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  #1  
Old 12-05-2012, 11:07 AM
a35362 a35362 is online now
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Look at these old movie theaters

I don't know how old these pictures are -- maybe some of these have since been torn down -- but there are some amazing pictures:

http://www.buzzfeed.com/mjs538/75-ab...around-the-usa
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  #2  
Old 12-05-2012, 11:09 AM
campp campp is offline
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Those are fantastic. Theaters are one of my favorite photo subjects.
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  #3  
Old 12-05-2012, 11:19 AM
bup bup is offline
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Very nice photos. Here's a classic theater that's still open.
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  #4  
Old 12-05-2012, 12:19 PM
standingwave standingwave is offline
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Very cool. Here's one of my favorites that was abandoned for years but rescued by the local symphony and turned into a concert hall. It was close to being turned into a parking lot. More here at history link. I love Art Deco.
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  #5  
Old 12-05-2012, 04:46 PM
Max Torque Max Torque is offline
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In high school, I worked in a movie theater in Santa Fe. The oldest and spiffiest theater in town was the Lensic, and the manager was a cool guy. As an employee who knew him, he'd let me (and my dates) go up to the balcony, which was always closed, to watch movies in solitude. I saw City Slickers, Home Alone, Pacific Heights, and more from up there.

This site has pictures of the theater since its restoration. The woodcarving has always been there, but with new paint, lighting, and fabrics, it really looks great.
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  #6  
Old 12-05-2012, 06:54 PM
listedmia listedmia is offline
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Still open: Pickwick Theatre Park Ridge, Illinois. It's close to my dad's old house and I have fond memories of furtively making out with boys in the back row.

Kinda-sorta open: Des Plaines Theater, Des Plaines, IL. They rent it out for concerts and the occasional foreign movie. Was a popular place for local punk rock bands to play a couple years ago and I got drunk here many times.
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  #7  
Old 12-05-2012, 08:05 PM
DMark DMark is offline
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Well, now I know what I would have done, had I won the big Powerball last week.

Sad, neglected theaters...I envision all of the great shows/movies that once filled the air. Wish I could buy them all and restore them to their original glory!

My small hometown had two movie theaters - one closed when I was about 12 - and I can remember fondly going to both to watch some great (and sorta not so great) films as a kid, all the way up to my teens.

I still sort of miss those small town theaters; even with the sticky floors, broken seats, horrible mono speakers, and the occasional ripped/burned film blunders...but most of all, those little movie theaters took me out of my mundane, small town existance and let me dream of bigger and better places...

Maybe this is why I have always loved going to movie theaters, and still do, on a regular basis (@ once a week) to watch films in their original, big screen format. Nothing wrong with watching some smaller films on cable or DVD or whatever, but nothing beats a big screen, tub of popcorn, huge drink and get lost in the movie theater experience!
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  #8  
Old 12-05-2012, 08:47 PM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is offline
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I actually attended events at #11 -- a boxing match, and I also did a mass interview with Paul Lynde when he was appearing there.
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  #9  
Old 12-05-2012, 08:55 PM
Quimby Quimby is online now
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The movie theater in my town was beautiful when I was growing up. A real balcony, a high domed ceiling. It closed. When it reopened it was gutted into 6 ugly cookie cut screens. That lasted a few years and then it closed again for good.

Last edited by Quimby; 12-05-2012 at 08:55 PM..
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  #10  
Old 12-05-2012, 11:56 PM
Face Intentionally Left Blank Face Intentionally Left Blank is offline
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Man, this has taken me on a trip down memory lane. My buddy was manager at the Hollywood Theater in Dormont, PA. Beat-up old 980-seat theater that you could tell was pretty nice back in the day. Had a balcony, interesting floor plan for the lobby & bathrooms, etc. It's projector used to be at a drive-in, and as it was explained to me, they weren't utilizing it to it's capacity - it could get a lot brighter and project a much larger picture. They had to take the film off the reels they came on, transfer them to huge aluminum platter several feet in diameter, and join all the reels together. While waiting around before the Rocky Horror shows( I still have a couple frames from the film saved from when some breaks needed splicing), we'd remark how nice it would be if someone had the money to fix it up. Couldn't be done, because the biggest take for the week was always Rocky Horror, and it only showed $1 movies late in their run. I'd heard they closed it more than a decade back. Went looking for pics.

Good news, everyone! It was taken over by a not-for-profit and fixed up.
http://www.thehollywooddormont.org/

They did a nice job with the concessions.
http://iheartpgh.com/2011/03/28/save...eopen/counter/

Then I got to thinking about the South Hills theater, a great old 900-seat theater even more impressive than the Hollywood, though I didn't spend near as much time there. It's been demolished, but they saved the ticket office and put it in the Hollywood theater. I thought that was pretty nifty. The South Hills theater had a great old 1927 Wurlitzer theatre pipe organ that would rise out of the floor, and someone would play it before movies. I wondered what happened to that organ. It ended up at the local high school one of my friends used to go to.

If you go to this page, you can read a little about, and see some pics of, these theaters and a few others.

So that was a enjoyable round of Googling. Thanks, OP.
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  #11  
Old 12-06-2012, 08:23 AM
randwill randwill is offline
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I'm surprised that several of those old theaters had large windows in the auditoriums.
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  #12  
Old 12-06-2012, 08:45 AM
california jobcase california jobcase is offline
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Here's a good one still being used- http://andersonparamount.org/plan/rental.htm
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  #13  
Old 12-06-2012, 08:46 AM
a35362 a35362 is online now
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Yes, I noticed that. I'm thinking these buildings weren't necessarily used exclusively as movie palaces, but were general performance spaces or town meeting spaces.

I thought #70 was a particularly oddly-shaped space for showing movies. That's like a football stadium with a stage at one end. And look how far away the photographer was from the stage!
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  #14  
Old 12-06-2012, 09:15 AM
Chefguy Chefguy is online now
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I grew up seeing movies in the 4th Avenue Theater in Anchorage, Alaska. The building is no longer used as a theater, but rather for catered events. There have been attempts on the part of developers to buy and demolish the place to put up businesses and parking structures, but citizens have responded each time to keep the place.

These murals on each side of the stage are amazing, and the entire place is in art deco style. These are wood panels at the top of the balcony stairs. There are lights set into the ceiling in the shape of a giant Big Dipper and North Star, which is, of course the Alaska state flag. Last time the current owner threatened to sell it, he was going to sell off all the fixtures and artwork piecemeal, which would be criminal.
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  #15  
Old 12-06-2012, 09:24 AM
Siam Sam Siam Sam is offline
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There are some nice old ones here in Southeast Asia. (I think I started a thread on this once.)
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  #16  
Old 12-06-2012, 09:26 AM
Snickers Snickers is offline
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They've got kind of a crap website, but The Heights theater has been operating in a Minneapolis suburb since 1926 - it's an awesome place to see a movie. On weekends, they have an organist that plays on their huge organ; it descends down into the orchestra pit as the movie pre-game starts.

It's really well restored, and a fun place to go.
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  #17  
Old 12-06-2012, 09:38 AM
ftg ftg is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by a35362 View Post
Yes, I noticed that. I'm thinking these buildings weren't necessarily used exclusively as movie palaces, but were general performance spaces or town meeting spaces.

I thought #70 was a particularly oddly-shaped space for showing movies. That's like a football stadium with a stage at one end. And look how far away the photographer was from the stage!
The web page just calls them "theaters". I don't know why the OP decided to label them movie theaters. Even the second one is impractical for showing films based on seating let alone all the ones with windows.
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  #18  
Old 12-06-2012, 10:27 AM
bup bup is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ftg View Post
The web page just calls them "theaters". I don't know why the OP decided to label them movie theaters. Even the second one is impractical for showing films based on seating let alone all the ones with windows.
Maybe they only wanted us to look at the movie theater pictures. What were you doing looking at the other ones!?
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  #19  
Old 12-06-2012, 11:01 AM
Skywatcher Skywatcher is online now
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Newtown, CT: the town hall included a theater with a balcony when it was constructed in 1930. We drove up from Brewster for the dollar movies in the '80s and it's still operating, though the movies are $2 now.

Last edited by Skywatcher; 12-06-2012 at 11:03 AM..
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