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Wow. I haven’t thought about this place in years.
I used to attend this twin for 99 cents in the mid 70’s with my cousins, who lived in Cypress. We would split our time between this theater and the UA theaters at Cerritos Mall. I remember seeing Jaws, The Spy Who Loved Me, Family Plot, Superman and all 4 walled showing of “In Search of Historic Jesus”. I can still recall the recorded phone message these guys had (“thank you for calling Cypress Twin Cinemas…”). It always played 3rd and 4th run features, but for 99 cents it left money for concessions.
I worked at this theater as a projectionist in the early 80’s when it was managed by Bill Hill. There were also some 1 off concerts that were booked too. The theater still had the bar in the center of the auditorium when i was there. I explored this place up and down. From the crying room up in the last row (used as our film prep room), to climbing the ladder to the roof behind the stage.
This place definitely has a very late 70’s, early 80’s vibe to it. The auditoriums are all cinderblock style domes. It’s reasonably comfortable. Where this theater excels is in it’s isolation. It’s in a wooded industrial park, set in the back. You would hardly know it’s there. The parking lot is pretty large and there’s a big fountain out in front of the circular drop off zone. No real marquee or signage to speak of. I frequent this place because the attendance is low, it plays most of the popular titles, it’s about 1.5 miles from home, and there’s a cheap sushi bar on the other end of the parking lot.
I found this on youtube and thought it pretty cool. it’s home movie footage of Robert Redford up in the tower portion of the Village Fox: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_profilepage&v=g-ebrsdhqvg
I believe Roddy McDowall shot this home movie footage. What they’re doing up there, I have no idea.
It’s still there behind the car dealership. It has those faux dome style buildings. The yelp reviews for this theater say it was a hot mess and just plagued with teenagers.
This was the place where I saw Star Wars in ‘77. It was my small town equivalent of the Village Theater in Westwood.
I worked at this little theater for ~3 years when I was a teenager. It was a great experience and I believe I developed my film taste with all of the cult, foreign, neglected, and classic movies I saw there. I spent a little time a the El Paseo too, but this was the place where I learned manual change-overs, arc carbon lamphouses, and screen masking.
Here’s a bio for Bill Hill the guy that owned and ran the place: http://www.filmprojection.com/bill-hill.html
I always remember fondly my time as a film projectionist. I was only 19 and it was one of the greatest jobs ever. I still hoard dvd’s i have of films i first saw on the job (it was an art/repertory theater). I believe it was even more of a dying art that learned. Symplex projectors with arc carbons that I had to keep burning steadily and manual change overs every 20 minutes. I also had to run the entire film through my hands for a splice check when we received new titles in (which was every week). What a fun job.
I saw many movies at this theater: Midnight Run, Powaquaatisi, Lawrence of Arabia,etc. I always remember the fact that there was no parking (or at least no cheap parking—I would park at the shopping center across the way and walk over), they had a bar that sold beer and wine to bring into the theater, and there was a strip club downstairs in the former Playboy Club.
Just read an interesting blog posting about how the Alex (and before that the Alexander) hosting many Disney sneak previews and test screenings. View link
Google Images has some interior photos of the Paramount in 1952, when they were having 3D screenings of “Bwana Devil”. Interesting shot of the formally attired peeps in the balcony: