Comments from dallasmovietheaters

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dallasmovietheaters commented about Palace Theater on Jul 16, 2015 at 5:04 pm

Listed for the first time in the 1922 directory as 2387 5th Avenue.

dallasmovietheaters commented about Lincoln Theatre on Jul 16, 2015 at 4:59 pm

Opened September 2, 1922 with “The Masqueraders,” Buster Keaton’s “The Blacksmith,” a sports short, International newsreel, and the Lincoln Symphonic Orchestra. Closed May 31, 1960 at the end of a lease period with “A Woman Like Satan” and “Outlaw’s Son.” Demolition began July 31, 1961 by Bloomfield Wrecking.

dallasmovietheaters commented about Rivoli Theatre on Jul 16, 2015 at 4:27 pm

The Monroe Theater changed names to the Rivoli Theater in 1932. The theater appears to operate on a 20-year lease ceasing operations in spring of 1952. Apparently, it was used to store items for a period before being remodeled It as a Feiden Furniture and Appliance store beginning in 1957 and then became Cue Tyme Billiard Parlor before the Ancient Order of Hibernians took over the space as a meeting hall.

dallasmovietheaters commented about Valley-Vu Drive-In on Jul 9, 2015 at 4:25 pm

Regular advertisements begin March of 1958 with “Legend of the Lost” and “The Girl in Black Stockings.”

dallasmovietheaters commented about Richy Theatre. on Jul 9, 2015 at 3:39 pm

Opened as the New Ritchy Theatre with 500 seats on April 21, 1950 by Alvie Peterson at 838 W. North Temple. Its first film was “Red River.” Bathed in green and coral, the $95,000 theater had crying rooms for the youngsters. Beginning in 1959, the Richy Theatre switched to Spanish language films on Sundays and extended that to twice weekly. Under new ownership in 1963, the foreign language options expanded with regular Japanese films in the mix. Regular German offerings and many others continued. The snack bar expanded to have more international treats, as well. The theatre appears to have ceased operations in August of 1986.

dallasmovietheaters commented about Trolley Square Cinemas on Jul 9, 2015 at 7:01 am

The Trolley Theatres 1•2•3•4 opened June 1972. In 1976, Trolley Theatres begins advertising the theater as the Trolley Square Theatre 1•2•3•4. Competition came from the nearby The Flick. Cineplex Odeon opened the Trolley Square Cinemas in late June 1988. Ten years later, Loews and Cineplex merged but at the end of February 2001, Loews under extreme financial pressure nationwide shuttered the Trolley Square Cinema.

Madstone Films theatre division founded in 2000 by Chip Seelig and Tom Gruenberg took on the Trolley in August 2003 reopening the dormant cinema geared to art films and young childless couples including gourmet food and adult beverages. The theatre was vastly improved in terms of presentation and auditorium seating. On June 7, 2004 the entire Madstone circuit ceased operations closing theatres all over the country including the Trolley Square.

Finally, Regency Theatres based in California relaunched the Trolley Square on Christmas of 2004. The theatre was closed at the end of January 2008 and the space repurposed for other retail concepts.

dallasmovietheaters commented about Park-Vu Drive-In on Jul 8, 2015 at 4:01 pm

The original Park-Vu Drive-In opened within the Salt Lake City city limits at 540 West 13th South on June 7, 1950 with “Little Women.“ Less than two years later, it was over for the Park-Vu as torrential rains and a flood decimated the Park-Vu. It would move south to establish a drier position.

dallasmovietheaters commented about Autorium Drive-In on Jul 8, 2015 at 3:20 pm

Opened at 345 W. 21st South on June 5, 1947 with “Northwest Mounted Police”.

dallasmovietheaters commented about Woodland Drive-In on Jul 8, 2015 at 9:26 am

Architected by Cartwright & Wilson, the Starlit Woodland Drive-In Theatre launched on July 1, 1949. Opening films were Abbot and Costello’s “Mexican Hayride” and “Man Eater of Kumaon” along with two MGM cartoons. The $75,000 drive-in wasn’t cheap and some of that went toward the original 65' by 70' screen tower in its 70' x 70' frame which was impressive — supposedly the second largest screen in the nation at that time although unverifiable — and the theatre offered parking for 600 cars. Starlit was removed from the moniker of the theater early on becoming just the Woodland Drive-In. The Granite Park neighborhood was well served by this ozoner whose service was just shy of 35 years.

dallasmovietheaters commented about Riverside Motor-Vu Drive-In on Jul 7, 2015 at 9:37 pm

This theatre was architected by Cartwright and Wilson and the 300 car facility was located behind the Wood’s Motel and Wood’s Café all operated by Charles Wood. The theater had its Grand Opening in July of 1947.

dallasmovietheaters commented about Grand Theatre on Jul 6, 2015 at 7:00 pm

It’s final film was “Simon and Laura” on April 17, 1960. It was used for live plays, speeches, and odd events though was being considered as a performance hall in the summer of 1963 which appears to not have materialized.

dallasmovietheaters commented about Oregon Theatre on Jul 6, 2015 at 5:39 pm

Opened November 5, 1912 as the Globe Theatre. Closed very briefly in March of 1915 for a re-branding to the Oregon Theatre launching March 18, 1915 Closed April 14, 1929 as a silent movie house with vaudeville. Last film was “Moran of the Marines.”

dallasmovietheaters commented about Wexford Theater on Jul 6, 2015 at 5:23 pm

Grand Opening for the 450-seat Wexford Theatre was May 25, 1910 managed by Harry Moyer and built by Judge P.H. Darcy. The theater is on financially ailing and a management change in January of 1915 was followed by a brief closure in October of 1915 as the theater awaits new management. In November, the Wexford re-opens very briefly with new management under E.K. Dennison. The last advertised show is November 13, 1915. Just three weeks later a fire on Dec. 7, 1915 destroys the financially-doomed and now fire-doomed theater. Darcy rebuilt the property for Greer & Kreuger Furniture though calling the new building, The Wexford Building.

dallasmovietheaters commented about North Salem Drive-In on Jul 6, 2015 at 4:49 pm

Correction: July 15, 1953

dallasmovietheaters commented about Hastings Drive-In on Jul 3, 2015 at 7:23 am

Architected by the drive-in specialists, the Utah firm of Cartright & Wilson, its color-changing sign was both an attraction and distraction. Some cities banned the use of similar color changing signs for traffic safety reasons. Comet Theatre Enterprises Circuit launched the Hastings in 1950 operating it for just five years before moving on.

dallasmovietheaters commented about Pawnee Drive-In on Jul 2, 2015 at 6:03 pm

Architected by the drive-in specialists, the Utah firm of Cartright & Wilson, one report has September 18, 1948 as the grand opening date.

dallasmovietheaters commented about Miracle Mile Drive-In on Jul 2, 2015 at 10:00 am

E.B. Peagram launched the $125,000 Biltmore Motor-Vu drive-in on March 18, 1949. Architected by the drive-in specialists, the Utah firm of Cartright & Wilson, the theater was built behind the Biltmore Hotel. The Biltmore was Pegram’s 21st drive-in but first in the southwest so he opted for what he termed the first drive-in with Spanish motif. The 500-car drive-in opened with “Albuquerque” and “Easy Come, Easy Go.” Under Paramount-Nace Circuit operation, the name would be changed on April 12, 1963 to the Biltmore Miracle-Mile Drive-In Theatre. The theatre would pass from Paramount-Nace to ABC Theatres. The theatre was impacted by Mountain zone Daylight Savings Time with business dropping about 30% in 1967. Plitt would take on the ABC Theatres and ABC-Interstate Theatres steering the Miracle-Mile to its closure.

dallasmovietheaters commented about Loft Cinema on Jul 2, 2015 at 9:29 am

B-movie producer Robert L. Lippert was a widescreen expert having produced low-budget Regalscope films during his movie producing days. So it was little surprise that when he started Tucson’s Showcase Luxury Cinema, it was a single-screen roadhouse theatre. Lippert’s Transcontinental Theatres Circuit would hit 120 theaters but the Showcase was his first in Tucson and #67 in the San Francisco based chain. The $350,000 Showcase launched May 29, 1969 with “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.” Its curved 22x55' screen seated 600 patrons in continental loge seating and was going to make every effort to book 70mm films. The theater appears to be architected by Tucson’s Terry Atkinson though similar to other Transcontinental theaters around the country of this period has some differences likely incorporated by Atkinson. It featured a beautiful double-storied glass front leading into a spacious high-ceiling and open lobby area. Well prior to the opening, the Showcase was advertising a road show of “Oliver” that was two months away from opening.

“Oliver’s” road show run was 2.5 months and replaced with the popular, “Easy Rider” and would have the road show of “Dr. Zhivago” and a three-month run of “Hello, Dolly” during its first year of exhibition. In the battle for clearances, Lippert had to bid $50,000 for “Dolly” and said he would never fight / bid that much for a clearance again despite the film’s success.

As the booking of a single-screen film was high risk, the theatre had some losers in 1970 and opted to add a second screen called the Penthouse. This was the circuit’s practice all over the country as they would transform their high-ceiling entryway lobbies into a lobby housing a 175-seat auditorium above which was reachable by stairway. Similar setups with in Lawton, OK, Chattanooga, TN, and Richmond, VA were placed in those luxury roadshow houses. To make life easier, the theater used an automated Cinemeccanica Victoria 18 projector that could handle 2.5 hours of film on a single reel.

On July 28, 1972, the Penthouse was renamed and the theater marketed as the Showcase Cinema 1 & 2. The Penthouse/Cinema 2 concept paid dividends. Among the theater’s most successful runs was “Fiddler on the Roof.” It ran as a road show for 13 weeks and would have left the theater were it not for the renamed Cinema 2. “Fiddler” switched to the Showcase 2 running 17 more weeks for a profitable 30-week run. “The Sting” beat that playing 40 weeks between 1973 and 1974. “Earthquake” in Sensurround was a revelation. But beginning in 1975 with new competition and other chains more eager to pay high for clearances for “Jaws,” “Star Wars,” and other films, the Showcase drifted as “the place” for big films.

Under AMC, the theater would become the Showcase 2 moving to art house fare much of the time. The New Loft closed on Fremont and would move here in 1992. Ten years later, it would become a non-profit membership art house still called The Loft adding a third screen in 2014.

dallasmovietheaters commented about New Loft Theatre on Jul 1, 2015 at 3:05 pm

Opened as the Play Box on November 19, 1959 doing legit theater with its first performance of “The Silver Whistle,” a community theater presentation and seems to have ended during its 1962/63 season. The Art Theater Guild Circuit of Scottsdale which was operating the Park Theater at the time spent $10,000 remodeling the former Play Box. On October 17, 1963, the theater reopens as “The Loft” and has its first film, “Promises, Promises” with Jayne Mansfield. The 153-seat auditorium used “European style” floor design with the main floor sloping up to the screen.

The theater began as an art house catering only to those aged 18 and above. Controversy over the potentially obscene film, “The Starlet,” led to a huge line and 30 minute wait to see the film in August of 1969. From that period in 1969 until 1972, the Loft drifted into porno chic and away from traditional arthouse cinema. And Judge Richard O. Roylston ruled that “Starlet” was not obscene. The biggest error made by The Loft was when “Deep Throat” played on a short-run and was returned to the distributor. The film caught fire and The Loft had to wait months for a print causing a big loss of potential revenue.

The Loft would change in 1972. Beginning at the end of August 1972, the theater is advertised as “The New Loft” still remaining at the original location but reverting to art films for an adult audience. The porno chic was gone. This is when the clock starts ticking for the current lineage of the Loft on Speedway which states that it’s been showing films “since 1972.” The New Loft would continue on Fremont Ave. until 1991 as a single-screen arthouse and ran midnight cult shows including “Rocky Horror Picture Show” which drew customers from the nearby University of Arizona campus. The New Loft would become The New New Loft (though just called The Loft) moving to its new location on East Speedway Boulevard in 1992. Ten years later, it would become a non-profit membership art house still called The Loft. The University of Arizona took on the old New Loft on Fremont and used it for classes. On October 24, 1997, the theater turned classroom space was demolished making the site, The former old New Loft.

dallasmovietheaters commented about Park Theatre on Jul 1, 2015 at 9:24 am

In the former Lambert’s Restaurant, two businessmen led by Tuscon Biltmore Hotel owner Paul Robinson decided that an art house was needed near the University of Arizona campus. There would be no traditional concessions as the snack bar was high end. The 300 seat (296 to be precise) luxury cinema was filled its first night when “The Lavender Hill Mob” launched the theater January 22, 1952.

In 1960, the theater closed for six weeks going even more high end and ending what it termed a “grind” presentation where shows were back to back to back to a single, well-presented show per night. That policy lasted until the theater was failing and taken over June 19, 1963 by The Art Theatre Guild Inc. Circuit. They also took over The Movie at 1039 E. 6th St. transforming it to an adult cinema. The circuit would also subtly change the name of the Park to the Park Art Theatre also showing adults only fare. The theatre goes out of business May 31, 1964 with “Heavenly Bodies” and “Wild Gals of the Wicked West” as their last shows. The University of Arizona gets the theatre calling it the Drama Annex for a brief period and switching to the theater’s original name of Park Theatre.

dallasmovietheaters commented about Arizonan Theatre on Jul 1, 2015 at 8:42 am

On August 11, 1950 the Arizonan Theatre opened with “Francis, the Talking Mule.” Had Francis been there on May 4, 1954, he would have shouted “Fire” and saved the building. But he wasn’t and the $61,000 theater was consumed by an apparent gas explosion. There was nothing really left so the theater’s final screenings were May 3, 1954 with “Charge of the Lancer!” and “The Wild One.”

dallasmovietheaters commented about Cineworld 4 Theatre on Jul 1, 2015 at 7:12 am

Mid-century modern architecture specialist Ann Rysdale, pioneering female architect as Arizona’s only licensed female architect from the 1940s to the 1960s, designed Cineworld. She designed more than 400 projects in greater Tucson area. The 1,000 seat facility cost $350,000 and had four equal 250-seat auditoria. The theatre was automated which was a good thing as the it had four double features at its opening. After Cineworld Corp. of California, the theatre was operated by TM Theatre Circuit which launched the Oracle in 1976.

dallasmovietheaters commented about Park Mall Theatres 1,2,3, 4 on Jun 30, 2015 at 9:02 pm

The Mann Park Mall Theatres 1•2•3•4 was always a four screen theater as you can see from the opening diagram. (Never known as the Mann Park Mall 2.) Its opening day had “The Wind and the Lion” ready on two screens and “Jaws” and “Benji.” Mann paid a massive $65,000 for the Jaws clearance. Jaws might have been the better feature on two screens which is what would happen in week 2. That would pay out as Jaws runs nearly a year and paid for much of the theater’s construction costs.

dallasmovietheaters commented about Buena Vista Theatre on Jun 30, 2015 at 8:11 pm

Architectural firm of Friedman & Jobusch designed the original 820-seat single screen theater.

dallasmovietheaters commented about La Placita Cinema 3 on Jun 30, 2015 at 4:49 pm

One of the more unsuccessful theaters in the history of Tuscon was La Placita Cinema 3. But don’t blame architect Michael S. Harris and the firm Architecture One Ltd. The theater won a design award. It launched by Syufy Enterprises of San Francisco as a luxury cinema and housed in La Placita Village. You could reach the theaters via winding staircase or glass elevator. Old images from classic Hollywood adorned the high-ceiling lobby.

The 750 seat triplex opened April 3, 1974 with “McQ,” “Serpico,” and “Cinderella Liberty.” News came in March of 1976 that the theater’s graphic arts design had won an award from Print, a trade press magazine. It was the only theater winner in the group of 18 honorees. The massive displays of Butch Cassiday and the Marx Brothers worked at that time. But the euphoria of the design award was short-lived. Just three weeks later, the theater closed April 6, 1976 by Syufy Enterprises citing parking issues, lack of clientele, and inability to renegotiate a sublease situation. It closed with “Man of the East” and “Moonrunners.” The good news was that movies could be seen in 2015 at La Placita as Cinema La Placita — an outdoor classic film series shown weekly on Thursday nights was available for $3 in downtown Tuscon.