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FYI. The marquee on the theater says it’s “Now Hiring.” Seriously. Not a joke. Potentially very good news. I live near the theater and I’ve noticed lights on and work being done in the prior months.
And the decor was brown and maroon. Lots of dark red, the curtains in particular.
The big theater in the building was cinema 1, on the west side of the building. It was pretty big. I’d guess more than 500 seats. The two middle theaters were real boxy rectangles – nothing special at all. The theater on the east side of the building wasn’t, as I recall, as large as the left-side theater, but it was an ok showplace. I will say that sometimes the sound from the theaters on the other side of the walls drifted over. The screens also had curtains that opened and closed before every show.
And Poltergeist. Can’t forget that. Many a time did I meet friends here. It was definitely a place to be. It had a really long concession stand that covered almost the whole front foyer. There was also a small video game arcade on the west side of the foyer.
Saw so many great films here. Alien, E.T., 1941, Return of the Jedi on opening day, Temple of Doom, Ordinary People, Twilight Zone: The Movie… even Battlestar Galactica in sensurround!
re: 70mm, I stand corrected. Sure did seem like it. Edens II was cavernous.
I remember seeing that “coming to your galaxy this summer” poster in the foyer.
Drove by it nearly every weekday on my way to school in the 80s. Saw LOGAN’S RUN, ANNIE HALL and Bakshi’s LORD OF THE RINGS here. Fascinating theater. I recall feeling it was kind of a foreboding place. Neat though. REALLY neat. Although, each time I was there it was a sea of empty seats. I came to expect that. Edens II, however, that’s where the big shows were … STAR WARS (first run in 70mm), RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, LION IN WINTER, EMPIRE OF THE SUN, SUPERMAN – which was so packed we had to sit in the aisle.
A bunch of us film critics, cinephiles and whatnot will be gathering at the Border Cafe (near the Harvard Sq theater, on the corner to its right) tonight (Sunday, July 8th) at 8pm .. for a beer and to share some memories of this old place on it’s last day of operation. Feel free to join us!
Here’s some additional background information on the Deerpath Theatre. It’s from a 2007 interview with actress Joan Taylor (1929-2012), who passed away on last month – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joan_Taylor
Q: When did you get the itch to start to perform?
My mom was a dancing teacher, and my dad became the manager of a motion picture theater in Lake Forest, Illinois. It was called the Deerpath Theater — a lot of deer used to go past there down to Lake Michigan. We would go to movies at my dad’s theater on Friday nights, Shirley Temple was on the screen and, whoops, all of a sudden I wanted to do “On the Good Ship Lollipop” [laughs]! My first job was as a cashier in his theater. My mom would never let me wear slacks, but I made $13 my first week as a cashier and of course the first thing I did was buy a pair of beautiful wool slacks for $13. I earned that money, so I could go buy myself what I wanted!”
Q: What did it feel like to be 20 years old and sixth-billed in your first movie?
Felt good [laughs]. It felt really good! Of course, going from stage to movies, you have to [modify your acting]. The same way that boiling water has to be covered with a lid, you’ve got to keep things in; you don’t throw things to the back of the house, so to speak, as an actress on the stage would. I had to learn how to kinda hold things in a little bit. That was hard, coming from the stage. The world premiere was in Topeka, Kansas; I remember going there on a train, playing cards with Dale. At that premiere, there was a parade and there was the mayor and duh-dah duh-dah duh-dah [laughs], because there was Randolph Scott and also Dale Robertson, who became a star after that picture. Again, it was great. Then I went on into Chicago and was met by the newspaper people, and pictures in the newspaper, and all of the Hollywood stuff.
Q: Back in your own home state.
Yes! Then we went into Lake Forest and we had a “premiere” at my dad’s theater—with, of course, pictures of me putting my own name up on my dad’s marquee. “Home Town Girl Makes Good”!