Showing 1 - 25 of 33 comments
It is interesting that nobody has mentioned the Beacon’s run as a porn house. The run with porn probably contributed significantly in keeping the wrecking ball at bay.
What is the point in this photograph of a former 7-11 store front now occupied by another business? It is at least 3 times removed from the Ginter Theatre.
By the early ‘30s EVERY cinema in Richmond had AC, The Mosque (now Landmark) didn’t get AC till the late 60s. The Byrd had AC from the first day.
For it’s worth, GWTW did not open at the Byrd, being a MGM pic it open at the Loews which also had had AC from the first day in 1928.
The AC is now running again, but funds will still be needed for the replacement over the winter.
The AC has been out for 5 days now, the problems have now been located and repairs are underway. With a little luck it’ll be up and running by Wednesday, maybe sooner. This is just a stop gap repair to get the system thru the summer. The 45 year old system will need to be replaced by next summer to the tune of somewhere between $70,000 and $150,000 depending on a lot of variables.
I saw Avatar 3 weeks ago at the local Bowtie…no preshow advertising at all.
First, you can’t put flat floor seats on a slope and vice versa, they will be very uncomfortable, seats have to be installed on the slope angle they were designed for. With all the color and design requirements listed, you’re dreaming at $60.00.
Anybody here under the impression that screen advertising is something relatively new? F. H. Richardson, in his 1915 edition of the Theater Owners and Managers handbook devoted an entire chapter to on screen advertising, how to sell it, how to design ads, and the equipment necessary to do it.
Fund raising continues to be very difficult due to the economy and indifference by those who typically support historic projects. They seem to have NO interest in supporting the maintenance or restoration of a mere cinema even though it is the most significant theatre in the city and the only theatre in the area in any resemblance of its original appearance and STILL doing what it was built to do and open 365 days a year.
These so called I-Max screens bear little or no resemblance to real 15 perf, 70 mm pictures. These new multiplex LieMax screens are projected by 2K digital projectors, suitable for 35-40 foot screens at most. Some are done by 2 projectors, this is for additional brightness only as 2K resolution is 2K no matter how many projectors are used. Compared to 15 perf. 70mm they are soft and not as bright, and certainly lack the spectacle of a full sized IMax screen. longislandmovies, you have apparently not seen a real, huge screen, IMax picture. I’ve seen both LieMax and IMax, don’t waste your extra money on multiplex IMax.
Also, even if you own a print, you still have to pay licensing fees, and don’t think that because it’s old there is nobody who claims ownership, VERY little is public domain.
The only ‘toons people will watch are Warner Bros. and they come as mentioned above, the price is around $300. If you’re intent on opening a single screen, play second run, the advance money is less, the percentages are lower, the minimum play is usually only a week, and you can see how well movies did in first run and only play the best performers. Don’t accept scratched or damaged prints, just because the price is lower. Your patrons deserve the same quality. Don’t chintz on sound quality either. You’ve got to have at least Dolby SR analog.
I agree, Ron, fixed height screens are the correct way to do it. Do any of your 27 screens have 70mm capability? Would you ante up the bucks to play 70mm if one were released? Not unless you’re stupid. It would take a 6 or 8 K digital projector to equal the potential resolution of a 5 perf 70mm originated on 65 or 70mm film, those don’t exist in today’s technology.
If you think digital is a looooooong way off you’d better wake up and smell the pixels, just look around, yeah, 3D. It’s just the first necessary step because it is what film 3D wasn’t—watchable without headaches, nausea, eyestrain. You who said just 12 of 95 screens in your area are digital, that’s 12% and next year there will be another 7 or 8 and the following year 10 or 12. Waiting for a new 70mm release? Why would any studio do it? There are more digital screens than 70mm, the difference is every year there are fewer 70’s and more digital, ain’t going to happen. Quit whining and start putting money aside to make the change.
Tonight will be the Byrd’s 80th anniversary. Eighty years of continuous operation.
Going non profit won’t do any good if they don’t have sense enough to show film that the public wants to see. Sure, the owner can love classics, silents, art films but if nobody comes he has to change to survive. We’ve tried all those at the Byrd with little success. Second run has been our bread and butter for more than 20 years. Lower admission prices mean they’ll spend more at the concession. The Byrd Theatre Foundation owns the theatre and runs it but the theatre still must cover all its operating expenses especially in todays economic situation where fund raising is very difficult. Funds raised go toward restoration only and do not subsidize operations.
Roll up screens are problematic in that they eventually suffer from all the roll ups and downs. If you have space to fly it, make a frame
about foot wider and higher that the screen and lace the screen into it. Counter balance it so that it can be easily raised and lowered either by hand or a motor. Our screen is 37x17 feet and can be flown out, it is counter balanced and is lifted by 2 hp curtain motor. Screen and frame assembly weighs around 800 lbs.
You might try contacting Martin Hill at 704.455.9345. He deals mostly in movie making equipment but sometimes is interested in
theater equipment for collectors. You will definitely need model numbers and be prepared to give a detailed description of each piece.
Take some of the money you plan to spend to do this and buy a gun and one bullet, then put the rest in cash into a bucket and set it on fire, while it is burning shoot yourself in the foot, it will be a lot less painful than running an empty theatre till the money runs out and take less time too. You’ll be competing, with several cable channels, DVD rental stores, Netflix, and others.
Prints older films/classics except for Warner Classics are frequently in poor conditionso you will need good equipment and careful handling. An alternate is to install a good digital projector and if your screen is not too big source from DVDs.
If you do use DVD you will still need to license the movie the usual way. WB still does not license DVD exhibition
This stuff would be of interest only to collectors and then only if it were fairly clean and in very good working condition. Even then it’s not worth much because there is plenty of it around.
The Sunset Drive In was near the intersection of Buford Rd. and
Midlothian Pike, on the north east corner. There was a 6 screen multiplex across Midlothian Pike from the Sunset site. The m'plex was operated at first by Fairlane Litchfield and is now a church.
Considering the possibilities this seems to be an excellent reuse of an otherwise unusable space. Nearly no chance of it becoming a cinema again, the projection angle is extremely steep which would not work with the coming digital projection, plus Richmond is already over screened and 16 more are coming in ‘09. Standing room is also very popular for the type of shows they are bringing in. While maintenance had been ongoing, the interior would not last forever with no heat or a/c, I think these people are doing a commendable job of making it suitable for todays performances while maintaining as much as possible of the historic nature of the facility.
About all that’s left of the East End is the walls, would it be practical to even attempt to rehab it? If something isn’t done soon the weather will deteriorate what’s left to the point that it is unstable and the city will have it demolished before it falls. I saw a lot of movies there growing up, would hate to see it go but…
Does anybody have any information about the organ that was originally in the Beacon? In the Petersburg newspaper’s coverage of the grand opening there is mention of the $20,000 organ but nothing more about it.