Comments from Ed Collins

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Ed Collins
Ed Collins commented about Sante Fe Springs Swap Meet & Drive-In on Dec 17, 2012 at 1:16 pm

Update:

Each year the Santa Fe Springs Drive-In reopens for just two nights a year. This year those nights are this Wednesday and Thursday, December 19th and 20th.

The box office will open at 6:00 pm. The first feature is the delightful 1990 comedy “Home Alone” starring Macaulay Culkin. This movie begins at 6:30 pm.

The second movie is the 1946 classic, “It’s A Wonderful Life” starring Jimmy Stewart. This movie begins at 8:30 pm.

Admission on the day of the event is $15.00 per car. Pre-sale tickets are available right now for $10.00.

The sound will be broadcast over your car’s FM radio.

Come on out and enjoy the show!

Santa Fe Springs Drive-In 13963 Alondra Boulevard Santa Fe Springs, California 90670 (562) 921-4359 (extension 0)

Ed Collins
Ed Collins commented about Sante Fe Springs Swap Meet & Drive-In on Nov 6, 2010 at 10:34 pm

Reminder: Each year the La Mirada Drive-in (now called the Santa Fe Springs Drive-In) reopens for just two nights a year. This year those nights are Monday, November 8th and Tuesday, November 9th.

Just like last year, I will not be the manager on duty. (Although I still work for the company, I no longer work at the swap meet/drive-in.)

Admission is almost certainly still $5.00 per car.

Bring the kids and enjoy the show!

Santa Fe Springs Drive-In
13963 Alondra Boulevard
Santa Fe Springs, California 90670
(562) 921-4359

Ed Collins
Ed Collins commented about Star's Palace on Nov 17, 2008 at 5:22 pm

From my February/March 1981 SRO Spotlite newsletter:

  • Jim Richardson Still Likes the Movies *
    by Patrick Lancaster, Assistant Manager, Roxy Theatre

The magic of movies… it has lured many a youngster into its grasp. But when it captured the heart of 15-year-old Jim Richardson in 1914, it never let go.

At 81 years old, Mr. Richardson can still be found behind the doorman’s podium every Friday and Saturday night ready to do what he loves most: work at SRO’s Roxy Theatre in Glendale.

He has served 65 years in the theatre business, starting as an usher at Glendale’s first real movie house, the Palace Grand in 1915. He has worked at more than ten different theatres in his career.

Having worked in more theatre chains than he can remember, Mr. Richardson rates Sterling as one of the best. “SRO is very organized and efficient. It is a very well run company,” he said.

Mr. Richardson retired from theatre life in 1964, but it didn’t take long for one of the local theatre managers to realize that he couldn’t get along without him. In 1967, he was hired as assistant manager at the Roxy Theatre, which at the time was privately owned, and he adds, “I’ve been there ever since.”

“Carl Meeker was manager of the Roxy at the time, and it was he who asked me to come back,” Mr. Richardson said. Since that time, Mr. Meeker retired, and a series of managers followed.

The faces at the Roxy may have changed over the years, but the kind-hearted soul ready to tear tickets at the door remains the same. During the summer, Mr. Richardson made it a family affair when his 16-year-old grandson Art was hired to work at the theatre.

For the past 13 years, the Roxy has had Jim Richardson, and he’s likely to be there for some time to come.

“I have never felt happier working any place else,” he said. Being at the Roxy is really wonderful."

He adds, “I’ll be here as long as I’m needed… maybe, ‘til I’m 100!”

Ed Collins
Ed Collins commented about Star's Palace on Nov 17, 2008 at 5:09 pm

From the same 1979 SRO Spoltlite:

by Diana S. Nilsson

When “Battlestar Galactica” opened some unusual things began happening at the Roxy Theatre in Glendale, California. The Roxy was shaken by sensurround daily, was visited by a cyclone warrior and friends, and we had our first experience with selling movie related paraphenalia.

When we ran our pre-opening ad for “Battlestar Galactica”, six college students had made uniforms that were replicas of the ones in the feature film. Wearing these, they came to the opening where two characters from the film, Imperious Leader and Lucifer, went down into the darkened auditorium during the intermission for a greater lighting effect.

We sold posters, jewelry, and transfers related to “Battlestar Galactica”. The sensurround was a success, as was the personal appearances and the newly remodeled Roxy Theatre.

Ed Collins
Ed Collins commented about Star's Palace on Nov 17, 2008 at 5:04 pm

From a 1979 SRO Spotlite newsletter:

SOMETHING SPECIAL FOR SENIOR CITIZENS – Every third Wednesday of the month there is something special happening at the Roxy Theatre in Glendale.

Pacific Federal Savings sponsors a senior citizens film program in which different full-length features are shown.

It’s evident that the films are enjoyed – attendance has increased from month to month, and now averages 500 people per program. Thanks to Pacific Federal and the employees of the Roxy for contributing in this way towards the senior citizens of Glendale.

Ed Collins
Ed Collins commented about Sante Fe Springs Swap Meet & Drive-In on Oct 6, 2008 at 1:31 pm

For the record, as it does every fall, the Santa Fe Springs Drive-in reopens again, for two nights only. This year that’s tonight (Monday) and tomorrow night (Tuesday)!

This year’s movies are “Nanny McPhee” and “Evan Almighty.”

Admission is $5.00 per car.

This year I will NOT be the manager on duty. (Although I still work for the company, I no longer work at the swap meet.)

Bring the kids and enjoy the show!

Santa Fe Springs Drive-In
13963 Alondra Boulevard
Santa Fe Springs, California 90670
(562) 921-4359

Ed Collins
Ed Collins commented about Pacific's Hastings 8 on Sep 5, 2007 at 9:59 pm

My guess, and it’s just a guess, is that with eight different screens, there wasn’t room enough on that marquee to list all of the shows and showtimes.

That marquee is the original marquee, back when it was just a large single screen theatre. (About 1986 is when the theatre underwent its first expansion.)

A better question might be why didn’t Pacific upgrade and build a LARGER marquee, at the time when they expanded the theatre and added the additional screens.

Ed Collins
Ed Collins commented about Pacific's Hastings 8 on Aug 27, 2007 at 10:39 am

See my post four posts above this.

Friday afternoon someone from Pacific finally returned my phone call. Of course by this time I pretty much knew the final night was Sunday. The woman from Pacific said that they would go dark on MONDAY! I asked her what does this mean… that Sunday was the last day to see a movie or that Monday was? She confirmed again… Monday would be the last day to see a movie. Ha! I didn’t bother telling her that moviefone.com did not list any showtimes for Monday. How could she get that wrong?

At least they returned my call.

Friday afternoon I took the time to go there. (It’s quite a distance from where I live.) I met an assistant manager, introduced myself, told him of my history with the place, and asked if I could take photos of the lobby, the large auditorium, the marquee, etc. He told me no. He didn’t even offer to let me in. I went ahead and took photos of the outside of the theatre, and all the while kept expecting the cops to show up and arrest me for trespassing or something. I walked around the entire building, and tried to take as many photos as I could, from all different angles, of not only the building but the parking lot, the marquee, etc.

Sunday evening after work, about 9:00 pm, I returned. THIS time I made a few prior phone calls to a few people I still know, and with a friend of mine who also used to work there YEARS ago, (Rick Landis – he’s mentioned in the article I posted) the two of us had “permission” to go inside and take a few photos. (The reception we received wasn’t very warm at all.)

Alas, my little digital camera doesn’t have a very good flash at all. I don’t even believe the photos I took of the large auditorium, which was quite dark at the time, are even worth posting.

At least I got to see the large auditorium again. I’ve been there just twice in the past 22 years and both times I obviously saw a movie in one of the smaller houses. The large house was left much larger than I would have guessed. I would have thought they would have chopped it up even more than what they did, when redesigning the place. It still seats 900+, according to the occupancy sign posted above the door.

Note: By now all of the seats in ALL of the auditoriums may already have been removed. A 30-man crew was there, beginning to dismantle them. They were going to work all night long and they said they hoped to have them all out by morning.

Ed Collins
Ed Collins commented about Pacific's Hastings 8 on Aug 24, 2007 at 11:57 am

For anyone who lives in the area, please note… the last operational night for the Hastings appears to be this Sunday, August 26th. Mike Lancaster, a friend and former manager of this theatre, informs me Moviefone.com has no showtimes after Sunday. I checked and he’s right… there are listings and showtimes for Sunday but not Monday.

In the past week I’ve called Pacific’s Corporate Office TWICE and both times left messages (on two different extensions) asking them for confirmation on when the last night is and to call me back and left me know. No one has yet returned my calls. Unbelievable.

Ed Collins
Ed Collins commented about Pacific's Hastings 8 on Aug 17, 2007 at 1:45 pm

Mark – I’ll look through my issues for any info regarding the Tacoma Mall Twin.

Scott – Scanning all of my SRO newsletters would be a moumental task! Even copying every page (via a copy machine) would take more time and energy than I currently have time for! And no, I regret to say I don’t think I have any photos of any of the theatres I used to work at. I wish I did. :(

Ed Collins
Ed Collins commented about Sante Fe Springs Swap Meet & Drive-In on Aug 17, 2007 at 1:39 pm

Each year the La Mirada Drive-in (now called the Santa Fe Springs Drive-In) reopens for just two nights a year. This year those nights are Monday, October 8th and Tuesday, October 9th.

The box office will open at 6:30 pm. The animated cartoon “Curious George” will play first at 7:00 pm followed immediately by “You, Me & Dupree” at approximately 8:30 pm.

Admission is $5.00 per car. The snackbar will be open with a limited menu.

I expect to be the manager on duty both evenings.

Ed Collins
Ed Collins commented about Pacific's Hastings 8 on Aug 16, 2007 at 10:31 pm

Yes Kram, the original theatre, before it was converted to a mutli-plex, was large and plush and absolutely beautiful. The small black and white photo I posted of the inside of the auditorium doesn’t even begin to do the theatre justice.

Someone, somewhere, certainly has much better photos of the inside. I’m sure some day they will surface.

Note: I found another online source which lists the final day the Hastings will be open as August 31st. I’m still hoping to get confirmation if that’s the date or if the date is the 27th. Late yesterday afternoon I called Pacific’s Corporate Office (I couldn’t get a live person when I tried calling the theatre directly) and left a message asking, but so far no one has called me back. :(

Ed Collins
Ed Collins commented about Pacific's Hastings 8 on Aug 16, 2007 at 10:22 pm

Mark,

This is beginning to get a little off topic but to answer your question…

…I worked for SRO for 7+ years, from 1978 to the mid 1980s. During that span I was the manager of several of SRO’s theatres here in Southern California… The Rolling Hills Twin in Rolling Hills, the Paramount and the Holly in Hollywood, and then finally the Pasadena Hastings. (I think you’ll find a few comments from me here at Cinema Treasures for all of these movie theatres.)

I began my stint with SRO in 1978 at the La Mirada Swap Meet, a large outdoor marketplace located in Santa Fe Springs.

If you’re familiar with SRO you might be familiar with the Danz family. I’m currently working for Tad Danz and his son Greg, and have been since 1999.

After all these years I still have a small stack (about 20) of SRO SPOTLITE magazines, a monthly magazine that the company put out each month. (And no, I won’t part with them!) Each issue is filled with articles about the company, events going on at our theatres, etc.

Ed Collins
Ed Collins commented about Pacific's Hastings 8 on Aug 16, 2007 at 7:54 pm

Ok, I also received the 404 error.

Try copying the link I provided into memory, and then pasting that URL by itself into a new tab or window. That worked for me.

Ed Collins
Ed Collins commented about Pacific's Hastings 8 on Aug 16, 2007 at 7:47 pm

Hmmm… interesting. I checked the validity of the links myself after I uploaded it, to make the file was uploaded correctly. Let me see if I can figure out what might be wrong…

Ed Collins
Ed Collins commented about Pacific's Hastings 8 on Aug 16, 2007 at 7:37 pm

FOUND IT!

800 seats? 1,000 seats? 1,200 seats? Ha!! It may comes as surprise to know the Hastings seated 1,500! Again, as a former manager of the theatre, I suspected it was much more than 1,000 and I’m glad I now have some proof.

The following article is from the November 1982 issue (Volume 1, Issue 6) of SRO SPOTLITE (A Sterling Recreation Organization Publication):

—– begin —–

With the purchase of a one-year-old drive-in in 1948 in Pasadena, CA, came the beginning of a new generation of SRO. The Hastings Drive-in, accommodating 1,000 cars, was the first theatre that SRO purchased in California.

The drive-in was unique in the SRO circuit in that it had in front of the screen a miniature train which children could ride. A well-equipped playground was located near the train. While the kids played, their parents were free to enjoy the benefits of an efficient and well-stocked snackbar, and together the family settled down for an evening of good movie entertainment.

As the 1960s neared the end, so did the drive-in. The value of the property had increase dramatically, and with the good business insight, SRO executives began building “a theatre of the future”.

The Pasadena Hastings Theatre opened its doors to the public on Oct. 2, 1968. The 1,500-seat showplace was designed to provide elegant and luxurious accommodations with the maximum comfort and spaciousness for the movie patron. A unique feature of the theatre is its beautiful patio garden at the lobby entrance.

The Pasadena Hastings is equipped with a pair of Norelco projectors, which have been called the Cadillacs of projection equipment. With both these machines, the theatre can provide 35mm, Cinerama, or 70mm presentation. (The 70mm size screen opens to 25 feet top to bottom and 60 feet side to side.) The theatre’s sound system is capable of mono, 35mag., 70mag, and four-track and six-track Dolby stereo.

The Pasadena Hastings Theatre also has its touch of art, created by Mexico’s famous artist Aurea Aguilar. The facia on the front entrance mixes lights, colors and mosaic to provide a look of beauty and class, and an illuminated mural decorates the entrance to the auditorium in the lobby.

The first Operating Director of the Pasadena Hastings was Nat Levine, who had previous experience in the are of movie production, distribution and exhibition. Other past members of the Pasadena management staff whose names you might recognize are George Pearn, Gerrit van der Bend, Jim Conley, Diana Nilsson, Mike Lancaster, Ray Wright, Richard Landis, Jan van der Bend, Pat Lancaster, Peggy Yocum and Joe Lancaster.

The present management staff includes Manager Bill Stevens, Jr., a 14-year SRO veteran. Bill Wilson, who has worked five years for SRO, is Assistant Manager.

When the Pasadena Hastings opened in 1968, it was billed as “An Adventure in Entertainment”. This standard is upheld today. The theatre staff takes pride in maintaining the theatre as though this were the first year of its opening.

(Credit goes to Bill Stevens, Jr., for providing the information for this article.)

—– end —–

A scan of the entire article, which includes three photographs, can be found here:

View link
View link

The small file is 772 KB in size. The large file is a monster (7,595 KB in size).

Ed Collins
Ed Collins commented about Pacific's Hastings 8 on Aug 16, 2007 at 6:28 pm

Somewhere I still have a small collection of SRO newsletters. In at least one of these newsletters I recall seeing a photo or two of the inside of the Hastings, circa 1985, back when it was a large, single-screen house. Give me a day or two to look for these and if I find them, I’ll scan whatever photos I can find and post them on my website, and provide the link here.

With the rather unusual design of entering the auditorium from the front, coupled with the sheer size of the auditorium (1,000 seats? 1,200?) I truly believe it was one of the nicest theatres in all of Southern California. SRO often referred to it (along with the Paramount) as its flagship theatre. It’s still somewhat hard for me to believe it’s going to be demolished!

Ed Collins
Ed Collins commented about Pacific's Hastings 8 on Aug 16, 2007 at 12:22 am

According to today’s Pasadena Star News

http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/news/ci_6626361

the Hastings will go dark August 27th. Note that this date conflicts with the date Brenda B. mentions five comments above, on August 11th. If there is anyone who can confirm or deny either date, please let me know.

As a former manager of this movie theatre, (back when SRO operated it) I plan on attending one final time, if only to relive a few memories.

Ed Collins
Ed Collins commented about Rolling Hills Theatre on Apr 6, 2006 at 6:22 pm

Jeff,

I was an assistant manager at the Rolling Hills for six months, in the early to mid 1980s.

Based upon that photo, and my somewhat hazy memory, I would say yes, that building in the photo directly below the AMC 20 Theatres building is (was) the Rolling Hills Theatre.

The shape of the building looks the same and the shops below and to the right of the theatre look about right.

It’s been AGES since I was out that way. I should drive out there sometime and take a look at it.

Ed Collins
Ed Collins commented about Sante Fe Springs Swap Meet & Drive-In on Jan 12, 2006 at 6:18 am

Hi Debbie,

Please note that we only show movies at the La Mirada Drive-in (now called the Santa Fe Springs Swap Meet & Drive-In) once a year… usually for two consecutive days, in September or October.

The only photos I have of the drive-in would all be current. I have nothing prior to 1999. But I would also be interested in seeing old photos of the either the drive-in or the swap meet.

Ed Collins
Assistant Manager
Santa Fe Springs Swap Meet

Ed Collins
Ed Collins commented about Holly Cinema on Jun 7, 2005 at 7:47 pm

Twistr54, did you work under Jim Sisk? Jim was the manager there, before I took over as manager, about 1983 or so. I’m almost positive Jim worked there during most of Caligula’s run. In fact, I think I still have an old SRO newsletter article that Jim wrote, talking about Caligula, and the money it made.

Here’s a pic of the building I took last year, in 2004:
www.edcollins.com/photos/holly-theatre-in-2004.jpg

Compare that photo with the one at the link posted by Manwithnoname in an earlier post:
www.edcollins.com/photos/early-holly-theatre.jpg

The upper floor window is about the only thing that remained the same!

Ed Collins

Ed Collins
Ed Collins commented about Rolling Hills Theatre on Apr 10, 2005 at 10:52 pm

Are you kidding me? Of course. Roger was the manager at the time I was there – I was his assitant for the six months or so that I worked there, before being transferred to the Paramount in Hollywood. I haven’t heard from Roger in probably 20 years. Didn’t he move back up north? (If I remember, I think he was from Washington.) And of course I remember Gerrit van der Bend as well. Gerrit was my supervisor for the two years that I was the manager of the Holly and the year or so that I managed the Hastings. In fact, I also remember you. Didn’t you start at the Rolling Hills about the time I left?

Ed Collins
Ed Collins commented about Rolling Hills Theatre on Mar 24, 2005 at 8:51 pm

One of these days I’ll take a drive out to Rolling Hills (I live i Orange County… about 45 minutes away) and look for my old movie theatre. It shouldn’t be too hard to find the location of where the theatre once stood, even after 20+ years, which is approximately how long its been since I worked there. When I do I’ll report back the address of the building that is there now, assuming someone else doesn’t beat me to it first.

As to your second question, I have no idea.

It just so happens I am currently working with the young nephew (I think that’s the relationship) of the person who was the manager (I will not mention his name in this forum) at the time of the murders. However, bringing up the whole story to this young man and asking him to look into it is something I am not going to do. (I am curious, though.)

Ed Collins
Ed Collins commented about Holly Cinema on Mar 17, 2005 at 7:00 pm

I doubt it, simply because of its size… or lack thereof. The Holly was a VERY small theatre. During the two full years that I ran the theatre, (mid 1980s) I saw many movies at every movie theatre on Hollywood Blvd. The Holly Theatre was undoubtedly the smallest theatre of them all, both in terms of screen size and seating capacity. I can’t imagine the Holly being capable of hosting the Academy Awards, even back in 1949. (But this is just an educated guess… I don’t know one way or the other.)

Ed Collins
Ed Collins commented about Rolling Hills Theatre on Sep 6, 2004 at 3:52 am

Hi Bobby,

My comments were taken from an old SRO newsletter. As it was written, I surmised it was the ONLY theatre in the Southbay area, not just SRO. However, I cannot verify the accuracy of that piece of information and I suppose I should not be surprised if it is not completely accurate. I have little doubt your information is correct. Thanks for the clarification.