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"Cinema Treasures": Great site for fans of old movie theaters

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by Dan C, Jun 1, 2003.

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  1. Dan C

    Dan C Forum Fotographer Thread Starter

    The West
    Great site to waste hours "touring" old theaters, ranging from the grand movie palaces to unique neighborhood screens to Cinerama marvels.


    You can browse or search by city or name.

    Also features daily updates on preservation successes and sad losses. America is STILL losing too many old theaters to the wrecking ball!

    Don't let it happen in your town. :)

    BTW, the site also features quite a bit of information on theaters around the world as well.

    Dan C
  2. Claus

    Claus Senior Member

    thx for the info...
  3. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host

    Thanks, but what a depressing site.
  4. Dan C

    Dan C Forum Fotographer Thread Starter

    The West
    It is sad indeed, but there's good news as well. Quite a lot of communities come together and rescue movie palaces from developers. It CAN be done.

    In my old home town of El Paso, The Plaza Theater is finally getting a full restoration and will be used by the Community College. It's an inedible piece of architecture, called The Plaza because the interior literally resembles a traditional Mexican plaza.
    Take a tour!

    When I was growing up it was used to show Spanish language films until it was closed in the late 80's. It was always under the threat of demolition until it was finally saved and restored a couple of years ago.
    Imagine knocking something like this down. Once you do, it's gone forever and nothing can replace it.

    When I moved to Denver I found out about all the beautiful palaces that were demolished during the dreadful "urban renewal". A few were saved, like The Bluebird which is now a cool concert venue. And the Mayan, an old Fox Movietone palace so ornate it blows my mind. It shows art films and is VERY profitable.

    Dan C
  5. Jefhart

    Jefhart Forum Resident

    Thanks for the link. Found my beloved Loews Paradise in the Bronx, an absolutely gorgeous theater that I spent many hours in as a kid. Glad to see they are renovating it. Hope they can restore it to a semblance of its former glory. BTW, had my High School graduation in this theater, which was quite a treat (the theater, not the graduation itself).

  6. reechie

    reechie Senior Member

    I'm glad to say that locally there's a lovely restored movie house from the 1900's, now called The Allen Theater, in Annville, PA. It started out as The Hippodrome, and in the 40's through the 70's it was known as The Astor. For a whole lot of years, it fell into disrepair, second run hell, going through several owners, and even sinking so low as to become an X rated movie place for a time in the 80's.

    Then back in the mid-90's, it was bought and completely restored, brand new projection and a sound system set up by Clair Brother's audio (who do most of Springsteen's tour audio), and now it shows current films that most of the 'plexes won't touch, hosts film festivals, lectures and plays in conjunction with nearby Lebanon Valley College, and occasionally, when there's a big budget event flick, like the Star Wars or Lord Of The Rings series, The Allen will book it. They'll do great business, even with those films playing at the mall multi-plexes, because the real film fans know it's the best place to see it in the area.

    I've seen everything there from the restored A Hard Day's Night to a 3-D festival featuring Creature From The Black Lagoon with Duck Dodgers In The 24th & 1/2 Century as a bonus. They're running Matrix: Reloaded right now, but next on their schedule is A Mighty Wind, which I can't wait to see there.

  7. -=Rudy=-

    -=Rudy=- ♪♫♪♫♫♪♪♫♪♪ Staff

    One of my pals at A&M Corner owns an historic theater in Forsyth, Montana. Fortunately with it being a small town, he's about the only game in town for viewing movies. While the outside has had restorations, the inside features some modern state of the art projection and sound equipment...and he just recently remodeled the inside with new seating.

  8. AKA

    AKA 86451103

    The oldest movie theatre in my town still in operation was built in the 1960s, and it's been a dollar theatre for about twenty years. The current management doesn't keep it in very good shape. It's very dirty and run down.

    Sadly, the next oldest theatre is an 8-plex from the mid-1980s. From 1997-2000, the theatre chains opened up three multi-plexes (all in malls) and shut down about five older theatres.
  9. Dan C

    Dan C Forum Fotographer Thread Starter

    The West
    That's a shame. No old theaters in Spokeane?
    I visited there last year and I guess I don't recall seeing one. I did have fun in the little downtown, first enjoying fantastic coffee and then shopping for records right across the street. The coffee shop was classic indie, with a "Friends don't let Friends drink Starbucks" sign at the register. The coffee was friggin' awesome too!
    I recall a great old theater in Portland, on Hawthorn was it? Really neat.

    I grew up in the suburbs of El Paso during the late 70's through the 80's and the only movie venues were crappy mall multi-plexes with lousy sound, armature projectionists and sticky floors. Not to mention the "architecture" had all the imagination and charm of a cardboard box. :rolleyes:
    There's something of a movie revival going on now. The theaters don't have the stunning quality of the palaces from the past (nothing does, really), but the new ones give us quality people of my generation could only dream of.

    Dan C
  10. Dan C

    Dan C Forum Fotographer Thread Starter

    The West
    Thanks for the link. I've been around Montana but never to Forsyth. There's a very cool theater in Lander, Wyoming of all places called The Grand. Locally owned, it's right downtown and is not a "palace" but is very charming and well made. Walking across the refurbished wood floors to your seat is quite a treat. They recently restored the balcony and it's open again. MASSIVE screen, just one. Just like it should be. :)

    Detroit had quite a few palaces, sadly many in horrible repair. There's a web site "fabulous ruins of Detroit" or something, that shows many of them. A sad sad thing to see. Back in the day theaters were just about on every corner, many all-nighters to entertain shift workers. Long lost days. :sigh:

    Dan C
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