Dream Theater

301 Prescott Avenue,
Monterey, CA 93940

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MWoods
MWoods on February 11, 2013 at 1:38 pm

Just found this site, great comments and memories.I was lucky enough to find the 812(Rocky Horror/Yellow Sub)and then the Dream.Both places always gave great memories of good times(Mty High'68).Many Years later I was lucky/ unlucky enough to be assisting the demolition co. after they took possesion. I was asked what I might like from the theater after doing the owners a favor.I could not believe they were going to destroy everything!I told them the seats could have been auctioned in the parking lot along w/doors,lites,etc. The demo crew was from out of town- didn’t know anything about either theaters history or importance to locals.Long story short- I rescued all that I could, some light fixtures,the carved solid redwood double front doors, a single door (w/porthole),also the carved vine uprights and crossbeam that were holding up the balcony over the snackbar.(paid crew $100.00 to rem- ove structural beam)I also took cedar shakes from the out side wall and one of the outside porch railings. I wanted to save the whole theater- very sad when the excavators came and started putting it in dumpsters. I think people should know that some of the last remaining remnants of the 812 Cinema and the Dream Theater have been saved,and built into a beautiful barn house next to the Kootenai River, Mt. I’m sad to say we will be putting the house on the market in April. A great opportunity for someone else!

DougieD
DougieD on January 2, 2013 at 1:37 pm

Very cool place! The “double-seat/booths” were especially unique. You believed that it was just you and your date watching the movie by yourselves. If all the pillows were taken at the “812” theater, this was the place to go!

Dakota_Duke
Dakota_Duke on October 18, 2012 at 7:24 pm

Great memories of this beautiful theater from when I was studying Russian at DLI in 1971.

annamb62
annamb62 on June 9, 2012 at 7:15 pm

I was at DLI in 80-81 and making my first trip back to that area after 30 years and was so hoping to go to the Dream. I didn’t know at the time that the Pillow Theater was owned by the same people. Bummed that I won’t have an opportunity to visit either of these favorite hang-outs of mine and my friends.

opal_1970
opal_1970 on April 19, 2012 at 2:17 am

Similar to MpickensNfamily, I was stationed at DLI 89-90 and just happened to google it today. It is terrible, like finding out a old friend that has not been seen for years has passed away. I have too many memories to even begin to tell of the Dream Theater (E.Rose whereever you are). I can’t believe it is gone. I too always planned to take my family there one day. John Harris, thank-you, thank-you for giving me those memories. I deeply regret that the Dream is over but those memories will be with me to the end.

jbaron
jbaron on February 16, 2011 at 7:56 pm

I too have many great memories of the Dream Theater. I was a young sailor stationed at DLI from 1985 to 1986. School was easy for me, so I spent all my free time working the lighting for two shows at the Wharf Theater (Annie and You Can’t Take It With You). After the show a bunch of us would stumble down the rocky beach to watch The Rocky Horror Picture Show. We called out the lines from the front row, passing a two liter bottle of rum and a two liter of Coke between us throughout the show. I can only remember two people, Jonathan, and a tall guy who was a DJ at KNRY. I grew up with these people, I sowed my wild oats. The faces and names have gone, but the experiences live in my memories. The whole experience in Monterey was almost surreal for a kid that had never been out of Toledo, Ohio. I had hoped to one day visit the Theater again, but my career took me all over the world, never back to California

fanofct
fanofct on July 23, 2010 at 1:10 pm

Awoke from a sleep bored by a film on T.S. Eliot. Saw it out of hunger. The Dream was by far much more interesting. Beautiful, ornate, art deco tiffany mosaic composed the “DREAM” sign of the theatre, with a beautiful, long-haired woman illustrated as an angel casting the blessing of the sign on the earth called Monterey. Dark, ornate pine wood carved for utility and beauty housed the simple theatre. I recall seeing the film story above with a date, our two-seater “loveseat” bench ensconced — like others across the back wall — with armrest divider allowed us the quiet to which we awoke to an emptied theatre after the last Friday night showingand an usher who said it was, “Ok (to fall asleep and leave late), as we "were cute”.

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on June 28, 2010 at 3:09 pm

Great name and interesting photos.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on June 27, 2010 at 10:56 am

According to Boxoffice The Dream theatre will add two Theatres that will seat 80 and 90 people.The interior of each will be decorated in a “neondeco” style.With Silver mirrors and neon lights.

Boxoffice stated “THE GODS MUST BE CRAZY” had a nine month run at the Dream theatre. April 1986.

mhendricks
mhendricks on January 21, 2010 at 12:40 am

I know this is already old news by now. In fact, a very old thread.

I was just reminiscing with a past girlfriend about how we met at The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and I started telling her about the Dream Theater.
It prompted me to look it up, and I found this thread and learned that it has been demolished.

The Dream Theater meant a LOT to me. Three of my most important memories from growing up… one of which is a big part of who I am… happened in front of its beautiful screen.

To anyone who comes across this and is interested, I just wrote a blog post about the theater, those experiences, and how much it meant to me. Please give it a read if you have time and are interested in a little nostalgia. I would appreciate it.

View link

To John Harris: I’m sorry that it’s gone, but I’m glad it was there. Thank you for building something that will always have a special place in my heart and memories.

Michael Hendricks

Godanchev
Godanchev on December 5, 2008 at 10:07 pm

I was on a google map of Monterey and couldn’t find the Dream Theater. I didn’t realize it was gone. I caught the Rocky Horror Picture Show there several times. It was on TV last week and started me feeling nostalgic. I was watching the show with some friends whom had never before seen the movie. When Richard O'Brien and Patricia Quinn did their dance, I called out “ELBOW SEX”. I doubt if I’ll be watching TV shows with them again anytime in the near future. I can’t believe how much Monterey has changed. I too was stationed at the Presidio. I fell in love with the area. It had a charm that I have never found anywhere else. On Delores Ave in Carmel there was a place called The Studio. It was my first experience with dinner theater. I don’t think it exists anymore either. I’m in my late 50’s and not the greatest health. I doubt if I’ll ever get back to Monterey. From what I saw with the map, it’s just as well. It seems its beauty and charm have been destroyed. Anyway, I was sorry to hear that the Dream is gone. Godanchev.

selidor
selidor on June 23, 2008 at 9:52 pm

I was sent this site recently by a friend who found it. I was an usher/ticket taker at the 812 Cinema for several years in the early 70s. I then became a projectionist there and worked on the reconstruction of the building that would become the Dream Theater and documented a good portion of the progress on black and white film. I then became a projectionist at both theaters but only after running The Rocky Horror Picture show at the 812 Cinema a little under 1500 times over a period of almost two years. The representative of Twentieth Century Fox said he, nor anyone else at fox had ever seen a splicless copy of a one of their films that had a tenth of the showings of that particular print, and also the fact that it was as clear of spots, scratches etc.. as if it were a new print. I attribute this to the excellent training and attention to detail John Harris instilled in me. There are some inaccuracies in some of the posts about the theater. At one point there were actually two screens in the Dream Theater. And the 812 did not burn in the fire that took out several buildings next to it.

MpickensNfamily
MpickensNfamily on February 28, 2008 at 4:51 am

I was posted to DLI in ‘89-'90 and used to hang out at the Dream Theater with my friends to watch Rocky Horror on Friday and Saturday nights. I never thought it would close, always hoped to take my kids there one day to show them where their father and I used to date (we met while we were both at DLI and I took him to the Dream Theater for Rocky Horror). This morning out of curiosity I googled Dream Theater and found this site with its news about what had happened. I was devastated and my daughter had to calm me down. Now that wonderful place only lives on in my memories. Shame on you, Monterey, for letting such a terrible thing happen.

MagicLanternProductions1
MagicLanternProductions1 on September 11, 2007 at 4:05 pm

Message For John Harris:
Hi John, Bill Rizzo here, your Projectionist at the 8 – 12 and the Dream Theater, Greetings! A old friend of yours said to say hellow to you, George Rigney. Man those were the Days! We had a lot of fun than! Just keeping those Carbon pencils going in those Simplex Projectors was a challange! It was a fun time with the Stage Play’s that were put on. I took my Kids to Montery this June, and sorry to see the Building that we all put our Love & Positive enegry had been turned into clothing stores! Oh well, that’s progress. Same thing with the 8/12 it got swallowed up by time and concrete for the Monterey Bay Aquarium !They didn’t touch Doc’s building however! I have been busy putting together my new company, Magic Lantern Productions. I will be shooting a 35mm Comedy this Late Fall. Please email me at ( ) and look for me at My Space:
( myspace.com/magic_lantern_productions ) I want to say I’m sorry to hear that Allen Passed away. Lookind forward to hearing from you soon. Your Projectionist at the 8/12 & The Dream Theater , Bill Rizzo.

LAlibertine
LAlibertine on August 31, 2007 at 2:49 pm

MESSAGE FOR JOHN HARRIS
Hi John, and sorry for using this forum for a personal message. I’m just so glad to have finally found you. My cousin Linden Wolf, who worked for you & Alan at the Dream for many years (often with me as her assistant) died this year. She was an amazing lady (and a fine artist in her own right). We are having a celebration of her life and art on September 9th at the House of the Four Winds in Monterey. I’d love and (and am sure she would have, too) if you could be there.

Please email me when you get the chance:

Best Regards (and thank you for giving me my first taste of the real joy and art of film – something I (despite having lived in Hollywood now for many years, don’t get to experience nearly enough these days),
Megan Harris

P.S. If I remember right it was you & Alan that pioneered quadraphonic sound in the theater – wow!

P.P.S. And thank you for the special screening of 2001 (sublime)…..

filmguy3d
filmguy3d on August 25, 2007 at 8:50 pm

Hello fans of Monterey’s 812 Cinema and Dream Theater. I’ll post some cool photos of my theaters as soon as this website can handle more photos. Meanwhile here’s a clip from the film I made: Cannery Row: 1969-1980.

Note to poster Steve Uhler. The building that 812 Cinema occuped (812 Cannery Row) was demolished and Is now a part of Monterey Bay Aquarium. There’s a T-Shirt shop next door to what was the 812. That building used to be an outdoor clothing store. All Best, John Harris

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I00plbV07jo

JimKinney
JimKinney on August 19, 2007 at 7:30 pm

What a shame to hear this theater and the 812 theater down on Cannery Row have both closed. I still remember the seating and the ornamental upholstery in the theater back in 1975 when I was attending Chinese language classes at the Presidio of Monterey. What a wonderfully nostalgic time. God Bless. Jim Kinney

sduhler
sduhler on June 16, 2007 at 4:22 pm

My name is Steve Uhler; I am a film critic for the Austin Chronicle and the author of the book ‘A Movie A Day’. I lived in Monterey from 1973 to 1983 – a magical decade in my life, much of it spent at the 812 and Dream Theater. The 812 used to show locally-produced newsreels before their main features, most of them spotlighting the rash of arson that plagued Cannery Row during that time (developers wanted to convert the dilapidated and abandoned old canneries into trendy gift shops and when they couldn’t buy them, they simply burned them down one by one.) I also remember watching the cartoon ‘Bambi Meets Godzilla’ at the 812 after smoking a joint and thinking it was the funniest thing I’d ever seen. And, of course, the midnight showings of ‘Rocky Horror’ that ran there forever – until forever ended. Contrary to beachbear’s posting, the tiny wood building that housed the 812 Cinema still stands, squeezed in between (you guessed it) a couple of trendy gift shops. It may be a neglected and abandoned piece of real estate now – but the friendly ghosts of long-ago patrons still lounge on the pillows and watch ‘King of Hearts’. (And, oh yeah, those pillows could get pretty skanky . . )

filmguy3d
filmguy3d on September 29, 2006 at 6:54 pm

I’m John Harris the co partner of Alan Weber, and I’m not dead!! :) I appreciate all of the kind sentiment toward our theaters. They were built with community in our hearts and minds. Both 812 Cinema & Dream Theater were built with artisan hands from the Monterey community. If you are interested, I am still an active performer-filmmaker having just produced a large theatrical production at Golden State Theatre with 17 piece orchestra, tributing mentors I have worked with, Nat “King” Cole, Johnny Mathis, Ann-Margret, Teri Garr and Jim Morrison. This presentation took place in April, 2006 and Ann-Margret was present for the tribute performance. A Halloween performance of this Tribute Concert is slaed for ‘Monterey Live’ across from Golden State Theatre, Oct 28/29 2006. Alan Weber passed away July 29, 1992. A part of me passed with him..thank you to all who enjoyed our theaters.

Jeffrey L. Mitchell
Jeffrey L. Mitchell on May 27, 2006 at 8:24 am

Alan’s partner’s name was John.. They both used to come into the Record Factory in Monterey when I worked there in the early 80’s to buy intermission music.

The theater on Cannery Row was also known as the 812 Cinema. I loved that place! I have great memories of sitting on those big comfy pillows and smoking pot while watching an all-night Pasolini triple bill!

The Dream Theater was one of the most beautiful and unique theaters I’ve ever gone too. It had three types of seating: reclined chaise-lounge type seats for the first 4 or so rows, then regular-style rocking theater seats for the middle rows, with high-backed, compartmentalized, two-seater love seats in the back few rows.

The theater also had three screen curtains: 1) in front, a horizontally-opening lush red velvet curtain, then a vertically-rising gold lame drape, and finally another horizontally-opening, shimmering white screen-protecting curtain. One of the pleasures of attending a film here was watching all those curtains do their thing at the beginning of each screening!

It also had a fabulous deco-inspired illuminated ceiling which slowly changed hues from reds to blues as the film was about to begin.

The theater’s decor was totally groovy early-70’s hippie-chic. Lots of natural wood and stained glass… Very Big Sur!

In the mid-80’s, the Dream added a second tiny theater — a screening room that couldn’t have had more than 30 seats, yet still had great sightlines and excellent sound. They squeezed this screen into some unused space above the lobby and snack bar, thus keeping the large main theater intact.

After John and Alan both died of AIDS in the late 80’s, another owner ran the theater for a few more years, although it lost its gay sensibility which always made the Dream such a special place.

Eventually, shamefully, the city of Monterey allowed the building to be bulldozed to make room for yet another bland strip mall on Lighthouse Avenue. Many tears have been shed over the loss of this fantastic theater, which was gone before any of us even realized it was in danger. Shame on Monterey for not preserving it.