Comments from thegrinch

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thegrinch commented about Liberty Theatre on May 9, 2008 at 11:38 pm

Patsy – Yes, the Haunted Hamburger. The folks in Jerome love to capitalize on their ‘ghost town’ heritage! A lot of the little businesses in town have some reference to ghost in their names. The Haunted Hamburger also has great views of the Verde Valley from the dining room and is propped up on stilts as I recall like so many of the homes and businesses in Jerome. Don

thegrinch commented about Liberty Theatre on May 8, 2008 at 8:36 pm

Patsy and Cinema Treasures folks – The old Grand Hotel is a great place to stay and EAT while in Jerome. When I last stayed there not all room are air conditioned so if you stay there in the hotter months you might want to be sure and get a room with a/c. The valley view from the hotel of the Verde Valley is pretty spectacular too. The old elevator is straight out of “Thoroughly Modern Millie” so practice your Charleston steps! The Haunted Hamburger cafe right by the turnoff to go to the hotel is a great place for lunch and supper if you don’t want to splurge at the gourmet restaurant at the hotel.

thegrinch commented about Parkway Theater on May 8, 2008 at 1:24 am

The Parkway was a nice theatre. I remember passing by it going through Chandler in the 60’s. It appeared to be a good sized theatre. It was located a few doors south of the famous San Carlos hotel where all the minor league baseball teams stayed during spring season. The theatre and hotel were part of a beautiful town square design business district typical of small towns in the 20s. There was another smaller theatre, possibly the State, in the east wing of this same square. I believe both buildings are still there but changed architecturally and hard to spot.

thegrinch commented about Liberty Theatre on May 8, 2008 at 1:05 am

Patsy (and Cinema Treasures fans) I believe Bob Altherr the current owner has the eagle figure which fell off the front of the building and sustained some damage. A friend is going to repair it and rehang it I believe. I haven’t been to Jerome in over a year so don’t know if that has happened. The interior is a mixture of fairly accurate restoration of the 1918 decor and design as far as the old balcony area (which is now the only part used as a theatre) and the main floor has undergone several redos such as having the floor flattened and the old stage area removed. It is a gift shop now and used to access the balcony for movies. Bob also wants to restore the original scallop style front above the original box office area.

thegrinch commented about Lowell Theater on May 8, 2008 at 12:53 am

The last time I drove through Lowell, probably about the same time Lost Memory took the photos in 2007 the theatre had been closed for sometime and was being used as a rental storage facility. I believe it had a For Sale sign in front. Most of the buildings around the theatre are part of the original business district of Lowell and have been closed for some time due to lack of business and the adjacent mining activity. There is a huge open pit copper mine to the rear of the theatre and the buildings on that side of the street.

thegrinch commented about Verde Valley Theatre on May 8, 2008 at 12:19 am

According to comments on the link supplied by Lost Memory on April 22, 2007, the Grand has now been renovated and has reopened doing live theatre. It appears it is only doing live plays and music acts, etc.

thegrinch commented about Royal Theatre on Apr 22, 2008 at 2:28 am

A thousand thank you’s to Lost Memory for his photo link. With it I finally cracked the code – to the Missing Link, at least partially. For years I have been trying to find out more information about a long ago Link theatre organ that was supposedly shipped to the YMCA in MOrenci, AZ in 1926. The building and that entire section of oldMorenci is apparently semi-ancient history, demolished when the huge open pit copper mine waw expanded. Possibly this occurred in the late 40s or early 50’s. Through the photo link Lost Memory of the Royal theatre I kept exploring and found a good picture of the YMCA building. Quite a impressive building for a dusty, backwater little mining town in 1926 Arizona! And when I zoomed the downloaded photo what should pop up but ANOTHER Royal theatre which appears to be part of the YMCA complex or attached to it. Further comparisons of other photos of more historic buildings in the link indicate that the first Royal was across the street from a large equally impressive original Morenci Hotel. The vertical “theatre” sign is easily seen in the 2nd photo after zooming and scrolling horizontaly across the street. I am awaiting a reply from someone the State Librarian referred me to in Greenlee CO in hopes she can provide some people and sources in that area that can provide good details on dates, architect, etc for both theatres. From looking at the wonderful pictures of the first Royal and the adjacent hotel I suspect both were designed by Henry Trost a well known early architect that did many historic buildings in Tucson and El Paso.
Contact me direct at ‘’ if anyone can shed additional light on thesubject in the meanwhile. Thx.

thegrinch commented about Lyric Theater on Dec 3, 2006 at 8:41 pm

The LYRIC is owned by the Lutes brothers who operate the Casino restaruant next door. From what Bob Lutes told me a couple years ago I didn’t think it was older than the late 1930s or early 40’s. Does anyone know if the Lyric was ever operated as the Casino theatre. I have been going nuts trying to track down a Casino theatre in Yuma.
Ken MC – could you email me off line about your 1923 data above? Email me at Thx. Don Story

thegrinch commented about Strand Theatre on Dec 3, 2006 at 7:51 pm

In 1920 a model C, Robert MOrton pipe organ was installed. It was subsequently moved to the Yeager theatre in Watts, CA in 1925.Don Story

thegrinch commented about Grand Theatre on Dec 3, 2006 at 7:37 pm

The Grand theatre was one of many theatres in southern AZ built or operated by the Diamos brothers. It had a Wurlitzer model 135 organ equipped with a roll player. The organ or parts of it are in storage in a Douglas church. Eugene Durfee was the architect for either the Ritz or Liberty theatre in Jerome, AZ also. He got that job because Jerome was also a big mining town and Durfee did work for the mines and was friendly with the Diamos brothers. Don Story

thegrinch commented about Alden Theater on Dec 3, 2006 at 7:28 pm

THe Alden theatre was also known as the Martin. Don’t know when the name change occurred. About 1917 they installed a Wicks 3 manual, 8 rank pipe organ. I was told it was the largest theatre organ in the state at the time. The Wicks was removed possibly in the early 50’s and installed in the First Christian Church on 7th Ave in Phoenix.
I would love to see some interior photos of the Alden taken when it was new. I have been told it was a very deluxe theatre for a mining town. Don Story

thegrinch commented about Chief Theatre on Nov 30, 2006 at 11:09 am

I believe the Chief had a 3 or 4 rank Robeert Morton organ installed about 1922. Disposition is unknown. If anyone has more details on the organ and disposition I would like to hear from them. Don Story

thegrinch commented about Rialto Theatre on Nov 28, 2006 at 9:06 pm

The link for the Rialto listed above is a nice Net site but its facts reference the Rialto having an organ are off by miles. The Rialto as best I have been able to determine never had an organ. At best it might have had a Photoplayer unit for a while. The Kilgen organ referred to on their website arrived at the Yuma theatre in the mid 1980s. It came from a theatre in southern California and was installed in a mortuary in Yuma in the 40s or 50s. It was moved from the mortuary to the Yuma theatre in the l980s when the local chapter of ATOS wanted to install it. They ultimately failed and the organ never got installed. It was parted out.
If you look closely at the enlarged photo of the Rialto interior from the balcony apparently taken when the theatre was new, there is no organ console in the pit area and the “organ grilles” on the sidewalls are painted on. Don Story

thegrinch commented about Rialto Theater on Nov 28, 2006 at 8:41 pm

The Rialto dates back to 1921. It had a sytle 210 Wurlitzer organ shipped 4/1921. The theatre was well equipped and featured vaudeville and live animal acts even. It was probably Phoenix’s most deluxe theater until the Orpheum came along. The organ wound up in the Phoenix College auditorium in the 50’s and was a shadow of its former self. It has been undergoing a major redo by the local chapter of the American Theatre Organ Society for the last year. Don Story

thegrinch commented about Plaza Theatre on Nov 28, 2006 at 8:28 pm

The Plaza was located on W. Congress and was demolished in the 60s or 70s when the new county government and superior court buildings were built. It was built in the early 30s and had a attractive Spanish Mission exterior. It primarily showed Spanish language films and I think was operated by the Diamos family which owned many of the theatres in southern Arizona. Don Story

thegrinch commented about Nile Theater on Nov 28, 2006 at 8:23 pm

The Niles did indeed have a Wurlitzer which interestingly stayed in the theatre after it closed. The theatre apparently retained much of its interior architecture and became a dress shop for quite a few years. The Wurlitzer was used to play for style shows in the store. After that it was moved to a Catholic church in downtown Phoenix until I think the late Bill Brown aquired it and parted it out but still had the console until fairly recently. Don Story