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Quick update. The building (most of it, at least) is now a Goodwill store. Seems kind of fitting.
$625 Million??? Serious?
The stories I could tell about his frugality. But, I guess that’s why he has the money now. :)
Mark, no offense taken. Luxury Theatres were the worse thing to happen to motion pictures in the Pacific Northwest. The owner (Tom Moyer of Portland) was very cheap and had no love for the cinema. He was in the business for one reason only – to make money.
To illustrate how cheap he was, we were required to return burned out light bulbs (yes, even cheap 100 watt bulbs) to Portland BEFORE they would send a replacement to us. Managers ended up buying their own bulbs just to avoid this stupidity.
In the early 1980’s there was only one mentality coming from Luxury’s Portland offices – build and operate a theater as cheaply as possible. They were designed to get people (and their money) in and out as quickly as possible while spending as little of the company’s money as possible. True, this is how businesses operate – but Luxury took it to extremes.
Outside of the managers (who were usually quite young), we hired almost only high school kids at minimum wage and worked them as long as we could before they wised up and moved on to something better.
My worst job ever.
I actually managed this theater from 1984 until 1988. Kate is right in her initial post – it was one of those quickly built theaters built mainly to keep the competition out. The population center of Puyallup moved from the downtown area to the South Hill area – a few miles away.
It is built with a car dealership directly in front of it and the Puyallup River directly behind it (it had flooded the parking lot while I was there). To one side is K-Mart and the other side are facility buildings for the city and a skate park. There isn’t enough room for a Wal-Mart (there are two Super Wal-Marts already in town anyway).
I had no idea that a church was buying it – I guess times change…
I actually worked at the Roxy from 1977 until 1982. It was owned by United Theatres of Seattle until being sold to Tom Moyer’s Luxury Theatres of Portland, Oregon in 1981(?). The sale to Moyer doomed the Roxy – Luxury did not believe in maintenance at all. They just allowed the Roxy to deteriorate throughout the years they had it.
I was hired by C.A. “Cabby” Baur and learned many things from this fine man. At the time, he was the only manager the Roxy had ever known – being hired directly by Ben Shearer himself.
It saddens me to see how this once great theatre has fallen. At least I still have my memories.
As for seating, the Roxy’s capacity was about 660. There is no way it could have ever been 749.