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Saw “Contact” there in 1997.
What I remember most about the Cine Capri, aside from the airport terminal-sized lobby with gleaming white terrazzo flooring and tall windows, was the cinder-black colored curved exterior wall with gold flecks in it – and that odd moustache logo on the front. What an interesting mid-century theater. It looked massive from the parking lot. Too bad it’s gone. I ran across an old clipping from 1962 showing an announcement about plans to build the theater – apparently it was originally designed to be a geodesic dome along the lines of the Cinerama Dome in Los Angeles, but apparently that plan got changed. And that’s probably a good thing. The Cine Capri as built was a wonderful piece of architecture.
Thought I had a scan of the announcement, but I can’t locate it. But if anyone has a copy of the Feb. 1962 “Phoenix Days & Ways” magazine (there are a lot of them floating around out there because it was a phonebook-sized special edition to commemorate Arizona’s 50th anniversary of statehood), the announcement is in there.
Despite most predictions to the contrary, yes I did graduate from LFHS. How ya doin' “Feetsy” Filkins? It’s been a long long time hasn’t it?
Wow… what a shame. The Studio Theatre was really cool looking with the horizontal banding and the awesome circular neon pattern in the marquee. Sad to see that wonderful deco bon-bon bit the dust to make way to build that grotesque faux-Mansard monstrosity with the oversized carriage lamp stuck on it. My god… what were they thinking?
Hello Biff Thiele… from another LFHS grad (79). Have a great time at the reunion!
Lake Forest has had relatively few historical losses over the years, and I count among them Villa Turricum and the Deerpath Theatre. The Deerpath was a charming theatre with a stage and a pipe organ, and two ranks of pipes flanking the screen, with as I recall, a pair of the comedy/tragedy masks decorating the pipe enclosures. I think there was even a small orchestra pit in front of the stage/screen. I vaguely recall some heavy old-English-styled chandeliers hanging from the ceiling as well… but it was so long ago, I’m not sure.
I think the Deerpath suffered from bad management for many years, which ultimately led to its demise, aided by the era of VHS. Unlike its rival, the Highland Park Theatre which showed first-run movies, the Deerpath only screened re-runs. I saw “Bonnie and Clyde,” “Gone With The Wind,” “The Wizard of OZ,” and “Cabaret” there for the first time, all first-rate pictures but in their second- third- twentieth-runs. The only movie I know of that premiered at the Deerpath was “Thank God It’s Friday”…
I never saw the Deerpath after its remodeling, but I was told the balcony was sectioned off into private booths, and the seats were replaced. It seemed a shame, the direction it was headed.
How sad it is to think that a city like Lake Forest could have let its only in-town movie theatre bite the dust and become a (egads!) shopping mall! The theatre had a stage, for god’s sake. A better management team might have welcomed local theatre groups (such as Group For…) and orchestral groups to perform there. That opportunity is now gone.
Silly things I remember about the Deerpath: The floors were often sticky with spilled soda (they didn’t clean the theatre very well I guess); going to the corner Baskin-Robbins for ice cream after every show; my parents forbidding me to sit in the balcony (where all the stoners used to hang out).
There’s a chapter missing from this history. In the mid 1920’s the building housed a live stage theatre called simply “The Playhouse” and it was run by Lester Bryant. I have a couple of theatre programs attesting to this fact. The Playhouse may have been a smaller thatre than the main one. I’m not sure. But it did have a balcony, according to the seating and fire exit diagram in the back of the programs. Thought I would add this tidbit to your information.