Comments from TheaterBuff1

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TheaterBuff1
TheaterBuff1 commented about Uptown Theater on Aug 4, 2008 at 6:38 am

What you’re saying is that the Uptown was off to a bad start, in other words, but over time it overcame this because the theater itself was so great. And that’s saying a great deal for the Uptown Theatre actually. I’d be curious to know what caused the delay, while trying to envision what things were like in Chicago in 1925 that might’ve caused it. I don’t know how hot the summers get up there in Chicago, but 1925 was before air-conditioning, was it not? So I’m thinking an extraordinary heatwave might’ve been a contributing factor. Also, the building of movie palaces at that time, as opposed to silent movie houses, was still in its experimental infancy, creating circumstances whereby the audiences would’ve been a bit more understanding than they would’ve been otherwise — an excuse that simply cannot be used in today’s world when it comes to reopening movie palaces.

If my assumptions are correct regarding how it was in 1925, apparently things were much better along three years later, because the Boyd movie palace here in Philadelphia, PA was scheduled to open on Christmas Day, 1928, and by golly it did! Maybe it did so based on a hard lesson learned from what happened regarding the Uptown’s delayed opening three years earlier, who knows? Any info on what the public’s reaction was when the Uptown’s grand opening was delayed by 17 days? It would be a sad statement about the Uptown, at least at the onset, if there wasn’t any.

TheaterBuff1
TheaterBuff1 commented about Boyd Theatre on Aug 4, 2008 at 6:13 am

When movie theater going was at its height, it would not have been unusual for movie palaces such as the Boyd to run at full capacity daily. But that shouldn’t be the expected norm at any time. For if it’s looked upon that way it’s the worst possible way to try to run a theater, and accounts for why so many Philadelphia theaters folded. For that’s a terrible — and might I add extremely arrogant — pressure to put on the public; to expect them to pack the movie palace every day, and if they don’t, shame on them, blame the public for the theater’s failure and all that. It’s great if a theater can run at full capacity daily, but a theater should not be budgeted at if it automatically will. Rather, a much more down to earth expectation, and how the theater operational budget should be geared, is for a fairly good turnout on weekends and holidays, but just a small smattering of dedicated theater-goers all other times. And any theater attendance beyond that should be treated as unexpected windfall only. There are many things theaters can and should do to increase theater attendance. But putting a guilt trip on the public for not coming as often as the theater operator thinks it should should not be one of them.

To be a great theater operator you have to love people, and by that I mean love them for what they really are, not what you want them to be. If you can’t do that you don’t belong in the theater business, period. And to love people for what they really are in this instance means that any turnout, whether it’s a huge one or small, should be seen as a great turnout. Furthermore, a theater’s operational budget should be based on the annual take, not the daily one. We should not be thinking how much this theater can make per day but how much per year, and base every budget projection on that alone. A theater should be set up so that it operates daily, but not with the expectations that it will get a good turn out daily. For that’s the best way to kill a theater I know of.

TheaterBuff1
TheaterBuff1 commented about Uptown Theater on Aug 3, 2008 at 7:33 am

Using a retroactive approach, there has to be a resolve what we want the end result to be, when we want this to be, and then we have to fill in how we got from Point A — where the Uptown is now — to Point B — where we want it to be, and when.

In my saying this, a good example that comes to mind is the Olympics. Imagine if on the day the Olympics is scheduled to begin we get told, “Er, it’s not ready yet, folks, please give us another year or so before it finally will be.” When it comes to the Olympics such an occurrence is unthinkable. It’s quite clear the show must go on when it’s scheduled to go on, no ifs, and or buts. And to the best of my knowledge no hosting city ever dropped the ball when it came to this. And while I understand that when the Uptown is fully restored it’s to be a thing of permanence and not merely temporary, why should they make a difference really? When the first Disneyland in Anaheim was scheduled to open on such and such a date, it opened on that date, and that was (and remains) a thing of permanence. And it’s really the only way to get things done in my opinion.

And in the Uptown’s case so much that needs to be done to make the dream real has already been done. It’s passed the two massive barriers of finding the best location for it and the best architects to design it. It’s already located in one of the greatest cities in the U.S., and believe me, theater architects don’t come better than Rapp & Rapp! And that much is all fully squared away now. So now comes the big question when will it be reopened, and all the rest is just fill in the pieces — the same as it is when it comes to the Olympics, or building Disneyland. People do it, you know. Why should it be any different here?

TheaterBuff1
TheaterBuff1 commented about Uptown Theater sold to Jam Productions on Aug 3, 2008 at 6:38 am

All those alternative ways to restore the Uptown you list would pretty much be as bad as just going ahead and tearing it down completely! However it gets restored, the end result must be that it has all the look and feel of the Uptown at its best. For as theaters go, this one is hardly small change. I regard it as one of the greatest movie palaces in the country, if not the world, even in its current ruinous state. It fully makes clear why Cornelius & George Rapp were the greatest movie theater architects of all time. To give an analogy, if Michelangelo were to reappear in today’s world looking for some place to fit in, what would we tell him? “Hmmm, well maybe we can possibly use you designing store window mannequins over at that new clothing boutique up on the next block”? I mean, come on! We’re talking Rapp & Rapp here! And this theater is one of their greatest masterpieces, and we need to revere it accordingly. And I hope that’s not a difficult thing for those currently deciding its future to come to grips with, otherwise this country over all is in far worse shape than I originally thought!

TheaterBuff1
TheaterBuff1 commented about Boyd Theatre on Aug 3, 2008 at 6:03 am

LuisV, I am not strictly against condos and do feel they have the power to greatly improve certain areas. And you gave a very good example of how this is possible and where it has happened. What ntrmission was being critical of and that I was quick to agree with him on was condos at the Jersey Shore. For believe me, condos have not helped to turn things around there for the better in the least, not even in Atlantic City. And if offshore drilling with its inevitable occasional oil spills now comes to crown off all that totally inappropriate development that keeps going up there, and that in the past should never have been permitted to go up there, New Jersey will pretty much be done for completely.

Here in Philadelphia, meantime, we have a case of a classic movie theater building that was saved from the wrecking ball by being turned into a condo-like apartment complex highrise — the Oxford up in Northeast Philadelphia. And though the man who saved that building by converting it to this was well-intentioned, the end result was disastrous, and today it can only be described as Section 8 housing. It might not be that technically, but it has that look and feel to it, and does not help the surrounding neighborhood in any way.

In the case of the Boyd, it’s currently located in an area of the city that in many ways is seeing tremendous forward strides but that also has a severe homeless problem in the shadows that needs to be resolved in the right way, while it’s not clear yet what that right way is. And no, giving them one-way tickets and busing them all up to live in the Oxford isn’t! In the past, when the Boyd was in its glory last, all these homeless would’ve been employed and contributing to Philadelphia’s over all economy greatly — hence how the Boyd got to be so glorious in its earlier run. And I’d be curious to know how NYC took on and solved this problem if by chance it had it for a time. For in Philadelphia’s case it’s not a problem that simply can be solved by closing eyes and it will simply go away.

TheaterBuff1
TheaterBuff1 commented about Uptown Theater on Aug 2, 2008 at 4:40 am

Well my hope, of course, is that the Uptown’s restoration will show a totally different variation on the word “realistic,” as opposed to what we saw in the Boyd Theatre’s case in Philadelphia, PA, and that the Uptown’s restoration will demonstrate that what those in Philly insist can’t be done CAN be done. I see no reason why the Uptown’s restoration can’t work, and within the time frame presented, if it’s strictly adhered to.

And my hope is that those involved with the Boyd will be able to humbly watch and learn from what they observe, and apply the lessons learned to restoring the Boyd.

One can dream, can’t he?

TheaterBuff1
TheaterBuff1 commented about Boyd Theatre on Aug 1, 2008 at 7:24 am

Last I recall, F.W. Woolworth became Woolco, but maybe that’s now gone the way of nostalgia, too. But I’ll tell you, while so many of us today pine for the past, those in the past just went ahead and brought about the things they wanted for themselves, the things you listed, and with nothing to stop them. It was called — and this might sound like a very alien, foreign word to many people reading this today — “freedom.” Put your time machine hat on and imagine right now is 1927 or so. Your name is Alexander Boyd, and you have this idea that you want to build a theater…no, make that a movie palace. You want to build a movie palace. Now with that said, what’s standing in your way? You have the location picked out and purchased, and the architectural firm of Hoffman & Henon has just come through with a really great design for this theater you seek to build and exactly as you picture it. So with that, you hire the contractors, work gets underway full swing, and by Christmas day 1928, wa la! You offer to the world the newly opened Boyd! And what was missing from what I just laid out the steps of? Only one thing: Obstacles. There were no obstacles. Try doing that same exact thing today and you realize how different now is from then. It’s like back then obstacles — or perhaps shackles I should say — hadn’t been invented yet or something. That is, between 1927 and now, who is this idiot who invented obstacles? And who is the nutcase lawyer who granted this idiot the patent for it so he could begin mass-marketing it?!

It’s one way of looking at this matter anyway.

TheaterBuff1
TheaterBuff1 commented about Uptown Theater sold to Jam Productions on Jul 31, 2008 at 7:08 am

When I said what I did, I wasn’t sure what shape the Uptown is currently in. But if it must be fully closed for restoration, I like the fact that the restoration plan has a timeline. When I hear that I think, ah, now we’re talking! There also appears to be a set budget outline, too. Another, great!

TheaterBuff1
TheaterBuff1 commented about Boyd Theatre on Jul 31, 2008 at 6:45 am

Brucec, my mindset on the Boyd is that at this point I’d be happy to see it reopen as a theater in any capacity! But I do think it has to be flexible to adjust for whatever the greatest demand is. Meantime, there was the rumor, I don’t know if it was ever true, that the Kimmel Center was holding the Boyd’s restoration back when it was heard that the Boyd would try to compete with it. And if that rumor was true, what can you do? That’s just the way of cutthroat competition. And I don’t know about anybody else, but I think it would be suicidal to try to go against the Kimmel Center.

Which is why I stressed that the Boyd should concentrate on becoming a movie theater once more, particularly for Cinerama, if possible, and also to become Philadelphia’s first Digital Cinema theater, neither of for which there’s any competition now.

What we really need in this city right now, and which really hit home recently with all the excitement in other theaters throughout the country over THE DARK KNIGHT, is that special movie palace we need to be able to flock to in droves when such attention drawing movies come along. It’s like build it and they will come. But if anyone thinks they can make a go of the Boyd being a live performance venue, taking into account the competition and so on, I’m not going to argue with that. I just don’t want to see anybody lose their shirt is all, hence my emphasis on flexibility. And if it could somehow be adopted from the Uptown’s restoration plan, I love the fact that they have time lines set and would love to see that applied to the Boyd as well, as it didn’t seem to be on the last run.

And to Ntrmission, I know exactly what you mean. That said, however, there is such a thing where in some cases there’s free enterprise, and how do you fight it? Such as when they took down the Fox being a good example. It’s being razed was not meant as an act of hostility or a cultural attack, but was just simply the way of progress. As beautiful as an old theater it was, it no longer worked for that location.

As for what’s happening at the Jersey Shore, I threw in the towel on that a long time ago. And that was not a case of progress by any means. At the point I threw in the towel there should’ve been a moratorium on all new construction there plain and simple. The Shore when you’re at the Shore should feel like it’s at the Shore, and anything that goes against the grain of that should be said no to. But in that case money was the only thing allowed to rule and all else be damned. And to me that was crossing the line from free enterprise to outright senseless greed at the expense of all else. There are a lot of ways money can be made, but it doesn’t mean that all of them are right. As for what rose up in the DuPage’s place I don’t know if anything has yet or not. For in that case it’s kind of like what do you build in the place of where the World Trade Center stood? For I’m not absolutely against condos per se. I had no complaints whatsover when Symphony House rose up. It’s just a matter of where they rise up, and on what emotional level they do. I absolutely can’t stand any of the condos at the Jersey Shore, because I know of the outright hostility that was behind them, the hate of fellow man and nature, the love of money.

TheaterBuff1
TheaterBuff1 commented about Boyd Theatre on Jul 30, 2008 at 8:53 am

The tension in the Chicago Uptown’s case is very much linked to what befell the DuPage Theater which was in a suburb of Chicago. You can read what happened to the DuPage at the following link, but please be forewarned of the very disturbing photo they show:

View link

To me what happened regarding the DuPage was a bona fide crime and I don’t know how that could’ve happened in America. But it did. And not only was it an attack on a building, but a whole culture of people for whom the realm of the theater is valued as much as anything that others place a high value on. Think how far theater goes back in our whole entire human history, how whole generations have grown up in reverence to it spanning back thousands of years, of the very vital role that theater has played throughout humanity’s advance. Like the Chicago Uptown Theatre, ranked as one of the largest in the U.S., the DuPage was also designed by the architectural firm of Rapp & Rapp which today stand as legendary. Though the DuPage wasn’t anywhere near as large as the Uptown, it was one of the rare few atmospheric theaters that the Rapp & Rapp firm had turned out, and most certainly right up there with John Eberson, who specialized in this. Yet there was no one there to stop when they came for it. No one. And it wasn’t like we were at war or anything. This was just an innocent theater that some well-meaning people were trying to restore, that’s all. No crime whatsoever was being committed there. But the way those who wanted it down went after it, well, read Cinema Treasure’s DuPage page if you can stomach it. It got so bad CT finally had to shut it down, of course. And while certainly people have their rights to their own opinions and tastes, this story went way over that line. Here were a people who wanted to do away with somebody else’s opinions and tastes, and they did so in the most physical manner. And with nothing to stop them, as though it was all very “right and proper.” So naturally there’s some concern with Chicago’s Uptown being next to get hit in that same fashion. But I certainly hope not. And could the same thing happen here in Philadelphia regarding the Boyd? Fortunately, the Boyd is in a good part of the city where I don’t think it could. But, given the times we’re living in, as signified by what happened to the DuPage and what could happen next to Chicago’s Uptown, well, you see the current times as well as I do.

TheaterBuff1
TheaterBuff1 commented about Uptown Theater on Jul 30, 2008 at 7:36 am

RobertR, yes, the DuPage came down in its entirety and you can read all about it at this link (but please be forewarned of the very very upsetting photo they show) — View link

I don’t know how that story could’ve happened in America! Nazi Germany, yes, but in America? No, this was not what we’re supposed to be about. And I don’t know how anybody could operate a wrecking crane against a building such as that, and not feel the great disgrace of what it is they’re doing. For I look at that building and those who sincerely sought to restore it and can only ask, what crime? What crime did it commit? What crime was here? This had been a beautiful, beautiful theater and something that anyone should be so lucky to have. And when they took this theater down they weren’t just attacking a theater but a whole culture of people. We talk about trying to introduce laws against hate crimes in this country? Well here you go, folks. Take a look. For if this wasn’t a hate crime among hate crimes I don’t know what is.

Those who enjoyed watching the DuPage come down and asked what the big deal was? Well, here’s what the big deal was. They should try designing a theater such as that themselves and see what little they could do to even begin to hold a candle to it. To take one’s hand against another’s art and then walk away totally scot free, that’s not a crime? What kind of country are we? In this instance they did it because they could. And nobody was there to stop them. Why?

And I ask what’s to stop that same element if it decides to go after the Uptown next? I sure hope there’s a good answer to that. Otherwise, God help us.

TheaterBuff1
TheaterBuff1 commented about Uptown Theater sold to Jam Productions on Jul 30, 2008 at 5:27 am

I’d be curious to know just how operable this theater is here and now, even though it might be a bit worn for the wear. All the successful theater restorations I’m aware of operated at some capacity during the restoration period, while I don’t know of any successful theater restorations that didn’t. To me fully shutting a theater down until it’s completely restored comes down to second guessing what the public will like when it finally reopens. It’s like custom tailoring a suit for somebody without having around the person who the suit is being custom tailored for, and hoping it will fit right when it’s finally completed. And I say why do that when there’s many people who would love to attend the theater while it’s undergoing its restorational evolution? from an audience point of view there’s something endearing about that experience, a sense of connectedness, like having grown up with somebody and having come through all the thick and thin. So I hope its new owner will consider that strategy.

TheaterBuff1
TheaterBuff1 commented about Boyd Theatre on Jul 30, 2008 at 4:46 am

While we’re focusing on what happens next with the Boyd we should also be keeping an eye on what’s going on with the Uptown in Chicago as well. Recently put up for auction, it was just bought by Jam Productions. But, that’s no guarantee that the Uptown will be restored and reopened as a theater, even though it already has historic protection designation status. As usual, this is a very difficult time for movie palaces, whether here in Philadelphia or there in Chicago, and just about everywhere else in the U.S. as well. I would hope that we’ll eventually get to the other side of this trend, but who knows what’s still going to be standing when we do? Which is why I feel your idea is a very good one, ntrmission. I remember years ago when I was visiting Hamburg, Germany being taken by what I mistook for very historic old buildings, in that case Medieval structures, only to be told that they were simply newly built from the ground level up replicas of what had stood before the bombing of Hamburg during WWII. But they looked so old and genuine they sure fooled me! But based on that, I say yeah, if they could do that, when the right time comes we could build accurate replicas of whatever gets lost in this current period we’re in — IF we ever get to the other side of it. And replicating 1920s Art Deco? No sweat.

TheaterBuff1
TheaterBuff1 commented about Uptown Theater on Jul 29, 2008 at 10:41 am

Rene Rabiela Jr. and Uptownjen, if I understand you both correctly, essentially you’re saying that the same formula that was applied to bringing down the DuPage is now about to be applied to the Uptown as well, all under the guise of an “effort” being made to “save” it. I’m starting to better understand this pattern now, though I was a bit slow at first.

TheaterBuff1
TheaterBuff1 commented about Uptown Theater to be auctioned on Jul 28, 2008 at 6:38 am

Do I see another DuPage tragedy in the making with this latest news flash? I sure hope not! The DuPage was another theater designed by the firm of Rapp & Rapp, in its case, located in Lombard, which is a suburb of Chicago. And in that case there was a heated rush to demolish it by a group of backwards-minded disidents even there was a sincere effort made on the part of a well-meaning group to try to restore it. But sadly, under the worse type of politics imaginable, it got demolished, while I wonder if we’ll see a repeat of that again here. I thought there was a good plan underway to restore the historic Uptown, so this news comes as a major shock to me!

TheaterBuff1
TheaterBuff1 commented about Uptown Theater on Jul 28, 2008 at 6:34 am

Do I see another DuPage tragedy in the making with this latest news flash? I sure hope not! The DuPage was another theater designed by the firm of Rapp & Rapp, in its case, located in Lombard, which is a suburb of Chicago. And in that case there was a heated rush to demolish it by a group of backwards-minded disidents even there was a sincere effort made on the part of a well-meaning group to try to restore it. But sadly, under the worse type of politics imaginable, it got demolished, while I wonder if we’ll see a repeat of that again here. I thought there was a good plan underway to restore the historic Uptown, so this news comes as a major shock to me!

TheaterBuff1
TheaterBuff1 commented about The Dark Knight Beats Estimates on Jul 27, 2008 at 4:38 am

Good point, AlAlvarez! But this one might be different. When I wrote that I was thinking of ON A CLEAR DAY YOU CAN SEE FOREVER, and THE WAY WE WERE, the latter matching up Streisand with Redford. Ouch! Another absolute disaster, the remake of A STAR IS BORN that had her opposite Kristofferson. But hey, not to come down too hard on her, I thought she wasn’t too bad opposite Nolte in PRINCE OF TIDES, and was actually somewhat good in MEET THE FOCKERS, though obviously none of these movies are blockbusters.

TheaterBuff1
TheaterBuff1 commented about The Dark Knight Beats Estimates on Jul 24, 2008 at 8:29 am

I always associate the term “fluke” with that which doesn’t deserve to getting a high level of praise and recognition for whatever freak reason, the “Emperor’s New Clothes” kind of thing. It’s subjectivity v. objectivity. In the subjective moment it seems like something really great, at least to many. But the long-term objective perspective reveals it for what it really is, or was, and that is, much ado about nothing. I’ve also often seen the word “fluke” used as a jealousy term. Case in point, at the height of Beatlemania many who couldn’t even begin to hold a candle to them referred to the Beatles as a “fluke.”

In response to your question, “Would TITANIC make $600 million domestic if it was released today?” in my opinion the answer is an absolute yes if it was all new and fresh as it was in 1997, as opposed to who by now hasn’t already seen it? The reason why is because the underlying premise of the movie is just so timeless, ever ongoingly analogous of what’s happening in any given moment, at least somewhere. Also in response to your question, what great movie past ever did as well the second time around at the box office as it did the first? That is, speaking of movies that did really well box office-wise the first time around?

As for your saying some now laugh at TITANIC the same way I now laugh at STAR WARS, other than the use of minor cliches — such as DiCaprio at one point saying he’s “just a tumbleweed blowing in the wind” (ouch!) — what are they now laughing at exactly? In other words, what shows up as glaring flaws in the film now that didn’t show up at the time of its release?

Right now the moment belongs to THE DARK KNIGHT, and I for one think that’s great, even if after 10 years from now time will show it up as having been a fluke, which time hasn’t done in the TITANIC’s case. It’s sad that its biggest driving force, the late Heath Ledger, will never get to make another movie again, that he’ll never know the high praises he’s now receiving, and to use the momentum of this to go on to top his last achievement the same way the Beatles got to do, or Brando, or Dustin Hoffman, or whoever. Right now with THE DARK KNIGHT one can only ask what if Ledger had lived a bit longer? For we need those super achievers; what is life worth without them? For I believe we just saw a glimpse of that in the period when the hoopla over the TITANIC subsided and just prior to THE DARK KNIGHT’s release. Let us hope THE DARK KNIGHT represents a new dawning in cinematic excitement, and that in a month from now we’ll see the same success happen again, and again and again and again following that, though it’s a shame Philadelphia, with its oppressive movers & shakers who “know it all” won’t get to participate.

TheaterBuff1
TheaterBuff1 commented about The Dark Knight Beats Estimates on Jul 23, 2008 at 8:38 am

When it comes to movies presented in theaters, to be sure, this is what it’s all about, why the movie theater industry should be strongly supported by politicians and others rather than downplayed in any way as if “passe”! I think of all the efforts I made in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania over the past several years to try to bring at least one or two of its classic old theater buildings back to life as theaters once again so as to be in perfect position for great moments such as this, only for my efforts to be harshly criticized, and fully blocked, at every turn, by those “experts” who know so much better than me. And ah, notice how they’re strangely silent in this instance. Not a peep. Interesting, very interesting.

One other thing, Cliff Stephenson, no offense, but in no way whatsoever was TITANIC a fluke! STAR WARS yes. I look at STAR WARS now and I laugh at it. In fact, I laughed at it back when others were singing such high praises of it. But TITANIC in stark contrast was — and remains — one heck of a great movie! I can watch that movie even today and still feel the impossible to turn away from entrancement I felt the first time I saw it — even though I now know fully by rote what happens next from one scene to the next. For everything is so perfect about it, and I mean that in a timeless way. A fluke is just something in the moment, that years later everyone asks why it had been so popular at the time. BORN FREE, for instance, or just about every movie that Barbra Streisand ever made. Or E.T. Not that there’s anything wrong with flukes. They have their place to. And regarding THE DARK KNIGHT, it’s much too soon to judge whether it’s a fluke or not. (Er, with Philadelphia currently being the way it is, compliments of the know-it-alls, I’ve not seen it yet.) But if it is or isn’t a fluke, I think it’s great that people are feeling this enthusiastic about seeing movies in actual theaters once more!

TheaterBuff1
TheaterBuff1 commented about Strand Theatre on Jul 19, 2008 at 8:02 am

They just ran a report on ABC’s World News Tonight earlier tonight (today being July 18, 2008) about how business is really booming at the box office this year. Check out the following link:

http://abcnews.go.com/WN/story?id=5387182&page=1

So if Ocean City, New Jersey’s Strand is in a slump this year in the face of this smashing movie theater success going on everywhere else, it makes a very loud and clear statement about the klutzes now running Ocean City. I also caught on the local news in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania tonight (WPVI Channel 6) a piece about how this weekend, while there’s a heatwave going on all throughout the tri-state region, there’s a ban on swimming in the Atlantic Ocean in Ocean City in the vicinity of 8th and 9th street (where the Strand is located) due to a sewer malfunction or whatever. See the following link:

View link

On the news report they showed the lifeguard stands there with signs attached to them saying swimming is prohibited, and police in uniforms patrolling the water line on ATVs to make sure the ban is upheld — as in, is this a scene straight out of THE PLANET OF THE APES or what?!

But that said, Jim-L, if Ocean City was being run right, and of course it hasn’t been for many many years now, you’d have absolutely no problem eating off the salary you’d make working at the Strand. For you’d be making that and then some right now, believe me. Most people who go to Ocean City nowadays, as well as many well-meaning people who try to operate businesses there, are not aware that as seashore resorts go Ocean City has been being run illegally for many many years now, and unquestioned at that. I stopped going there years ago in response to how it was illegally changed around, but was astonished how those who continued to go didn’t riot at some point. If it could be possible to round up the current Ocean City movers & shakers and lock them up in prison where they belong — and there certainly is the legal basis for doing this — Ocean City could be brought back to being a really beautiful seaside resort once more, complete with movie theaters galore. Right now all Ocean City is is a testament to how gullible and obsequious some American vacationers can be, apparently a sociological experiment of some sort in the eyes of those who refuse to intervene. I told the authors of THE SOPRANO STATE: NEW JERSEY’S CULTURE OF CORRUPTION not long ago that if they plan to write a sequel, Ocean City should be made a major chapter.

Anyhow, thanks to the Frank’s mismanagement, or whoever it is that’s mis-running it now, it can’t be enjoying the box office boom that other movie theaters throughout the U.S. are enjoying right now.

TheaterBuff1
TheaterBuff1 commented about Start a volunteer program? on Jul 8, 2008 at 6:11 am

The benefits of volunteering can be extremely rewarding, just so long as there’s something for those volunteers at rainbow’s end. It doesn’t have to be money, but it must be a surefooting of some kind. For I know of cases where people have volunteered their whole lives to this or that, only for the city to step in and give it all away right out from under them, leaving those volunteers totally emptyhanded. Many of us no doubt remember the back to the earth movements of the 1960s and early ‘70s when sincere efforts were made to walk away from capitalism and get positive things done in other ways. Which was a beautiful thing to witness! But not so beautiful to witness when such wonderful outcomes were wiped out when land values started going through the roof, and property taxes and other things were introduced to gentrify these great outcomes out of existence. It’s something that all who work for free have to be wary of and ready for from the onset to make sure that never happens.

TheaterBuff1
TheaterBuff1 commented about Ritz 5 Theatres on Jul 6, 2008 at 4:43 am

I know that temperatures get warmer the farther south you go (that is, here in the northern hemisphere), but from the northeast portion of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Philadelphia’s Center City — where this theater is located — I didn’t realize the distance between Northeast Philadelphia and Center City Philadelphia is so great that when it’s cold winter up here it’s very summer like down there. But photos don’t lie, do they?

TheaterBuff1
TheaterBuff1 commented about Strand Theatre on Jul 2, 2008 at 4:16 am

At the very least, we the posters get to post what the latest status of a theater is, which is what I go by. And now we know what the story is with Tecumseh’s Strand, though I was hoping to hear that it was still standing, and better still, that it was still a theater. What’s sad in this case is that nobody remembers it so that good lessons learned from it can be carried over to theaters anew. I myself have never been to a theater that I have no memories of, unlike how it is with other types of businesses. For how do you forget a theater, given the much more intimate nature of it then say a supermarket, or drugstore, or even a motel for that matter?

But here’s a theater that, so far, at least, nobody remembers. And was it really that bad? Or just…well, what else could it be? But even if it was a terrible theater I’d still like to know, well why was it a terrible theater as an important thing to know in going forward.

In any event, thanks Lost Memory for letting us know what its current status is!

TheaterBuff1
TheaterBuff1 commented about Devon Theater for the Performing Arts on Jun 25, 2008 at 6:38 am

Jack, of the two of us, I’m not the one with feathers, in reference to speaking the truth about the Devon, which, if I’m not mistaken, is a Cinema Treasures' topic. So was that another Freudian slip on your part or what? You know things about this that you’re not telling, while I’d be curious to know if you know what Rich Costello’s position on it is, he being the former Philadelphia F.O.P. president who’s going to be running against Perzel in the fall (2008 — my making a special point to give the date in this instance as I’m sure we’ll be having this same discussion 100 years from now, “Anything new on the Devon?”)

Meantime, it seems odd to me that Drexel University, which is in a whole other universe, is sponsoring the Devon’s alleged restoration.

But then, what isn’t odd in this particular Cinema Treasures' story? We could go on to say that Ho Chi Minh XIII plans to emcee the opening ceremonies in 2135, of course. To which we could all say, “Why yes! Of course!” That’s how odd this whole Devon Theatre story is.

TheaterBuff1
TheaterBuff1 commented about Aloha Theatre on Jun 25, 2008 at 5:50 am

Uh oh, with an asking price such as that you see what’s going on there. It’s going to become one of those cases where future passerby-ers will ask, “Hey, wasn’t there a theater there?” and others with pockets stuffed with money will reply, “No, your memory is deluding you, there was never any theater here, that big [ugly] condominium complex you see is all that was ever there, that and nothing else” — the whole “To be rich is glorious” thing, if you know what I’m getting at.