Comments from Elyse Eisenberg

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Elyse Eisenberg
Elyse Eisenberg commented about Boston Opera House on Oct 7, 2014 at 3:04 pm

Hi Guys! Accidental browsing returned me to this site. Saw Laurie/Lee Arnone and Nat Segaloff’s posts. Just posted my photo to see if anyone remembers me. Hope I haven’t changed too much. Lee/Laurie, sorry we never crossed paths when you lived here. I remember you very well. In 1980 Warner Bros moved me to NYC after Boston then transferred me to LA in 1983. Living in West Hollywood since 1987. A struggling producer after almost two decades at WB, VP Worldwide Acquisitions. Fun career and I credit my start at the Sack Savoy for it. If anyone wanders here again, say hi!

Elyse Eisenberg
Elyse Eisenberg commented about Boston Opera House on Oct 1, 2011 at 1:08 pm

It was definitely Laurie who hired us. I worked for him from Sept 72 through May 74, excluding summers when I went home. Spent a year abroad and didn’t work there when I came back, but Laurie still got me free passes through 76. Lost touch with him when I went to work for General Cinema’s corporate offices in Chestnut Hill in 77.
Thanks for triggering the memory. I’m not sure if the other guy I knew was Goyeyak, but it could have been. Was he about 5'10" with light brown straight hair, medium build and – I think – glasses? Risa and I were both long dark haired tall girls. I think Risa just worked there for 72-73. I remember Barbara well. She was a classic type and scared me a litltle. I think I have a vague memory of you. For sure we must have worked together. I know I was very friendly for a while with an assistant manager, but think it might have been Goyeyak if he looks like I described. Best, Elyse

Elyse Eisenberg
Elyse Eisenberg commented about Boston Opera House on Sep 30, 2011 at 5:46 pm

@floridaskater2003 – we worked the same years. Do you remember me and my roommate Risa, two BU students? I worked mostly for two managers in those years but I forget their names. The main guy worked there for several years and is the one who hired us. He was dark haired and slight, possibly Italian but don’t remember exactly. Worked with Alan Friedberg and ran into him a few years later when I was working for WB. It was at a NATO meeting in Miami and he invited me to be his mistress. I declined.

Elyse Eisenberg
Elyse Eisenberg commented about Boston Opera House on Mar 19, 2011 at 2:44 pm

This was a nice surprise finding this site by chance, following a link from the restoration of the Belasco Theater here in Los Angeles. It made me want to search for the elegant old theater where I began my film career – the Sack Savoy Theater.

It was 1972. My freshman college roommate and I wanted a part-time job where we could work together. I wanted to work in a movie theater as I was already an avid film buff and wanted free tickets. I saw an ad for the Sack Savoy and we hopped on the trolley from BU, talking the manager into hiring us but only if we worked the same shifts as this area was notorious for being in the middle of the seedy Combat Zone and just down the street from where Chesty Morgan was showing off her notorious attributes. The films were geared for the downtown action crowd, and sometimes it was a little spooky going through that damp tunnel into the main theater.

I started in the small theater in the back, first selling candy and popcorn, later promoted to tickets, first at the Tremont Street entrance, the next year upped to the main box office on Washington. Playing for what seemed like months was SOUNDER, the first serious crossover drama about a black family and earning Cicely Tyson an Academy Award nomination. The big theater was mobbed every night for the brand new action star, Bruce Lee, starring in FISTS OF FURY and the next year ENTER THE DRAGON.

Owner Ben Sack, who never emerged from his upstairs offices, called down every day at the same time to ask what the day’s gross was and what serial number on the ticket we were up to. We all had to be ready for the call and it was always nerve-wracking to make sure our numbers and BO take matched. The calls were always very abrupt. He never said his name. Just asked for the numbers and hung up. I worked for him for several years and laid eyes on him maybe once.

A couple of times the manager allowed us to explore the old areas upstairs from when it was a live music hall. I remember it being very dusty everywhere, with one room featuring a large old fashioned billiards table, and the old bathrooms or “lounges” were over the top. You could still see how glamorous and beautiful the theater had been, with the soaring marble columns and ornately painted ceilings everywhere, even upstairs covered under the dust and old equipment. I loved coming to work every day. Our pay was $10.10 a shift â€" a decent part-time pay in those days, plus the incredible good fortune of getting in free to every theater all over Boston to see whatever we wanted any day of the week. All we had to do was call the manager and he called ahead for passes. Being the home theater of the chain’s owner, working at the Savoy had its own prestige.

Landed a job at General Cinema on graduation (as a receptionist, but I got the job because of my long experience at the Savoy!), and a couple of jobs later for Warner Bros (because of my extensive film background!) for almost two decades, ultimately as VP of Worldwide Acquisitions. When people asked me how I started in this business, I always happily reported: selling tickets and popcorn. Those were the glory times and many happy memories. An aside – my freshman roommate continued in the film biz too, a long time agent and now a talent manager.