Comments from Scottoro

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Scottoro
Scottoro commented about Westland Theatres on Oct 26, 2010 at 4:07 pm

Westland Mall was a misbegotten mallb built Begun around 1970 and finished a few years later, sitting half completed for at least a year. When it finally opened, it looked like Mr. Haney from Green Acres designed the floor plan. One end of the mall crazily narrowed to only about ten feet wide where it was haphazardly attached to a Consolidated Sales department store. Today, it is called Park Place and has been de-malled. It’s possible that in the back quadrant of the original space remnants of these theatres still exist.

Scottoro
Scottoro commented about Louisville's Cinerama Theatre Closed, Now For Sale on Oct 1, 2010 at 2:06 pm

Say good-bye, it’s being torn down soon.

Scottoro
Scottoro commented about Showcase Cinemas Louisville on Sep 27, 2010 at 9:39 am

It has recently been announced it will soon be demolished.

Scottoro
Scottoro commented about Beverly Center 13 Cinemas on Aug 9, 2010 at 11:57 am

I always hated these tiny little boxes. Good riddance. And by the way, the Beverly Center itself is no longer what it used to be. I was there last weekend and saw what looked like gang members roaming around, shouting at one another, acting loutish. I stayed a half hour and left.

Scottoro
Scottoro commented about Vine Theatre on May 25, 2010 at 12:18 am

PS — to be clear about the post above, the theatre on Sunset near Bronson had clearly been closed for years.

Scottoro
Scottoro commented about Vine Theatre on May 20, 2010 at 8:25 pm

I lived on Bronson Ave in Hollywood when I first moved to LA in 1977. At that time, there was an old movie theatre near the northwest corner of Bronson on Sunset. They often put movie ads on the side of the building looking east towards Bronson. I particularly remember an enormous Exorcist 2 The Heretic ad. At one point it was used as some sort of studio space, then was torn down, perhaps in the early 80s. Anyone have any idea what it was? It appeared to be at least as big as the World.

Scottoro
Scottoro commented about Downs Theater on Feb 17, 2010 at 12:18 pm

Sometime around 1958, I went here with my family when it was an Italian restaurant. They showed the same cartoon over and over throughout the meal. It was reconverted to a second run house and renamed the Dawn in the 1960s and later became a porno theater.

Scottoro
Scottoro commented about Tiffany Theater on May 9, 2009 at 10:35 am

I arrived in Los Angeles in May of 1977 and right away knew it was built for me. The first double bill I saw was Alexander’s Ragtime Band and The Gang’s All Here. Though the theatre was odd — very little rake, a low ceiling, and not a very large screen, it was run by dedicated cinemaphiles and for the next several years, it was one of my favorite hangouts. I miss it to this day.

I recall with great fondness the 3D festivals. I saw Kiss Me Kate whenever it was shown, but saw just about everything else, and most of them were really pretty terrible. The Tiffany boasted that it had a silver screen, and perhaps because the throw from the projector was in a straight line and the screen was small, the 3D was much more effective. They showed the shorts and cartoons, too, everything they could find. They also made it their business to find good posters. There was one 3 sheet of Rita Hayworth’s Down to Earth that was beautiful.

Often, old stars would show up for screenings. I once saw The Harvey Girls with Virginia O'Brien in attendance. She was wearing a rather tired leopard skin coat. After all, it had been a long time since she was at MGM. I felt bad for her since only about thirty people showed up, but she still seemed delighted to be there and gave a little talk beforehand, describing how she was discovered and what it was like shooting the movie.

Another time, I saw Beyond the Valley of the Dolls. One entered the theatre from the side. A dazzling figure in a dazzling red gown caught the corner of my eye. It was the star and former wife of director Russ Meyer, Edy Williams. She was alone and sat directly behind me. She seemed like a good sport, she laughed at her own performance, but then disappared about halfway through when her role
in the film ended.

The sister theatre to the Tiffany was the Vagabond. See my post for that for a few more stories.

Scottoro
Scottoro commented about Hayworth Theatre on May 9, 2009 at 10:18 am

I went to the Vagabond several times in the late 70s and early to mid 80s. It was the sister theatre at the time to the Tiffany. You could pick up schedules at either theatre for both. Often attending the old movies were elderly people, some of whom I suspect were actually in the films. They wouldn’t have had any other way of seeing them except when they were shown on TV (and even then, cut up and interspliced with Cal Worthington commercials). Some memorable occasions come to mind: Mel Torme showed up for Good News. He talked for about ten minutes about the film before it started, then was interrupted by an old woman who shouted “Sing something for us, Mel!” “Hey, lady, this is FREE,” he growled back. Saul Chaplin was there for a roadshow print of “Star!” He still seemed bruised by the film’s failure. Another time I went to see “Invitation to the Dance”. An old man came out of the previous screening and warned my friend and I in the lobby “It’s two hours of sheer tedium.”

Someone’s odd idea of decorating the Vagabond was to paint stark, high-constrast giant stills from Potemkin on the walls, so right next to the screen was the famous shot of a woman screaming as her baby carriage rolled down the Odessa steps. this was a bit jarring when just to the right was, say, Betty Grable singing a song of love and romance. I also remember the theatre sometimes stunk of garbage because of a dumpster located just behind the building.

Overall, I avoided the Vagabond because at that time I merely had to walk to the Tiffany to see pretty much the same fare. See my post for the Tiffany for more stories.

Scottoro
Scottoro commented about Beach Theatre on May 3, 2009 at 12:17 pm

Could anyone help me solve a mystery? I have a distinct memory of going to St. Petersburg Beach with my family in 1970 when I was about 16. I walked about a half hour from our hotel on the beach to a movie theatre to see a re-release of Ben-Hur. Perhaps it was this one, but it looks a bit far from where I think we stayed. Was there another movie theatre near the beach in those days? Thanks!

Scottoro
Scottoro commented about Uptown Theatre on Jul 21, 2008 at 4:44 am

Though the Uptown was a second run theatre by the 1960s, for some strange reason Planet of the Apes opened here on an exclusive first run engagement in 1968.

Scottoro
Scottoro commented about Rivoli Theater on Apr 16, 2007 at 12:53 pm

I was in Myrtle Beach just once, in 1975. One rainy day my family went to a theatre to see The Apple Dumpling Gang, which had, as I recall, dolphins in the waves or some marine scene on the inside auditorium walls. Would this have been the Rivoli or another theatre?

Scottoro
Scottoro commented about Mary Anderson Theatre on Nov 16, 2006 at 7:17 am

Marty is confusing the Mary Anderson with the United Artists/Loewe’s/Penthouse. The Mary Anderson was across the street, next to the Rialto. It was not terribly well suited to be a movie theater. It wasn’t very wide and the projection booth was in the upper stratosphere so that the image on the screen was noticeably distorted. It looked like the screen was tilted backwards. The most interesting aspect of the theater was for a time the management thought it would cute to have “usherettes” who would dress in costume, depending upon the movie shown. For example, when they showed “Cactus Flower” the usherettes were dressed as nurses. Some of the other films shown there I can recall are Barbarella and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Eventually it became a church. I understand it has been completely converted to office space now.

Scottoro
Scottoro commented about Rialto Theatre on Oct 3, 2006 at 8:41 am

I met Robert Wise about five years ago when he was giving a lecture at DreamWorks, where I work. I told him I was from Louisville (Mr. Wise perked up because was from Indiana) and that The Sound of Music had played at the Rialto, Louisville’s grandest movie palace, for an entire year, reserved seat. His face lit up and he seemed genuinely surprised and immensely pleased.

Scottoro
Scottoro commented about Rialto Theatre on May 6, 2005 at 4:17 pm

The last film to play the Rialto was “Doctor Dolittle” with Rex Harrison.

Scottoro
Scottoro commented about Carmel Theatre on Mar 15, 2005 at 5:10 pm

Les Poupees des Paris was a Sid and Marty Krofft marionette show originally designed for the 1964 New York World’s Fair. They were beautiful marionettes and looked nothing like the costume characters in the Krofft TV shows like Pufnstuf. I know they were still touring a version of Les Poupees in the 70s because I saw a truncated version at King’s Island Amusement Park in Ohio. If you search ebay, you may occasionally find the original RCA cast album. The best cut is “It’s a Living” featuring Liberace and Jayne Mansfield!

Scottoro
Scottoro commented about Dixie Dozen Theatre on Apr 8, 2004 at 9:40 am

This complex occupies the former retail space of Kaufmann-Strauss Department store in Dixie Manor Shopping Center, located in the Southwest section of Louisville. Kaufmann’s was built in the late 1950s in a stylish International style with clean, smooth lines inside and out. Later, it became an Ayre’s Department store before transitioning to other retail leasing before converted to cinemas. The exterior of the building is still intact, though it is now much less classy in appearance. This southwest sector of Louisville was always underserved by cinemas. Two drive-ins existed, the Dixie Drive-In, now long occupied by a K-Mart store, and the Valley Drive-in, in the far southern quadrant of the county, closed since the 1970s. In the late 1960s, one indoor screen was built, coincidentally at the K-Mart center, called the Alpha One Cinema. In subsequent years two more screens were added, but it has long since closed and converted to retail space. It was a low-end, small, suburban cinema complex, part of a city-wide chain of other Alphas, which have long since closed as well.