N. Martin Luther King Avenue at N.E. 38th Street,
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Roy Stanton was a visionary who built his Springlake Amusement Park to be more than just another fun park. Besides the usual thrill rides, fun house, and side shows, Stanton’s vast park included a colossal swimming pool, an enormous ballroom, and a unique ‘Cinema’.
Since Springlake Cinema was just one of many park attractions that operated during warm months, exact opening dates are hard to pinpoint, but some old timers place an opening date as early as 1923.
Springlake Cinema was designed in a fantasy Egyptian styling, and offered the luxury of refrigerated air. Lobby walls were lined with cast iron single view movie machines. Some had flip cards that created 3-D moving images, others were continuous loop movie reels. Also included were elaborately animated gumball machines.
A roving cinematographer took motion pictures of patrons as they rode the many rides, enjoyed antics of the fun house, or swam in the chilled pool. These films were quickly developed and shown inside the cinema. Patrons rushed in and gladly paid a five cent admission price in order to see themselvs up there on the silver screen, along with selected short subjects direct from Hollywood. Nickel ticket prices remained the same until the theatre was converted (around 1949) to an indoor joy ride called Laff in the Dark.
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