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This link reports that the Village Cinema was a member of GCC,
This video tells the Lyric Theatre story with a rare exterior image;
The neon marquee was condemned and removed last Spring. City engineered felt it could no longer hold up under another heavy snow. This video tells the Virginia Theatre history with vintage photos;
This video tells the history and shows vintage images of the Rialto Theatre;
This fun video tells the Orpheum Theatre history and shows interior/exterior pictures;
This interesting video tells the history and shows rare photos of the Illini Theatre;
This video tells the Fox history and shows rare images;
This video tells the Co-Ed history and shows rare interior/exterior photos;
This video tells the Art history and shows rare images;
150 Mason would be just around the corner from 181 Ellis. So I still suspect that these two cinemas may have been the same, with different lobby locations.
Mid-1977 saw the Adam Theatre’s lavender storefront facade redone in a multicolor “high tacky” motif, and the name had been changed to Fantasy Cinema. Near the end of that same year the concern folded. The cinema sat vacant for over a year with ‘For Lease’ posted across the small marquee. By early-‘79 the space was returned to retail use.
Does anybody remember if the Spartan and Tom Kat were one and the same theatre?
Wonder if the Tom Kat and Spartan were one and the same cinema? If I remember correctly, the auditorium of the Spartan exited onto Ellis, and would have been at the above address. The cruise area behind the screen could have once served as a lobby.
Mid-1982 … the Screening Room Cinema tried to change its image (as pionted out above) and attract a younger patronage. A well publisized gay extravaganza was presented with three popular gay screen stars live on stage. Also for this show five fresh new strippers were brought in for this program. One extremely handsome stripper named Tex stopped the show when he caused more of a sensation than the porn stars, and he really raked in the tips too. Such a large SRO crowd caused the fire dept to raid the theatre midway through the performance for violating fire hazard rules by packing in so many men.
(Shortly thereafter Tex starred in a couple of porn movies under the name Danny DelaRosa, but for one reason or another his stage appeal didn’t translate to film)
I was once told by an oldtimer that the Spartan Theatre originally opened as a newsreel theatre. Attendance at the Spartan was always brisk during the after work rush hour. A quite long, curved lobby jogged into a standee area. To the left of the standee was a wide auditorium with four isles that seperated three sections of upholstered theatre chairs. Black walls were decorated with blacklight male nudes, and Art Moderne lighting fixtures dressed up a black ceiling. A rather large stage apron hosted live male strip revues between features. “Private dances” could be had behind the screen…for a price.
Was this once a Loew’s house? One sunny afternoon in 1980 I was waiting for a bus on Mission Street. On the side wallsign of the Cino Latino I could make out the word “Loew’s” showing beneath faded paint…
I went inside the Centre one foggy evening in the late 1970s. It had a nice lobby with gold carpet and gold drapes covering one wall, and a compact concession stand. A tall, tanned, blond, handsome doorman wore a crisp gold uniform with gold fringe epulets. He was very friendly. When entering the one isle auditorium patrons encountered a steep ramp with stadium type walls rising on either side that blocked the view of back rows. At the top of the ramp a gentle slope ran down the isle to double exit doors located below high the screen. Staight couples filled up back rows, performing all kinds of sexual activity.
The Capri design has a quasi Egyptian look to it.
In the early 1980s I patronized the Roxie. All the staff were Asian, very polite, friendly. I remember the lobby was spacious and regal. The concession stand offered a broader menu than a Dairy Queen. They sold Nochos, hamburgers, cheese fries, softserve, etc. The auditorium still looked exactly like the above 1928 photo, though kids had used Magic Markers to scribble graffiti over everything, which had ruined once lovely wood panelling. A triple feature was on the bill, but crowds of noisy teens were so loud I stayed only long enough to get a good look at architectural details.
Around 1980 I visited the Lux. It was very clean, well kept, and still had a classy 1940s look. The auditorium was packed. I watched an entertaining horror flick that took place in a carnival fun house, but didn’t stay for the second feature because the tempature was too warm and stuffy.
Since my hobby is studying historic theatres, I went into this Pussycat Cinema around 1980. In all I patronized nine Pussycat theatres from San Diego up to San Francisco. All of them had flashy facades, and the lobbies were clean, but the dim auditoriums were rundown and dirty.
Myron Hunt, architect of the Ambassador Theatre, may well have also designed the Regent too, as the two auditorium designs ware so similar.
Architect Myron Hunt may well have also designed the downtown Regent Theatre as the two auditorium designs was so very similar.
Regent auditorium images:
This link has a little bit of history on the Liberty, http://mcswaintheatre.net/index_20.htm
Most all original commercial buildings still stand on Main and Broadway, but don’t know which one was the Main Cinema.