Comments from ChuckVanBibber

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ChuckVanBibber on Dec 27, 2003 at 7:44 am

Although Cinema Tours may be the most comprehensive listing of theatres around the world, very rarely does it give a history or a description of the theatres. Most of the time it just lists the theatre and the address (Sometimes not even an address) A lot of times it shows a picture of the theatre but nothing listed under the tour where a description of the theatre or comments are usually listed. I think Cinema Treasures does a much better job giving a history and descripton of the theatre. Much more particiapation by the members of Cinema Treasures. Keep up the good work Cinema Treasures.

ChuckVanBibber commented about Lucas Theatre for the Arts on Dec 26, 2003 at 9:10 am

History of the Lucas Theatre
In 1921, film distribution pioneer Arthur Lucas opened Savanah’s first and only “movie palace,” to a soldout viewing of the film “Camille.” Partons quickly got accustomed to enjoying first-run movie hits, live vaudeville performances, a resident theatre company, big bands and visits by Hollywood stars. As the “vaudeville” era ended and the movie industry evolved and proliferated, the Lucas was unable to attract an audience. After operating 55 years, the Lucas closed its doors May 21, 1976, after the showing of “The Exorcist."
in 9187, Savannah residents Emma and Lee Adler established the Lucas Theatre for the Performing Arts as a not-for-profit corporation and launched an ambitious fund-raising campaign fund as extensive restoration of the theatre and the installation of state-of-the-art equipment. The Lucas reopened in December 2000 to provide a variety of community entertainment.
The theatre’s architectural features — including a 40-foot-wide ceiling dome — are worthy of the many house invested in its restoration. From an Italian Renaissancce exterior to the ornate Italianate interior, the Lucas sits majestically at teh corner of Abercorn and Congress streets on Reynold Square. The intricately detailed Adam-style plasterwork, Wedgewood inspired colors and gold leaf accents, have all been restored to their original opulence.
The Lucas Theatre offers visitors the oppoetunity to take a glimpse at Savanah’s past, while enjoying the best in entertainment.

ChuckVanBibber commented about El Portal Theatre on Dec 26, 2003 at 8:49 am

This might clear up some of the misunderstandings on the El Portal Theatre.
Taken from the official site of the El Portal
History of the El Portal
El Portal Theatre is a historic landmark in the San Fernandp Valley located in the heart of North Hollywood just minutes from Universal Studios, Warner Brothers, Disney, ABC, CBD-Radford and NBC Burbank. The theatre originally built as a vaudeville house in 1926 sits directly across Lanershim Blvd. from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. The art deco Marquee is visible to thousands of cars who travel on Lanershim Blvd. daily.
Since its opening in 1926 first for Vaudeville, then Silent Movies and then Academy Award Winning films as the primo house in the valley – the theatre has weathered the Jazz Age, the Depression, 4 Wars, and finally the great earthquake of 1994. The lobbies boast luscious carpeting secured from Century City’s Shubert Theatre and an art gallery featuring 13 Los Angeles Visual Artists.
Rebuilt in the late 90’s and openedin January of 2000 – the once 1400 seat movie palace now houses three theatres, the new Judity Kaufman Art Gallery, and sumptous lobbies. There is even complimentary parking behind the theatre.
Celebrities have starred in and attended theatre productions and misical reviews since 2000 including Charles Nelson Riley, who sold out for 4 solid weeks, Ed Begley, Jr. and his world premiere musical Cesar and Ruben, Marnie Nixon, JoAnne Worley with honorees Donald O'Conner, Carol Channing to name just a few.

ChuckVanBibber commented about Paramount Theatre on Nov 1, 2003 at 4:17 pm

Taken from the Classic Cinemas Web Site:
Beginning in the early 1920’s, the Famous Players-Laskey Film Company expanded because of the success of films and became known as the Paramount Pictures. Balaban & Katz of Chicago merged with them, and in 1926 the groups opened the New York Paramount Theatre as its home base on Times Square. Almost always movies produced by Paramount Pitcures, the company established theatres across the country. It continued building theatres into the early 1930’s and developed standardized furnishings, management details and assessories.
When the Kankakee Paramount opened on April 11, 1931, the Mayor of Kankakee designated the ensuing week as “Paramount Week.” At that time there were at least six other theatres in downtown Kankakee, but by the 1980’s only two remained.
The owner of the Paramount building contacted Classic Cinemas, which decided to buy it. Although the building’s interior was badly neglected over the years, the building was structurally sound and many of its art deco elements were still intact.
It took more than double the purchase price, but the Paramount was renovated and modernized in keeping with its heritage, reopening on December 15, 1988/ The lobby features the original poster cases topped with the “Publix Theatres” symbol, a trade name ised by the entire Paramount circuit on everything from advertising to buttons on the ushers' uniforms. Ten plaster plaques are positioned around the upper portion of the lobby walls. Several are originals; three were recast during the renovation.
The reconstructed auditorium doors, w\ith highly polished hardware and stained glass inserts lead to one of the largest halls in Kankakee. The auditorium is decorated in a style that is very typical of Paramount theatres with a cobalt blue ceiling and intricate geometric designs in green, red, gold and silver. All the painting was done by local painter and artisan Gary Reynolds.
The theatre was also redecorated throughout with new tile floors, new carpeting and cand counter. The marquee was restored. New Projection equipment and new screens also were installed.
In the fall of 1990 four more screens were added to the theatre by building in the parking lot adjacent to the theatre, perserving the large, historic auditorium. The art deco style was carried into the new wing, and art deco lights were purchased from a theatre in Pennsylvania for the “new” auditoriums.
In 1998 an excellant HPS 4000 Dolby Digital Sound system was added and in 1999 new theatre seats were installed in the main auditorium.

ChuckVanBibber commented about Lindo Theatre on Nov 1, 2003 at 3:58 pm

Taken from the Classic Theatres Web Site
The Lindo Theatre, designed by world famous Chicago architect brothers, C.W. Rapp and George L. Rapp, opened on April 17,1922. John Dittman, who at the time owned several other Freeport theatres built it.
The theatre had a seating capacity of 1200 all on one floor, a stage for vaudeville acts with dressing rooms below and a bennett pipe organ to accompany the films. For the Lindo’s opening an orchestra with the topmusicians in Freeport performed, as well as an organist, who was particularly skilled at playing for silent films.
A contest was conducted to name the new theatre. The price-winning name, Lindo was taken from the names of Lincoln and Douglas to commemporate their second debate. had been held in Freeport.
Silents gave way to sound and theatres entered a new era. During the 30’s several additional theatres opened in Freeport: The Patio (which is now occupied by the Stephenson County Farm Bureau). the State and the new State.
In 1939 Steve Bennis of Lincoln, Illinois, leased the Lindo, renamed it the Freeport and started a three-generation Bennis family operation in Freeport. Due to a decline in attendance the theatre was closed in 1983.
Then in September. 1984 Willis and Shirley Johnson of Downers Grove, Illinois purchased the theatre from Anthony and David Bennis, and it became part of the Classic Cinemas.
About this time multi-screen theatres were becoming more popular. Instead of having one movie in one 1,200 seat house, it was more practical to have a variety of movies to offer patrons. To accomplish this, the theatre was divided into three auditoriums seating 266 in the main or center house, and 229 in each of the other two. The dividing walls were specially constructed so that no sound can be heard from one theatre to another. The wall treatment also absosrbs some of the sound instead of the hard wall surfaces and adds a decorative touch. Each theatre had a different color scheme but shades of red and cream were used throughout.
Many advances have been made in the presentation of films. New equipment was installed which allowed the manager to put the tilm together on a large platter system and start the movie from a remote location. Also xenon bulbs replaced the old carbon arc systems and provide a better and more consistent light source. Additional heating and air conditioning was installed in the theatres and projection booths.
In the lobbies the modernizing, which had been done during the 1940’s, was removed revealing beautiful plasterwork. The parts that had become damaged due to water or partial removal were recast and restored. In the maian lobby the glued down carpet was pealed away revealing the original terazzo which was in very good shape and only needed a few patches to fill in cuts which had been made for carpeting and crowd control poles.
In 1997 three all new auditoriums were added in addition to the the theatre. They feature decor and color schemes that reflect the heritage of the theatre while providing new comfortable seats and large screens. Most recently the theatre has upgraded its sound systems, adding digital sound to the powerful HPS-4000 sound systems in four of the 6 auditoriums. A 42 inch video monitor was added in the lobby so patrons can see film previews while getting their popcorn and other concession items.

ChuckVanBibber commented about State Theatre on Nov 1, 2003 at 1:07 pm

Taken from the State Theatre Site:
State History
1873 Northampton National Bank constructed. The granite facade and the Foyer are original.
1910 The bank was demolished and the small Neumeyer Theatre was built.
1914-1916 The theatre’s name changed from Neumeyer Theatre to the Northampton Theatre, and then the Colonial Theatre.
1925 Architect W.L. Lee of Philadelphia was employed to design a new, larger theatre. He was inspired by the architecture of old Spain and the Davanzanti Place in Florence, Italy. Many local Italian artisans created the elaborate frescoes and gilding.
1930-1960 The death of Vaudeville and the development of talking pictures was evident at the State. A larger movie screen and new equipment for sterophonic sound were installed.
1960-1981 The lobby and foyer were painted brown and blue, covering the beautiful frescoes. The theatre was used primarily for rock concerts during the 1970’s.
1981 The theatre was turned over to the National Development Council. Threatened with demolition, a group of concerned citizens calling themselves the “Friends of the State Theatre” raised enough money to purchase the theatre, screening classic films to ensure some income. The State Theatre was established as a 501©3 non-profit organization.
1982 The City of Easton provides a $20,000.00 grant to investigate the possibilities of the theatre.
1985 The neighboring “Best Market” is acquired by “Friends of the State Theatre."
1986 Renaissance Campaign – Phase One:
$1.2 million was raised by the friends. Renovations included upgrading the stage (a state of the art gridiron, the structure which supports stage props and lights), a new velvet curtain, and new lighting controls. Fire and smoke alarms, exits and lights, and bathroom facilities were added, as were an upgraded and expanded electrical system.
1990 Renaissance Campaign – Final Phase:
$2.5 million raised from private, corporate, and public partners. Renovations include the restoration of all seats, installation of new carpeting, and the construction of openings and stairways to connect the theatre with the Best Market. A comprehensive artistic restoration(Ceilings, walls, etc.) is completed.
1997-1998 This State Theatre Center for the Arts season has 53 performances, attracting 60,000 patrons.
1999-2000 This state Theatre CEnter for the Arts season has 92 performances, and attracts nearly 100,000 patrons.
2001 The State Theatre celebrates its historic 75th season. The annual reading program "Spotlight on Reading-,” encouraging literacy in local 5-9 year olds, begins during the summer of 2001. For the first time ever, the State Theatre stages over 100 performances in one year.
2002 The State Theatre announces the 2003 Freddy Awards, recognizing significant accomplishments in high school musical theatre. The first phase of conctruction begins, and new administrative office space is opened.
2003 The cameras roll as the first ever State Theatre Center for the Arts Freddy Awards is televised live on WFMZ channel 69. 22 High Schools from Lehigh and Northampton Counties in Pennsylvania and Warren County New Jersey compete for outstanding achievement awards in 21 categories, including a student scholarship from DeSales University. The second annual Freddy Awards Ceremony is planned for May 27, 2004.
Present: Plans are underway for expanded restrooms, lobby space, support spaces, and more: enabling the State Theatre Center for the Arts to better serve the needs of our patrons and our community in the 21st century.

ChuckVanBibber commented about Liberty Theatre on Nov 1, 2003 at 7:34 am

Taken from the Camas, Post-Record, Friday,June 10, 1927.
Granda Theatre Swings Open
Artistic Finish Touches Are Given to Splendid Local Show House.
First Number Comedy
Beautiful Show House Vision Six Months Ago By Local Group is Delivered as Valuable Feature for the City.
To the nicety of the most minute details, the new Granada theatre building is this week virtually completed,and the structure finished throughout in the finest of architectual design applied to its class, has been handed over to its enterprising and progressive promoters, who are all Camas men and who months ago visioned something in the show house line for Camas that would be just a little bit better.
That vision has become a tangible realty and a substantial asset of which this city should and is going to be proud for decades to come. When the Post, several weeks ago, referred to the Granada interior as a dreamland of beauty, it is a small degree only visualized the new wonderfully beautiful features. The first impression of most people will be that reflected in the wrought and perfectly blended tintings. The general color scheme is a deep azure blue and rich gold, and this is carried out to the front in delightful effect for the arch-shaped ornamental work over the vestibule entrance.
Backround tinting of the front, which raises to a height of 35 feet, is a soft rich tan, with a harmonious blending of trimming tints, walls of the vestibule and base of the ticket booth are of tile construction, a pretty pattern of delicate Holland blue tint, floors are a neat mosaic pattern. The decorative work, front and interior was done by a crew of artists in that line under the lead of Chas. Anman of Portland.
Entering the spacious lobby, one treads upon, a rich and heavily padded carpet, which gives a first impression of walking on air, so soft and noiseless it is. The carpeting is extended to the foyer, down the main auditorium aisles and to the balcony floor and rest rooms above. A deadening cover is spread over the whole concrete floor surface.
The regulation chairs, body fitting and built for restful qualities, are anchored in segments of a circle, so that no matter what location one gets, his eyes focus directly on the stage. Seating capacity is approximately 800.
Outside building deminsions are 50x150 feet. The stage alone is 25 feet deep and 22 feet wide, with a drop curtain opening of 22 feet. At the instance of C.E. Farrell, owner of the lot,plans were drawn up late last fall by Architect P.M. Hall Lewis of Portland under whose supervision by the general contract, held by C.A.Knapp, was carried out. The excavation work started in December and draggedthru many weeks of mud and water obstacles, in fact adverse building weather prevailed until recently.
About January 1st, the Community Investment corporation was formed, composed of O.F.Johnson, RoyO. Young, A.L. Powers and F.W. Harrington, who were sponsoring the theatre project. All the interior fixtures and furnishings are provided by them. The cost of these placed at $30,000 for the two heaviest items being a $12,000 pipe organ and $6,000 for chairs. The entire cost is close to $75,000. The new structure has placed Camas in the forground of many more pretentious cities and is going to prove an enduring monument to the credit of Mr. Farell in undertaking a project of this type and magnitude.
While the name Granada is of Spanish origin, and a favorite show house name in the theatrical world, the general type of this one is Moorish, both interior and exterior. Its mammoth electric sign swinging across Fourth street is the equal in beauty and srtistic design of any in metropolitan centers.
Next Tuesday night is the date for formally opening the Granada, an especially attractive program is being announced. It features George Sidney and Charlie Murray in “Lost at the Front”, the greatest war comedy ever told-a roar and riot of laughter throughout-and everyone will be going.

ChuckVanBibber commented about Clay Theatre on Oct 28, 2003 at 6:42 pm

The Clay Theatre was built in 1910 and has been operated by Landmark Theatres since 1991. The mighty Clay is one of the oldest theatres in San Francisco. Built in 1910 by the renown Naify Brothers, builders of the first movie screen in town, the New Fillmore, the Clay was first a nickelodeon house. In April of 1935, Herbert Rosenor reopened the Clay as The Clay International, a foreign film showcase. In the early 1970’s the theatre was part of the Surf Theatres group, run by pioneering San Francisco film exhibitor Mel Novikoff. In 1972, the Clay hosted the first midnight movie in San Francisco with the premiere of John Water’s Pink Flamingos, and also hosted many other controversial films, including The Life of Brian. Since Landmark assumed management in 1991, the Clay has enjoyed such improvements as digital sound, new seats and an extensive refurbishment of its art deco and classic Greek accoutrements. The combination of classic appointments and modern aminities has helped keep the Clay a comfortable, laid-back place to see unique film programming for almost a century.

ChuckVanBibber commented about Kinema Theatre on Oct 28, 2003 at 6:04 pm

The Kinema Theatre formally opened in 1915.

ChuckVanBibber commented about Kinema Theatre on Oct 28, 2003 at 6:03 pm

The Kinema Theatre was also known as the Fox Kinema and the Rivoli. It was demolished in the late 50’s to make way for a new Woolworth’s store. In its final days it was known as the Rivoli, but two larhe K’s remained carved into the theatre facade. A last blow was the city’s closure of the balcony as unsafe.

ChuckVanBibber commented about International Theatre on Oct 28, 2003 at 5:59 pm

Ihe International Theatre was also known as the Mayfair and Fine Arts Theatre during its tenure as a motion picture theatre.

ChuckVanBibber commented about Piedmont Theatre on Oct 23, 2003 at 9:24 pm

Hope this is of some benefit to all interested in this theatre. The info is taken from the Landmark Website.
3 Screens, Operated by Landmark Theatres since 1994. The historic Piedmont tTheatre is located in the quaint Piedmont neighborhood, five blocks from the World-famous Mountain View Cemetery. Constructed in the early 1920’s, the Piedmont is one of the Bar Area’s last standing movie palaces from the early 20th Century and features the finest in independent film, foreign language cinema and the occaisional Hollywood favorite. During the 1920’s, a pipe organ played before each show, with vocal accompaniment. This organ, while no longer active, can be seen in the Piedmont’s main auditorium.
Don’t forget to stroll the streets of Piedmont before or after the show where fine dinning and shopping opportunities abound. The famous Fenton’s Ice Cream Parlor is jest two blocks away.

ChuckVanBibber commented about Hawaii Cinerama on Oct 10, 2003 at 9:58 pm

The Hawaii Cinerama remained one of the cleanest theatres in Honolulu until its last day. We visited the Cinerama at least once a year on out trips to Hawaii. I remember the theatre manager at the theatre, He was a medium build gentleman and seemed to be a true Hawaiian. His warmth and friendliness as he greeted the patrons was unusual in this day and time. It will be one of those much missed theatres of the past. What a shame to loose such a beautiful and clean theatre, not to mention the large screen and excellant sound system.

ChuckVanBibber commented about Hawaii Theatre on Oct 10, 2003 at 9:54 pm

Out last vacation to Hawaii we were fortunate to see the Synphony perfor at the Hawaii theatre. What a beautiful old Movie Palace. We make a trip to Hawaii at least three times a year and out last trip was out first time to visit the Hawaii Theatre. It seems that all the old movie theatres are gones from Honolulu now that the Wakiki 3 haas been closed. All that is left are the multiplexes. What a shame.

ChuckVanBibber commented about Kuhio 1 & 2 Theatre on Oct 10, 2003 at 9:49 pm

I visit Hawaii at least three times a year as a vacation spot. I remember well the Kuhio. While on honeymoon my wife and I saw a movie there and on the way out of the theatre we stopped in the Sun Glass shop to the left of the theatre lobby and bought sun glasses. The movier we saw was “Arthur”. We seemed to make the Kuhio a movie house favorite everytime we were in Hawaii until it closed. What a lovely theatre and a sad shame that it is now gone. With the closing of the Wakiki 3 there is no other tehatre left in Wakiki proprer to see a movier.

ChuckVanBibber commented about Welcome to the new Cinema Treasures site! on Oct 8, 2003 at 5:27 am

The new site is much more easy to follow although it is a change to get used to when you are used to navigating the old site. I like Roger Katz wish that the Add A Photo feature was up and running. I have a back log of photos to add. For every theatre that I have submitted to the New Theatre section I have a photo for it. When you look at the number of theatres listed (over 3000) and the number with pictures (A little over 1500) it shows you that something is lacking.
Chuck Van Bibber
St. Louis, Mo.

ChuckVanBibber commented about South County Cinema on Oct 7, 2003 at 1:43 pm

The South County Cinema was demolished to make way for a new Bank on it’s location.

ChuckVanBibber commented about Avalon Cinema on Oct 7, 2003 at 12:48 pm

Originally part of the Franchon & Marco and later part of St. Louis Amusement/Arthur Theatres. Single floor theatre which seated 647. Closed after the Arthur Brothers Bankruptcy and later reopened by the Mosely Brothers. They maintained the theatre for a little under four years and let it run down. Started out as a subrun theatre and later tried an art policy before Arthur Brothers started a first run policy. With all the suburban theatres opening and Arthur Theatres mostly having city theatres the chain faltered.

ChuckVanBibber commented about Columbia Theater on Oct 7, 2003 at 12:38 pm

The Columbia was located at the wedge of Southwest and Columbia Blvds. The address was 5257 Southwest. This was originall part of the Franchon & Marco Chain which later became ST. Louis Amusement Co./Arthur Theatres. Originally the Columbia had an ice cream parlor in its lobby along with the concession stand. Like most Arthur Theatres this was a very clean and well maintained theatre. Theatre seated 843 on a single floor.