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It’s been shut for months now due to AMC’s long-standing financial woes, complicated by more recent virus-times politics and now bankruptcy, though the last couple of weeks or so I’ve seen people in there working on it (1). The patio section adjacent the cafe has become a popular hangout for local bums because of its relative seclusion and the wall around it, and people have been dumping their garbage in the northeast end, including (most recently) various home refrigerators and a front seat from a truck. Inside, I imagine it’s probably full of mould (2) from high humidity this spring/early summer, from being shut up for so long with (presumably) no ventillation and general neglect. Black mould is especially a known problem in the south of Clark County, and especially east Mill Plain/Cascade Park/Mountain View because of the area’s proximity to the river, its high water table and vegetation. Ever driven/ridden past the Safeway on SE 136th, near Wy East, after a couple solid days of rain? I’d be surprised if they actually reopen it or if the health department/city doesn’t condemn it. By now the property’s value as development land probably far exceeds that of the theatre.
(1) Late last month as I rode past on me bike, I saw a slip of paper taped to the front door, which upon closer examination was a receipt for a carbon dioxide delivery from NuCO2, which was what tipped me off. My initial reaction: “wait— they’re actually going to try to REOPEN this dump¿!?” Well, AMC.
Scanned from the 135/35mm camera negative and left uncropped. For some reason the 1970s Fujica I used tended to rotate images slightly as evidenced by the “tilt” of the image in its black border. I believe the camera’s aperture was not exactly rectangular hence this effect. The negative as it was loaded on the scanner was positioned straight.
Don’t know, I’ve never been to an AMC Liemax.
It’s sort of like it used to be, just without the impact of the awesome dome screen engulfing your entire field of vision, or the sense of awe you’d get first seeing it upon emerging from the entrance way. The auditorium itself is definitely much bigger than anything you’d find in any multiplex since they did retain the several-storeys high, steeply-raked stadium arrangement.
Like I said earlier, the only good thing to come out of it is the audio system finally got a much-needed upgrade from the painfully outdated (but state-of-the-art in the 1960s) IMAX 6-track system that preceded it. The flatscreen conversion robbed it of the magic and grandeur it once had. I would have loved very much to have seen a 15/70 DMR of “Koyaanisqatsi” in there, particularly struck from the IRE 1.33 release. There was “Chronos” (on an Omnimax fisheye print, yet) so all was not totally lost, and it still gave you an idea of the sort of lose-your-mostly-cherry-Pepsi-lunch motion you could have expected the former to have in that environment, except its impression of “The Grid” was much too short. But I digress.
They got rid of the doghouse in the middle of the auditorium (no longer necessary) and now all projection is done from where the bank of slide projectors used to be (anybody remember their “The Big Red Button” preshow in the early 90s?) behind the back row.
Was originally part of the Luxury Theatres/Act III empire.
As I remember the layout was the same as the Jantzen Beach Tri Cinema, which was also LT/A3 (and today is a car park in front of one big-box supercentre or another).
Shot with a ‘96 vintage (albeit crappy) Canon “Finepix” 35mm point-N-shoot. My photography teacher called those “PHD” cameras, for “Push Here, Dummy”. Obviously (and who could argue?) he favoured proper SLRs.
I’ve been in there at least once every 3-4 years since it opened and all the crappy reviews on YELP are true. Seriously, this place gets crappier and more run down every time I go there. I don’t know how it even qualifies as a “treasure” unless it’s to document all the current and past cinemas/video halls in Vancouver.
It seems whats-his-nose opened it and made his mint off it, then opened the mall location (which honestly isn’t much better) and let Cascade Park die and rot. Now that AMC have grabbed it I expect they’ll completely run it into the ground with little upkeep and no renovations until it collapses on itself and say “oh well”. Even the former Tom Moyer (Luxury) theatres were refurbished and updated to full late-80s splendour after they were bought out by Act III.
If one good thing came out of the deal, it’s that Regal no longer have a virtual monopoly over chain cinemas any more.
According to http://www.film-tech.com/cgi-bin/ubb/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=12;t=001143 this was one of the several theatres where Dolby Digital (AC3) premiered. Screened “Batman Returns” in SR/AC3.
Ghost— there’s lots of neon still at the Vancouver Plaza and a number of other former Act III/late Tom Moyer cinemas built during that period. I think it was a standard design motif that Regal kept. Dated but I think it still looks neat.
I believe this theatre also initially opened as Act III but became a Regal shortly afterward. The storefront on the northwest end originally was a restaurant called “Cafe Movie Movie”, then was a Rose’s for a number of years until Eli Kassab moved it to the SE 192nd location.
In fact, this was actually a fairly standard layout used by Tom Moyer Theatres for their cinemas, with various modifications for each. For example, their Hazel Dell and, I.I.R.C., Jantzen Beach threeplexes had another medium house where the two shoeboxes (2 and 3) in this diagram are.
I’m told the courtyard was supposed to have been used for a future expansion to a 5 or 6plex, which never happened.
How did they expand it to an 8-plex, by dividing two of the larger auditoria or adding on to the building?
Thanks for posting these pictures Ken. Even though I had never been to the Lacey 8, they did bring back a lot of memories since the Cascade Park 4 had basically the same layout, only smaller.
CP4 didn’t have the alternating gold/brown colour scheme, only brown wallpaper in the hallways and lobby and gold curtains/hangings in the auditoria. It (strangely) stayed this way throughout the Act III era and the very beginning of Regal.
Those open-wire trunk lines! Probably N-carrier considering the age of the photograph. The local General Telephone/GTE/Verizon/Frontier etc. switching office, CAMSWAXXDS1, is behind the theatre on the northeast corner of the block.
(I’m a fone phreak.)
That lens really was terrible on that 35mm camera. Going through some of my old camera negatives recently the lens flare in that old Fujica was atrocious.
I could probably do better today if I had the time to do it.
NE 18th Street & NE Andresen Road; northeastern corner.
No longer has the dome, either. Replaced with a big flat widescreen (61' * 40", It’s not IMAX 1.4:1.) No longer showing 15/70; now showing video with ATMOS 8-track audio. Dual Christie 4K video projectors, which is at least an improvement over the current generation of LieMAXes.
I read an article published shortly after the reopening which had a comment from one of the engineers saying something to the effect of the dome could have just as easily been kept (and used), but OMSI bean-counters insisted that it go, for undisclosed reasons. If I find it I will post the URL in another comment.
I saw “The Dream Is Alive” and “Blue Planet” here last summer for the first time since I was a kid (so ~20 years), and had virtually none of the immersion or impact that seeing them on the dome had. The ATMOS audio was kind of a nice upgrade from the limited/outdated IMAX 6-track system. But that’s about it.
So now it’s just… blah. Another house-brand LieMAX ripoff.
The small window above the back exit (south end of projection floor) is not original. It was added as part of the Vozrozhdenie Church conversion. The chain blocking the parking entrance was also added post-Regal.
Now known as “Revival (Возрождение) Church”.
The pink neon/fluorescent “CINEMAS” sign was not original. It was installed in the mid-‘90s.
“IMAX” in name only…
TV&A were also the architectural firm that designed the Vancouver Plaza 10 for the Moyers (showing my age), though it eventually opened as Act III.
This is where the Winco store and a smaller outparcel are today. Judging by the distance from the City Bark building at far left, the photo appears to have been taken approximately where the new complex’s entrance/driveway off NE Andresen is sited.
Already been converted to a boozer. I read in the Columbian about a month ago that they’ve filed a “Kick Starter” to put in all-electronic projection and remove its film equipment. It’s always sad to see a classic go by the wayside. I already take a dim view of boozers, but converting a theatre like this to another dime-a-dozen video hall is the ultimate form of blasphemy.
If I recall correctly, it was where the middle block of stores now stands, behind the mall and north of the Home Depot.
Opened as “Jantzen Beach Tri-Cinema” by Tom Moyer’s “Luxury Theatres” firm and absorbed by Act III in the late 1980s. Layout was similar to that of the Cascade Park 4 in Vancouver, with a second large auditorium where the latter’s two smaller ones would be. (See blueprint sketch on the Cascade Park 4 page.) Closed around 1995ish and bulldozed when the shopping complex underwent its first major wave of redevelopment, which also involved demolishing a large portion of the mall.
Today, the only physical evidence that there was ever a cinema at Jantzen Beach is the marquee billboard which (I think, since I don’t make it down that way very often these days) still stands along the southbound side of I-5 behind the Denny’s restaurant, a short distance south of the onramp.
Construction started sometime in either very late 1988 or very early ‘89 following the rest of the adjacent strip mall, but stalled for a couple years as a result of the Luxury Theatres-Act III buyout. It eventually opened summer of '92.
Yup, it’s hard to imagine but VP10 would have been Tom’s baby had the Moyers not been bought out!