Holiday Six Theatres

3801 Union Road,
Cheektowaga, NY 14225

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Coate on April 23, 2015 at 5:13 pm

If there was another operator between Holiday and AMC, it would’ve been brief. Holiday, I believe, operated the theater through at least 1980, and AMC took over no later than 1984. If anyone has a more precise ownership timeline, please post.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 23, 2015 at 12:58 am

There could have been another operator between Holiday and AMC, though. I haven’t been able to discover what became of Holiday Theatres Inc.

Coate on April 22, 2015 at 11:01 pm

So, two paragraphs and one-hundred ninety-eight words later, I guess the answer to my question is: “Holiday Theatres Inc.” Thank you, Joe.

Oh, and I’m sorry if this comes off as snarky, but if some effort had been made to recognize my Remembering Cinerama series generously posted right here on Cinema Treasures instead of the all-too-common habit of referencing other, less reliable resources, you would’ve noted the Holiday had shown a Cinerama movie and that other Cinerama movies were shown in Buffalo in between How the West Was Won and Grand Prix.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 22, 2015 at 9:31 pm

The description of this theater says it was a Cinerama twin, but the Holiday does not appear on Cinerama Theatres which lists only two Cinerama houses in Buffalo; the Teck Theatre (converted for Cinerama in 1955) and the United Artists Century Theatre, converted in 1967. An April 3, 1967, Boxoffice article about the conversion of the Century said that the opening of Grand Prix at the Century just before Easter would be the first Cinerama movie seen in Buffalo since How the West Was Won in the spring of 1963.

Holiday Theaters Inc., the original owners of this house, had owned the Aero Drive-In, on the site of which this theater was built. An article in the February 9, 1964, issue of the Buffalo Courier-Express said that Holiday Theaters had just broken ground on a restaurant on the site of the Aero Drive-In and planned to build a twin indoor theater on the site in the future. Holiday had just taken a lease on the Elmwood Theatre, which was their first indoor location. In addition to the Aero, the company operated the West Twin, East Twin, and Buffalo Drive-Ins in the Buffalo area, and the TePee Drive-In in Pickering, Ontario.

Coate on April 22, 2015 at 1:20 pm

What company ran this theater before AMC?

SexySadie on March 30, 2014 at 2:51 pm

I saw GHOSTBUSTERS at that very theater in 1984 – and my crush on Harold Ramis came to life right then and there! Such a magical afternoon!

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 14, 2013 at 8:09 pm

This article from Boxoffice of August 30, 1971, tells of plans for Holiday Theatres 3-6, and features a drawing of the proposed house. It says that the four-screen expansion had been planned by Denver theater designer Mel C. Glatz.

The 1972 article that Tinseltoes linked to earlier has two photos of the quad as it had been completed. That article also says that the multiplex was to be expanded again, with the addition of four more screens, but as it is still listed here as the Holiday Six I guess that second expansion was never carried out.

rivest266 on September 5, 2013 at 6:49 pm

The indoor theatre must had been opened in 1964.

tsar on July 28, 2013 at 4:08 am

Yeah another theater I grew up with. Sooo many movies. I remember as a kid watching Poseidon Adventure here on a special midnight New Years Eve showing. Then there’s the Dino D remake of King Kong with folks sitting on the aisles. Same a couple years befoe with Towering inferno. Then the theaters in the back that I saw Smokey and the Bandit, Slapshot, Airport 77, Handle with Care etc. I remember the 4 back theaters had this cool vending machine that would sell little cheap mini-toys that I would beg my folks to buy me for 75 cents.

And I also noticed the glaring absence, as somebody has mentioned before, of the Plaza North on Niagara Falls Blvd and the Valu on Clinton. As good as this site is it isn’t exactly all inclusive.

alknobloch on April 22, 2012 at 8:32 am

Opheliafl (or Karen Clark) – the Holiday Restaurant rotated only if you had enough to drink, otherwise it was pretty static!

opheliafl on April 21, 2012 at 8:39 pm

Wow, the things that will come to mind out of the blue to search for on the net. Remember it vividly. Saw Star Wars there. Just watching Close Encounters on tv just now and saw it there too, I think. I remember we saw Jaws there and people were sitting on the floor in the aisles. The carpets were wet from people throwing up in previous showings. I remember being there and seeing the posters up for Tommy but I would have been too young to go to that one. I remember the Holiday Restaurant in the middle of the plaza too. Am I mis-remembering or did the restaurant rotate? Could be thinking of something else, so long ago. Nice to find it here :) -Karen Clark

alknobloch on April 15, 2012 at 8:11 am

Thanks for those really personal rememberances Holidayguy. You were truly fortunate to be so close to these huge theaters. I think I went to one of the 4 small ones they built in the back about 3 times and hated them every visit. It was the handwriting on the wall for theaters built during that approximate 25 year period. Now we have sorta a compromise between the two concepts, which was acceptable technically until the poor early digital projection systems appeared. Here’s hoping the best for the future, but retaining ultimate tribute to the days of the past.

Holidayguy on April 13, 2012 at 1:55 pm

I grew up in the apartment complexes adjacent to the Holidays from 1971 (when I was born) to 1988. My older sister and I, along with our neighborhood friends saw everything there (sometimes my Dad would take us, too)..I saw Star Wars 9 times, Grease 1 and 2, The Outsiders, Silverado,The Rocky Horror picture Show (as I got older),the list goes on and on…We would hang out there and play the video games in the lobby, because most of us weren’t allowed to cross Union Road to go to Putt Putt Golf & Games across the street…A bunch of us neighborhood kids would go talk to Al the manager, and he would give us garbage bags. We would then go around the HUGE parking lot and pick up papers and debris. For every full bag of trash we brought back, he would give us a free movie pass. The lot was huge, because before the theaters were built, the property was the 3 screen Aero Drive in. In the middle of the lot was a restaurant called the Aerohead Inn, which was the original projection booth / concession stand for the drive in. Closer to the road was (and still is) The Holiday Showcase Restaurant ( the round rstaurant alknobloch refers to), which was an incredibly cool 50’s style place, with Salmon and Turquois booths, 50’s style light fixtures, a long carport on the back for carhops. Unfortunately, it was hit by a tornado-“On July 31, 1987, an F1 tornado touched down in the Union Road and George Urban Boulevard area. It grew to an F2 before dissipating.[3] Homes and business suffered serious damage, but there were no fatalities or severe injuries. This tornado is locally memorable as the one which ripped the roof off the Holiday Showcase Restaurant.” I remember it well, having lived about 500 yards away. They remodeled it, and in my opinion, completely screwed it up. As kids we would dumpster dive, and would get all sorts of movie related items. I WISH my Mom and Dad hadn’t thrown it all away.. especially my Star Wars lobby package still in the box! They would apparently get more displays than we could use, and toss the rest. Anyway, those are MY fond memories of the Holiday Shows….

alknobloch on September 28, 2011 at 7:14 am

You’re right psmith102006 – the Plaza North was, I believe, the last huge ‘big box’ theater built in W.N.Y., but it was more or less hidden in the middle of suburban sprawl. I think it opened with “Goodbye Mr. Chips” with Peter O'Toole. I have no photos of it, or of the Valu 5 which someone told me became a Valu Hardware store or something equally commercial.

alknobloch on September 28, 2011 at 7:03 am

Here ya go telliott – it’s the only photo I have of the 1 & 2 theaters, taken during the old car rally promo for “Grease 2” (that’s my ‘58 Caddy Limo hogging up the parking lot!). As you can see, the buildings were ultra 60’s bland – just huge boxes connected by a popcorn lobby, but once inside you were in giant curved-screen heaven………..

telliott on September 21, 2011 at 2:33 pm

I can’t believe there aren’t any photos of this theatre anywhere, especially of the original twin cinemas. Even which often will have the opening ads or photos doesn’t have any. Too bad since this sounds like it was once an important theatre in the Buffalo area.

psmith102006 on February 12, 2011 at 9:47 am

Valu 5 on Clinton isn’t mentioned either

psmith102006 on February 12, 2011 at 9:43 am

I saw Tommy and couldnt hear for a week. I saw several other movies as well. I tried to avoid the back 4, they were to small (like the Evans in Williamsville—which isnt mentioned here. The Plaza North on Niagara Falls Blvd isnt mentioned either) The curtains were closed and would open like the old shows did, but not up and down but across instead.

psomerf on July 1, 2009 at 4:24 pm

I saw Poltergeist, The Right Stuff, Temple of Doom, among others there. First movie I saw there was Empire Strikes Back. It is the theater I miss the most, of all that I have been to around the country. Of course, I miss the Putt-Putt that used to be across the street, too. Oh, well. “Progress”.

alknobloch on May 22, 2009 at 5:57 pm

I can’t believe that nobody has commented on these theaters so far

To be certain, the outlying 4-screen building, put up years after the major structure, was little more that the traditional cookie-cutter multiplex of the day. But the original 2 theaters were absolutely fantastic.

Wish I knew more about them technically, but they were originally called the Holiday Showcase Theaters. They shared the land parcel with the Holiday Showcase Restaurant, a circular building which was very unusual at the time.

Each theater was an enormously plain rectangle – one slightly smaller than the other – but getting beyond that, inside you found a massive floor to ceiling curved screen and a sound system that blew all others away. A scope film in here was a true experience!

The big theater ran the local premier of Ken Russel’s “Tommy” which, I believe, was the first film to utilize the forerummer of 5.1 Dolby sound. They squeezed in gigantic speakers at each rear corner of the auditorium which forced patrons to squeeze by THEM while coming and going. The resultant auditory assult would never have made a Lucasfilm THX certified best-of list, but was perfect for the crowd of the day.

These houses would sell out on weekends, and during the showing of “Alien” that I attended, I hit the late show after a sold-out 8PM crowd came staggering out. As I entered the auditorium, a sense of ‘fear’ after the hugh crowd had seen the film on that huge screen was actually palpble – something I’ve yet to ever re-experience in any theater again.

Management was also fond of holding events in the parking lot to attract attention – like the old car show at the opening of “Grease 2”.

Let’s hear more memories of this popular cinema — anyone remember seeing “Johnathan Livingston Seagull” wall-to-wall here???

shoeshoe14 on March 8, 2007 at 5:02 pm

Was previously the Aero Drive-In Theatre which was demolished in the late 1960s.