Comments from randytheicon

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randytheicon commented about Beltway Movies on Nov 1, 2015 at 6:38 pm

Part of John Waters' “Cecil B. Demented” was filmed here.

randytheicon commented about Marley Station Movies on Nov 1, 2015 at 6:27 pm

I visited this theatre a few days ago. Looks pretty much the same as it did in the UA days. The original box office is closed; one now buys tix at the concession stand. The stand itself is half as large as before, with the other half now occupied in part by a popcorn-butter dispenser.

The auditoriums have been re-numbered: 6 through 8 are now 1 to 3; #4 is the old, large #5; and the old 4-3-2-1 are now 5-6-7-8. New #8 (old #1), the smallest house, has been remodeled, with the UA “shoebox” seating arrangement replaced with continental seating (eliminating the center aisle). 8/1 is larger than I remember, and now has Dolby Digital front channels only (no surrounds). (UA’s 1-2-3 and 8 were mono in the 35mm era.) #1 (old 6) also has new continental seating and full Dolby Digital with surrounds. The decor of the auditoriums has been changed as well, and there are reclining seats.

The place was very quiet for a Friday evening: the two showings of “Rocky Horror” I attended drew a grand total of 24 people, very unusual for a Halloween weekend, and far fewer than Marley typically had during the movie’s 1987-92 run there. The picture playing across the hall also seemed to have a tiny crowd. A shame, as prices under Horizon are much lower than at the Cinemark Egyptian: $9 top adult price, $6 matinees, plus a $3 upcharge for 3-D. Most Wednesdays, adult prices are $6 (and the upcharge). Concessions, which stick to the basics, are reasonably priced.

Marley Station itself is considered to be a dying mall. Restrictions on “mallrats,” and a 9 pm closing time, have reduced warm bodies considerably. The movies are overshadowed by Cinemark’s Arundel Mills monsterplex and its modern frills. Horizon Marley still is a nice place to see movies.

randytheicon commented about Marley Station Movies on Nov 1, 2015 at 5:56 pm

Scraggler: A Sbarro pizza shop is adjacent to that auditorium. Perhaps that is the source of the smell.

randytheicon commented about Foundry 7 Theatres on Oct 19, 2015 at 3:59 pm

The Foundry’s cinemas were in two locations in the building: one with four screens, the other with three. The largest screen in the set of four was oddly shaped, with a peculiar elevated section on the far right.

“Rocky Horror” moved there from Cerberus in Dec. 1991, playing until June 1992.

Jack Coursey, the spaces vacated by the theatres DID remain vacant for quite a few years. The Foundry mall is a bit off the M Street “beaten path,” down a dark street and over a spooky canal. From my observations it doesn’t get as much foot traffic.

randytheicon commented about Key Theatre on Oct 19, 2015 at 3:50 pm

The Key never was a double. It opened with the original single-aisle screen, and then the three smaller upstairs screens were added in 1985.

In the mid-1980s there was a movie-themed gift shop next to the main entrance. Bought a few posters there…and proceeded to lose one of them that night at the Cerberus.

randytheicon commented about Centre Theatre on Jan 17, 2015 at 5:08 pm

More info:

randytheicon commented about Centre Theatre on Jan 17, 2015 at 5:05 pm

The Centre is nearing renovation and will be reopened as a performing arts center, with the help of the Maryland Institute College of Art (among others). Article from three years ago:

randytheicon commented about Mayfair Theatre on Oct 16, 2014 at 4:46 pm

zenith82: The problem with Howard Street can be tied to one person: real-estate mogul “Honolulu” Harry Weinberg. He owned most of the property in downtown, but refused to develop it or even lease it to businesses. The buildings deteriorated. However, the city was afraid to press him, because it was known that he planned to bequeath his vast wealth to many hospitals. Nearly every medical center in Baltimore has a “Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Building.”

After Weinberg’s death, his estate held up the much-ballyhooed Westside development project, because they wanted their own developer instead of the one chosen by the city.

randytheicon commented about Royal Theatre on Oct 16, 2014 at 4:31 pm

The Diane/New Carver/Carver was not “behind” the Royal; it was a block north, at 1429 Pennsylvania.

I got to see one show at the Royal, and it was a great one, with Otis Redding as the headliner. This was in either the early spring or fall of 1967. We sat through the live show, then sone non-descript jungle movie, then the entire Redding show again.

randytheicon commented about Marley Station Movies on Apr 21, 2014 at 5:45 pm

This theatre will reopen in summer 2014 under the management of Horizon Cinemas, run by former J-F Theatres booker Ira Miller.

randytheicon commented about Old Greenbelt Theatre on Feb 22, 2014 at 5:38 pm

Theatre was at one time operated by the Perry family.

randytheicon commented about Marley Station theater closes on Feb 22, 2014 at 5:35 pm

Would have been 27 years in June.

randytheicon commented about Marley Station Movies on Feb 22, 2014 at 5:33 pm

UA Marley Station is CLOSED as of February 22, 2014.

randytheicon commented about Pikes Theatre on Nov 10, 2013 at 8:53 am

The Pikes has been remodeled and REOPENED as a movie theatre, with two 80-seat stadium auditoriums in the front, and a smaller diner in the rear. Reopening was on 11/01/2013; the operator is former JF Theatres booker Ira Miller, who also runs the expanded Rotunda Cinemas and Beltway Movies 6.

randytheicon commented about New Yorker Theatre on Jun 17, 2013 at 4:19 pm

“Rocky Horror” played there in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and at one time had one of the country’s longest-running engagements of the movie. The official NYC “shadowcast” performed there briefly in early 1978 after the Waverly in the Village stopped showing the movie; however, the New Yorker’s “uptown clientele” weren’t as supportive as the Village fans. The New Yorker also hosted an ongoing run of “Shock Treatment,” the sequel to “Rocky Horror,” after its opening in late 1981. The re-release of “Mary Poppins” was in summer 1980, and the movie hasn’t had a general reissue since then.

randytheicon commented about Crest Theatre on Feb 28, 2013 at 3:46 pm

Much of the auditorium area is now occupied by offices of the Maryland Motor Vehicles Administration (MVA). Small shops have been added to the area outside the southeast wall.

randytheicon commented about Carver Playhouse on Feb 28, 2013 at 3:40 pm

Known in the 1970s as the “New Carver” and run in its latter days by the same people who operated the Uptown. It ended its life as a weekends-only dollar house playing blaxploitation and kung-fu movies.

randytheicon commented about Harundale Cinema I & II on Feb 28, 2013 at 3:29 pm

Refrost, 1988 is correct. Between UA Marley and Glen Burnie Town Center, GCC couldn’t compete. I think it was a dollar house in its very last days.

Ronnie, movie theatres are ideal candidates for conversion into churches: large rooms with good acoustics and room for plenty of seating. The Harlem in west Baltimore started out as a church, became a movie house, and reverted to a church. The State on Monument St. in east Baltimore became Pastor Naomi Durant’s church, and she made few changes to the auditorium (including the seats).

randytheicon commented about Glen Burnie Towncenter 7 on Feb 28, 2013 at 3:19 pm

UA Marley Station opened on June 5, 1987. GBTC definitely opened after that.

randytheicon commented about Ritchie Cinema on Feb 28, 2013 at 3:16 pm

Ritchie was also just about the only place on Earth to play the locally-produced “Blood Circus,” a wrestling movie. After the first week the title was changed to “Wrestling Circus,” no no avail. Marley and GBTC also affected Jumpers Hole 7 down the road a ways.

randytheicon commented about Parkway Theatre on Feb 9, 2013 at 5:11 pm

The Parkway is about to be renovated and expanded as the new home of the Maryland Film Festival: Baltimore Sun article

The area surrounding the Parkway has seen a renaissance in recent years as the Station North Arts District. Numerous live-theatre groups, restaurants and clubs have opened in the area, and the Maryland Institute School for the Arts has expanded to a nearby site.

randytheicon commented about Uptown Theatre on Sep 7, 2010 at 5:56 pm

More info: The Uptown was a bargain house as early as 1970, offering “3 Big Pictures!” for 75 cents. It was open only on Sat. and Sun. The theatre had a small outer foyer, leading to a HUGE outer lobby that featured a water fountain (which had stopped functioning long before I started going there in October 1972). The outer lobby had a sweeping staircase leading upstairs.

Sometime in 1973, “Winky” (the manager) started using the pink flourescent lights that flanked the screen. The Uptown always used its screen curtains, giving its decidedly downscale audience a taste of its former grandeur.

Also by 1973, the fare was cut back to a double feature, and Sunday admission was a dollar (later extended to Saturdays).

randytheicon commented about Crest Theatre on Sep 7, 2010 at 5:42 pm

Update: The auditorium has been completely gutted. Iron beamwork has been built inside the auditorium, extending to the land outside of it.
The businesses in the former lobby are still open.

randytheicon commented about Rotunda Cinemas on Jul 2, 2010 at 7:35 pm

BD, you most definitely did NOT see “Empire” at the Rotunda, and it was DEFINITELY a twin. I saw “Apocalypse Now” there in December 1979, and “Mary Poppins” in summer 1980.

You might be thinking of the Hillendale on Taylor Ave., where “Empire” played in imperfectly-framed 70MM.

AS for the Rotunda, during “Poppins” there was a loud buzz in the speaker every time an idle projector was started for a reel change! (Yes, there were still twin reel-to-reel machines there.)

The current operator of the Rotunda (whose name I can’t remember) was a booker for J-F Theatres in the 1970s. He plans to add a third screen.

randytheicon commented about Hillendale Theatre on Jul 2, 2010 at 7:17 pm

Hillendale had the distinction of being the first Baltimore-area house to show a “Star Wars” film in 70mm (“Empire”). However, the presentation was imperfect: the ends of the picture were cut off, and if I recall, the surround speakers were placed in the CEILING.