Showing 4 comments
I was a projectionist at the Sacramento 6 from the ‘80s until the mid '90s (and worked for Century Theaters for a few years after that). We opened “Three Men and a Baby” in November 1987 as a main feature, and as is often the case, it moved to become a co-feature (second feature) after a few weeks. However, it was very popular and stayed as a co-feature for one movie or another, continuously, for nearly a year. I remember my friend (and fellow projectionist) and I were, by summer of '88, amazed every week when we got the bookings that “Three Men and a Baby” was still going to play. I remember it going into late summer/early fall of '88. I don’t think it made it a full year, but it came really close, more than 34 weeks. That was very unusual, but I think there were a few films that rivaled 30-something weeks of play back then.
Sky View was open until at least the late 1980s. I was a projectionist at the Sacramento 6 Drive-In in the late 1980s and 1990s, and in the Fall of 1988 I had to deliver a print of “Bat 21” (starring Gene Hackman) to the Sky View once we were done showing it. The Sky View looked to be in rough shape but was still operating; it seemed to only have a few speaker poles with speakers on them (this was pre-radio sound). A year or so later a reckless speeding car skidded off the road and crashed into their box office facing 47th Avenue and did major damage (the driver was killed). It was a big news story at the time. I think that is what finaly ended the theater’s operation.
The Cinedomes were built by Syufy/Century Theatres. The theatre opened in 1982 (not 1983) with five screens. In fact, the phone number for the recorded showtimes was 338-1982, so chosen because that’s the year it opened. There was always the intention to add three more screens; when opened there was a walled-off hallway on the back right side of the lobby, which eventually led to screens 6-8 when they opened for summer of 1985. I was a projectionist with Century Theatres for many years, and worked at the Cinedomes on many occasions. It was a fine theatre which had a lot of life left in it when it was closed. Auditoriums one and four were excellent, 70mm capable, with large screens and about 500 seat apacity. Auditoriums two, three, and five were also nice, a little smaller but much larger than most auditoriums today. Century did split auditorium seven in 1992, leaving the two new auditoriums seven and eight pretty small. In the mid-90s, the Cinedomes became the victim of the worst neglect I’ve seen any owner impart on a theatre. Anyone who worked or visited there during that period will remember the terrible, disintegrating roof. During the winter the rain would literally pour into the lobby and most of the auditoriums. I remember the poor maintenance guy having to replace dozens of ceiling tiles in the lobby during bad weather. They were buying ceiling tiles by the case, sometimes every week. Only to have the tiles get wet and turn to goo and fall out again. The box office was frequently soaked. On many occasions the entrance to a couple of auditoriums had several inches of standing water at the doorway. Water pooled up in the lower portion of many auditoriums, in the front rows, rusting the seats. Amazingly this went on for a few years before the company finally spung for a new roof. Then they remodeled the lobby and put in a new, nice snack bar. They also put in new seats in main auditoriums in 1999, before Star Wars Episode I came out. At that point, the Cinedomes was a really nice theatre. And of course, Century closed it a couple years later and tore it down, putting up a 16-plex on the site.
The Capitol was part of the Syufy/Century chain for most of it’s life. It was originally two screens, virtually identical to the State Theatre in south Sacramento. The Capitol had the left auditorium split into three auditoriums- the main auditorium became “T” shaped and the other two auditoriums were basically closets. The State had both it’s left and right auditoriums triplexed, making it a six-screener. The Capitol’s right auditorium remained untouched until the theatre closed. That auditorium also had an actual silver screen, the older type with embedded silver particles for reflectivity. I was a projectionist with Century when the theater closed in the mid-1990s. It was a first-run theatre through the mid-to-late 1980s. I remember seeing “Superman” there in 1978, and “Full Metal Jacket” in 1987. The Capitol began booking more art-type films during the late 1980s and early 1990s. During the last year or two it became a discount house. I remember training a film operator one day shortly before the theatre closed. She just started Disney’s “Hunchback of Notre Dame” in the big auditorium and couldn’t get any sound to play in the auditorium, even though it sounded fine at the monitor. Turns out someone stole the speakers from behind the screen. Boy, that was fun.
I believe Century closed the Capitol shortly before it opened the Folsom and Laguna theatres in May of 1996. There is a Raley’s grocery store on the site now, near the corner of Watt Ave. and Marconi Ave.