Comments from GCCguy

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GCCguy
GCCguy commented about Cinema I & II on Jun 20, 2011 at 9:13 pm

Mike Rogers,

Not exactly transferred. In the mid 70’s I oversaw construction of several new cinemas around the area. I started out at Ford City as an usher, was an asst mgr at Harlem-Cermak and Randhust. I coordinated the building of Fondulac Wisc., this one in Highland Park, the one in Hanover Park called Tradewinds Cinema, helped with the split of Harlem-Cermak, Ford City, Carpentersville, and Mt. Prospect. I would only stay around at the grand openings or reopenings for a week or two to help train the staff and then be off to work on another one. I left the company in 1975.

GCCguy
GCCguy commented about Ford City 14 Theaters on Jun 4, 2008 at 8:14 pm

I stumbled onto an interesting web site:
http://generalcinematheatres.com/

When it first loads, it even plays the old GCC music that started every feature presentation. The links on the left still work. Under Corporate Info there are a lot of pictures, including Dick Smith, President, and Howard Spiess who spent a lot of time at Ford City Cinema.

The locations link has locations as they existed in 1999 and in 1983 complete with addreses. Be sure to click the Shoppers World link to see the story and links to lots of pictures of the original GCC in Framingham Mass.

GCCguy
GCCguy commented about Yorktown 18 Cinema on Jun 4, 2008 at 7:46 pm

Take a look at this web page for some pictures of the Premium Cinema and the food that was available.

View link

GCCguy
GCCguy commented about Deerbrook Cinema on Jun 4, 2008 at 7:31 pm

I was an Assistant Manager here back in the mid 70’s. John F. Misavice was the manager when this one opened.

GCCguy
GCCguy commented about Cinema I & II on Jun 4, 2008 at 6:43 pm

I helped out at this cinema for the opening week. I am guessing it would have been around 1974.

I believe it was a Farrell’s Ice Cream parlor across the parking lot.

GCCguy
GCCguy commented about Ford City 14 Theaters on Jun 4, 2008 at 6:28 pm

There was only one woman who went into labor during the showing of Earthquake at Ford City Cinema while I was there. I hope it was not your mom!

GCCguy
GCCguy commented about Ford City 14 Theaters on Nov 16, 2006 at 1:03 pm

I just remembered, Vince moved the DM office out to Yorktown Cinema during his tenure.

GCCguy
GCCguy commented about Ford City 14 Theaters on Nov 16, 2006 at 12:56 pm

Yeah, Jack Springer! That’s the name. I remember Bernie very well. He had a deformity to one of his arms and did everything with one hand. I started under Vince Tripodi, so I never knew Mr. Craig. When Vince became the DM, my mother became his secretary until he quit. He died a few years later I heard.

You will probably recall listening to Boots Randolf’s Yakety Sax during every intermission. It is the only thing Vince ever allowed to be played during his time as manager. I think one Christmas season he did have some holiday music for a few days, but quickly changed his mind and went back to Boots.

GCCguy
GCCguy commented about Tradewinds Cinemas I & II on Nov 16, 2006 at 12:45 pm

I was a General Cinema manager from 1971 to 1975 and supervised the construction of this theater around 1973. It was the tiniest cinema that I had ever seen. When this one was designed, they didn’t even add any storage space for the cups, raw popcorn, popcorn oil, candy, etc. We ended up dividing the manager’s office in half and calling one the office and the other the storage room. It surprises me that it lasted as long as it did.

GCCguy
GCCguy commented about Randhurst 16 Theaters on Nov 16, 2006 at 9:38 am

I managed Randhurst Cinema from 1974 to 1975 when it was only a single screen. I always thought it was designed as a twin but they cut the blueprint in half and only built the west half of it. There was a vacant grassy area to the east of the building.

GCCguy
GCCguy commented about Ford City 14 Theaters on Nov 16, 2006 at 9:20 am

All of the GCC seats were red vinyl seat and red fabric backrest. They snapped in and out of a white enamel metal shell. When the seat got cut, we used to remove the seat, uncover and recover it, and snap it back in. When the back of the seat got grafitti on it, we had a fast drying, alcohol based, white paint to cover it. It was the carpet in all GCC cinemas that was a red plaid.

I worked at Ford City Cinema in 1971-1973 when it was only a twin, and before the Division Manager moved his office there. Vince Tripodi was the manager. He later became a Division Manager. I remember that the Booking Office was on the second floor. The booking manager, I forget his name, was responsible for booking all of the movies in all of the GCC theaters in the division area which included all of Chicagoland and southern Wisconsin.

There once was a time when a tornado hit the roof of the bowling alley and theater, bounced off and came down on the hotel just west of the cinema and removed the wall and roof from the top floor at the southeast corner. It also did some damage to the Red Baloon restaurant that was right in front of the hotel. It crossed Cicero avenue and damaged a Golden Bear pancake house too.

The roof of the building was described to me as a tornado resistant roof because of its corregated design. I don’t know if it was true or not, but it seemed to have worked that time. We never even stopped the movie and the people inside did not know until they came out and saw the damaged hotel.

GCCguy
GCCguy commented about Harlem-Cermak Theaters on Nov 16, 2006 at 8:43 am

I was an assistant manager at this theater when it was a single screen house with 1,863 seats. I was transfered when it was scheduled to close to be split. I remember seeing some of the plans to remove some seats, erect a “sound barrier” wall, remove the General Cinema trademark picture frame apron from in front of the screen to be replaced with the new style black mask fabric to create two screens, move the existing speakers behind the screen, and add a second set of speakers for the 2nd screen. I don’t remember any discussions at all about reorienting the seats to face the new screens.

Prior to my assignment at Harlem-Cermak, I had worked at Ford City Cinema when it was only two screens. When I left Harlem-Cermak, I was assigned to oversee the construction of a new twin screen theater in Hanover Park’s Tradewinds Shopping Center. Those were the tiniest theaters I ever saw. I also oversaw the construction of a twin in Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin and a twin in Highland Park, Illinois. I then was assigned to oversee the split of Meadowdale Cinema in Carpentersville, Illinois, but before I even went there for my first day, the manager of Randhurst Cinema in Mount Prospect, Illinois, died suddenly and I was assigned to replace him immediately. I ended up staying there for a couple of years before I left the company in 1975.