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I’ve been trying to find information regarding the original source of the music for months, to no avail. I did a bit of research into Pike Productions and learned that the owners, Jim and Connie, retired some years ago after 55 years in the business. The production house moved from Newport RI, to Chicago and it changed hands to Filmack. I contacted the owner asking about the possibility of surviving documentation regarding the production of the classic bumpers and snipes, but he replied that no original elements existed. The search continues….
I was the last assistant manager at this theatre, splitting my time between the 83rd and the newly built 84th next door. The theatre seemed to know it was in it’s last days, as it seemingly just started to deteriorate on it’s own. A big patch of the ceiling plaster fell during a matinee in house 3 (lower level left), pipes started leaking, a strange smell developed, etc.
The employees had two locker room areas. The men were upstairs off the men’s room and the women were behind the screen in house 4 (lower right lobby). I had never gone back there. One day, during the final week of operation, I decided to explore and, armed with nothing more than my standard-issue Loew’s employee flashlight, I ventured behind the screen, curious as to what was actually back there.
Needless to say, I was floored. Bear in mind that I had started as an usher at this theatre in ‘84, fresh off the bus from KY, and had no idea what it’s past had been. I can indeed vouch that the boxes were gone but their structural imprints were still still visible. The stage, proscenium, and fly system were also intact. Don’t remember the piano, though. I went on to explore the dressing room floors. There was little to no light in this area, I was so scared! LOL They were pretty much empty, barely even being used for storage. (I found an old office desk in one of the rooms on the second floor, which eventually make its way back to my apartment on 85th St.)
The theatre remained open for the first couple of weeks after the 84th opened. We were supposed to close on a Thursday, but for some reason a decision was made to stay open through the weekend. I was told in an off-hand manner, but nobody bothered to tell the operator! I had no idea that he was a no-show until one of the six people who had showed up for a matinee of GIRLS JUST WANT TO HAVE FUN came out to inquire…20 minutes after the movie should have started.
Anyway, I was there for the last day and I don’t remember a thing about it. The doors were locked and I continued on at the 84th, which had a very bumpy first several weeks due to to all sorts of electrical glitches.