Comments from zooklaw

Showing 17 comments

zooklaw commented about Parkway Theatre on Sep 29, 2006 at 1:46 pm

The Parkway has been purchased by the owner of Pepito’s, the nextdoor restaurant.

zooklaw commented about Gayety Theatre on Aug 24, 2006 at 12:33 pm

On its former location, the entrance parlor floor of Runyon’s restaurant is still marked “Gayety Annex”

zooklaw commented about Shakopee Town Square on May 18, 2006 at 10:35 am

Shakopee was originally built by GTI Theatres of MN. It was among a series of multiplexes built for booth-independent operation from the lobby with Christie endless loop platters. The theatre was purchased by Marcus Cinemas in 2000, and I would believe that it has since had its endless loop platters converted to standard setups, like the Rosemount Theatre.

zooklaw commented about Rosemount Theater on May 18, 2006 at 10:07 am

Its largest auditorium has a capacity of almost 300. Its smallest has just over 100 seats. Dolby Digital & DTS when I worked there, though DTS was only present in the large auditorium. Rosemount’s stadium retrofit features a more gradual slope than neighboring theatres, as it was originally a traditional multiplex. Before its 2003 remodel, a lighted chandelier hung from the center of the lobby & a fountain sat opposite the concession stand. Bathrooms were larger than any multiplex nearby. Auditoria have curtain-padded walls with blue, red & green colors in different auditoria.

Rosemount features Christie Projectors & platters. Some screens are not correctly proportioned for the cinemascope aspect & suffer from image bleed onto the walls. GTI opened this location in 1993 & like Shakopee & Apple Valley, intended this to be a lobby-run theatre, with endless loop platters & automation controls behind the concession stand. In 2002, the ELF’s were converted to conventional platters & lobby operation discontinued, thankfully.

zooklaw commented about Varsity Theater on May 18, 2006 at 9:36 am

The Varsity Theater is managed by the staff of the neighboring Loring Pasta Bar.

zooklaw commented about Centennial Lakes 8 on May 18, 2006 at 9:21 am

Centennial Lakes bowed after Burnhaven, but 2 years before Mall of America. It’s opening highlighted the Centennial Lakes Business Park & General Cinema had several special events in its first open year.

A no-frills GCC design, Cinemeccanica projector heads, Dolby & Kintek stereo, later upgraded to digital & a few 70mm titles played there throughout the early nineties. Not always the theatre with a good reputation for presentation quality, AMC’s acquisition of GCC, the construction of the new Eden Prarie multiplex & later the AMC buyout of the Megastar 16-plex in Southdale were all reasons for its closing. 24 AMC screens within a mile of each other seemed to be too excessively saturating the Edina market.

zooklaw commented about Ritz Theater on May 9, 2006 at 2:36 pm

The Ballet of the Dolls will be performing at the restored Ritz Theatre, beginning May 2006.

zooklaw commented about UA Movies 5-8 at Burnsville on Apr 26, 2006 at 2:23 pm

UA’s Burnsville operation was split between The Movies 1-4 inside the mall, adjacent to JC Penny, and the Movies 5-8 in the parking lot. 1-4 opened with the mall in 1977, 5-8 in 1983. Each cinema had one DTS equipped auditorium at their closing, neither UA or Regal had upgraded the cinemas any further than that.

I would believe that 1-4 had projection booths behind each auditorium, elevated just above seating level. 1-4 used Bauer projectors and Prime Energy backwards-spinning platters. 5-8 had an upstairs booth with Century projectors & ORC platters & consoles.

1-4 was particularly crowded because the entrance from the box office, concession lines, bathroom lines & exit pathways all converged on the same space. For years, this theatre was overattended & packed. 5-8 was only slightly better; the lobby was still shoulder-to-shoulder on busy nights.

Both buildings had awful earth-tones throughout. The mall had a huge marquee sign erected on county road 42 for the life of theater that was always hard to read & often sloppy. Truly an example of a run down little mall theatre in each case.

zooklaw commented about CMX Market Cinema Experience on Apr 25, 2006 at 9:24 am

At one time, the Mall of America 14 was among the most profitable theatres in the nation. It was the first wildly big complex in the Minneapolis area. During the special screening of D2: The Mighty Ducks, the MOA14 became Minnesota’s first theatre to utilize Dolby Digital sound. Opening on the cusp of the digital sound age, it received a modest opening treatment, with (as my memory serves) half dolby stereo, half kintek… to half digital, four dolby and three kintek as of their buyout by AMC, and supposedly all digital under AMC. I believe one house remains THX certified. Otherwise, a basic GCC setup with Cinemeccanica projectors & AW3 platters.

MOA14’s seating is barely sloped, making it somewhat of a dinosaur among stadium mall theatres like Southdale & Eden Prarie down the road. The last time I was there in 2004, #7 had several blown speakers. It still receives attendance appropriate to its location. But there is talk that AMC may sign on to build a larger complex in MOA’s planned expansion north towards Ikea.

Much of the fanfare from its first decade has died down. Fewer special events & celebrity appearances take place than before. But, with the dubious distinction of being on-site, the MOA14 remains popular with some shoppers.

zooklaw commented about Riverview Theater on Apr 25, 2006 at 9:08 am

As of 2005, the sound system at Riverview was upgraded to a new Dolby Digital system, featuring a set of sensurround subwoofers behind the screen.

zooklaw commented about St. Anthony Main Theatre on Apr 25, 2006 at 9:06 am

The design for the theatre was actually laid out by the city of Minneapolis. Engler’s built the facility, but had to bow out of the cinema market, partly due to troubles with their restaurant franchises.

Old signage from UA & Reading is still present in the mall surrounding the theatre.

zooklaw commented about Burnhaven Cinema 8 on Apr 25, 2006 at 9:00 am

The Burnhaven is located in the parking lot of the Burnsville Center shopping mall. It is only a rough block from the former UA theaters of that mall. Burnhaven would play complimentary content to the mall theaters. Often times when you saw trailers for a film at Burnhaven, the feature would most likely open in the UA cinemas. I was once told this was because GCC was trying to cross-promote for its Har-Mar location.

Burnhaven was the better of Burnsville Center’s surrounding cinemas. It opened with half stereo, half mono, and later added digital sound in several auditoriums. The lobby was spacious with a large central concession stand, and a giant box office foyer, comparable to the space later built miles away at the Lakeville Theatre. The cinema had 4 auditoriums in two seperate wings.

Presentation was usually better than the UA theaters. I can recall far fewer film breaks & interruptions at Burnhaven. It was not always the cleanest, but it certainly trumped anything nearby. However, the opening of the Lakeville Theatre with stadium seating brought an end to movies at Burnsville Center, first with Burnhaven. This also came around the time of the AMC merger for GCC, and Burnhaven was apparently not looked at as a valuable location.

Comparatively, it was a better theater than average for the south metro.

zooklaw commented about Goodale Theatre on Apr 18, 2006 at 10:50 am

The Academy now boasts a Summer 2008 opening date as the Shubert Performing Arts Center. Last week, the building donned brown banners down the street-facing side of the vacant building. The Minnesota legislature apparently passed a bill which included $11 million for the restoration of the Academy, to be named the Shubert. It looks like the old lady will be back after all.

zooklaw commented about Nova 10 Cinemas on Dec 20, 2004 at 6:44 pm

Two auditoriums in this theater were THX certified for a period of time. Seen here, “The Mummy,” “Battlefield Earth,” and “George of the Jungle.” I believe that 5 or 6 auditoriums were equipped with digital sound. One of the more decent second run theaters I’ve attended.

zooklaw commented about Burton Cummings Theatre for the Performing Arts on Dec 6, 2004 at 6:39 pm

In April 2004 I was at the Pixies' reunion concert at the Burt. The view of the stage from the first balcony was spectacular, and the artwork above the stage was pristine and impressive. By far, one of the most beautiful venues I have ever had the pleasure of attending.

zooklaw commented about River Hills/Riviera Twin on Dec 6, 2004 at 6:32 pm

The buliding was to be demolished, last year, to make way for the new convention center/arena. And yes, the cinerama screen was still in place at close.

zooklaw commented about Heights Theatre on Dec 2, 2004 at 6:46 pm

This is one of the last Twin Cities' theaters to run changeover projection. They use three Norelco AAII projectors and have a full Dolby CP200 Sound System. The booth is capable of both manual and automated changeovers. Within the last few years they ran a 70mm Russian print of War and Peace, totalling 28 reels!