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Wonder what happened to the prow of the marquee.
Needs to have the bugs worked out. Several dozen of them, in fact.
Something odd. The historic photos of the Denis from opening day 1938, posted at the official site, show two distinctly different auditoriums.
The view toward the stage shows a center aisle. The view from the stage has no center aisle, but two side aisles.
Which is the real Denis?
In my small town, the whole staff was female. This was except for the owner, who was male and acted as projectionist.
But his wife and several women of high school-age or thereabouts ran the public aspects of the theaters. The same women worked there through my whole childhood (as far as I can recall).
Haven’t I seen mention somewhere (Ben Hall?) of all-female usher corps in a few big-city palaces? They were intended as a novelty, I think.
Back to ushers:
Are there any references to ushers in popular culture of the time? In songs for instance (“You’re the tops, you’re a Roxy usher … tra-la, tra-la”). Stories? Even movies? If your daughter’s date worked as an usher, was that a good thing? And so on … .
Soda jerks had a place in popular culture. I’m still curious if there was “romance” associated with ushers.
I wholly agree with the annoyance value of in-theater commercials as we experience them today.
But it has only just dawned on me that they aren’t a new thing; we were seeing them in the early 50s—and probably before, but I wouldn’t know. (This would make an interesting research project.)
My best memory suggests that these were pre-filmed ads to which the local dealer’s name was attached at the end, just as stock intermission ads might end with the theater’s name.
One difference: these were always part of the program, in my memory. They weren’t screened while the audience waited for the show to begin.
I recall as a small boy, in 1952-53, that we had ads for International trucks and a local jewelry store (and probably other businesses that I don’t remember) at the start of each program. They were separated by the title curtain, and I believe the main curtain closed over them, separating them from the rest of the program.
So, at least in small rural theaters, commercials were shown back then.
No one else remembers a thing like this?
Simon, many thanks.
Yes! In my case, I recall the red-coned Flashlight of Death, used to keep order in our small theater. (I think the Brits would call it a “torch of death.”)
As for projectionists, I’m not sure I ever oooohed or aahhhhed, but I did think it would be a cool job, up there manipulating the whole show. The owner of our small place (304 seats) was a showman to the core. Even at Saturday matinees, with no one but kids in the seats, he used the dimmers, the bright red main curtain and the white title curtain. Change-overs were perfect. He set a good example.
I recall wanting (and getting) a projector for Christmas, so that I could put on moves for family and friends. And I did …
Larry, thanks much for that response.
So, I take it that it had status appeal, and maybe was a cool job to hold?
Correction: I should have said two doors to the RIGHT in Lost Memory’s posts… .
This listing should be updated. The theater was demolished in the early 60s and replaced with a bank and parking lot. The space is now occupied by the Bank of America.
Click on the blue links below this shot and you’ll find a whole bunch more of this house (and others in the area). The stage in this place got used a lot. Nice shots.
The Movie House, like the nearby Guild, was a “reverse” theater. Meaning, you entered at the screen and proceeded back toward the seating.
The ocher-colored building two addresses to the left of Lost Memory’s Apr. 7 (and other) photo postings is the former Liberty Theater. I recall being fascinated by it as a small boy in the mid-50s, when it had been closed for some time. Its ground floor was gutted later to provide a Sears store, but the balcony apparently remained untouched until very recently, when the upper stories were converted to condominiums. (With drug money; the building is in receivership with the feds, who are trying to sell it.)
Sorry to intrude on the Tower thread …
Fun to read.
How much new equipment did theaters have to buy when they changed to Cinemascope?
Don’t fail to click the link above and then click through the photo links down the thread. The renovation is beautiful.
It is gorgeous, isn’t it? Those dark walls just make everything pop.
What was the original color scheme in the auditorium—walls, draperies, etc.?
Your link to Cinema Sightlines is 404.
Thanks. I had no idea the genre existed.
“1950’s trucking movies”?
I had no idea. Are there many of them?
It is lot #288 for those who don’t want to go through the whole catalog.
“Woodbun” should be Woodburn.
I used to attend frequently when I lived in Portland in the ‘80s.
Previous ownership, I know, but glad to see things carried onward and upward.
This was an atmospheric?
“Redundant pipes were removed.”
I’ve never known an organ—even a theater organ—with “redundant” pipes. Will you fill me in on that?