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Did this thing even last ten years?
Along with the Northridge earthquake, this complex was probably the final nail in the coffin for the Egyptian and Hollywood Pacific. The Vogue and Fox probably would have closed either way. But the Hollywood Pacific was still doing business with pictures like Silence of the Lambs and Sea of Love. Alien, Aliens and Return of the Jedi were typical premiers at the Egyptian in the 80’s. Instead of finding a way to keep the Hollywood blvd theaters vital, local pols approved this multiplex for one of the best locations on the blvd.
How could the Hollywood Pacific and Egyptian compete?
And this thing didn’t even last 10 years.
Before the restore, the Paramount had a terrific curved 70mm screen … great for viewing Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
No question that installing these wide screens upset the original proscenium arch… not only at the Paramount, but the Chinese, Egyptian, Warner Hollywood and most every movie palace.
At the same time because of their size, these movie palaces could easily accommodate the largest screens and were the ideal place for an audience to get the full impact of Scope and 70mm. Check out the photo of the D-150 screen at Cinema treasures Egyptian site to get an idea. This was the screen before the AFI renovation.
The proscenium arch was a carry over from live theater, where it helped hide stage craft and kept audiences focused on center stage. It was never needed for projecting movies, no matter what aspect ratio was projected. Most movie palaces were converted vaudeville houses and live stage acts were still occasionally booked along with the feature. Keeping the arch made sense.
But with recent restorations, it doesn’t seem as if anyone was aware that the original proscenium arch and modern screen aspect ratios didn’t fit together well. The big question should have been, do we focus on the best screening experience or an architectural feature that’s part of the experience only when the house lights are up?
Went through a number of name changes . . unfortunately Kallet, as sited in the Syracuse.com article, was not one of them.
During 50’s and 60’s (and possibly earlier) operated as the Westcott and owned by the Gilbert family. Played the French film A Man and a Woman (1966) for well over a year … hyped as audience demand but supposedly distribs would not book the theater because they could not recover their percentage of the gross. Fact or urban legend?
At some point (after worn out print of A Man and a Woman could no longer run through the projector?) theater changed hands and operated as The Studio (late 60’s/early 70’s). But once again (another change of hands?) returned to operation as the Westcott.
Was this theater at one time called the Strand?
My great uncle owned a Strand theater in Elmira. It was 2nd run with double bills changing every three days and the theater was dark on Wednesdays. Closed in the mid 1960’s. I remember visiting him a couple of times when I was around 11 years old and always had the greatest time. The projectionist let me rewind reels and showed me how to do reel change-overs. The screen was always exposed although there was a curtain but not operational. The black border curtains did open wider for Scope pictures . .. although the extra width seemed to be just a few feet on either side. So there was really not much difference in screen size between Flat and Scope films. The projector’s anamorphic lens could be adjusted to fit the screen and I’m sure that to fill the top and bottom of the screen the sides of the picture were heavily cropped.
I’m pretty sure this was formerly the Strand, although the Strand had a moving light marque, so I may be mistaken.