Showing 10 comments
That’s interesting about William Rock claiming to have operated Vitascope Hall. I found something in Terry Ramsey’s book “Million and One Nights” that has a letter from Rock stating that there’s a “lot of projectors down here (New Orleans). There’s a man on Canal street with a Phantoscope with signs out side saying Edison’s Vitascope. At first I thought this was the theatre he was talking about. Guess not.
Walter, would you have any contact information for any of the people involved in trying to restore the theatre? I’m curious about putting a theatre organ back in there if restoration were to happen.
Here’s more info on the show. http://nytos.org/. Nytos maintains the wurlitzer
I’m looking to contact Bruce Friedman of the Save The Loews Group to ask about the Theatre Pipe Organ installed at the Loews Kings. If anyone has that info, please contact me at the email address under my profile.
I was the last projectionist to run this theatre as a twin and the first projectionist to run it as a 5 plex. I was there during the conversion. In the spring of 1993, the owners of Movie City took over control of Bruns Squ from General Cinema. Movie City ran it as a twin till the end of that summer. The last movies I remember playing there was “In the Line of Fire” in the right theatre and Rising Sun in the Left Theatre. Prior to that was “Sleepless in Seattle”. As a twin theatre, we were still running hour changovers (no platters) using Cinemation 4 automation. The theatre closed around Labor day for conversion into a 5 plex. The theatre was suppose to open for Thanksgiving/Christmas of 1993. There were construction delays and problems with the city and the theatre didn’t open until Valentine’s Day weekend 1994. The big theatre was cut up into three (retaining the original screen in the front theatre 1). They dropped a wall half way down and then divided the back half into 2 (utilizing the original GCC booth for those two screens). The smaller twin theatre was cut into 2 (back and front). Both of the original GCC screens were still used along with the seating in the front half of the theatres. New projection booths were added these “new” front theatres. A hallway was built to go from the lobby to the front theatres down the middle of what was the twin. In the end, we had 3 projection booths, the original GCC booth upstairs and 2 individual booths for #1 and 2. Stereo was added to theatres 1,2 and 3. 4 and 5 remained mono.
Now…McRorey’s closed and was directly next door to the theatre. The original theatre entrance also doubled as a fire hallway with a door that rolled down at the entrance to the lobby. In the enlarging of the theatre, again, in the late 90’s, all of this was removed. A building was added to the side of the theatre creating 4 new theatres. In the McRorey’s 4 new screens were added. At the same time, the original GCC theatre were all stadium seated except for old #4 and 5. These were too small to stadium. So, yes, the original GCC theatre is still there along with the original screen location, but have been convereted to a stadium. The projection booth is all on the same floor now that the theatre is a stadium and what was the original fire hallway/entrance has given way to a brand new lobby, food court, arcade and entrance.
The theatre didn’t close until the late 90’s. The theatre was open well into 1994,95,and 96
I worked as a projectionist here from summer 1993-christmas 1994. The theatre was still quite successful at this time, selling out many shows of Jurassic Park during the summer of 1993. When I got there in 1993, the only theatre that had stereo was #1 which also had DTS Digital Sound which was put in especially for Jurassic Park. The following year, Stereo was added to #2 and 3. All the rest were mono sound. By this time, a 6th screen was added. Basically, before the summer of 1993, a storage room was converted into a 30 seat theatre. The reason was that there was so much product that summer that the extra screen allowed the theatre to move more prints in and out. The projection system was Cinemacanica V-5 with Xetron Lamphouses and Potts Platters in 1-5. From what I remember, they were all 1000 watts. Theatre 6 was a Century SA on a R3 soundhead with a 1600 watt xetron lamphouse. It was a real fun time.
Movie City 5 opened as a 5 plex. The owners had the option of building the theatre on the Rt 1 side, but for some reason opted to build in the rear of the old S. Klein’s building. Theatres 3, 4 & 5 used a periscope system to get the projected image to the screen. So when you were in the booth, the projector shot into a mirror, which projected to a mirror below and then out the port. The booth was higher than the theatre’s ceilings. I remember seeing “Modern Problems” in #4 there not long after the theatre opened. From what I remembered, each theatre’s doors were different colors which corresponded to colored lines outside the building. These were the cueing lines for the next show. Up until recent, the overhead heaters were still in place over the lines. The theatre has currently been converted to a health club after years sitting closed. Clearview Cinemas took over the business somewhere in the late 90’s and ultimately closed the theatre.
I remember seeing Rocky Horror there 2 times. The left side theatre had a pretty big screen from what I remember, but the right side theatre was small. I don’t remember much other than that. I do remember that the entrance was actually in the mall, which was one of the problems. They had to gate off the rest of the mall when the last shows got out.
I don’t know how Chaplin could say it was off the beaten path. It was directly across from the Times Building in the square with an entrance right on Broadway. And by 1931, it was in the heart of it all. It was a beautiful Theatre