Cinema Treasures Authors Choose “10 Great Places To Revel In Cinematic Grandeur” for USA Today

posted by Ross Melnick on January 21, 2005 at 4:28 am

Cinema Treasures co-authors Ross Melnick and Andreas Fuchs recently chose 10 classic cinemas from across the United States for USA Today’s weekly travel feature, “10 Great Places.” The list is not a “top ten,” but rather a varied programming, geographical, and architectural selection of “Cinema Treasures” from across the nation.

To see the list and the reason for a theater’s inclusion, read Shawn Sell’s “10 Great Places To Revel In Cinematic Grandeur” article published today in USA Today. For more information on the book, visit the book website.

Comments (14)

PeterApruzzese on January 21, 2005 at 9:27 am

Thank you very much Ross and Andreas for including Galaxy’s Lafayette Theatre in your selections. We are very proud to be included in such distinguished company.

Nelson Page, President
Galaxy Theatre Corporation

Pete Apruzzese
Director of Film Programming
Big Screen Classics at the Lafayette Theatre

JimRankin on January 21, 2005 at 9:54 am

It’s too bad Milwaukee’s ORIENTAL couldn’t be in this year’s list, but I understand that you can hardly publish the same list every time. :)

Ziggy on January 21, 2005 at 2:54 pm

It’s really too bad that RCMH can’t be included now that it has gone from “The Showplace of the Nation” to being the “no place” of the nation.

Ross Melnick
Ross Melnick on January 21, 2005 at 4:06 pm

Yes, the Oriental is indeed a wonderful place and we were very happy to able to include it in Newsweek and Arthur Frommer’s Budget Travel Magazine.

We tried to find (almost) all new theaters that differed from previous lists we have put together in the past this time around.

Thanks to Nelson and Pete at the Lafayette (and the other theaters on the list) for operating true “Cinema Treasures.”

To everyone else, hope you have a safe, happy and warm weekend. :)

Ross Melnick
Cinema Treasures

Roxymusicco on January 22, 2005 at 3:30 pm

Wait a minute… Hold on! How can you have a top ten list with out including the Roxy Theatre Northampton, PA The Byrd, Richmond VA and the Senator Theatre in Baltimore? Something wrong to me there. Now let’s talk about a true cinema treasure, The Roxy is a little art deco jewel in PA and has been in continuous operation since 1933. Not only does it still use it’s original curtain, it is part of the show still today like the old days, closing between the feature and the cartoons and trailers. It has one of the most unique marquees I’ve ever seen, fully restored and it still clicks too due to the original chaser unit. If you’re in the Lehigh Valley, I highly recommend going down to Northampton for that one, you won’t be disappointed.

Bernie Anderson, Jr.
Union County Arts Center, Director of Film Programming and Pipe Organ Curator

Ross Melnick
Ross Melnick on January 22, 2005 at 3:46 pm

Hi Bernie,

Those are all great theaters, but, as previously mentioned, we did not want to duplicate our previous list for USA Today. As you can see, we profiled both the Roxy Theatre in Northampton and the Senator Theatre in Baltimore in our first USA Today list:

USA Today — “10 Great Places to See a Classic Cinema”

The Senator also made it into a recent list we put together for Arthur Frommer’s Budget Travel magazine.

We were very grateful to get the opportunity to do another list and felt a responsibility to highlight a new batch of theaters.

The Byrd in Richmond, VA and the Keith-Albee in Huntington, VA are prime candidates for the next list — as is the Union County Arts Center.

I’m sure you can imagine how hard it is to pick ten out of hundreds of theaters for the task!

Thanks for your comment — we will definitely keep the Byrd et al. in mind for the next one. :)


Ross Melnick
Cinema Treasures

Ross Melnick
Ross Melnick on January 22, 2005 at 3:53 pm

Oops — should have been Huntington, WV. :)

Roxymusicco on January 24, 2005 at 2:25 pm

Hi Ross,

What you might consider is than doing a list here and there, put together a list of theatres that you add to each year, like a hall of fame. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame does this each year so does LOC with adding movies to their list. The way it feels to me now is that it discredits certain locations as not being up to standards for that particular year. I’m not sure what the intention is for yearly lists or different lists for different publications, nevermind their criteria, but it is a huge statement that you’re making when a list of this magnitude is published nation wide. Just my two cents.

Ross Melnick
Ross Melnick on January 24, 2005 at 3:40 pm

You are absolutely correct that the problem with one or another standard is that each editor asks for a different set of criteria for the list of theaters for each publication: location, age, status, style, etc.

We’ve always tried to pick from a wide variety of all of the above, if possible.

One thing I’ve learned about creating lists: it’s often not what you put in, but what you leave out that people notice. Having said that, no slight is intended by a lack of inclusion of any of the other hundreds of Cinema Treasures out there.

Something like the National Film Registry/Hall of Fame is a terrific idea and something that would be good to coordinate with other groups as well (THSA, LHAT, NTHP, etc.).

Thanks for the suggestion and we’ll keep all of these thoughts in our head should the opportunity to create another list come up.

Thanks again!

All The Best,


JimRankin on January 25, 2005 at 8:54 am

THSA = Theatre Historical Soc. of America
LHAT = The League of Historic Am. Theatres
NTHP = National Trust for Historic Preservation

Just thought I might help, since our national alphabet ‘soup’ of acronyms and abbreviations is always growing.

Patsy on January 30, 2005 at 8:02 pm

Glad to see that Cinema Treasures and both recently rec’d national exposure. What USA Today issue was the article in?

Patsy on January 30, 2005 at 8:05 pm

BTW, I just saw the Billy Joel musical, Movin' Out tonight and it was wonderful although I would have enjoyed seeing it in an old movie palace like the 10 listed in the USA Today article rather than a fairly modern auditorium (Ovens) in Charlotte NC.

PGlenat on February 8, 2005 at 6:42 am

I am happy to report that ‘Cinema Treasures’ has made it as far as the frozen north. I found it sitting prominently on the shelf in the theater arts section of one of this area’s better book stores. None of this “we’ll order it for you” or anything like that. Out of curiosity I will have to see if any of the local Chapters outlets has followed through.

While I realize that USA Today is an American publication I do wish someone would incorporate a few of the remaining Canadian movie palaces on such a list. Frequently they were designed and built by the same architects as those in the US.

rickeiff on June 11, 2005 at 11:00 am

Did you include the Majestic in San Antonio? It was designed by John Eberson and is a 4000 seat atmospheric masterpiece.

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