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The original theater #1 had to be the best movie theater in the Lakewood/Long Beach area.
Miss this place….the two main theaters cannot be described…you really needed to experience it to understand how awesome those theaters were.
As a little kid I remember the first movie I saw there with my parents was Sounder and few year later Young Frankenstein. When I was old enough to drive I would drive from Long Beach to see movies there that I knew needed to be seen in a theater like this…Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, Aliens, Jurassic Park…
This was a good theater…but my friends and I tried to avoid it because it was impossible to sneak in to the other theater as they were separated by the snack bar.
My first job was at the this theater in early 82. The managers name was Josephine. She didn’t like me very much and let me go with the “summer crew” even though I had been hired months before the “summer crew”. :)
They also used to do Midnight Movies every friday. They always had Rocky Horror and then a few others they would cycle through…Dawn of the Dead, The Song Remains the Same, Quadrophenia, and my favorite Dance Craze. Kids would show up all decked out in mod/ska fashion and as the bands played on screen (The Specials, Madness, The Selecter, Bad Manners, The English Beat) all the kids would get up and and dance in the aisles…good times.
First time I went to this theater was as a kid in the 70s for a James Bond triple bill…Dr No, From Russia With Love, and Thunderball.
I worked there for a few months in the early 80s (late 82 I think) when the manager was Mr. Tarantino (probably Tarantex?). This was also at the same time as the projectionist strike Meredith is referring to. I used to help the manager and assistant managers with running the projectors.
I also worked for Josephine when I first started earlier in 82 at the UA Marketplace in Long Beach when she was the manager there.