Comments from Ron Pierce

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Ron Pierce
Ron Pierce commented about Columbia Theatre on May 12, 2022 at 12:22 am

This May 26, 2020, article from the Columbia County Historical Society Facebook notes the Columbia Theatre was built in 1928:

“Today began the process of replacing the marquee of the historic Columbia Theatre in downtown St. Helens. The theatre has been a staple of the community for many years (over 90 in fact!) and generations of families have enjoyed time spent there. As you can see in the images below, the facade has remained relatively the same over the years, but the marquee itself has gone through several different phases. When it was built in 1928 there was no marquee at all and sometime later a vertical marquee emblazoned with “COLUMBIA” was installed. It remained into at least the late 1950’s, and was joined in the 1940’s with a smaller marquee that extended over the entryway below. Both of these were eventually removed. The present marquee appears to have been installed sometime between 1949 and 1958. If you can narrow down the dates or have any additional historical information or photographs about the theatre please share them below or contact us.”

Ron Pierce
Ron Pierce commented about UA Del Amo 6 on May 11, 2022 at 5:18 pm

Quentin Tarantino remembers every movie he saw in 1979, even the theater. Includes South Bay theaters, Cinerama Dome, working at the Pussycat and more. It’s an hour and 11 minutes and 35 seconds of nostalgia.

Ron Pierce
Ron Pierce commented about University Town Center on May 9, 2022 at 11:17 pm

Renovated by BB Architects in 2022 with seating reduced to 688 recliners.
Current exterior photograph added.

Ron Pierce
Ron Pierce commented about Magnolia Drive-In on May 9, 2022 at 12:47 am

Since Bobby Driscoll was in attendance and Disney’s Treasure Island (released July 19, 1950) was mentioned, that was probably the major studio preview.

Ron Pierce
Ron Pierce commented about Magnolia Drive-In on May 9, 2022 at 12:10 am

The Magnolia D.I. opened April 12, 1950, with a major studio preview (title not divulged) and western star Wayne Morris as master of ceremonies with Disney star Bobby Drisicoll in attendance. Regular showings began on April 13.
News clipping and ad are in the photo section.

Ron Pierce
Ron Pierce commented about Broadway Theatre on May 7, 2022 at 11:38 pm

1926 Grand Opening ad is now in the photo section.

After the February 1952 fire the Broadway reopened March 16, 1955. That ad is also in the photo section.

Ron Pierce
Ron Pierce commented about Northland Cinema 5 on May 6, 2022 at 11:26 pm

From: Daily Globe, The (Worthington, MN), Sept. 4, 2015.
The Northland Cinema 5 to close September 27, 2015.
Status: Demolished 2016

Ron Pierce
Ron Pierce commented about Regent Cinema on May 6, 2022 at 7:29 am

Opening video

History video

Ron Pierce
Ron Pierce commented about Roxy Theatre on May 5, 2022 at 12:09 am

The 1921 Sanborn Map places the Roxy at today’s 2105 Columbia Blvd.

Demolished 1973. (see photo section)

Ron Pierce
Ron Pierce commented about Ford Theatre on Apr 27, 2022 at 10:36 pm

Grand opening ad for July 23, 1935, is now posted.
Architect: J.F. Novachek (Of Montpelier, Idaho)

Ron Pierce
Ron Pierce commented about Villa Theatre on Apr 26, 2022 at 2:37 am

For the record, the Villa opened December 23, 1949. Tyrone Power Opening ad in photo section; played also at the Uptown Theatre.

Ron Pierce
Ron Pierce commented about Regal Dania Pointe 4DX, RPX ScreenX & VIP on Apr 24, 2022 at 6:23 am

This December 2020 SunSentinel story puts seating at 2,785 patrons. The number may have chaged since construction.
“The buildout of a 62,130-square-foot Regal Cinemas continues uninterrupted, even as Regal theaters remain shut across the country to curb the spread of COVID-19. Opening late 2021, it will seat 2,785 patrons and include 16 auditoriums, each with a VIP wing that includes a private bar. You can spot the skeleton of the giant, boxlike cineplex taking shape along I-95.”

Ron Pierce
Ron Pierce commented about United Artists 6 on Apr 7, 2022 at 1:21 am

Thanks Scott,

It was opened by Robert L. Lippert Theatres. According to a news clipping in the photo section, Robert L. Lippert, owner of Hayward 6 Cinemas, passed away four days after the theaters opened.

Ron Pierce
Ron Pierce commented about United Artists 6 on Mar 29, 2022 at 11:08 pm

Grand opening ad for November 12, 1976, as Hayward 6 Cinemas is now in the photo section.

Designed by: Bonfanti & Lawrence. (Vincent Robert Bonfanti; Donald J. Lawrence).
Seating: 1,636. Original operator: Festival Cinemas.

Ron Pierce
Ron Pierce commented about Cabart Theatre on Jul 4, 2021 at 9:12 pm

The Cabart name was derived from combining partners Charles A. CABallero and Milton ARThur. Milton Arthur came to Long Beach in 1930 and leased the Capitol, later named the Tracy Theatre. His brother, Harry Arthur, ran several East Coast theaters, in the 1930s, most notably the Fox New England Circuit and was listed as a stockholder in New York’s Roxy. Mr. Caballero partnered in 1947 with William Foreman to form United Drive-In Theatres, later known as Pacific Drive-In Theatres.

As early as April 1932, Mr. Arthur was mentioned in the Santa Ana Register as division manager of Fox West Coast Theaters. A story appearing in Variety on February 26, 1936, reported Milton Arthur was banned from the Fox West Coast home office because of a feud with Charles Skouras. At the time Arthur was FWC district manager of five Orange County theaters and the feud may have had something to do with a contract for the Broadway and West Coast Theaters to share revenues. Milton’s father, Harry C. Arthur Sr., managed the Fox West Coast in Anaheim for 18 years before his death in 1945.

Film Daily Year Book 1940 lists Cabart Theatres with 15 Southern California locations. Cabart’s Long Beach houses at one time or another were the Atlantic, Brayton, Dale, Cabart, Art, Ritz, Rivoli, Tracy, and State. By 1950, with offices at 4425 Atlantic Blvd in the Towne Theatre, the La Shell and Santa Fe were added to now 21 locations. As for the Art Theatre it was Mr. Arthur’s idea in January 1949 to change the name of the Lee Theatre to the Art Theatre, that name being more descriptive for at the time the theater was playing Laurence Olivier’s Henry V.

Other theaters mentioned as Milton having an interest in were the Southside Theatres and Alto Theatre, Los Angeles, Fanchon & Marco theatres and the Temple Theatre in San Bernardino. In 1949 Cabart purchased the State, Walkers, Yost, and Princess in Santa Ana and would later operate the Paulo Drive-In, Costa Mesa.

Cabart theatres weren’t without problems. In December 1947 the Ebell Theatre filed suit against Arthur and 15 distributors for violation of the anti-trust law. In October 1952 Milton assumed the lease of the Ebell for $750 a month. In August 1950 a similar suit by Eulah and Ivan Hanson of the Atlantic Theatre against Cabart was dismissed. Mr. Hanson had passed away the previous April and in 1958 the Atlantic came under the Cabart Theatres banner.

The most devastating hit to Cabart Theatres was the February 25, 1952, $500,000 fire of the Broadway Theatre in Santa Ana. Managed by a Cabart officer George King (Milt’s brother in-law), the theater had just undergone a $250,000 refurbishment. The Broadway was rebuilt, reopening in 1955, with mid-century minimalist architecture, in contrast to the ‘Skourasized’ Fox West Coast, Santa Ana.

Mr. Arthur began planning the Los Altos Drive-in Theatre in 1953. When it opened on June 3, 1955, the Long Beach Independent noted it was jointly owned by Cabart Theatres and Pacific Drive-In Theatres. In 1960 the Cabart, Rivoli, State, and Towne, became part of Pacific Theatres.

As reported in the Los Angeles Times, Arthur for many years was chairman of the Los Angeles County Park and Recreation Commission and was a proponent to bring major league baseball to Los Angeles. At one time he, and brother Harry, was part owners of the St. Louis Browns baseball. In March of 1957 Milton was part of Mayor Norris Poulson’s entourage who met with with Walter O’Malley in Vero Beach to persuade him to bring the Dodgers to Los Angeles. Before meeting with O’Malley, Arthur said he had already researched Chavez Ravine as a possible site.

Mr. Arthur led a colorful life prior to becoming a theater magnate. The Press-Telegram noted he was born in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen and was a bat boy for the Yankees in 1913-14 under Frank Chance. He came to Los Angeles in 1921 as a film salesman and opened his first theater there in 1926. At the time of the October 1951 interview he made his home on Myrtle Avenue in Bixby Knolls. Mr. Arthur passed away in August 1973.