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I worked at the Golden State Theatre as an assistant manager in the early sixties. It was a wonderful old theatre, considered to be a B level or “move over” theatre from the Fox Riverside. Once in awhile, The Fox would hold a film several additional weeks if the seats were needed. This is how, we got to open “Dr. No” first run and pack the house for weeks.
Some of the odd memories were the wooden floors. The theatre had wooden floors and it was difficult for patrons to quietly leave their seats for a smoke.
Another memory was the extraordinary keystone angle of the balcony. Being first a legit theatre, the balcony was steep and intimate to the stage. Heaven help you on a change of program and as an employee you carried the film cans up through the balcony. If they ever got away from you, they wouldn’t stop until they hit the main floor.
Sometimes on a morning, I would take the box of keys that had long ago lost their name tags and would explore all the rooms in the theatre building. It took a great deal of patience but over time, I managed to open doors closed for decades. It was a wonderful time.
I was sad to learn of the fire. I don’t think anyone really appreciated the theatre for it was always in the shadow of the Fox, but any of us that worked there loved it as a very special place, not to be duplicated…ever again.