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When I lived in Glenwood, the first movie I saw at the Homewood was “Norma Rae” in March 1980, three months before I graduated from Marian Catholic High School in Chicago Heights.
But when the theater went to an all-“repertory” format in June of that year, I got to enjoy some “oldies” on the big screen, some of which I only saw on TV before, as well as some encores of some recent favorites.
“The Wizard of Oz” (1939)
“Gone With the Wind” (1939)
“Time After Time” (1979)
“Love and Death” (1976)
“Yellow Submarine” (1968)
“Kramer vs. Kramer” (1979)
Shortly thereafter, however, the Homewood became entangled in problems with the film distributors, and thus discontinued their “repertory” format. They didn’t show anything I cared for after seeing “Kramer vs. Kramer” again, and I didn’t go back since (especially because within the next few months in 1982 my family was in the process of moving to New Jersey; my father had just taken a managerial position at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York City. We moved into our new Jersey home in May of 1983).
I’m sorry to hear the Homewood has been demolished (I now live in the small town of Charlotte, Michigan, outside Lansing; I haven’t been back to Illinois since I left in 1983, and don’t have any foreseeable plans to revisit the area, now or in the future). It was a great place to see the “oldies,” and the inside of the auditorium was very unique (there were multicolored shields on the walls, and there were two Greek statues at each of exits at the screen). Too bad the theater wasn’t somehow preserved – shame.
This former theater site is now used for a bank and a furniture store.
I just found out:The correct name of the theater was Mason Plaza Cinema. It still had two screens.
One last thing I remember:
During the brief closure mentioned above, the theater placed an ad in the Lansing State Journal that went like this:
“You’ve watched this ad for something blue,Now watch this ad for something new.We know not yet what we can show,When we find out we’ll let you know.
Sorry, closed until further notice"
This is not the same theater as the Mason Twin Cinemas.
The above repro should be moved to the same page as the Farr.
I remember listening to WVIC in Lansing (the local Top 40 station) back then (in 1974 I was only 12), and they carried some commercials for Cinema X. As I’m typing this up, I can still hear that woman’s voice singing the jingle over the soft guitar music:
“At Cinema X….You’re on a rainbow ride.”
One private high school in Lansing (which I will leave nameless and which I had the pleasure of attending from September 1974 until ending 10th grade in June 1978, at which time my father had the brilliant idea – sarcastically speaking – to move us all to Chicago, and I finished at another private high school I didn’t like) was outraged by the fact WVIC was airing the Cinema X commercials that around early 1976 said private school decided not to use the station anymore for school closing announcements (e.g. during bad weather).
One of the administrators said, “I think we are having a hard enough time encouraging our children not to attend Cinema X, etc. We also don’t want incoming students to think this is what older students do during their senior year.” I do agree with all he said. (Admittedly, I did wonder if the seniors did anything like that, but that wasn’t necessarily true. I certainly didn’t!)
Still, it was funny to see this place listed because it made me think of those goofy commercials I heard on the radio when I was a kid.
Sorry to ask again, but it’s been a little over a year now, and I’m hoping somebody will come through this time.
Does anybody have any pictures of the inside of the Gem? I’m curious to see what it looked like!
I meant 1996. I guess I pressed the wrong key on my keyboard.
Thanks very much, moviebuff82.
I understand the original “Star Wars (Episode IV: A New Hope)” played the Manos when it was rereleased in 1979. My family and I were visiting our aunt and cousins again in 1979 (I was then 17 and my family and I were by that time living in Glenwood, Illinois; my uncle, sadly, had passed around 1973). As fate would have it, however, “Star Wars” was rereleased after we visited in early August 1979, and I had to see it back in Illinois.
Can anybody confirm If “Star Wars” was indeed shown at the Manos in 1979? Any newspaper ads?
In 1970, when I was only 8, my family and I visited our aunt and uncle who lived on Race Street in Uniontown (we were then living in the Detroit suburb of Warren, Michigan). Their next-door neighbor just happened to be the manager of the Manos – I believe his last name was Frankenberry – who gave me and my sister a pressbook of “A Boy Named Charlie Brown (which had just finished playing at the Manos), as well as a vinyl 12-inch record of radio spots for Walt Disney’s "Blackbeard’s Ghost.”
Pity I didn’t keep either of those, considering how valuable those are now. (“Charlie Brown” also has some historical merit to it as that was the very first theatrical film produced by CBS Films, known at that time as Cinema Center Films.)
Pity also I never got to see a film at the Manos while we visited. (I never saw “Blackbeard’s Ghost,” and I didn’t see “A Boy Named Charlie Brown” at the theater; thanks to my folks' laziness, I had to wait until CBS first aired the film on TV around 1973. Now I have the original 1970 Columbia soundtrack album on vinyl, and soon I hope to buy the DVD of that film.)
I remember seeing “Star Wars, Episode IV” along with “The Empire Strikes Back” on the same program (an exclusive to the NYC area) when I moved to Saddle River, New Jersey in June 1983.
Other films I saw at the Route 17 Triplex during my brief time in New Jersey were:
“War Games” (1983)
The 1985 rerelease of “Gremlins” (1984); that would be the last film I would see at this theater.
When I made a return visit to the area in September 1986, I remember the Route 17 had the original “Independence Day” and the rerelease of Walt Disney’s 1988 animated film “Oliver and Company.” I don’t remember what the other film they screened in the other auditorium was.
Sad to see the Route 17 Triplex is gone. But the AMC Garden State Plaza is definitely a worthy successor; when I returned for another visit in September 2014, my best lady friend (who never saw New York City before, but loved it afterward) and I saw “No Good Deed” there. A very pleasant experience.
I forgot – Cinema 35 is listed here on Cinema Treasures as “Paramus Picture Show.”
I understand Music Makers had other interests besides cinemas. They also had their own record label in the early 60’s, but none of their releases were big hits and the label soon folded.
I remember seeing an encore of the original “Ghostbusters” at this theater in August 1984.
Somehow, I’m sorry I didn’t go see it again at the Route 4 Tenplex or out in Totowa. Whereas those theaters had Dolby Stereo (and in the case of the Route 4, 70mm), the Emerson Quad auditorium I saw “Ghostbusters” in was 35mm and monaural. And instead of playing songs from the movie’s soundtrack album upon entering and leaving, they played a record by The Magic Organ.
How tacky was that? I’m glad to hear this cinema is no longer! (And if and when I make another return visit to Jersey down the road, I’ll be sure to avoid all Clearview locations. Thanks for the warning, John Fink – I feel sorry that happened to you!)
During the brief time I lived in New Jersey (1983-1986), I have never attended this theater, and, judging from what hotwatterbottle said about the management having attitude problems, I’ll be sure to avoid going to the Pascack the next time I come back to Jersey for a visit.
But I do remember reading about an incident that happened at the Pascack in the summer of 1984: The movie “Gremlins” was supposed to open at the Pascack that July, but somebody broke into the theater and stole the prints of the film. Although I don’t remember any follow-up articles about the incident in the Bergen County Record, I’ll most likely bet the perpetrators have long since found a home behind bars.
(I saw “Gremlins” at the Route 46 Triplex in Totowa in late July 1984 and then – when it was rereleased in September 1985 – I saw it again at the Route 17 Triplex in Paramus. Both theaters are now closed, as indicated in their entries.)
I remember seeing “The Natural” starring Robert Redford at this theater in the summer of 1984 (I believe that was the second – or third – film released by the then-fledgling TriStar Pictures, now a division of Sony).
If I remember correctly, this auditorium had what I thought was a precursor of stadium-style seating. Very unique.
Too bad there wasn’t anything else playing here I liked until I left Jersey in June 1986; I was almost about to see “The Purple Rose of Cairo” in the spring of 1985 when it played at the Mall, but I wasn’t able to because of time and money. I was then completing my junior year of college at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck right down Route 4; I returned to the area in September 1985 and the first movie I saw upon returning was an encore of “Back to the Future” at Cinema 35, itself down the street from the Mall but going west (see my comment about that at the listing for Cinema 35).
Sad both of these theaters are now history.
So if the Egyptian showcased 20th Century Fox movies during the 70’s, I take it the original “Star Wars (Episode IV: A New Hope)” played here during its original run in 1977? Or possibly the first rerelease in 1978?
I remember seeing “Return of the Pink Panther,” followed by a DePatie-Freleng “Dogfather” cartoon short called “Saltwater Tuffy” (it was an all-United Artists program), at the Campus in July 1975, when I was 13.
Just out of curiosity, Kevin:
What were the last films playing at the Cinemark when it closed?
When I made a return visit to Warren in late September, I saw “The Secret Life of Pets” at the Cinemark; by contrast, the very first film I remember seeing there was “Doc Hollywood” in October 1991.
But, when I come back to visit the area again, I have an MJR points card, which is still active. So then I’ll have yet another choice for first-run films (but, as I said before, it’s sad second-run theaters are becoming extinct; after moving to Charlotte – outside Lansing – two years ago, I found out there aren’t any second-run cinemas in this area, period!).
I wonder if this was the inspiration for Styx’s 1981 album of the same name?
I would think so, considering the group hailed from Chicago.
I hope the very first Our Gang short film from 1922 – which, oddly enough, was called “Our Gang” – is among those films that have been located and are waiting to be preserved.
Being a big fan of that series for many years, it would be interesting (as well as, no doubt, funny) to see how it got its start.
My bad. I meant November 30!
By the way: I found out that additional info from a Detroit News article on the web. But, I do think it’s a crying shame second-run houses are nearing extinction!
An update on my above comment:
Cinemark elected not to renew its lease with the owners of Universal Mall when it expires November 31. So, even if MJR didn’t buy the property, the cinemas would have closed anyway.
MJR will be spending $4.4 million to renovate the cinemas, which will include
3 3-D ready auditoriums, electric leather recliners, and
Renovations will begin December 1, with a target date of mid-February 2017 slated for the opening.
This theater will be closing soon as it was purchased by MJR Theatres, set to be remodeled and reopen in February 2017 as an MJR 16(?)-screen cinema showing first-run films. Thus, another second-run house in the suburban Detroit area is (sadly) about to bite the dust, and those who missed seeing a film the first time around will no longer have the opportunity.
(It would seem second-run houses are becoming a thing of the past. Shame!)
Please see MJR’s website for more information.
Status should be changed to open. The website JBottero mentioned in his above posting is active and supplies info on what’s currently showing, as well as many other events.