Showing 1,026 - 1,050 of 1,102 comments
Watch out if you go to a matinee this week at the Clay in SF. Went to see the Jane Austin film at a Monday matinee. The movie had a buzz saw or chain saw sound coming from behind the theatre screen. I wanted to leave; it was too bad they didn’t put a note at the boxoffice telling you construction was going on outside the back of the cinema. I had to stay as my friends wanted to watch the film with the bad sound. No surround sound from the side speakers and little seperation from the small screen speakers. A bad day at Landmarks Clay. Good film, bad presentation. The best thing was my egg salad sandwich across the street at Johnny Rocket’s!
It RAINED on me this past Friday Sept 21. Went to the Skyview to check out the place. First rain in the area in 6 months. It was fun watching a movie thru a wet window with lighting in the sky. They advertise Dolby Radio Stereo Sound but it is in MONO. What a shame. Tuned into 93.1 got a non stereo feed of a stereo movie! The big Cinemascope screen looked great. Visit the place before escrow goes thru. Have a burger they grill them outside on the BBQ! Popcorn fresh and HOT.
I can’t believe the city of Hollywood year after year lets this theatre just sit with the gate in front and all the garbage inside the entrance. The trees will soon cut into the neon sign. How sad it is to see that Mann Theatres can’t even clean up the front. We all know it will become a night club someday but please make it look a little better when people walk by! It even has something on the marquee that played years ago. The people at Mann can turn it into a ice rink or roller rink as they don’t want single screens any more just get it open and clean it up. All the tourists go by year after year and the boxoffice is closed. Put something in the Vogue and make some $$$$ and light up the sign. Cut a hole in the wall and serve pizza from Musso and Frank next door. If Fox West Coast Theatres was still around the boxoffice would be open.
Will ‘Spartacus’ be shown in 70mm In the Cinerama Dome? Hire some new ushers and put them in gladiator outfits!
On the old site of the Syufy Union City Drive In. If the Century people were smart they needed to leave the old neon screen tower up in the parking lot of the new multiplex and projected previews on what is coming to the multiplex. No they just tore it down and built a multi cinema on the site. The new Union City Century is listed in Daily Variety in the top ten theatres per week in the USA many times during the month. Even beats out LA or NYC! The Syufy family has kept many of the drive ins they owned that they did not sell to Cinemark. Listed under West Wind DI. To bad they didn’t keep the Union City DI and add a multiplex next to it. Just think of all the money the Syufy/Century family has saved over the years by tearing down the drive ins and building multiplex’s on the same land. The two DI’s the Century people still run in the SF Bay Area in Concord CA and San Jose CA do a big businees many times sold out on the weekends. Glad they still keep them open. The long gone father Ray Syufy must be proud of his two sons for keeping the DI’s still open and didn’t sell out to the candy people at Cinemark. They have no interest in the Drive In world. Just watch out for Wal Mart who loves to tear down old Drive In’s; they will flash big bucks to the Syufy brothers some day. I think West Wind also has a DI in Las Vegas. Did they ever run a print of ‘Showgirls’ at the Las Vegas DI? Must have been a HOT night at the DI! Can you imagine bringing in some girls from the clubs to run the candy counter. Ray Syufy got in trouble many years ago in San Jose CA at the Century Domes for having his own intermission during a single print run. He just cut a film in half so he can sell more candy. The studios found out and cut that out fast. But if he was still around today a built in intermission during ‘Showgirls’ at his Las Vegas DI that had live dancers in front of the big Cinemascope screen stage; talk about showmanship.
It’s 70mm week at San Francisco’s Castro Theatre. Just got back from the 70mm showing of Patton. Looked great on the big Castro screen. Not curved but still looked good with a great stereo. If you live near the SF area check out 70mm this week. Many are brand new 70mm prints. Some are blow ups from 35mm to 70mm. Sept 18 ‘Patton’ Sept 19/20 ‘Lord Jim’ Sept 21-‘Ghostbusters’/Lifeforce Sept 22/23-Lawrence Of Arabia Sept 24-Starman Sept 25/26-2001:A Space Odyssey Sept 27-Total Recall/Terminator 2:Judgement Day. Check these prints out at the Castro Theatre this week! The Castro is one of the few theatres in the SF Bay Area that can still run 70mm. Give them your support. And next year let’s bring in some of the 70mm roadshow music films. Yes the roadshow days are back this week only in San Francisco California. More info at www.castrotheatre.com for times.
Are they showing any of the three 70mm films in 70mm? Is the Cinerama Dome the only theatre in the ArcLight complex ready to show 70mm? The list up on the AFI site does not tell you anything about 70mm. I guess everything will be in 35mm how sad.
Pat & Ross I will be sending in some movie theatre money to you guys this week. I love your site and thanks for all the great photos and info. As a Cinerama and Todd AO collector I appreciate your work and like the book you have come out with. Keep up the good work! and THANKS again from San Francisco CA. Have you tried to sell the ‘Cinema Treasures’ book at the gift shop at the Pacific Cinerama Dome Hollywood?
I can’t believe Landmark Theatres in San Francisco runs the Lumiere the way they do. It opens 15 min before the show starts if it’s crowded you may miss the previews. Today Sat Sept 15 2007 I went with friends to see the movie ‘Delirous'at the 2pm first mat showing. The 35mm print was so dark after 10 min I walked out to the lobby to find the manager. He told me they had problems with the lamp in Theatre 1 so he turned it up a little. The sound was so low I told him also to turn that up. Strange the previews had good sound but the main feature was way low. No stereo till I complained then he turned on the stereo. Surrounds not split and very low. He told me they don’t have Dolby Digital. How sad a first run tiny shoebox has such a small screen and they don’t even have Digital sound. Most people have a better sound system at home. I called Landmark in LA last year. Someone told me they did have Dolby Digital in the Lumiere Theatre 1. This is not true. Anyone that goes to Theatre 2 & 3 you will see the smallest screens in SF next to the Opera Plaza down the street also run by Landmark. The screen in Theatre 1 is set so high up your neck will hurt. Even if a tall person sat in front of you they still can make the screen a little larger as the masking space is about 2 feet that needs to be filled with film. Watch out if you go; they will turn the lamp down again till you complain. Tell them to put in Dolby Digital 5.1 and upgrade the sound! The movie Delirious is great fun; I enjoyed it but next time I’ll go down to the Cam 12 in San Jose and see it on a larger screen in true stereo! I always love the folks at the candy counters at Landmark as they try to sell you a larger drink and offer you free candy. I guess they get in trouble if they don’t go thru this switch size thing with you. I got a med drink that was the size of a large drink about 2 years ago. You need to sit in the first 5 rows if you want a big screen experience at the SF’s Lumiere. PS also at the start of the film the masking was way off on the sides;someone else complained about that. The manager comes down and pulls a string on the right side to pull in the masking, just like home shades. This was the second day of the new film. The crowd that saw the new print on Friday on the opening day must have been asleep or felt like they were at home watching a small tv screen in mono sound on a low end picture tube ready to go out. Please Landmark Theatres in San Francisco get you act together! You wonder why people even go to this place to watch a film. You will see a better image and sound if you wait to see it at home on a DVD.
Just learned today The Skyview is being sold to Sutter Health people. They will turn the DI into a new maternity ward. This was a great Santa Cruz DI going strong for 60 years! Owned by the Martins family since 1947. I remember as a kid when they added Cinemascope to the big flat sq screen tower in 1955. It was also the time I got lost going to the rest room in the fog. They had to flash a lost kid sign up on the screen so my parents had to come and get me. I forgot the car location! If you are in the Northern CA Santa Cruz area check the place out before the movies stop playing. The Drive In has two screens now but the main screen in the largest. It will be missed as you drive by on the freeway. I am so glad my parents took me to the old Encina DI in the 50’s and 60’s. The screen tower has big lights on the top that come on during the intermission. I guess to guide you to the refreshment counter. The proj booth is now in a sep building. Goodbye Encina/Skyview DI thanks for the memories!
Was this the theatre that had the Magic Carpet ride when it was Pacific Ocean Park in the 60’s ? I seems to me that a old movie theatre had this ride in it. The Flight To Mars ride was my favorite. What a great park this was. I even think it was owned by the Fox West Coast people National General Corp just like in San Francisco they got money hungry in the 60’s and tore down the SF Fox Theatre and built a apt building on the spot. Good thing they didn’t own the land under the Graumans Chinese that they ran as a Fox West Coast Theatre the NGC folks lost money on not being able to sell this house and add it to the destruction they did to the other fine theatres they owned. I still have a popcorn box from the Fox West Coast Theatres a NGC Co The Place To GO! A place to go no more.
A recent visit to ‘Madame Dara’ the gypsy fortune teller in San Francisco CA has told me today the future of the Mann’s Grauman’s Theatre in Hollywood CA. Looking just 2 years from now; and with city help. The new owners CIM will put a new big fancy hotel above the air space on top of the Chinese Theatre. (Just like in NYC) It will be called the Grauman’s CIM Hotel Hollywood. It will have a oriental/tiki look with 600 rooms. The big draw she told me will be all the Movie Star beggers outside dressed for the tourist crowd will move inside the new hotel and offer nite tuck down service to the guests that pay a little extra for a Hollywood touch! Imagine Marilyn or the Pirate can come to your room. The big money thing that the CIM people will do $$$ is put in the Big Tong Gates in front of the forcourt and charge $5 per person to enter and see the movie star prints and take photos (No Video) that’s extra. If your on a tour bus the bus people will pay CIM $3 per head for entrance 24/7 The big news that blew me away ‘Madame Dara’ told me this afternoon when Mann goes out of business two brothers from the San Francisco area will take over the Mann Theatres (what is left after the big LA earthquake and fire in 2008) I asked her the name of the brothers she said it started with a S. I thought it will be the Forman brothers with Pacific she said no. I mentioned Syufy Brothers. Yes she said that will be the new owners of the former Mann Chinese in the future. They are breaking away from the tired Century/Cinemark multiplex folks and go single screen at the Chinese. They will only run the Graumans Chinese Theatre part for the CIM folks. She thinks the 6 plex behind the main Chinese will be a big Chinese food court for the out of town people? Also the Syufys will have to pay 50% of the theatre candy/popcorn sales direct to the CIM owners so they can buy more land in Hollywood. I was thinking when I left ‘Ms Dara’ today the CIM guys are very smart business people buying the Chinese Theatre and the air space above. Watch for booking reservations in 2010! Superman or Batman can come visit you in you room! Will the old Mann Paramount/Warner Bros Theatre people get a cut of this new room entertainment venture? Big flat wide screen Tv’s will be in every room. You will be able to watch the exact movie that is playing in the big curved screen Chinese below you in your room without showmanship; or will they put a little curtain on each TV? A extra charge for Dolby Digital Stereo per movie in your room will be added to your room bill. The CIM people know how to bring in the tourist $$$$. Hollywood needs more nice big hotels bring on this new venture. And thanks to ‘Madame Dara’ she knows all!
The Burl Theare in Boulder Creek Ca still stands. At one time they put a gym on the top level. The same people I think owned a small Drive In also in Boulder Creek across from the Boulder Creek Country Club. Called the Starview or Starlite. One of the great things about this little Santa Cruz mountain theatre It was a fun to go during the summer in the 60’s. They ran 2 movies, had curtains and color lights on the side walls. I collected the monthly adds with small photos on what was playing for the whole month. Like a movie Calendar. To bad my dad tossed out all my collection of movie adds for this theatre and the Encina Drive In in Santa Cruz. CA when I was on vacation in Hawaii in the mid 60’s. I didn’t talk to him for 2 months. At least he did'nt get to my poster collection. If your in the Santa Cruz mountains go by and check out this nice little town Boulder Creek CA and check out what is left of the Burl Theatre. Look on the side of the quonset hut of the former Burl. I talked to a former manager in the 70’s she told me they closed it because the kids kept cutting the seats up. Bad kids on summer vacation! They sold the Drive In for a houses. Never put in Cinemascope at the Drive In as I think it went down mid 50’s? The Burl had a very nice size scope screen up till it closed. The only other theatre still open is a small 6 plex in Scotts Valley Ca. Or you can drive into Santa Cruz and check out the Delmar Theatre downtown. Regal also has a multiplex on the main st in Santa Cruz along with a small twin near the river. The old Encina Drive In is still open under a new name and has been twinned in Santa Cruz. I think the Burl can be brought back someday so the people of Boulder Creek have a movie place to go. Just keep the rough kids out! If they were that bad in the 60’s the new kids are worse now. Show family films and art movies at night. Make the kids come with the parents. It is a very safe town,I think in the 60’s you got the beach kids that liked to cause trouble.
The Lark Theatre people need to advertise in the SF newspapers and let people know they are open and what is running. All the other th eatres in Marin Co have a small add in the SF Cronicle. Is the place still open? Many of us in San Francisco will drive across the Golden Gate Bridge to visit a nice single screen theatre. The theatres in Marin Co don’t have many Art Theatres. Many times we take Bart to the front door almost of the Orinda Theatre in Orinda Ca. The neon, real curtains that open and close so much nicer then the multiplex junk. I have not been to the Lark in many years. Do they have curtains on the screen or stereo sound?
Thanks Grant for the great photos of The Villa. I got to see this Cinerama/Toddd-AO house many years ago when we had a THS conclave put on by Van Summerill from Odgen Ut. To see the wonderfull curved screen was the hi lite of the tour week. I will be ordering a few of the DVD’S ‘Preserve Me A Seat’ this week. And thanks to Mr Adib who saved the building from the wrecking ball; while not the Roadshow 70mm house it was at least it still stands. Someday maybe the rugs can be sold in a nearby building and big scrren movies can be shown again for the people of Salt Lake. Not first run; that killed it. Bring back as many restored 70mm prints and some old Cinerama films for a new generation to enjoy. Turn it into a Curved Screen Museum and bring in the visiting tourists that come to see the Mormon Temple.
Thanks Slevin for the up date info on the Empire Theatre San Francisco. I only go to the large Theatre #1 downstairs. The two tiny up stair old balcony theatres did finaly add Stereo. Can you imagine the Syufy’s Century guys ran the place mono up stairs till just 2 years ago. And they mounted the up stairs projectors down so they didn’t move and shake. They no longer book just art films but everything else. Also they no longer close the curtain in the main theatre. The Syufy’s Century people or is it Cinemark now have no use for any showmanship at the theatres they run that still have curtains that work. A year ago a manager candy type person told me that they don’t close the curtain because they don’t wan’t it to get stuck like what happend on a Saturday night once. Please bring in some curtain people and oil it up! At least the Syufy’s didn’t chop up the downstairs in the middle like they have done at some of the Domes in San Jose. Good news the great Mexican restaurant is still open across and up a little; they are closed on Mondays. Have dinner and a drink and check out Theatre #1 at the Empire. They still have day time showing’s as many SF Landmark Art Theatres only open in the late afternoon or early eve on the weekdays now. Tell them to fix the curtain with all the $ they make from popcorn and drink sales. Even Landmark’s Bridge Theatre in SF has a great little curtain that opens very slow and now has digital projection. Time for the SF Empire to go into remodel again. Look up at the ceiling in Theatre #1 and see the old brown paint coming off from the last paint job they tried to cover over some old vents or lights. The seats are new in Theatre #1 and nice with cupholders and plenty of leg room. The leg room upstairs in Theatre #2 and #3 is not so great if your a tall person.
Thanks for some history on the CineMiracle system. I am so glad I got to see all the 3 proj Cinerama films in San Francisco at the Orpheum Theatre and some at the Warner Hollywood. At least like the El Captian these theatres are still around. Now lets get someone with a lot of $$$ and buy the Warner Hollywood from the Formans at Pacific Theatres and put back in Cinerama/ Todd AO and show all the 70mm roadshows with new prints for the out of town tourists that go by the chained up Warner. What a place for Cinema history. The tourists have money to spend in Hollywood and are tired of what is out on the streets of Hollywood in 2007. Bring back the 50’s experience for a new generation that is getting bored staying at home watching DVD’S. Bring on the Cinerama Pink curtains and put in the largest curved screen in the world in Hollywood. The out of town tourist crowd walks past the Warner Hollywood most don’t even go down to the Cinerama Dome complex or even know about the Dome Theatre on Sunset Blvd.
Veyoung. I heard the Cinerama people when they bought out the CineMiracle system destroyed most of the photos of the 3 or 4 USA installations. You never see any photos of the CineMiracle curtains or screen anywhere around. You can see some photos of the CM booth setup in old Boxoffice mags. Can you imagine the El Capitan/ Paramount Hollywood from it’s 70mm Roadshow days with a big wrap around curved screen. The El Cap doesn’t seem as wide or deep as the guys across the street at the Graumens Chinese Hollywood. The only way they can do it is start the big curve more on the stage then bring out a little to the sides. I hear from a friend Ted from THS he saw the CineMiracle set up at the Chinese in 1958 and it was so big and curved he said that it took along time just for the curtains to open. Must have looked nice. Someone has photos; one of these days they will turn up. Cinerama Stanley Warner was so upset that someone came along ‘National General’ and made a better Cinerama type system. To bad they ran out of money and had to sell out fast with only one film.‘Windjammer'ended up at most Cinerama Theatres after the CineMiracle limited run. In off Disney times the El Capitan needs to run a 70mm week of films and curve the screen a little. Bring back the Roadshow days for a new generation to see. Gone are the days of 6 Track Mag Sound, Intermissions, Programs, and Pre show music on the film track with Exit music. I can’t believe the people at Sony just released a DVD of Columbia’s 'Funny Girl’ taken from the Roadshow print I guess; and they go and put 3 or 4 minutes of BLACK screen over the new Dolby Digital 5.1 mix open Overture. Why didn’t they put in some curtains at the start of the video and open them like they did when the movie played at the theatres. I know a lot of people bought the new DVD and didn’t know about the pre show music open and tried to return the DVD saying it was bad. No picture but had sound at the top. Wake up Sony! Go out and film some Theatre curtains (If you can still find some) and re do the opening on some of your roadshow Columbia prints to video. At least the new younger crowd that buys a DVD can see what went on in the 50’s and 60’s In the Roadshow Theatres like the El Capitan. I will never forget the time I saw ‘Funny Girl’ on the new big curved D-150 screen down the street at the Egyptian. I think It was a 70mm scope blowup and looked and sounded great.
William can you tell me why when I saw the Pirate movie at the El Capitan the surrounds didn’t have any volume to them. I sat downstairs in the mid section? But up in the Bay Area I saw the same movie in two mega multiplex theatres and the surround was up and clear with great split surround effects. I don’t think the projection people turned up the surrounds at these theatres but the balance was better then at the Hollywood El Capitan; they seem to have all the sound from the stage speakers and not from the effect surrounds. The balcony surrounds are even lower. The Chinese still can have some pre show entertainment even if it doesn’t have a stage. They can put something up on the right and left sides or put something in front of the screen that goes up and down. Iam sure Warner Bros or Paramount (The Mann People) can go to Las Vegas and see what they do with moving stages. I don’t think they want to spend any money to make money. They are only interested in the candy counter $ that’s why they wrecked the whole back of the downstairs to make the refreshment stand and lobby bigger. You can see the great lights that used to be in the back of the Chinese now above the popcorn machine. At least they have some color lights in them as the same lights in the main theatre when the movie is dark. Are they trying to save money by not having any color lights on low during the film showing? A few little blue/green or red lights on the ceiling or sides would look great. Does anyone have any photos of the Cinemiracle curved screen at the Chinese from 1958? I saw many 70mm prints shown at the El Capitan but the screen seemed flat or may have had a slight curve to it. The old projection booth at the El Capitan was way up above the balcony at that time of roadshow 70mm films with a long way down to the Cinemascope screen. They still run video at times from the original booth; but most films or video are projected downstairs with no keystone.
Yes I was down in Hollywood just a few weeks ago on a HOT Sat afternoon for my bad/good time at the Hollywood Vine Theatre. I suggest going with some fun friends and going by the Frolic Room for some tropical drinks then hit the Vine for some fun. Check this Grindhouse out. It is so bad you will have fun. Don’t anger the candy/manager he will ask you to leave. Wait till you hear the projector grinding away from the booth with no glass hole. The bad hum and pop sounds on the Dolby system they have is worth the $7 to get in! The place even has surround sound. Watch out for dark filmed scenes in the movie you go to see; you won’t see much on the dirty screen at 30% light level. Check it out Shatter and let me know what you think. Watch your wallet! Don’t go on a hot day. Good place to hit on a rainy weekend. If it ever rains in Hollywood go visit the Vine. One of the only Theatres still showing second run double bills. Next time I am bringing 6 friends from Northern CA around Xmass time; they can’t believe the stories I tell them about this place. It may be bad but for some reason It has a dumpy charm. Enjoy It why you can; the night club people will be moving in soon! Then only three movie theatres will be left on Hollywood Blvd.
Do they have curtains on the screens? Curved screens? Big Candy counter? Easy Bathroom Crowd Control? NO NO NO NO!
Eric******Thanks for the info on the Vogue. Iam glad it is still open. The UA/Regal Stonestown will take to much $$ to fix up, Regal won’t spend the money. They are almost out of San Francisco.
Santa Cruz had a drive in and still does. It was a small distance from the Starlite in Watsonville. It was called the Encina DI in the 50’s and 60’s. The new name is the Starview I think now and is still open. Do you know If the Encina was run by the same people that ran the long gone Starlite in Watsonville? They also has a DI in Boulder Creek CA in the 50’s had a name like the Starview I think? This was run by the same people that ran the Burl Theatre in Boulder Creek CA. At least Santa Cruz still has a Drive In with two screens and a flea mrkt on the weekends. Why is it not listed on Cinema Treasures? Can you do some checking and get the Encina or it’s new name up in the Santa Cruz listing. Looking forward to the big THS conclave in 2008 in this area. Wait till the people on the tour see the Delmar in Santa Cruz and the State Theatre in Monterey.
Thanks to Jim who runs this great theatre in Surf City Santa Cruz. The best thing ever to happen to downtown Santa Cruz after the 89 earthquake was UA getting out of the theatre business in Santa Cruz. Now they are back up the street with the Regal/UA 9. When they put a wall down the middle of the Delmar to make more money the Delmar lost most of it’s charm. But now the wall is gone with the downstairs theatre almost just as it was with waterfall curtains with purple/red lights on them with deco lights on the side walls. New seats and Dolby Digital. The neon marquee has been fixed up. I heard a rumor that when UA ran the theatre they cut the wires to the marquee rather then fix it. If your in Califoria check out the Delmar. About 90 min down the coast from San Francisco. All the best art films play now on the big screen downstairs, up stairs has two small cinemas in the old balcony. The Delmar is were I saw The High & The Mighty on the big Cinemascope screen with 4 track mag stereo in the 50’s. I was very young but I will always remember the surround stereo sound coming from the sides and back when the plane in the film had trouble. My parents sat in the balcony as the downstairs was sold out. The Delmar is back! Check it out.
I went past the New Marina Theatre last week. The new marquee is on the right side. A very lame looking thing in the same style as the drug store sign that San Francisco has so many of the same name. No neon or title banner. Bring back the big old Marina Theatre neon marquee, long gone I guess.