewis Cinema on Jun 2, 2010 at 11:17 pm

I would imagine, and hope, that this cinema’s name sake was in attendance for the grand opening as well as offering financial assistance regarding future restoration… hmmm?

Simon Overton
Simon Overton commented about Woolwich Empire Theatre on May 26, 2010 at 2:56 pm

Ah yes, those WERE the days! Thanks Ken. This brought back many happy memories of English “Music Hall Variety” at the Grand Theatre in my childhood hometown of Southampton.

Simon Overton
Simon Overton commented about Joy Cinema & Pub on May 18, 2010 at 4:57 pm

With no answers to my above question, I returned to look the place over and was pleased to see the Joy is OPAEN again but their info-to-know is under the same phone but under

I noted their programming is now a mixture of first run English speaking films with some “Bollywood” titles as well.

However, the adjacent next door eatery, which was accessible from the Joy’s lobby, is now vacant and been boarded up.

A neighbor told me the most recent manager was no longer there and he was devastated at loosing the job in a place he loved.

Simon Overton
Simon Overton commented about Cinema 21 celebrates 83 years; current owner has been at the helm for the last 30 on May 18, 2010 at 4:35 pm

My many theater cronies know me as the “curtain freak” and I especially enjoy seeing them well used in old musicals.

One of the best use of many curtains is in “The Great Ziegfeld” starring William Powell, Best Picture 1936. One memorable scene features a humongous revolving stage with a circular, wrap around Austrian style curtain. This scene runs for about seven minutes and takes my breath away each and every time.

Simon Overton
Simon Overton commented about Regency San Juan Capistrano Theater on May 18, 2010 at 4:10 pm

Hey “history fans”… This place MUST re-open with “CASABLANCA”.

And how about getting some of the “Hollywood look-a-likes” to be on hand for a grand opening; 1940’s costumes, old cars, French cops, German troops… HERE’S LOOKING AT YOU KID!!!

Simon Overton
Simon Overton commented about Atlantic Theater on May 10, 2010 at 11:18 pm

If greed for land and the ultimate decision to destroy the wonderful FOX THEATRE on Atlantic Ave (You really need to see Joseph Musil’s fabulous “Long Beach slide show) for another hotel, then I don’t thing the Atlantic Theatre has a chance in h***.

Simon Overton
Simon Overton commented about Mojave Theater on May 6, 2010 at 4:38 pm

After leaving the US Navy in 1967, I drove the old Route 66 trip from San Francisco to Miami through Needles and stopped in for a movie.
The film title escapes my memory but the revoltingly hot non-air conditioned auditorium has not!

Simon Overton
Simon Overton commented about Savoy Cinema on May 6, 2010 at 4:20 pm

Such sad photographs of a once delightful cinema.

I do hope some artifacts were retrieved from the building before the “let’s-smash-it-down” team had their brief moment of glory!

Simon Overton
Simon Overton commented about Portland's Living Room Theaters plans Florida sequel on May 3, 2010 at 2:08 pm

Is that Portland, here in Oregon or the other Portland(s), such as Maine or elsewhere?

Simon Overton
Simon Overton commented about Columnist sees recent TCM classic film festival as a model to emulate on May 1, 2010 at 2:46 pm

On an “up” note; For those of us who have forgotten what $500 (plus travel) looks like, why not screen the future TCM Festivals via satellite to (remaining) historic movie palaces across the country?

On a “down” note; I thought the introductory background settings we rather demure, if not boring, especially where most of the action was at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. Mr. Osborne warranted the grand forecourt, lobby or a seat in Sid Grauman’s private box. Next year, perhaps???

Otherwise, my wife and I very much enjoyed most of the picture that were screened.