Comments from GSenda

Showing 20 comments

GSenda
GSenda commented about Ontario Theater on May 12, 2006 at 4:44 am

This must be where I saw Mary Poppins because it was on the way to the theatre where South Pacific played.

I mostly saw movies near Georgia Avenue and at the Post Theatre in Fort Belvoir.

George Senda
Concord Ca

GSenda
GSenda commented about Ambassador Theatre on May 12, 2006 at 4:27 am

This is the theatre where I saw South Pacific in 1964. We moved later in the year before the firsr DC riots. I had thought we moved in early 1964 but clearly remember seeing this movie as we lived on 16th Street *(2400) and it was not that far a walk to it.

Now if I can just find the one that showed Mary Poppins…

George Senda
Concord Ca

GSenda
GSenda commented about Paris Theatre on May 12, 2006 at 3:35 am

Where the Paris stood is now the back entrance to a hotel.

The former Bank of America branch is now a Marshalls or Ross store and an atm is in the wall.

For years this site stood vacant and boarded up.

George Senda
Concord, Ca.

GSenda
GSenda commented about Hub Theater on May 12, 2006 at 3:18 am

Sadly, the Hub and several other theatres on the block were put out of business by the forthcoming Yerba Buena Center project. Which took years to resolve in the courts while these theatres were boarded up.

At the end all the theatres in this block were showing porn theatres and the city took them over under eminent domain and for awhile the city owned fully operating porn theatres!

I recall Herb Caen making a note of it in one of his columns.

I seem to recall reading that at their height there were 40 or 50 movie theatres operating at the same time on Market Street. A friend of mine says he managed to see at least one movie in each of the theatres on Market Street in his youth.

George Senda
Concord Ca

GSenda
GSenda commented about Hilltop Drive-In on May 12, 2006 at 3:12 am

We saw Star Trek 1 there. The projection was so dim you could not see the 1st 15 minutes of the movie. I never heard so many car horns honking at once!

George Senda
Concord Ca

GSenda
GSenda commented about Golden Gate Theatre on May 12, 2006 at 3:00 am

One of the last movies to play here was the original Longest Yard with Burt Reynolds.

I saw Battle of the Bulge there too.

George Senda
Concord Ca

GSenda
GSenda commented about Festival Cinemas 5 on May 12, 2006 at 2:57 am

One of the last films to play there was The Odd Couple 2. We won tickets from a radio station.

George Senda
Concord, Ca

GSenda
GSenda commented about Diamond Theatre on May 12, 2006 at 2:53 am

According the IMVB, Quincy Adams Saywer was a series of stories about amateur detectives set in a small town in Massachusettes.

Of interest is the 1912 silent version of the 2 films. The 1912 version starred Lon Chaney.

There was a 1922 version of this film and that may have been what was playing in 1926.

George Senda
Concord, Ca

GSenda
GSenda commented about Cento Cedar Cinema on May 12, 2006 at 2:44 am

We saw many films here and afterward would go to the Strand fish and chips place on Larkin.

I recall seeing Orson Welles Chimes At Midnight/Falstaff there.

I always wondered why it closed.

George Senda
Concord Ca

GSenda
GSenda commented about Cannery Cinema on May 12, 2006 at 2:38 am

This was a little theatre. I saw a couple of movies there.

We used to go to the movie and take the elevator afterwards up to the Hungry Tiger (this was in the early 70s) and would eat our fill of the incredibly cheap lobsters this place served. Best seafood place I ever ate at.

Sadly both the small theatre and the restaurant are gone.

For awhile I had a flier advertising Linda Blair appearing in a live stage play there sometime after it became a live theatre.

I saw Above San Francisco there too. A great film and wonder why no one has updated it.

George Senda
Concord Ca

GSenda
GSenda commented about Strand Theatre on May 12, 2006 at 2:16 am

No one has mentioned the reason for the demise of this great theatre.

In the 70s or 80s, the manager of the theatre tried to get a deranged patron to leave.

This nutcase pulled a gun and shot the manager/owner dead in front of the candy counter.

The manager had owned the theatre for years and was a very pleasant man. He ran a nightly bingo game for years and I won several games over the years. After he was shot, some other people tried to run it but the street got rougher and it closed later opening as a porn theatre.

Upstairs was a dance studio run by an old vaudvilliane. I think the Strand and Embassy were both vaudville theatres at one time. The last remaining theatre that was a vaudville theatre that is still open is the Orpheum just down the street.

Triple bills were the fare here with films ranging from the 50s to the 80s with Westerns being very poplular. I recall men being lined up for blocks whenever they would show Russ Meyer movies !

In the next block where the UA used to be (now Market Street Cinema) were two adjoining theatres. One briefly became a regular mens clothing store after being a porn theatre. Oddly enough, one theatre became a Pussycat Theatre and all 3 were running porn films at the same time in the late 70s early 80s.

George Senda
Concord, Ca

GSenda
GSenda commented about Stage Door Theatre on May 12, 2006 at 2:03 am

I saw a film with Richard Dreyfus called The Big Fix here. It was a terrible film.

The picture with the Shirley MacLaine film was interesting because my parents took me to it and we had dinner at the steak house next door after the movie.

We moved around a lot because my Dad was in the Army for years.

George Senda
Concord, Ca

GSenda
GSenda commented about Spartan Theatre on May 12, 2006 at 1:58 am

Before the Spartan was a gay theatre, it played straight X-rated films there in the 70s.

I recall seeing one called the Nurses there and recently found a tape of it in Sacramento.

It may have been a regular theatre at one time.

I will go buy some time and see it’s current status and let you all know.

George Senda
Concord, Ca

GSenda
GSenda commented about St. Francis Theatre on May 12, 2006 at 1:55 am

This theatre was owned at end by someone like a Bob Lurie-type who bought most or all of the block with the intention of tearing it all down and building new apts and office buildings on the block.

He could not get the financing and the site stays vacant today.

I only went in there once and wasnt impressed.

It would be interesting if some theatre fans could go to some of these theatres and take some interior shots before they’re torn down.

George Senda
Concord Ca

GSenda
GSenda commented about Solano 2 Drive-In on May 12, 2006 at 1:49 am

I work at a theatre in Pleasant Hill.

I am amazed by the people over the last 10 years who ask me where this former drive in was/is and who still think it shows movies.

My girlfriend and I saw movies there at one time but I can’t recall which ones.

George Senda
Concord, Ca

GSenda
GSenda commented about Royal Theatre on May 12, 2006 at 1:42 am

The Royal had one interesting note.

Somehow it managed to have the opening of every James Bond picture. My cousin and I saw every Bond picture there on opening day for years.

The theatre had a small snack bar and the theatre manager had a small scruffy poodle which he used to walk each night. On the other side of the theatre the dollar store was a Nationwide Bank at one time.

The inside of the theatre had permanently sticky floors from all the soda spilled there over the years and kids and adults used to buy Dots and Jujubes and chew them and threw them at the ceiling. There must have been thousands of the damned things up there !

George Senda
Concord Ca

GSenda
GSenda commented about Regal Theatre on May 12, 2006 at 1:35 am

This theatre used to run 3 films for $1.25 in the 60s.

At one time they ran 3 Godzilla films at once.

You walked by the former box office up a ramp, and bought your ticket inside.

The restroom was the strangest and smallest I have ever seen. It had a urinal which worked like a waterfall, a toilet with a stall and the usual condom machines on the wall. It was so small that 3 people could not fit in it at the same time.

For awhile after it closed as a theatre and reopened first as a peep show booth place, the name Regal Cinema could still be seen done in tile on the tiled front entrance where you used to walk in.

The Regal was further up the street from the current site of LA Girls. I know this because I went into the Bijou a few times. ( which had porn stars of the 70s and 80s appear including Long Jeanne Silver who only had one foot and did incredible things with candles) and then worked as a fill in cashier when it got changed to an adult video store in the late 90s.

Sadly I never thought about asking to look around when it was the Bijou.

George Senda
Concord, Ca

GSenda
GSenda commented about Esquire Theatre on May 12, 2006 at 1:25 am

I can only recall seeing one movie here. And that because some guy was handing out flyers for it on the street.

The Incredible Two-Headed Transplant with Ray Milland and Rosie Greer attached that the neck and wearing bib overalls.

The Telenews pictures were interesting as it had a large fire in the 40s or 50s.

I seem to recall that there may have been a 3rd theatre next to this one. Some guy had gained control of that theatre and had found dozens of old westerns in the basement. He turned it into a grind theatre at $1 a head, kept it open 24 hours a day with a lot of winos sleeping in the seats and one day the projector (which had an open gas flame in it instead of a bulb !) caught the film and the theatre on fire !!

George Senda
Concord, Ca

GSenda
GSenda commented about Embassy Theatre on May 12, 2006 at 1:18 am

I spent a lot of time in the 60s and 70s in here and next door at the Strand.

I never won or came close to winning the Ten-O-Win but can still remember the cries of “Main Floor” as the uniformed girls/women ran down the center aisle to pay people for their winning tickets.

The place was always packed and showed 3 movies for an incredibly cheap price.

George Senda
Concord, Ca

GSenda
GSenda commented about Gala Hispanic Theatre on May 12, 2006 at 1:09 am

I have been trying to remember just where this theatre was for years.

In the 50s, I saw House on Haunted Hill, 13 Ghosts, The Tingler there.

All of the above were with the full William Castle props and hoopla including a nurse in the lobby and an ambulance standing by outside.

Not too far away on the other side of 16th Street (towards Conneticut Avenue) was a theatre where I saw South Pacific. On the way to that theatre was one which played Mary Poppins.

About a block away was a 24 hour newstand and a White Tower Hamburger stand.

We moved out of Washington in early 1965 so we did not see the 1965 riots. Though the area was near Georgia Avenue and a lot of buildings were torched.

Out on Connecticut Avenue near the zoo was a theatre which showed Cinerama movies. I saw one or 2 there ( I think it may have been How The West Was Won).

Downtown near the White House was a theatre that played Goldfinger. I was awed by the picture of a two-block long Shirley Eaton and the huge Goldfinger sign.

I also recall the row of strip clubs and theatres near the FBI building and one theatre near the Greyhound Station were we saw the movie Pepe with Cantinflas.

George Senda
Concord, Ca