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Aha! This was where I saw Chinatown maybe in ‘76 or '77, not at Telegraph Rep as I’d thought. I do recall seeing it in a second floor auditorium, very cramped, seemingly makeshift. Anyone have a similar recollection of this theater’s interior?
Saw a few movies at the Oaks in my time, but the only ones I remember was a double-feature of Don Taylor’s “Tom Sawyer” the musicalized version from 1973 I believe, and right after it, John Sturges’s “Joe Kidd” with Clint Eastwood. These would have been second or even third runs of these films. I saw this double-feature in July or August of 1973. Joe Kidd was released in July of 1972; Tom Sawyer’s release date was March 1973. I’ve always liked that the Oaks was perched prominently at the top of Solano Avenue in Albany (Berkeley), and looked forward to seeing what was on the marquee as you drove west out of the Northbrae Tunnel. That it’s closed now (and McCallum’s ice cream!) significantly diminishes the allure of the Solano Ave commercial district. Should Pegasus Books fold that will be the end of my visits to that neighborhood.
Can anyone post some interior photos?
I remember being excited to see Altman’s “Buffalo Bill & the Indians, or Sitting Bull’s history Lesson” there in 1976 in one of the twin auditoriums. In fact, I was so stoked to see Paul Newman and Harvey Keitel in a film together, I endured two back-to-back showings. Pretty dull. Today, you won’t find many film buffs mentioning “Buffalo Bill” in the same breath as MASH, Nashville, The Player, Short Cuts, or Gosford Park. I was 13 in 1976 and in love with the movies was my excuse. Would have loved to have seen a good film there when it converted back to single screen.
Interesting to note the moronic ignorance of the protest sign. Scorsese is of course Italian-American as is producer Barbara De Fina, writers Kazantzakis is Greek, and Schrader had a strict Calvinist upbringing.
Confused about which one of the two buildings was the Bella Union. the one housing World Ginseng Center (825 Kearny) or the building to its left with the semi-circle window? Any insights appreciated.
I remember the JAWS billboard in this space in 1975. Wish I had taken a picture.
I saw A BRIDGE TOO FAR on opening day in Berkeley, CA at the Shattuck Cinemas and have never forgotten it. It remains one of my favorite war films. Spectacular film and tremendous performances by Bogarde, Caan, Caine, Hopkins, Connery, Kruger, and Schell.
Love that this ad is in French. Nearest town in Canada of any significant population is Philipsburg, 26 minutes away.
Visited there in July of 2014. Ghosts, even during the daytime. Never saw a movie at this drive-in, but memories of the drive-in experiences of my youth brought back wistful memories. Check my post for 202 Drive-In, West Chester, PA.
This theater was apparently known as the Tapia for a while, at least in the 1970s. Anyone know why it was named that and then changed to the Nova? Simply new management renaming it?
Posting a photo of a NY Times ad from June 27, 1975 listing the Eagle as showing The Godfather Part II, a little over 6 months after its premiere at other exclusive-run theaters in Manhattan.
This must have been known also as the Cinema Astral, showing Spanish dubbed films in the 1970s. Posting an ad from the NY Times June 27, 1975 listing the theater as showing The Godfather Part II either dubbed or subtitled in Spanish.
For what it’s worth, Polanski’s CHINATOWN premiered at Loew’s State 1 on this date, June 20th, in 1974, not June 19th. Just checked the ad in Times Machine. Don’t recall seeing too many films at the State, though I was here in NYC for 6 years before it closed. My recollection is that I saw Ragtime in State 1. Bit of a letdown after having 1st read the terrific Doctorow novel.
Almost positive that comments I posted in 2007 about the old Warner Theater here in downtown West Chester have been removed. Not happy about that. Will repost old memories later. But as to sendingoutansoso’s inquiry from 2008, yes, I do recall the old Eric West Goshen theaters. By the time I frequented it, in the mid-1970s, it had twinned. Or maybe it was always a twin theater. My guess is that it was a typical strip mall theater of the time – mid to late 1960s – and nothing terribly distinguishing about the theater. Imagine a typical strip mall theater of that era, and you’ve got the Eric Twin West Goshen shopping mall theaters. I recall seeing a second-run engagement of JAWS there in the fall of 1975. Or maybe JAWS had opened there in June or July of that year and had played all those months, as films often did back in those years, but my guess is it was a second-run showing. Not sure when the theater(s) closed. The Eric chain, based in Philly I believe as Sameric, went out of business for good in the 1990s. Anyone confirm that?
This photo of the Idle Hour bears a striking resemblance to what would later be called the Garden, which was later called the Harrison. See theaters in West Chester, PA, the Harrison, to see the still extant facade as of 2007. The semi-circle facade curve above the “Idle Hour” lettering still exists on the old Harrison facade. The Rialto seems to have been another theater (next door?) altogether.
May have seen a Wednesday matinee here of A Bridge Too Far in the late summer/early fall of 1977. Definitely a second-run house, Bridge may have been truncated a little at this point in its run to get more showings in (at night anyway). I doubt it was unspooling at its original length (176 minutes). I recall I was maybe the only one in the theater. Okay, maybe a handful of patrons. Apologies if the Blue Hen wasn’t the theater I saw this at, but it was some theater in lower Delaware between the canal and Rehoboth.
Oh, yes! Recall the Sensurround gimmick for both Earthquake and Rollercoaster here. HUGE subwoofers down in front between the screen & 1st row. Good times!
Frankenheimer’s Black Sunday, one of the best to play at Concord Mall Cinema. I sat through two consecutive showings in March 1977.
Yup, saw that there, too. The 1st Superman also. And Saturday Night Fever.
Saw many films here from 1972 up until some point in the 1980s when I went away to college. My 1st recollection was seeing Mike Nichols' Day of the Dolphin here in 1972. Little did I know I would meet him 40 years later backstage at a theater I was performing in at in NYC. Other memorable films I saw at the Concord Mall Cinema, if I’m remembering correctly: The Doberman Gang, The Odessa File, The Great Gatsby, the Wilmington premiere of Funny Lady (w/ a champagne fountain in the lobby!), The Day of the Locust, Three Days of the Condor, The Bad News Bears, Marathon Man, The Last Tycoon, King Kong, Black Sunday, The Deep, Looking for Mr. Goodbar, Days of Heaven, Atlantic City, Ordinary People, Raiders of the Lost Ark (?). I recall Chinatown played here in 1974 but I didn’t see it at the time. My mom took me to see The Godfather Part II here at my insistence — I was 11 years old.
Ohhh, yes. I was an inveterate newspaper film ad clipper, too, during this era, and have many of these ads from the Evening Journal as I grew up in Wilmington in the 1970s. Pretty sure I saw The Black Hole at Concord Mall Cinema, and I absolutely remember seeing Apocalypse Now at the Cinemart, having already seen it before at the Ziegfeld in NYC. The print at the Ziegfeld had no credits, but a nice program was handed out for patrons listing all credits. When the film showed finally at places like the Cinemart, end credits were tacked on against a backdrop of napalm bombs dropping.
Gorgeous. Wonder if any of these original elements still exist inside.
Having recently seen what remains of the interior of the auditorium – the proscenium, balcony, and projection booth remain intact and in remarkably good condition – I wonder if the Mandarin was originally built as a legit playhouse used for Chinese opera and the like?
Caught a matinee showing of the re-release of THE EXORCIST at the St. Francis in the summer of 1977. Maybe timed to prime audiences for the upcoming release of EXORCIST II: The Heretic. I hadn’t seen the film before, having been too young to go when it was initially released in 1973. This was the 1st screening of the re-release run at the St. Francis and I recall being very confused as to the chronology of the story. It seemed to jump forward in its narrative time frame — the climactic exorcism began about 20 minutes into the showing of the film then jumped back in time, then it it jumped inexplicably to another part of the film. Turns out the the projectionist had gotten the reels all mixed up. Despite the confusion, afterwards I was still rattled as hell (and nauseous) and a crowd had gathered in the lobby to bitterly complain to the manager about the reel snafu. I remember a young woman who had brought her infant daughter to the screening being among the most vociferous complainants.