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In the book “Motion Picture Exhibition in Washington, DC” there is a photograph of the interior of the Uptown as it appeared at the time of the opening—1936. I assume it looked like this until the big screen and draperies were installed for Cinerama—the appearance the theatre has today.
My question: Does the “old” theatre still exist behind all those drapes? Is it in a restorable condition? Does anyone out there know?
I know we’re talking a considerable amount of money, but what are the chances of a non-profit buying the theatre? I know it doesn’t have a stage because it was built after vaudeville for movies only, but what if a stage could be added? Maybe it could host plays, concerts, etc. I would love to see it remain as movies-only, but I don’t know if that’s possible.
I think one would find a huge outpouring of support for such a project—similar to the Avalon’s experience. Many more people have had contact with the Uptown over the years, and may be willing to join a “Restore and Save the Uptown” organization.
Am I just dreaming?
Does anyone out there want to discuss the Colonial? Actually, I want to learn more about its history. I grew up in H-town, and went to the Colonial many times to see movies as a kid. Does anyone out there know if the theatre ever had a stage? Having been built in 1914, I can only imagine it was once a vaudeville AND movie house like the Maryland acroos the street.
I have a memory of my father telling me that the stage had been removed from the back of the theatre when the policy became movies only. My father moved to H-town in 1947 to work as an accountant, but worked part-time at the Academy and the Maryland as a projectionist. He still had his IATSE card after working some years in Philadelphia-area theatres before moving to Hagerstown. He often mentioned another man who he worked with who was a full-time projectionist at the Maryland, but I can’t remember the name right now—but its on the tip of consciousness!
Please respond if you have any info on the above!
Yes. It read: Trans-Lux Hippodrome
I can’t help with dates, but I’m sure “My Fair Lady” had a reserved- seat engagement at the Hippodrome.
While writing the comment above about my father being a projectionist in Phila. and environs from 1930-1941, I remembered some things he told me:
1) He worked for awhile at a theatre with another projectionist who was the brother of Ed Wynn. Ed Wynn was born Isaiah Leopold in Phila. in 1886. My fahter was born in 1911 and arrived in Phila. in 1930 from Kansas when he was 19 years old. Both brothers were in show business, I guess—one a vaudeville performer, and the other a projectionist!
2) Although a member of the IATSE, my father attempted with others to start a rival (?) union that I believe failed. I remember coming across some old dues books and stamps in our attic of “The Keystone State Moving Picture Machine Operators Association.” This would have been approx. 1935.
Does anyone know anything about either of the above?
Does anyone out there know anything about the Stanton? Ever attend movies there? Live in the neighborhood? Know what’s left inside the theatre? Any efforts to save and convert to performing arts center?, etc. etc.?
To veyoung or anyone else,
My father was a projectionist (IATSE) in Phila. from approx. 1930-1941. He spoke most often of working his longest job at the “Brookline” Theatre in suburban Philly. I don’t see that on the CT list of theatres either. Is that another faulty memory of mine or is it not listed for some reason?
Thanks for responding.
If I had read the previous responses more carefully, I could have answered my first question about “Ben Hur!”
As a boy growing up in Hagerstown, Maryland (approx. 150 miles from Philly), my family made many trips to Phila. because my parents had both lived there before moving to Hagerstown in 1947—I was born in H-town in 1948. So, although Baltimore and DC were both 70 miles away, Phila. became the large city I became most acquainted with.
My father, while going to school at U.of P. (Wharton ‘35), was a motion picture projectionist in Phila. theatres and an IATSE member.
He taught me alot about projection systems, and his old union card could get us into projection booths.
I have great memories of seeing Cinerama movies at the Boyd including: “How the West Was Won,” and “the Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm.” I still have my souvenir books that were sold at the concession stand in those days for Cinerama and other non-Cinerama “roadshow” movies. I really looked forward to going to the Boyd—it was/is a great theatre. Although I don’t get tp Philly very often, I’ve joined the “Friends of the Boyd, and made a small contribution—this theatre MUST be saved and restored!
Two questions to whomever may read this: 1) Did "Ben Hur” play at the Boyd? I think I saw it there. 2) What was the name of the theatre a few blocks east on Chestnut where I saw “Spartacus” and still have that souvenir book. I want to say the “Midtown,” but I don’t see that name on the Cinema Treasures list, and I don’t recognize any others.
Thanks for responding.
In response to the above, the Academy is NOT “still standing and boarded up.” I was born in Hagerstown in 1948 and grew up there.
While I was still a kid, the Academy was demolished and a shoe store took its place. Later, I believe, the shoe store also was demolished leaving a vacant lot of rubble. What’s become of the site in the last few years I don’t know.
I’m not sure if I clicked on the “notify me when someone responds to my comment” so I’ll do it now.
In 1961, 62, or 63 (I’m not sure what year exactly), my family went on a business trip to Rochester from Hagerstown, Maryland where I grew up. I was about 13-14 years old. We stayed at the Manger Hotel downtown. My father took us to the Monroe Theatre to see “Search for Paradise” in three projector Cinerama. My father had worked many years before in Philadelphia as a movie projectionist, and after showing the Monroe’s manager his old IATSE union card (which he always kept with him!), we were taken to the projection booth and given an extensive “tour” of the workings of three-strip Cinerama. I still have my souvenir book of “Search for Paradise!”
Thank you “lostmemory” for setting the record straight! But were there two Stantons? What theatre was at 513 C St. (no quadrant given)?
I believe the location of this theatre listed above is 100% wrong! The Stanton was on 18'th St. NE near Rhode Island Ave.in the Brookland/Woodridge neighborhood of DC.
Perhaps there was a “Stanton” AND a “Stanton Art,” but the Stanton described and pictured above was definitley on 18'th St. NE!
I remember in the Summer of 1963 coming to Pittsburgh from Hagerstown, Maryland with my parents on a business trip (I was 14), and staying at the Manger Hotel downtown. My parents went to see “The Unsinkable Molly Brown” at the Civic Arena (?), while my older sister and I went to the Penn Theatre to see “Cleopatra!"
What a spectacular theatre! Far more spectacular than any theatre in Hagerstown—although we did have the Maryland Theatre (see Cinema Treasures—Hagerstown, Maryland).
I’m so glad the Penn was spared demolition, and is the home of the Pittsburgh Symphony.
To John Miller:
I grew up in H-town, and remember attending all the theatres mentioned on this website. I remember Mr. Miller (your father?) being my advisor for coin-collecting merit badge (Boy Scouts—Troop #4), and going to his office in the Henry’s for my advisement. I remember him taking a fantastic coin collection from the safe in the office, and showing me his coins!
I remember as a teenager growing up in Hagerstown, MD driving 70 miles to Baltimore to see “Cleopatra” at the Hippodrome. I was very impressed at the size of the theatre—I was an immediate fan of the Hipp. I believe that was 1963.