Comments from JimMitchell

Showing 17 comments

JimMitchell commented about Regency Bruin Theatre on Jul 22, 2021 at 12:27 am

On July 21, 2021, I looked at the Google Street View image from February, 2021, and the Bruin appears to be closed. Box office boarded up, marquee dark, no posters in the front patio displays. I’m in Arizona, so can’t check in person. Anyone have an update?

JimMitchell commented about Gem Theatre on Jul 10, 2019 at 4:39 am

An exterior photo of the forlorn Gem is included in a chapter on Cairo in the book, “Dignity: Seeking Respect in Back Row America” by Chris Arnade.

JimMitchell commented about Cine El Rey Theatre on Jan 10, 2019 at 9:51 pm

Cine El Rey made a Los Angeles Times story on President Trump’s visit to McAllen on January 10, 2019. The theatre had tweeted a picture of its marquee, describing McAllen as one of the safest cities in America. The Times story includes the marquee photo.

JimMitchell commented about Needles Theatre on Dec 20, 2018 at 4:41 am

The theatre exterior is pictured in a December 2018 story in The New York Times about efforts to develop a legal marijuana industry in Needles. No apparent relation between theatre and pot; I think the photo is just an illustration of woebegone conditions in Needles today.

JimMitchell commented about Airport Theatre on Sep 24, 2018 at 3:32 am

Came across the Batman photo in a discussion of the Adam West TV series. Note the Airport Theatre sign in the background, top right. That appears to be the marquee behind the helicopter frame. This would have been taken at the north end of Van Nuys Airport property, I think. Circa 1966-68, based on the run of the TV show.

JimMitchell commented about Pastime Theater on Nov 18, 2015 at 3:05 am

This theatre is pictured on the cover of Paul Theroux’s new book, “Deep South.” It’s about the author’s travels around several southern states. (This picture looks identical to the cover photo, which is credited to and copyrighted by Steve McCurry.)

JimMitchell commented about Rialto Theatre on Jan 10, 2015 at 3:24 pm

The Los Angeles Times reports that the Rialto has been purchased by well-known L.A.-area developer Izek Shomof. The Times quotes him as saying he hopes to reopen the Rialto as an entertainment venue, perhaps including a bar and screenings of old films.

JimMitchell commented about Kahala Mall 8 on Dec 13, 2014 at 6:50 pm

My bad, folks. The Waialae Drive-In is indeed listed here. (These guys don’t miss anything!) It’s under “Kahala, HI.”

Try this:

JimMitchell commented about Kahala Mall 8 on Dec 13, 2014 at 6:38 pm

I was about to ask if anyone remembers a Waialae Drive-In? It would been roughly across Waialae Avenue from what is now the Kahala Mall. I recall seeing “The World of Suzie Wong” and some of the Hammer horror flix there.

I didn’t find it listed here, but I did locate a Honolulu TV news story about it. Turns out, it was demolished in 1986, and has been replaced with a nice subdivision.

Here’s the story. Stay with it until the end for a Hawaiian grace note about one of the street names.

JimMitchell commented about Toho La Brea Theatre on Dec 13, 2014 at 6:04 pm

My girl friend (now wife) and I used to drive 60 miles to Los Angeles to see Kurosawa movies at the Toho La Brea. This would have been the mid-1960s. I especially remember “Yojimbo” and “High and Low,” both starring the great Toshiro Mifune.

An added date night benefit: the Cherry Blossom restaurant occupied the top floor of the theatre, so we could have a Japanese dinner before seeing the movie.

I think it was the Cherry Blossom that ran a small newspaper ad saying, “Sukiyaki,Tempura, served by girls in kimonos, and other delicious Japanese dishes.”

JimMitchell commented about Chatham Orpheum Theatre on Jul 28, 2014 at 7:24 pm

The New York Times, in a story today about Chatham and sharks, indicates that the theatre is open. It shows “Jaws” twice a day during summer vacation season and other movies, too.

JimMitchell commented about Whittier Theatre on Jul 20, 2013 at 1:08 am

The Whittier was just down the street from what was variously called a reform school, youth correctional facility, and “School for Boys.” Hugh Bruen, who owned the theatre, had special showings before regular hours so boys could be brought in to see movies. Quite a nice excursion, I imagine. The Whittier was the nicest of the three theaters (Wardman and Roxy were the others) and was known around SoCal for its hacienda motif and the stars on the ceiling.

JimMitchell commented about Roxy Theatre on Jul 20, 2013 at 12:56 am

No relation, but I knew X.X.’s son, also Jim.

JimMitchell commented about Whittier Village Cinemas on Aug 26, 2012 at 5:59 am

In the 1950’s, the Wardman was part of the Bruen’s Whittier Theatres company. Hugh W. Bruen also operated the Whittier and the Roxy, where he kept his office. In about 1953, he built the Sundown Drive-In.

JimMitchell commented about Queen Theater on Dec 22, 2011 at 12:28 am

The Kaimuki’s owners (Consolidated, I think) tried making it an art house in the early 1960s. I saw my first Bergman film, The Virgin Spring, there. Times were already tough for free-standing, single-auditorum movie theaters by then. I left Hawaii a couple of years later and don’t know what the Kaimuki was like in the years before it closed.

JimMitchell commented about Roxy Theatre on Dec 22, 2011 at 12:19 am

This theatre housed the office of Hugh W. Bruen, who operated the Roxy, Wardman, and Whittier theaters and the Sundown Drive-In for many years. He was a prince of a guy, always giving passes to community groups and to kids like me with an interest in the movies.

JimMitchell commented about Roxy Theatre on Dec 2, 2004 at 10:25 pm

Hugh W. Bruen, the wonderful owner of the Whittier theaters, had offices upstairs in the Roxy building. As a 12-year-old, I wrote him a letter about some movie that I had seen. He responded with a cordial letter and enclosed a couple of passes, an incredible treat for a young movie buff.

Some other kindnesses: when “Martin Luther” opened, he made sure that all the local Lutheran churches got a supply of passes. And he provided regular free admission (often with special private shows) to supervised groups from the California Youth Authority facility that was close by the Whittier Theater.

They don’t make the theaters — or the owners — like that any more.