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Nice enough theater. I hated the management, tho.
…And now I know where all those old one-sheets went!
Admittedly, the ol' “stack of phone booths” was far from an architectural gem, but it had auditoriums designed for widescreen and surround, so in it’s time it was state-of-the-art in terms of presentation.
When they showed TERMINATOR 2, they performed an interesting experiment: one screen showed T2 in 35mm and digital surround (Early DTS) and another screen had T2 in 70mm and Dolby 6-track.
Even though I was managing another theatre (the Metro), I had an opportunity to program a few midnights there. We found a print of OKLAHOMA! in Todd-AO (30 fps!) and it did pretty well— though we thought the projector was going to fly apart. WE did really well with a October midnight screening of THE EXORCIST in 70mm. It was an original roadshow print from the 70s, and the reds had faded a bit, but the sound was amazing.
I managed the UA Metro around 1990. Of all the theatres I ran for UA in San Francisco, it was my favorite. Such a beautiful building, mostly unchanged from it’s opening state. Huge Lalique-style murals on the walls. a Todd-AO projector with 70mm capability and very decent sound. Among the movies that screened there during my tenure:
• MEMPHIS BELLE in 70mm
• BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES in 70mm
• NOTHING BUT TROUBLE with Chevy Chase (total bomb. averaged 8 admissions per day. got a lot of gum scraped off the seats that fortnight)
• PARIS IS BURNING (a documentary about transvestite “balls” in New York. The SF Chronicle reviewer said up front that it had no business playing at the Metro, and should have opened at the Castro. With seven shows a day and sellouts every night, I totally cleaned up.)
• PRESUMED INNOCENT