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The Franklin is currently closed due to the fact the owners full time job now requires him to work hours that conflick with the theatres operating hours. He was his own manager/projectionist, and the theatre can not support paying staff to fill those positions. Therefore, until such time as his shift is returned to non-conflicking hours, the theatre will have to remain closed.
I didn’t know that it was an atomospheric. lol
I have a number of the silk banners as well… however, not of movies but for in house seasonal promotions. They are absolutely beautiful. I still use them in my theatre as the need arises. Based on the artwork and printing styles, I am quite sure they are from the 40s as well. They have copy on them such as: “Our Summer Hit Parade”, “Midnight Show Tonight”, “New Years Eve Late Show”,“Air Conditioned”, “Late Show Tonight”, “Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year” (I just took those down last week), and more. Using them helps to establish the overall oldtime theme that I use in my 1933 art deco theatre.
I would think the best thing would have been to close the Regal 3 in the mall, and keep the old Chehalis open as a 2nd run house. Don’t compete for product as that is impossible against a large multiplex. Instead make the Chehalis something unique. Play all the best product after them, leaning towards families and the over 40 crowd,at reduced prices of $3.00 or $4.00 dollars all seats at all times. Let the teens go to the multiplex and destroy the moviegoing experience for everyone there, and give the families and older folks a real quality theatre going experience at the Chehalis, and then they will wait to enjoy that experience and to save money as well.
QUOTE “No one working at the centre had any idea that the building was once a theatre.”
That doesn’t surprise me at all. You wouldn’t believe how many times that has happened to me in many former theatres that I have visited across this great nation. Often they still have a sloped floor, projection ports, and a stage proscenium… and yet people haven’t a clue.
As a theatre owner myself who has been in business for over 40 years running a very successful single screen theatre in a highly competitive area, I must admit I have never understood exactly what the problem is in running the Senator as a profitable operation.
I’ve been there, and it’s a beautiful well kept theatre. It runs, for the most part, top product. It gets tremendous publicity from the press. It’s competitive situation is no worse then other theatres that I know in simalar situations that are able to exist.
I must admit I haven’t been there in about 10 years, so I wonder what has happened to the neighborhood. Is it still a good area? Or is there a reason why people don’t want to go to that area. What is the parking situation?
Do the local folks just prefer the multiplex experience? Most of the first run film audience is relatively young. They have no connection with single screen theatres. They didn’t grow up with them. They didn’t experience them as we did. The multiplex is the social center of their universe. It’s a peer thing as well. Maybe trying to compete with the multiplex is the wrong thing to do.
The first run and art markets may be over saturated in that area. So what’s left? How about 2nd run? Are there any 2nd run theatres in Baltimore, and if there are… are there any well run ones?
The problem with many people who hang out at sites such as this one is that they seem to think that first run is the only way to go. That 2nd run is 2nd class, or subpar for some reason. They will point to examples of many old run down 2nd run theatres. Theatres that were once opulent showhouses, now pushed aside by new mega-plexes, that have gone sub-run as it is the only product that they can get cheaply, or at all, and it has become there last gasp at survival.
The fact is that there is still a large audience that can be developed for a well run 2nd run theatre. The theatre has to be made to be more important then the movies that it shows. It must become a destination point. The Senator has what it needs to be one of those theatres. Two of the best examples of what I’m talking about are the Byrd Theatre in Richmond and my theatre in Northampton, Pa.
Both of these theatres do well, and often out draw, and out gross some of the first runs in their respective markets. A good study of how those theatres operate and promote themselves might well be worth the time and consideration.
I have to ask Lost Memory if he knows me. I have been reading your posts and looking at your photo submissions here now at Cinema Treasures for several years. Are you a member of THS, as I am? If you are, and are someone I already know, I just don’t know you by the screen name that you use here. You certainly know theatres, and have an amazing ability to acquire photos of theatres everywhere. I envy you for that. Do you take most of these photos yourself?
This is my first posting at Cinema Treasure’s. I’ve been a viewer and reader for many years. I am and have been a theatre owner for over 40 years. I own an historic theatre built in 1920, and redone in the art-deco style in 1933.
While reading the posts about the Colonial Theatre in Bluefield, W.V., and checking the links to the pictures of the same… I thought to myself, what a great marquee that theatre has, but wait a moment… I’ve seen that marquee somewhere before? Where? It’s a very unique design, one that I would not easily forget. Then it hit me. It was featured in one of the Exhibitor yearly Theatre Catalogs that was published from 1940 through 1957 hardbound, and then with a soft cover until about 1968. Somewhere in one of those hardbound copies I known that I have seen that marquee. So I started searching as I have all of those catalogs. It took me about an hour, but I
finally found it in the 1942 eition.
It was included in a section about Theatre Remodeling and Renovating. It has two pictures. One of the new front and marquee, and one of the newly enlarged lobby. Each photo has a small insert with a photo of what it had looked like before.
Looking at what that marquee looked like when it was brand new, and seeing what it is like today… oh what a shame. Since the catalog that featured it came out in 1942, I would assume that the marquee was probably installed in 1941.
If Mr. Tibbs and the folks down there are successful in restoring that theatre, I hope they keep and restore that marquee as well.