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Sorry, Dennis. I don’t have any contact info for Doug.
A very late response to Gilbert Carney’s comment from 2006 about the 35/70 Norelco projectors. Yes, they (and the Ascraft lamps) did go to the King Theater in Seattle which was also a Walter Reade house. They were serial numbers 713 and 714. The King did not last long as a Walter Reade house, after the bankruptcy it sat empty for a time then was operated by General Cinema until 1992. I was projectionist at the King during mid 1980’s
Correcting my error above, A corner of the field was taken for the widening of I-90, not I-405. It can be seen at the lower center portion of the picture.
When this drive in was built, the two freeways shown were two lane roads. The theater was out in the country. U.S. Highway 10 became Interstate 90 running east and west, across the bridge shown at the top of the picture. What became Interstate 405 was State Highway 2A, running north and south. I was told by the projectionist working there at the time that when the two highways were rebuilt and enlarged in the late 1960’s, SRO theaters sued the State of Washington claiming that the lighting installed along the highways washed out the image on the screen. The State of Washington lost the case and was forced to pay for the installation of new brighter Xenon lamphouses to replace the original carbon arc lamps. A corner of the drive in field was taken for the widening of I-405.
I will also add the comment that SRO was a class act. I worked as a projectionist for them and for their competition as well. SRO ran the cleanest, nicest and best equipped theaters in the Seattle area in the 1970’s and into the 80’s. Things changed not too long after the sale to Cineplex.
Mostly in answer to Bob Jenson, Factoria was an unincorporated area just to the South of the City of Bellevue, WA. Mailing address for the drive in would have been Bellevue. It was owned and operated by SRO (Sterling Recreation Organization) until it was demolished and replaced by Factoria Cinemas. Locally owned SRO Theaters was sold to Cineplex/Odeon in December of 1986. SRO owned and operated theaters, bowling alleys, and radio stations throughout the Northwest. The company remains in business today as the “Sterling REALTY Organization” as a commercial property firm. Strip malls and business parks sit on the sites of some of the former theaters. Some sites were sold, SRO remains as the landlord of the others.
Was this GCC Unit #898? I worked as projectionist at #896, the King Cinema in Seattle, WA.
Dennis: Was that female DM’s name Linda D. by any chance? I worked for GCC from 1980 – 1995 and Linda was the one who hired me. Her office was in a converted windowless former storeroom beneath the projection booth for Cinema II-III.
The site remains as the parking lot, office, and service facility for a rental car company. Only the original 1950’s auditorium was demolished. The original lobby and the 1980’s addition have been remodeled and remain in use by the rental car company.
As of May 2nd, 2018 the Egyptian is no more. Demolition well underway. The University District has been re-zoned to allow 30+ story buildings and this neighborhood is changing fast. Status should be changed to “Demolished”.
The theater was operated by Jim Bonholzer, not Honholzer as noted in the overview. There are still members of the Bonholzer family residing in the area. Perhaps you could try to contact one of them.
Someone has taken their drone to Lind and has some nice footage of the town, including the Empire Theater:
The Empire footage starts at about 02:30.
Movie themed toys in this section.
I can confirm that the building still exists, occupied by Funko. The ground floor of the department store as well as the theatre is now a toy store. No trace of the theatre interior remains, everything has been covered by the Funko decor. I have to say that it is a very impressive toy store. I lived in Everett as a small child, the Balboa was closed by that time but I remember the Bon Marche store very well. Photos of the former Balboa interior and exterior will be added momentarily.
Two recent (12/6/2017) booth photos added.
I’m happy that the audience turned out for the 70mm presentation of MOTOE. Not the case for Justice League in 70 at the Cinerama. Although, it’s been many years since I spent three weeks straight making changeovers in a manual 70mm booth it has been a lot of fun! It would be nice if we had more of an audience though.
I am curious at to what business was like for MOTOE in 70mm? I am one of two projectionists running Justice League in 70mm at the Cinerama in Seattle to very light crowds. Of course, it is playing on a dozen other screens in digital format. There was some talk that we might get MOTOE in 70mm for a week starting December 1 but that fell through. JL for one more week.
It is 20 blocks North of the Seattle City Limits. It is in the City of Shoreline. Shoreline did not incorporate as a City until 1995. The mailing address would have been Seattle until that time with the theater actually located in unincorporated King County. The Crest is one of a very few theaters I never worked at in the Seattle area. I did live a half block away with a couple of roommates while attending college around 1981 or 82. It was great to have a discount house so close.
Hi Dennis: I was on my way to work at the Embassy to relieve Doug Stewart in the booth at the time the bomb went off. I had a matinee shift at the King and was scheduled for the evening at the Embassy. I never made it to work that day. Police wouldn’t let me close. Doug said that the Brenkert BX 80 never missed a beat and continued to project XXX product after the explosion. Broke the port glass, however.
The Seavue was operated by Roger Forbes’s Playtime Theaters of Seattle. Playtime was a statewide circuit of XXX houses. As a very young projectionist with no seniority in the Projectionist’s Union, I worked for this company at a couple of their Seattle locations around 1980/81. A link to a newspaper article regarding a criminal case about illegal asbestos removal during the 1997 demolition: http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=19981110&slug=2782753 And a link to an Enviromental Protection Agency press release: https://archive.epa.gov/epapages/newsroom_archive/newsreleases/54bdbdc969e120c5852570cb0075e135.html
Civilian Conservation Corps. A Federal Government program to provide jobs for unemployed workers during the depression of the 1930’s. The jobs were on public improvement projects throughout the country, often in remote areas. Work camps were built to house the workers. Entertainment, including movies was provided at the camps.
Link to color night time shot of the Colonial. Vertical neon of the Orpheum Theater can be seen at the far right:
The film “Forever Amber” was released in 1947. It looks like the admission price was 50 cents at the Colonial.
Just something to add about the looks of the place. Almost 100% of lighting was neon. The picture posted does not do it justice. Swirls of neon starting outside the lobby and passing through small round holes in the floor to ceiling plate glass windows to continue their swirling pattern inside. Giant swirls of light green and soft white neon on the auditorium ceiling, hidden deep blue neon cove lights. Giant banks of autotransformer dimmers in the electrical room next to the projection booth for them. Until I worked here, I was unaware that neon could be operated on a dimmer circuit. Lighting for the huge marquee also 100% neon with the transformers next to the booth.
In the booth, when I first worked there were a pair of RCA (not Brenkert!) BX 100’s. The only ones I have ever seen. They were replaced about 1980 by a Century with a lens turret, a Cinemechanica Tower and an SRO Commander automation system. At that time, operation was combined with the Lake City Theater some 2.5 miles away. A projectionist was still on duty during operating hours but had a pager (pre cell phone days) and drove back and forth.
I noticed while driving to work this afternoon that the Oak Tree is undergoing a remodel. Only 3 titles are mentioned on the website and it would appear that 3 auditoriums are work areas. Large demolition dumpsters and a forklift parked outside the exit doors, construction fence around the front. Temporary entrance on the North side of the theater.
Sunflower: Much of my information came from Thomas Watters, Jr the Business Agent for IATSE Projectionists Local 154 for more than 30 years. Tommy passed away last Summer. He was also the Secretary for IATSE District One for many years and wrote a column in the IATSE District One Bulletin. All of these are available free online at: http://www.districtone.com/index.php. Click on the “History” Tab, you will find information on theaters in the Pacific Northwest going back as far as 1893. There do exist in the Offices of IATSE Local 15 in Seattle the minutes of IA Local 154 Projectionist Union meetings going back as far as 1908 when the Local was formed. Local 154 merged with Local 15 in 1999. One would have to make a request to look at the books. The books from the distant past that do not have any information concerning anyone still around might not be too much of an issue. Recent minutes are regarded as confidential information, available only to members.