Comments from Seattleprojectionist

Showing 1 - 25 of 106 comments

Seattleprojectionist commented about Westgate Cinema City on Apr 26, 2022 at 6:33 am

General Cinema placed their screens within a reflective surround structure in their older theaters. It was called the “Shadow Box”. This design feature was dropped by the middle of the 1970’s. New houses and remodels after that time had the screen surrounded by black masking.

Seattleprojectionist commented about Lido Theater on Apr 21, 2022 at 9:30 am

The Lyric name also moved to the former Mission Theater at some point in the past. At one time, all three theaters in town (The Lincoln, The Lido, and the Lyric) were under the same management. This had changed by the 1970’s when I worked as a relief projectionist for IA Local 351 in that area. All three had different owners by that time. In regards to the 2009 comment above about the Dolby install, it was unique but did sound great for the time. The installer re-used the tube amplifiers left over from the 1950’s mag stereo installation. 4 channels of Motiograph 100% vacuum tube amplification and Voice of the Theater speakers backstage. I think the original Superman was the first Dolby screening at this theater. First Dolby installation between Seattle and Vancouver, BC.

Seattleprojectionist commented about Anacortes Cinemas on Apr 21, 2022 at 9:09 am

I had the honor of knowing Paul in the mid 1970’s. I was his relief projectionist at the Skagit Drive In in Burlington, WA. A first class technician, he and I had reconnected shortly before his passing.

Seattleprojectionist commented about Utopia Theater on Feb 23, 2022 at 7:03 pm

The snipes mentioned above today appeared on YouTube on the Periscopefilm channel.

Seattleprojectionist commented about Roxy Cinema on Feb 18, 2022 at 6:45 am

I had been wondering how long it would remain sitting empty. This theater never did the business that GCC had hoped for. The competition seemed to have more aggressive bookers and got most of the top grossing product. It’s location at the rear of a strip mall shopping center did not help. AMC acquired this property with the bankruptcy of GCC and promptly closed it at the end of a 20 year lease.

Seattleprojectionist commented about Basin Drive In on Jan 22, 2022 at 8:08 pm

The Seattle Public Library has a more complete collection of Polk’s Directories. In 1957, Larry Goedde is listed as manager. The 1958 edition is missing, the 1959 has no listing for the Basin nor does any later edition.

Seattleprojectionist commented about Ritz Theatre on Jan 20, 2022 at 7:26 pm

Polk’s Directory lists the Ritz Theater at 210 South Ash Street and the Ritz Barber Shop at 212 South Ash. It must have been in a small storefront to the left of the entrance door. The Polk’s listing for the theater is gone by the mid 1960’s but the barber shop continued to be listed for several years after the theater must have closed.

Seattleprojectionist commented about Guild 45th Theatre on Jan 5, 2022 at 6:41 am

A 3 minute long documentary on The Guild from 2015 can be found on Youtube: It has many shots of both the interior and the exterior along with an interview with the long time manager.

Seattleprojectionist commented about Guild 45th Theatre on Jan 5, 2022 at 6:16 am

The Guild #1 (the pink theater) was demolished ¼/2022. So far, Guild #2 (Blue theater) remains standing.

Seattleprojectionist commented about Totem Lake Cinemas on Dec 26, 2021 at 2:18 pm

Status should be changed to “Demolished”. The site is apartments now, no trace of the theater remains.

Seattleprojectionist commented about Lewis and Clark Theatre on Dec 24, 2021 at 7:48 pm

Someone has posted on YouTube: a Washington State Department of Transportation video of a drive on Highway 99 shot on June 7th of 1983. The massive free standing marquis of the Lewis and Clark comes into view at 23:24. This was shot soon after the addition with 4 new screens was added to the original 3 screen and bowling alley complex.

Seattleprojectionist commented about Midway Drive-In on Dec 24, 2021 at 7:32 pm

Someone has posted on YouTube: a Washington State Department of Transportation video of a drive on Highway 99 shot on June 7th of 1983. The Midway comes into view at 11:21. Showing a double bill of “Chained Heat” & “Vice Squad”. The video shows a good idea of what the neighborhood around the theater was like in 1983.

Seattleprojectionist commented about Wallenstein Theatre on Dec 4, 2021 at 5:59 pm

The State of Washington (owner) is presently doing a minor remodel to the theater. Fire safety system upgrades, electrical upgrades, and a badly needed new roof. Theater is set to reopen in Spring of 2022. I’ll get some pictures of the interior when it does. Columbia Basin Allied Arts is the local non-profit that books most events in the venue.

Seattleprojectionist commented about Lake Cinema 4 on Nov 30, 2021 at 6:40 pm

Got a chance to tour the interior with the owner. No longer recognizable as as a theater inside. A second level has been built in a portion of the auditorium. Windows and doorways have been cut into the auditorium wall on the sidewalk side to create office spaces.

Seattleprojectionist commented about Capitol Theatre on Sep 27, 2021 at 9:31 am

I am wondering if in 1924 an error was made in the above mentioned news item. I think the location is actually Seattle, WA. John Danz owned many theaters in the Seattle area, starting in the nickelodeon years and continuing under the same family ownership until a sale to Cineplex in 1986. In the 1960’s, his company, Sterling Recreation Organization, expanded to the Los Angeles area but I am unaware of any operations in the San Francisco area. John Danz lived until the mid 1950’s, the John Danz Theater in Bellevue, WA is named after him. His son, Fred Danz assumed control of the company at the senior Danz death. John Danz operated Seattle theaters under both the “Class A” and “Capitol” names at different times. They had adjacent addresses on 3rd Avenue in downtown Seattle.

Seattleprojectionist commented about Northgate Theatre on Sep 15, 2021 at 7:50 am

I agree 100% with the comment above about the marque. Interstate 5 was built some years after the theatre, the view of the marque from the Southbound lanes of I-5 was impressive. If you look carefully in this picture, you can see the little “cable car” used to change the marque. The teenage staff would have to load it up with the letters needed, climb in and hoist themselves up the level needed and push or pull it from side to side across the face of the sign while standing inside the car. I am sure that OSHA would not approve of this practice today.

Seattleprojectionist commented about June 17th, 1968 grand opening ad on Aug 19, 2021 at 9:53 am

In the mid 1980’s, I was the chief projectionist at GCC’s Renton Village Cinema. The Division Manager’s office was directly below the Cinema II/III projection booth and sometimes you could hear loud conversations in the office from the booth. Linda Danisher, the Division Manager did not seem to care for the trips to the Sparks Cinema which had been added to the theaters under her supervision. All of her other theaters were less than an hours drive from her home. She spoke about her Sparks trips to her secretary more than once. I don’t blame her for not liking the trip.

Seattleprojectionist commented about Guild 45th Theatre on Jun 24, 2021 at 12:37 pm

Randy Finley, owner of the original Guild tried but was unable to purchase the adjacent property in order to expand. It was a pizza restaurant at the time. He instead purchased and demolished the building two doors down the street to build Guild II. Guild II opened in 1984.

Seattleprojectionist commented about Lewis and Clark Theatre on Dec 24, 2020 at 1:30 pm

Only the lobby section remains, auditorium and the bowling alley both demolished.

Seattleprojectionist commented about Liberty Theater on Jul 22, 2020 at 1:13 pm

“The Sand Pebbles” was being shown at the time of the fire.

Seattleprojectionist commented about Liberty Theater on Jul 22, 2020 at 8:31 am

The Liberty was destroyed by fire on February 9, 1968. Fire had started in the hotel next door and spread to the theatre. The Sunnyside High School class of 1965 has a website with pictures of the two buildings on fire. is the website. Pictures can be found in “Pictorial History of Sunnyside Volume 2”

Seattleprojectionist commented about Dream Theatre on Jul 21, 2020 at 8:08 pm

In the photograph, you can see the name of Oliver Wallace advertised as the organist. The Dream is thought to have been the first theatre to install a pipe organ to accompany silent films. Oliver Wallace went on to become the music director for Walt Disney. He composed the music for more than 130 of the Disney shorts from the 1930’s – 1950’s. He also composed music for many full length Disney films.

Seattleprojectionist commented about Samish Twin Drive-In on Jul 16, 2020 at 11:25 am

Found this: about the radio station that shared the building with the Samish Drive In. I worked for SRO theater Division for some time in the 1980’s. They were a great company to work for. Pictures of the Drive In included.

Seattleprojectionist commented about Jerry Lewis Cinema on Apr 21, 2020 at 8:14 am

I can answer some of the Eprad Sabre/Sword systems. I worked in the late 70’s at a drive in that had a Sabre and in the early 80’s at a XXX house with a Sword.

The Sabre was the simpler of the two systems, the projector and lamphouse were mounted on top of the Sabre, eliminating the traditional base. The entire film was mounted on a single large reel that was underneath the lamphouse, feed reel was on the left, takeup on the right. The reel was large enough to hold most double features. Film went through a series of rollers and twists from the underslung reel up to above the projector/soundhead which were of standard design and threaded normally. A few more rollers to the takeup reel. With this system, the projector had to to be threaded for each show and rewound after. Rewind could take place on the Sabre, no need to move the reels. It worked reasonably well. Both takeup and feed reels were fitted with reversable torque motors so that tension on the film remained low and constant throughout the reel. A single projector booth was possible.

The Sword was more complex and used two specially modified projectors. The Sword looked much like the Sabre in that both reels were underneath the projector/soundhead. The difference was that each machine could run in reverse at 10% faster than normal projection speed. At the XXX house, I was working there when the equipment was purchased and installed. The two brand new Century projectors and soundheads had to be shipped to the Eprad factory for modification. This consisted of a modified film gate with a dashpot attached that would open the gate for reverse operation and reversable, multispeed motors. Film was cued with tape in the normal manner. We always ran double features at the XXX house, Feature A would be on the #1 projector with the second feature on #2. At the end of the first feature, we cued the film to make a changeover to the #2 machine. As soon as the changeover happened, the #1 machine would stop and the dashpot would open the gate partially and it would run backwards through the projector at 10% faster than the normal 24FPS. When rewind was complete, the projector would stop with the film already threaded and ready to go.

We were an XXX grindhouse, open for 16 hours a day, 7 days a week. If we had a brand new print, it would last about a week before we would start to have film breaks at the splices. This was prior to the change to Polyester based film, everything was still acetate at the time. Film is like a rope in that it doesn’t push well, trying to have the intermittent sprocket push the film up through the partially open gate did not work well at all. We eventually gave up on the reverse operation and used it like a Sabre.

Seattleprojectionist commented about Lake Cinema 4 on Jan 13, 2020 at 9:55 am

From the April 2nd, 1956 “Motion Picture Daily” the following news:

“Texas Rancher Adds Nine Theatres to His
Farms, Motel, Hotel, Store, Model School

Special to THE DAILY SEATTLE, April 1.— Peter Barnes, a Texas rancher who also operates six theatres in this area, has expanded his holdings with the purchase of nine theatres of the Columbia Basin circuit in Eastern Washington. His 15 theatres now comprise the largest independent circuit in that area.

The newly purchased theatres are the Lake, Ritz and Basin Drive-in at Moses Lake; the Lee and Marjo, Ephrata; Park-in Drive-in, near Soap Lake; the Lake, Soap Lake; Basin, Othello, and the Warden at Warden.

Barnes made his first investment in Washington 10 years ago when he
bought six theatres in Oroville, Chelan, Manson and Okanogan.

Besides his theatre interests, Barnes owns a motel at Chelan, Wash.; a date farm near Palm Springs, Cal.; a 1,400-acre farm in Canada; the Wasaga Beach Hotel on the coast of British Columbia; a department store in Ontario; a new home development in Vancouver, an interest in a modeling school in Seattle, a few Canadian theatres, as well as a large ranch near San Angelo, Tex.

People here wonder what he does with so much spare time."

The above theatres were owned by the Lee family prior to this. Moses Lake and the nearby towns mentioned above are served by the TV stations located in Spokane which went on the air in the early 1950’s. I wonder about the wisdom of buying theatres just after Television hit the same market.