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That sadly looks like a cheap warehouse. The original must have been totally demolished. Granted, it was no beauty, either.
Yes, the current Google Streetviews are dated May 2015, and show the women’s store in what was the lobby, as David mentioned above.
David, I was in the San Remo Apartments a few blocks behind the theater, from ‘83 – '85. Make sure that you read ALL of the comments – some are hidden.
To my knowledge, the neighboring Seven Oaks Resort was never scheduled to be “restored.” It was in quite horrible condition, and would have been beyond saving. I loved the commercial Mid-Century architecture, though. Apartments now reside on the spot. Austin Highway is seeing a resurgence, with apartments and box stores popping up. A Target took over the old Terrell Plaza, which had been severely altered since its days as a Sears. When they tore down the old Plaza, they briefly exposed an old, early 60s HEB Grocery facade (hidden behind an early 80s make-over)– wonderful, with tiles. Of course, they then hacked it away, for a Ross’s…
Actually, it was most likely The Park where I saw “Empire.” They had the exclusive 70mm showing there, and I saw it on opening day, first morning show, with FIVE people!! (Guess not a huge “Star Wars” base in Memphis…)
How, starting in 1965, did a 79 week reserved-seat run work? How were seats reserved?
If you look at the current site, there is a photo of a large statue – more like an Aztec god, I think.
The newspaper today, states that the company renting the theater, has bought it. Meaning more of the same performance/shows. Some acts are obscure. Apparently, it is doing well, or the renters wouldn’t have “gone for it.”
Alamo Drafthouse could make it one of their flagships.
Frankly, they need to turn this back into a film theater. With the increasing number of locals moving downtown, I think there would be an audience. Catering to the tourists just won’t work. There is already an IMAX downtown, although I think that this theater is equipped to show large films.
There was a theater at the NE corner of Main & Market – it was leveled at some point prior to 1974, when my family moved to Dyersburg. There is a one-story building there now, obviously not matching the surrounding structures.
To correct a person today, the rating system began in 1968. There were technically no “R-rated” films in the 50s.
New lessor will attempt to turn it into a House of Blues-style venue.
I have no memory of this theater when I was a kid. I just Google mapped it, and see a strip center. I wonder if the shell is part of any of the buildings?
Well, seeing that one of the opening films was “Jenny” with Marlo Thomas, I looked it up, and watched it on YouTube. Not terribly significant, but very much of its time period. It was produced by ABC, and “That Girl” was on the network at the time. Not a coincidence, I’m sure.
OK, I was off by several blocks. I would have sworn that Sears was next door, but I’m obviously wrong.
OK, please explain. How long has this place actually been around? I’m sure that I saw films there in the early 80s.
Where is it in the above photograph?
Yes, I went to those three, often, during that time. However, I was a pretty observant kid, and I’m just surprised that I never noticed the building back then. I think that the old S&H Green Stamps store was just up the block, and we frequented that spot often. In the 80s, I lived a few blocks away, and it was definitely gone. I did watch them tear down the Coral – very sad.
OK, the postcard above, was photographed at Ponce & Minorca, looking south. It’s easy to check via Google Streetview. So, yes, the theater was gone by the time I returned to Miami in 1982. Diagonally across the street, is the Hotel St. Michel (don’t know what it was back in the 30s), where I shot a student film in the early 80s. I would have remembered the old Gables sitting there. Occupying the spot now, is Wachovia – formerly whatever. I guess that the building was constructed right after they tore down the theater in 1981? Strange thing is, that as a kid in Miami from ‘67 – '74, I never attended a movie there.
IMDb says January 1979, was the release date.
No, the theater will never be demolished. San Antonio has a strict preservation mentality (for the most part). It’s only a matter of time until it’s sold, and put to use. As mentioned in my previous posts, I agree that the past few attempts at programming have been idiotic. It is currently owned by Drury Inns – a most unfortunate situation.
Didn’t realize that they’d already converted the balcony to twin theaters that soon! Of course, it’s back to a single (empty) theater now – the restoration, however, removed a large percentage of the orchestra seats…
OK, a portion of the original theater is now the Area Stage Company – Google for the web site. What confuses me, is what part of the original theater do they actually occupy? On the Google Street Map, it is clear that there are now windows on the top section of the old auditorium. Perhaps they lowered the ceiling, and created offices at the top? The Area Stage web site shows a large auditorium, but it seats only 275, but with a large “stage.” I’m guessing that it might be the old balcony, but extended. When I attended films there in the mid-80s, as a UM student – they had separated the balcony into two (?) other theaters. Does anybody know?
I walked by The Aztec last week, and they still had the musical country show poster in the window, but there was no sign of life. Everyone in the tourist industry knew that the special effects/IMAX-ish set-up wouldn’t work after restoration, and neither would the country show that followed. A Mexican musical show, minus gimmicks, MIGHT work for a while. Or, a venue for comedians…….The Majestic Theater books a lot of big-name comedians, but it seats more people, as The Aztec lost half (?) of its seating during the restoration. I was surprised to read that it originally had 3,000 seats – seems a lot smaller than The Majestic, even back then.
Actually, “gimmicks” sometimes work with the type of tourist who comes to SA – just not what anybody has tried. Ripley’s has enough of that stuff downtown, anyway. It would take Disney or Universal to pull it off successfully….
East TN was a “petrie dish” for urban renewal in the 70s. Just about EVERY small town was destroyed by the “experiment” – massive loss of significant architecture. Very sad.