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Loews Arlington had two screens when it closed and it had mono sound. Loews Morse Road had 35/70 projection equipment (Century JJ’s) and was slated to close. I was the service tech at the time so Lowes had me swap the projectors at the Arlington with the ones at the Morse Road. This was a back-breaking job and was done without loosing one show. 70mm only ran once at the Morse Road (a special film produced by Chevy to introduce car dealers to a new model) and never ran at the Arlington.
There aren’t many people that are still around that have seen a film at the Hartman. I bought the projection equipment from the demolition company (Lowendick) and removed what I could carry. The projection equipment had very little use and the booth was an add-on in the middle of the upper balcony (gallery). It had Western Electric Universal Bases with Vitaphone turntables and Simplex Standard projection heads. Beneath a trap door in the booth were the battery racks that still had two full sets of glass jar batteries to run the sound system. The stage speakers hung on a line set with a track to pull them off left to the scene dock. Most of it was still intact and the projectors would still turn over. There were several reels of film (mostly screen ads and all nitrate) that I donated it to the Library of Congress. John3570
It was built for and opened as the Markham Theatre by J.Real Neff. It was originally a first class theatre with fine furnishings an Western Electric Sound. Neff named it in honor of his mother, Markham was her madden name. There was a bronze plaque in the lobby about his mother. The Neff circuit was sold to Leo Yassenoff’s Academy theatres. After Leo’s passing, it was rented to Winston Willis of Cleveland and operated as “The Adult”. The neon was removed from the large vertical sign, painted black and “ADULT” was painted in red. There were two rooms on the second level, one on each side of the booth. The right one was the “hard of hearing room” and had a series of jacks to plug in headsets. The left was the “cry room” where ladies were asked to go if their child was fussy. The screen area was neat. It had a large velour grand drape that opened first revealing a white “title curtain” that was opened when the distributor’s title appeared. It closed at the end of the lease, as the Yassenoff Foundation chose not to renew. It was later demolished and is now a parking lot and green space for the funeral home next door.
Mark your absolutely right. Joe Shade operated it when it re-opened in ‘73. He had real problems as he was a pharmacist and had no theater experience. When Carl & I took over the previous owners main complaint was that he couldnâ€™t make any money in he concession stand. Come to find out, when the stand needed candy he let then come over to the drug store and get what ever they needed from the back room with no supervision. Needless to say we initiated an inventory, watched the stand, and made money. The double feature policy is what killed us. We ran all of the black product and all of the â€˜kung-fuâ€™ pictures we could find and ran ourselves out of product.
Sorry, the film process was called ScanOscope-35 (Panoscope was a typo) – John Williamson
A projectonist named Carl Leigh and I (John Williamson) were the last folks to operate the Livingston in 1974. We ran black and action product (“The Mack”, “Coffee”, “Big Bad Momma”) exclusively. I remember it having around 1100 seats including the cry room. The auditorium was parallel to the street behind the sporting goods store with the screen on the east end. During the porno days, a large screen (20'x40') was installed for a short lived process called “Panasccope 35”. The screen covered the proscenium completely. â€œThe Gayetyâ€ name came from one owner who tried to present live burlesque. The code enforcement people made him install an asbestos fire curtain along with many other improvements. He opened with a stripper, a whistle blew and the cops closed the place. The Livingston had one live show that lasted about 5 minutes.
As for the film aspects, it had an RCA booth with Brinkert BX60’s, RCA 9030 soundheads and Strong 135 lamps burning 11mm carbons. At the time the building owner was also the owner of the drug store next door (Joe Shade in 1970â€™s). We closed due to lack of product. After we closed, the Livingston was out of the entertainment business. Shade turned it into a doctorâ€™s office catering to Medicaid recipients. The entrance to the waiting room was the theatre entrance and the exit was through a door cut in the west lobby wall into the drug store (traffic went right by the pharmacy counter). I later partnered with Frank Marzetti on a deal to purchase the equipment. It was later sold and scattered all over the Mid-west. After the Drâ€™s office closed it became a bath house which closed. It is now vacant and has been for some time.