Theaters with lobby waterfalls ?????

posted by ArchStanton007 on July 6, 2006 at 8:06 am

Other than my beloved Central Plaza Cinema in Yonkers, NY, did any other theaters have rock waterfalls in their lobbies ?

The waterfall was an incredibly beautiful amenity that made movie going so very memorable and special in this wonderful theater that I grew up to, so I am most curious to know if any of their other George Riseman designed theaters had lobby waterfalls.

It fell into disrepair and was covered over in the late 1980’s when the theater was converted to a fourplex.

Thank you.

Comments (9)

robertpny on July 6, 2006 at 9:40 am

I’m sure there are many references to fountains in foyers and lobbies in the plans of older theaters. The State Theater in Portland, ME has a fountain in the lobby but, last time I was there, it was intact but unused.
Ages ago in Boston I believe there was a theater which had a staircase constructed of glass which had water running through it and colored lights beneath to illuminate. Sounds spectacular – wish I had seen it…!

ArchStanton007 on July 6, 2006 at 12:28 pm

In particular, I was guessing other General Cinema theaters may have had them since the same architect designed most of their theaters, many of which had the same amenities. Central Plaza was their only Westchester County theater with a waterfall/ fountain.

Was thinking a similiar sized theater like their Menlo Park, NJ house might have had the same waterfall with it’s thin ring shaped fountain that they would turn on late in the afternoon. Very memorable as a kid with friends sitting in the matinees back then.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on July 6, 2006 at 2:36 pm

The Boston Theatre was the Bijou Dream: a second floor cinema that was closed due to fire exit concerns after a huge fire-related area disaster. It was next to the RKO Keith’s on Washington Street and I think the building is still there, though the second floor auditorium is long gone. That staircase did sound dramatic. But it also sounded a little dangerous! People putting a lot of weight, wear and tear on glass stairs, water, electricity…

It is particularly surprising that such a lavish feature was included in such an ancient cinema. the Bijou Dream well predated the era of the movie palace.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on July 6, 2006 at 2:38 pm

Regarding modern cinemas, I know I have seen a fountain somewhere. I will have to think about exactly where.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on July 6, 2006 at 3:16 pm

When Entertainment Cinemas reopened the Fresh Pond Cinema in Cambridge, MA, in 1990, they had a two-story waterfall in the lobby. After Loews took over the theatre, the waterfall went dry. Now that Entertainment is running it once again, they have promised to restore the waterfall. I haven’t been there lately, so I don’t know if they’ve done so yet.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on July 7, 2006 at 4:43 am

The Bijou Dream building in Boston does indeed still exist. Emerson College plans to redevelop it as part of its renovation of the adjoining Paramount Theatre. The Bijou building will likely contain a new black-box live stage and a film screening room, as well as dormitory rooms.

Okie on July 7, 2006 at 3:50 pm

John Eberson’s Midwest Theatre 1930-1976, Oklahoma City, held a gracefull waterfall on the mezanine level. Focal point of this vast space were three carpeted steps leading up to an elaborate arch which framed a fresco wooded brook scene. A real waterfall cascaded from the painting base creating an illusion that it was pouring from the flowing brook. Colorful lighting enhanced this serene effect.

JohnFaust on July 8, 2006 at 9:18 am

Fridley Theatres and Dubinsky in the 50s – 60s – 70’s had rock waterfall features in many of their theatres, including the Camelot in Nevada, Iowa; the Capri
(flagship theatre) in Des Moines, and also I think the theatres in Lake City Iowa and maybe Storm Lake.

Doolally on July 12, 2006 at 10:17 am

In South West London, UK, the Astoria originally had a large fountain in the foyer area. It seems that it disappeared in the 1960’s?

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