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I attended the same showing of Wizard of Oz on May 11 mentioned by Ron Newman.Really a wonderful night of fun with people in costume, some in formal wear. Inside the theater they had vendors going up and down the aisles selling popcorn, candy and drinks between acts. Place was packed too, 600+ attendance.
Looks better each time I go there as the restorations still go on.
To show how diverse their booking policy is, besides Oz in the big house there were current blockbusters in the other houses and a special showing of the original Godzilla (Gojira, subtitled) also going on.
They converted one of the house to mini IMAX a year or two back.Not even close to the full scale IMAX at Jordan’s Furniture in Reading.
The theater was split in 1978. First attractions as a twin were Goin' South and Who Is Killing The Great Chefs Of Europe.
Not too bad a job on the split since the single house was wide enough that the twins escaped the dreaded double bowling alley look of so many split theaters.
Really missed the cross aisle from the single house that let you really stretch out your legs.
Place had a very odd layout. You entered from the back and on your right were rows of 8-12 seats. These went from very back to close to the screen. Near front were 4-6 rows of seats set at an angle off to the left. These rows had maybe 5-6 seats in them.
Bathroom was near these rows and I recall it was tiny and had an old coin-op after shave/cologne dispenser. (like the womens version seen here http://playingintheworldgame.wordpress.com/2013/02/07/coin-operated-perfume-dispenser-1952/ )
I wish someone was around who knew the story of this place. I mean was it designed from the start as a cinema or was there just some room left over after the the 2 clubs were designed.
Easy to see why the real estate was so valuable, the theater was literally across the street from the ocean.
A nice house but kind of long and narrow. When it was twinned they split it crosswise sparing it from becoming the dreaded twin bowling alleys. If you were sitting in the back house you’d see the projectionist walk down the aisle to another booth to start the show in the front house.
I believe the place was twinned during the end of it’s days as the Fine Arts X-rated house.Probably after video started making adult theaters unnecessary.
The ad would always be in the local papers theater section. I’d guess they just put up a screen in front of the balcony seats.
I remember this place. It was called West Peabody Cinema after the Jerry Lewis name was removed.
A really oddball location. It was technically at the same location as a small mall. BUT at the edge of the mall was a wall of solid rock maybe 15-20 feet high which completely blocked any view of the theater from the mall parking lot. This cliff was only 3-6 ft thick and you could drive around it to get to the cinema.There was another entrance road but it was badly marked so place was isolated from view.
I asked manager at cinema about the wall and he said place was built well after the mall and owner of mall refused to pay to take down wall.
Like most small twins it ended up going porno before it closed, but I think it reverted back to regular films before closing.
Correct link (I hope)
Some good news. I heard from a relative in Marblehead that the Warwick is back.
It re-opened as a cinema/restaurant, same location but new building.
Article here with a virtual tour of new facility.
Word if they are trying to add a marquee similar to old one.
Per the book “George Lucas’s Blockbusting: A Decade-by-Decade Survey of Timeless Movies Including Untold Secrets of Their Financial and Cultural Success” this theater has some historical significance as it was the very first theater designed with stadium seating with each row on a different level as opposed to the old style slope seating. It was so successful that AMC stopped some theaters in mid build to redesign them with the new type seating.
An example is given of the UA theater chain who decided slope theaters were fine even for new buildings and were out of business within a few years.
In “George Lucas’s Blockbusting: A Decade-by-Decade Survey of Timeless Movies Including Untold Secrets of Their Financial and Cultural Success” it’s m,entioned that this was the first mall cinema ever built and also that it has a claim to being the first multiplex. The claim against it is because it was not designed originally as a multiplex. This would mean it was the first split house but that’s not a thing it would want to be remembered for.