Showing 1 - 25 of 58 comments
Mark, you hit the nail on the head by calling Mike a “true theatre guy”! Instead of blood, he’s got an endless loop of film running it’s course thru his veins! It’s not his bones that you hear cracking as he runs by, it’s popcorn popping in there! When it’s quiet, Mike doesn’t go thru his mind’s memories (unless they’re theater-related!), no, his mind just plays back favorite scenes he’s memorized from decades of working with movies. If Mike gets caught in a traffic jam, he plans how he’d fix it with red-velvet ropes that would re-direct the “customers” thru the lobby and to the right cinema…uh, exit. No matter what fast food restaurant Mike goes to, he can’t help but look at the lines as “concession lines” and the people behind the counter as “candy girls”. Instead of saying he’s going to the bank, Mike says he’s “making a bank run”. As a “true theatre guy” yourself, you get what I mean, don’t you?
Stan, I hope you don’t mind, but I rarely get on here…really, only when I see one of these getting flagged in my email….but I just wanted to ask you a couple of questions about those days in Atlanta and at those theaters. And I honestly don’t remember, since it’s been so long on here, if you and I have traded comments.
I started with GCC around 1980 or so…my memory is NOTHING like the rest of you guys! After stints going from usher to doorman to Chief of Staff to Asst. Mgr, my manager, Craig Zacker, convinced me to go on to Northlake as an asst. mgr….yeah, a lateral move, but he thought it’d be great for my career. I’m not going to go all into what went on up there, but I became one of the youngest managers in the region, worked by tail off, and then had enough of the then DM (before Larry Anderson). Anyway, did you work with Steve Crisp (sp?) at Akers, Stu Hoffman at Perimeter (NOT my favorite guy!)…and I think “my” projectionists at Northlake was Aaron Bouldin (sp?)?? I remember going back up to Atlanta (after I had left the company and then came back a few years later) and helped Steve open Merchants Walk. I liked Steve, but I grew to hate Stu…sorry if Stu is a friend. When I was first working in Augusta at Regency Mall, I remember thinking that Atlanta was “IT”, because the numbers up there were always blowing us out of the water!
Thanks for the time, Stan! Hope my Stu-comment didn’t ruffle any feathers! I made sure NOT to say why I didn’t care for him…so I gotta get some points for that at least!
It does stink, but we all knew it was inevitable. Like you guys, I just wish we had had the chance to go in and see it for one more time. Well, even then, what we would’ve seen wouldn’t EVER match up to what we remember, right? Cinema 1 had the door going up the stairs, the letter room was behind the screen…Cinema 2 was where “Rocky Horror” played, no place to stand in the back except right in front of the lobby door…Cinema 3 had the handicapped bathroom (2 bathrooms, actually) and it was the theater that people who snuck in seemed to always be in. In the small lobby, there was the place under the stairwell that used to be a closet for the drink tanks, then it was converted to a mini (and I do mean mini!) arcade, with about 3 or 4 games that brought in a TON of quarters! Upstairs was the projection booth that belonged to Chuck Dray (make NO mistake about that!!), with his spotless everything, including HIS bathroom! And anyone that knew Dray, knew he had a great “library” up there! Dray used to get away with MURDER when he was downstairs, drinking his coffee by the ticket box….when a good-looking girl would walk by, Dray would say “Ooo-0oo….foooooooood!”! Can’t believe that ticket box was NEVER robbed!! I mean, No glass, no nuthin'! Anyone could’ve just reached over, grabbed some bucks and just ran out the door! Boy, were we ever lucky!
Oh, well. Could go one, but that’ll have to be for another time. Thanks guys!
Oh, Mike! What’s alittle mold to a couple of old theater-men?!?! If we survived the crap that was caked on those theater/concession/bathroom floors….and transferred over to the bottom of our shoes…then we can survive alittle greenish-blue mold! If you set it up with someone, I’ll be glad to don one of those Hazard-suits and masks if it means we can get in there and look around! I’d LOVE to find some sort of souvenir.
Mike?? What is the “Facebook” of which you speak? NEVER heard of it!
Hey, Ginger! I don’t know you, but you came a few years after I left there. I managed both theaters for a few years…ran the triple, opened the Exchange, and then ran both of them. I really enjoyed it. I was fired! Yup, given the old boot by Larry Anderson…he thought he gathered evidence that indicated that I was turning in false receipts for work not done. I would never do that, and it took them awhile to figure out that I didn’t do that…or at least they gave me the benefit of the doubt. A couple of months after being fired, they called me back to Atlanta and Larry Pittman, the regional vice-president, offered me my job back, but at a theater in Atlanta. Said they couldn’t offer me Augusta back because Scott Nirenberg (spelling?) had the job and they didn’t want to yank him out after he got it. I politely told them no, thank you. I guess they realized that I wasn’t the only manager doing the receipt thing…I learned it from my old manager. If you need something done…like getting shelves made and put up…and you KNOW that Anderson wasn’t going to approve it, then you get the money in the “back door” to get it done. Anderson didn’t care how it got done, he just wanted things done, so there you go! Anyway, I can certainly see now how it looked bad. But there was no ill gotten gains. Oh, well. Everything happens for a reason and I certainly don’t feel bitter about it since they offered me my job back. Pittman told me they wouldn’t offer the job to someone they thought was a thief! Okay, so now that that is out of the way, remind me who your projectionists were. Was Chuck Dray still around then? What manager did you take over for? Was Scott Dean the assistant when you were there or did he leave by then? How about Herbert Watts, the janitor? He was great! You may not have really appreciated him then, but unless you managed in another city, you realized that Herbert and his family were gold! Was Larry Anderson still the DM when you were there or did he move on? Did you know Craig Zacker or did he retire by then? I just don’t remember, since it was so long ago. Okay, I think that’s PLENTY for now…I’ll let you digest all this and respond!
Hey, Mike, and anyone else who remembers…I just ran into the guy who used to be the assistant manager at Taco Viva, under Burles Johnson. I can’t believe I can’t remember his name…I JUST saw him about an hour ago!! My mind is really getting old! Very nice guy. We tried to talk about Taco Viva and the theater but those daggone customers kept walking up!! I remember we used to do umpteen promotions with them ALL THE TIME! They had one night during the week when they sold tacos for some ridiculously low price! Us bachelors LOVED that! I remember on Mother’s Day, we worked out a deal with them that a customer could come to them and redeem a ticket stub for a free apple pie. Mmmmmmmm, think I’ll go get me some Taco Bell for supper tonight!
I know somebody complained about putting “personal” comments on here, but I can’t help it in this case! If any of you know Mike, THIS is the best way to get in touch with him!! Tell Mr. Morrison that I’m open to a get together whenever y'all want. We’ll work something out. It’d be alot of fun. Maybe it’s a good thing we can’t invite Dray…he’d probably get us kicked out of wherever we’d meet! (Miss that old SOB!)
Mike, I’ve been terrible about responding to things on here and the things you’ve sent my wife on Facebook! Yes, I did see the GCC trailer a while back, and it brought back some memories. Strange how a little bit of music can pull memories out of the back of your head, huh? Whenever I hear the theme to “Caddyshack”, I’m reminded of picking up popcorn and drink cups and then sweeping up corn and Milk Duds..all while singing and juking to “I’m Allll Right!”!! Funny stuff!
bree, since I used to be the manager at the Exchange, you can just mail me the quarter! I know that’ll make you sleep better at night. LOL!
Since we just got over the fourth of July, it made me think about past movie promotions. We didn’t do anything for the 4th. I remember Mother’s Day, we gave little apple pies and carnations to each mom. For some of the midnight movies we had magic shows. There was some comedy/love story about a maid and we had a drawing for free maid service. For Stallone’s movie Cobra, we had a stuffed real-looking cobra at the box office and let people take pictures with it. I’m sure I’ll remember more later. Y'all remember any? Will people from other boards read this and join in?
This is the theater that I went to ask to talk to the theater manager about getting some free tickets for my daughter’s high school band. I was told by some kid that the “manager” only comes in a couple of days a week, and he spends his other time going around to all the other chain’s district theaters, helping out with computer problems. The kid told me that, to save the company money, “managers” are cross-trained to perform duties for the company BESIDES running the theater. I just stood there dumbfounded, looking at the kid, repeating “Really? Really?”. Boy, things sure have changed!! And, no, I didn’t get any free movie passes for the band. The kid couldn’t even tell me who to call about it. Said I’d have a snowball’s chance in getting them!
I hate this theater. Way too big. The concession stand is HUGE and is about the slowest in town! The type of folks that come to this one seem to have no manners…talk during the movie and, of course, turn on their stupid cellphones that light up like a beacon, which distracts everyone around them! Course, to be fair, that happens at all the theaters nowadays.
Chuck, I think Mike’s point is that the “big shots” have a habit of NOT listening to the local people for ideas of where theaters should be located. I know General Cinema didn’t. Mike and I both told them that they should consider putting up a theater around the Augusta Mall side of Augusta, instead of behind the Regency Mall. Years after the Regency Exchange went belly-up, a theater sprang up in Evans and one just a few miles away from the Augusta Mall. Now there’s going to be a new one off of RiverWatch Pkwy and I-20. So, the point is that corporate bigwigs should sometimes listen to the local boys.
Good to see you on here Trey! Always nice to read someone else’s recollections. When your dad brought you to see Empire Strikes Back, with the line snaking inside the mall, do you remember seeing a guy dressed up like Darth Vader? Well, that could’ve been ME!! The manager had me and another guy take turns walking around the crowd. Couldn’t tell you how many times some little brat came up from behind me and tried to kick me! Yeah, it’s a little known fact that “The Force” doesn’t work so good when you’re in close proximity to a Chick-Fil-A, otherwise I would’ve smacked those brats with my light saber!!
Glad you got on and retracted your comment, Mike. I’ve known Charles a long time and didn’t think he’d be involved in something like that. I’m also glad that I’m able to get back on CinemaTreasures! Had a while when I couldn’t get on for the life of me. Hope the bug is fixed and I’ll be back from time to time. Did anyone else have this problem?? Course, if they ARE having the problem, they can’t tell us BECAUSE THEY CAN’T GET ON!!! BTW, Mike, cool find on the picture of Forest Hill’s Drive-In.
HEY!!!! I finally got back on!! Don’t know why, but I had the hardest time…don’t know if it was because of the new format here or because we just got a new computer. Hopefully I can get back on and am able to navigate around. Back to theater stuff…IF someone does buy this old place, I’d love to see the theater open back up, probably as a dollar-house. If it did, I’d probably come out and see what it looks like, but only once…this is a horrible part of town. But, you know, that side of town needs a theater. I think a dollar-house would clean up. Hey Mike…wanna go in together and run a theater?? We’ll hire Charles to be the projectionist. And we can hire Barry to do something easy…we’ll end up firing him because he’ll be too busy talking about Star Trek and motorcycles and trying to make out with concession girls in the handicapped bathroom!
Mike, frankly, I’m shocked that these AC units haven’t been hit by the copper thieves in the area. Also, make sure you make an effort to contact Charles. He has a touchy theater-related issue that y'all need to work out.
No, can’t say I ever remember giving out passes just so we didn’t have to show that last movie. Now, there may have been times when the weather was really bad that we’d offer. I remember when I managed the Northlake, up in Atlanta, there was snow and ice coming down pretty hard, at it was about 9:15 or so, and the movies at the triple had already started. I went in the theaters and told the folks what was happening and offered them passes to come back. I mean, the stuff was really coming down hard, and the conditions would be worse in 2 hours, after the movie. I remember a few people taking me up on it, but the rest complained that I had interrupted the movie and they were ticked off!! I remember I drove home later that night with about 300 pounds of popcorn seeds in my trunk to give me better traction!!
Mike, just wanted to pass along that Allen Chavous, who we talked about being the security guard at most of our midnight shows, as just passed away. His obit/picture is in today’s Augusta Chronicle. From what Charles Pileggi (Allen grew up next to Charles' mother’s house) told me, Allen had cancer. Even though I haven’t seen Allen in a couple of decades, I’m still sad at the idea of him being gone. Speaking of being sad because someone is gone, I’d like to tell you that I’ve really enjoyed that article you sent me about Chuck Dray…BUT I CAN’T SAY THAT because you NEVER mailed it to me!! Uh, so, can you please send it to me?? Thanks! ;)
Gotta agree with Mike on this one. At General Cinema, at least down here in the South (Georgia), we’d never think it was okay to “bribe” a customer with passes, just so they’d go away. To me, it would give the customer the impression that our overhead was more important than them seeing the movie. Chuck, you mentioned that this would happen at the “larger theatres”, but Mike and I are talking theatres that would seat 350-400…now, that’s large enough. Don’t get me wrong, from a business standpoint, I understand the rationale, but we’re just saying that it wouldn’t have happened in our division..or region even. But……we are talking about General Cinema, who is NOT the power-broker they used to be!
Mike, I put in the Boyd Theatre and found 5 of them in Pennsylvania, and 1 in Philadelphia. Thinking that was the one you were talking about, I went to it and found only 1 entry from you, and that was back in August, 2010! I went out and went back in to make sure I had it right, and I did. So, what’s up with that??? I didn’t read them, but ALL I saw was a few people talking about the possible historical significance of this place and if it could/should/would be saved. Help me out here with a link or some more info and I’ll be glad to look it up.
Mike, are you sure Weis never had a marquee?? I thought I remember them having a very, very small one on Peach Orchard Rd. It was pretty short (still required a ladder to get up there), and only had about 3 lines on it. Am I dreaming again??
Mike, not sure about the dates of “Ghost Dad”, but I can clearly remember it being played in Cinema #2. I’d walk in, watch for a couple of minutes, and turn around and walk out after thinking what a stinker it was! But I will say this, if YOU don’t remember us playing it, maybe I better recheck my memory!
Paul DelRossi. I remember that name because he was scheduled to come to my theater up in Northlake (Atlanta). We prepared for it…worked like DOGS getting it cleaned up, and one of my ushers was just trying to help, and tripped and spilled a good quart of black paint all over the standard red GCC lobby carpet!!! I mean, whatta ya gonna do?? dawn..I showed my son your comment about the paranormal club and he was thrilled with the idea of one being here in Augusta. Now, before you try to sign him up, I gotta tell you that he’s only 11! But he loves those ghost-hunter shows on cable! Maybe we do need to get all of us into the theater and see what ghosts are still around? I just hope we don’t see Bill Cosby’s “Ghost Dad” in there! THAT was bad enough on the big screen! LOL!!