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Worked here too. God that hideously Green and White color scheme thruout the theatre??????? And — I don’t think there was a square wall in that lobby at all. I’ll never forget the day I threw out 20 years of press material that George Hunter had saved. OMG! Tyndall Lewis almost kicked my butt up between my ears LOL.
Jeeze Joel Weide, we’re hittin all the same holes here!!! LOL. To comment on all of the above. Yes, the Gillioz did have a narrow lobby but waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay long. To let the customers stand inside in case of inclimate weather. The concession stand was part of the conversion into a movie theatre as there was no room for it except to build it in the hollowed out area under the stairwell. Way uncomfortable to work in. The lobby design between the Gillioz and the Fox were not similar at all. Nope – not at all. The Fox Joplin? yea – very much so except the Fox/Joplin had a wider lobby area.
this was originally a commonwealth theatre.
Single auditorium with approximately 800 seats. NGC/Mann eventually took over this theatre in the transaction that also netted them the Metcalf in Overland Park and some out state theatres. Mann used it as their kiddie theatre along with the metcalf and the uptown for a period of time. Eventually, they twinned the theatre putting 300 seats in each side (thats a rough count). I had a good friend that managed that place for many years – Dale Park. I wonder what happened to him?????
That picture from 1979 was when I managed that place. I couldn’t say for certain, but I can’t imagine that theatre having 1950. Those seats seemed to have been there forever and i’m thinking it was like 1650 between the 2 auditoriums and when they built the downstairs projections booth, they only lost like 100 seats.
ok, now to comment here. everybody is right about star wars. I sat in line opening day at the creve coeur for an hour and a half and took the afternoon off work from the cypress to see it. And I’m thinking, “why in the hell didn’t mann buy this movie for me????” LOL. The house capacity was 986 – and the seats at this place were the thick plush american stellars that WEREN’T at the cypress village.
Damn, JAlex. with your knowledge of these two Mann Theatres, I gotta believe I know either you, your momma or your daddy: one of the 3 of you. But here’s a toughy – do you know any of the projectionists that worked at the CV or MT???? Or any of the people at the CV from 1976 to 1979: those people were incredible: a very good group to work with. I miss them to this very day…..
Forgot to put this in.
But JAlex –
If you know Ben Littlefield, tell him I said hello. Tell him I followed him in the Metcalf and then went to the Cypress. He’ll know who it is because Ben managed the Mark Twain when I managed the Cypress Village.
I think you may be confusing this theatre with some others; you may have been in it, but I “lived” that theatre for 3 years. I managed there from 1975 thur Jan 1979. The theatre was built to be the sister to the Century 21 theatre in Springfield Missouri. It was meant to compliment the Mark Twain at the south end of town: The Mark Twain was meant to be the High End cinema for NGC in StL competing with the Sunset Hills and the Esquire in town.
The Cypress Village was built with 928 seats. They were American Stellars – not thick backed but the same thin plastic backs used at the Century21 with Gold velour cloth. There was 4 aisles with a cross-over at the 1st 3rd of the auditorium. The outer aisles were against the walls so no one was able to pick on the custom panels that were there and they maintained their beauty for a long period of time. There was also wood beams every 20 feet on the outer walls. The wrap around curtain went approximately 20 feet back, but there was never any draperies that covered the walls. (except after it was twinned in the small auditorium and then only ½ way back.). The exterior of the building was brown/tan bricks and the roof flashing and downspouts were a copperish-reddish color to compliment the bricks. All of the windows were brown tinted. The walls in the lobby looked like a collage of brown squares of wood. The box office was indeed built so we could (with effort) provide for outside ticket sales, but the best method we found was selling off both sides of the island box office – got the people in a lot faster. This was a functional / simple but beautiful theatre.
Eventually we twinned the Cypress but at that point, the competition was already “plexed” and booking was always an issue. Some of the bigger hits we played was THE GOODBYE GIRL and FOUL PLAY.
God! I just found this site and this place is awesome! Particularly I’ve been in half of the theatres in kansas and missouri. To answer Joel’s question above Re: Star Wars at the Century=> At that point and time, Mann tried to get SW, but the deals were too rich and they had bought the film in a number of other locations – they spread the wealth and leveraged the risk (should it not be a big hit). Several other things to note: The C21 not only had a sister in Wichita, but a sister in St Louis (the Cypress Village). All 3 of the theatres were built around the same time by NGC. I still have an original program from the opening of the Century 21. Some of the interesting pieces of trivia is the Yo-Yo marquee that could go up and down to change programs. I say “could” because in the winter IT USUALLY FROZE IN THE UP POSITION!!!!!! Another plush aspect of the theatre was the composite wall panels. People were amazed at it for some reason and there were many places next to the seats where they would pick to see if it was really that nice. I know – I painted a number of those spots as well as the floor one spring. I worked there as well as a number of other theaters in Springfield from 1971 to 1973. I met many fine people at all the theatres and chains in town. After I left exhibition, I went into distribution and sold pictures to a number of the theatres here. If that Joel Weide is the same person that ran theatres in Ks – I probably sold to him when I worked at MGM-UA.