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Respecting the first comment Mitchell did run this theatre as a hobby during the 70s. My Dad and Mitchell were great friends so I spent a fair amount of time in the Bristol when I was young. Sadly Mitchell passed away recently after a long illness. Mitchell’s passion, like my Dad, was the old movies particularly the B Westerns and the serials. He often exhibited these films on the weekend charging a small admission and selling concessions. I didn’t realise it at the time but he was keeping the single screen neighbourhood theatre alive using the typical screening format from the thirties through the fifties (cartoon, short, chapter play, and main feature).
The theatre was a rather standard design with the usual Art Deco appointments. When I was there the theatre was in decent but not great shape. I vividly recall one night when Sunset Kit Carson put in an appearance signing autographs and meeting with fans. After the main feature had concluded Mitchell locked the doors and a small group of us walked back into the auditorium. Mitchell had the house lights up and there was a shooting target set up on the floor in front of the screen. With a .22 rifle in his hand Sunset took up a position on the opposite end of the theatre (a fair distance away) and they set the target in motion ( a lit candle on a pendulum). Sunset shot that target handily about ten times in a row—the bullets catching in the back of the target mount. No one else ventured to try it. Looking back on it now that was a pretty dangerous thing to do right on Summer Avenue! Good times though!
If I ever get time Jack I’ll pop in at the Main library and look through some old CA issues and see if I recognise anything. As I said this theatre wasn’t there long and they always seemed to show movies aimed towards the older demographic. No porn but always movies with an R rating and the very occasional PG (or GP back then).
No Jack you’re on the wrong side of Elvis Presley but I know the theatre you are talking about as I saw a number of movies there as well. The theatre you are talking about was behind the shopping centre that used to have the Youngtown and York Arms stores in it. Directly across the street from that shopping centre was a shopping plaza that had a J.B. Hunter store, a Giant food store, and a Kat’s drugstore. There were a few other shops there as well but they were the anchors so to speak. The Kat’s was on the opposite end of the plaza (next to East Raines) from the J. B. Hunter store. Right across from it was a long squat building with the theatre I’m referring to and a few other shops. This theatre was always a twinplex. It had a fairly prosaic name but I just can’t recall what it was.
I too remember this theatre and saw a number of films in both its core four and the three in the annex.
Now does anyone remember the name of the twinplex that was also in Whitehaven that was located in the shopping plaza where the J.B. Hunter used to be? As a child, I remember seeing Deliverance posters in the Now Playing frames when that movie was in its first run there. I always thought this theatre was in an odd place since there was no streetside marquee and I don’t believe it was there very long.