Comments from TheaterBuff1

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TheaterBuff1 commented about 70mm World Premieres now listed in introductions of New York City movie palaces on Oct 17, 2007 at 2:16 am

Since it seems apparent to me that economics plus other factors prohibit us from returning to great film exhibition technology of the past, this doesn’t mean that the end result of the use of such must be looked upon as being in the past also. For I believe digital cinema’s potential is such that it is capable of replicating that end result for today’s and future generations, and even bettering on it. But little does this mean shy of a theater dedicating itself to proving it. And are there any theaters in NYC well positioned for taking on that challenge here and now? For most certainly the Boyd Theatre here in Philadelphia is. And with its close positioning to Philadelphia’s Penn Station, NY movie theater goers can certainly partake in this breakthrough as well, and would be most welcome to. I believe this webpage Mr. Haas has created to be a great lead-in to focusing on that goal.

TheaterBuff1 commented about Strand Theatre on Oct 17, 2007 at 1:16 am

Thanks for clearing that up, Jim-L, as it just didn’t match up with the Strand I’ve always known. It’s positioning on the boardwalk was clearly all wrong.

TheaterBuff1 commented about 70mm World Premieres now listed in introductions of New York City movie palaces on Oct 16, 2007 at 2:13 pm

Gentlemen! Gentlemen! There’s no point rehashing how great 70mm projection once was unless it’s with an eye to the future of replicating that greatness with digital cinema.

Which Philadelphia’s Boyd Theatre, currently up for sale, is in the perfect line up for. In the past when it came to both 70mm and Cinerama it proved to be outstanding in this regard, while there’s no question that it demands to be brought into play in this way again. Only incorporating digital cinema technology this time around. Meantime, I think we ALL would like to hear what HowardBHaas — who heads up Friends of the Boyd — is doing to help bring this goal to fruition. So let’s hear it, Howard! We’re all ears!

For seriously, gentlemen, we can’t go back. But we can go forward. And this is forward. That is, let’s make this webpage relevant to the here and now.

TheaterBuff1 commented about 70mm World Premieres now listed in introductions of New York City movie palaces on Oct 16, 2007 at 3:25 am

And I trust that future will be coming to Philadelphia’s Boyd as well, in the course of my trusting that Mr. Haas who created this Cinema Treasures page while simultaneously heading up
Http:/ is doing all he possibly can to attract a suitable buyer for it now that it’s up for sale. For as movie palaces go, Philadelphia’s Boyd has always proven to be a great one for premieres, it’s highest calling, I feel.

TheaterBuff1 commented about Strand Theatre on Oct 16, 2007 at 1:23 am

As much as I feel that looks like a great theater — and my gosh, will you look at that crowd! — if I’m not mistaken, it’s a DIFFERENT Strand. Nonetheless, thanks for sharing it with us though!

TheaterBuff1 commented about Kent Theatre on Oct 8, 2007 at 11:33 pm

…And I meant to say, “There May As Well Have Been a War,” sorry about that!

TheaterBuff1 commented about Kent Theatre on Oct 8, 2007 at 11:16 pm

Back during the Reagan years when his ill-advised economic policies were rapidly transforming once thriving Kensington into looking like bombed out Beirut overnight, and I do mean that quite literally, I wrote a song about it at the time called “They’re May As Well Have Been a War.” In the song I make reference to a once glorious movie theater all boarded up, its marquee sign shattered amid the rubble and debris of a once happy place. The Kent was that theater.

TheaterBuff1 commented about Cinerama Adventure at MoMA on Oct 6, 2007 at 2:11 am

Thanks for the great link! However, in reviewing this website so far I haven’t come across any efforts or even any mention of combining the technologies of Cinerama and digital cinema. In answering the question of my previous post, yes, there are efforts to revive Cinerama itself. Which is great! But from what I can tell, only in its original form, as a purely nostalgia type of thing. I’m looking to future — if it’s ever going to come — they’re looking to past. But thanks for giving us the link nonetheless.

TheaterBuff1 commented about Cinerama Adventure at MoMA on Oct 5, 2007 at 2:59 am

Going by what you saw, is its purpose to revive interest in Cinerama anew? That is, the revival of Cinerama itself? Or is it simply one of those documentaries that looks back nostalgically but with no ambitions beyond that?

TheaterBuff1 commented about Cinerama Adventure at MoMA on Oct 3, 2007 at 11:06 pm

Well put, Saps! While make a special note: HowardBHaas is not saying that pigs will never fly and that cows won’t ever circle the Moon, only that he and others such as he are insistent that all that must happen first before the advance of technology can get back onto the fast track forward it was in the late 1990s. Or like I was saying, nothing such as I’m suggesting can happen until we see a sea change in the status quo. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where the Boyd Theatre, which still has three projection booths leftover from its Cinerama days, is located, once had been home to some of the world’s greatest can-do innovators, starting with Ben Franklin. But now it is so contrasting to that innovative spirit that it can’t even so much as combine two already existing technologies so as to appear as if it still has it. Those who rule Philadelphia now won’t stand for it. But they’re certainly openminded to pigs flying and cows circling the Moon if anyone wants to head the city in that direction….as you can see.

TheaterBuff1 commented about Cinerama Adventure at MoMA on Oct 3, 2007 at 4:45 am

That’s reassuring to hear. But I presume the idea will not be picked up on again until a massive sea change takes place in the current status quo. I’ve been trying to get Texas Instruments and their affiliates to take special notice of the Boyd Movie Palace in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, which has been boarded up for years but had been a magnificent Cinerama theater back in its day (the ‘50s.) It’s currently up for sale, and is Philadelphia’s last still standing movie palace. But no luck so far in swaying TI and others involved with digital cinema to take any interest. Meantime, I take it the experiments you’re referring to took place back in the boom era of the 1990s?

TheaterBuff1 commented about Cinerama Adventure at MoMA on Oct 3, 2007 at 2:45 am

Has anyone heard yet of any attempts to replicate the Cinerama process with digital cinema technology? Or is that just one of those things that will have to wait until social stratification improves for the better once more?

TheaterBuff1 commented about Boyd Theatre on Oct 2, 2007 at 2:48 am

The Boyd Theatre in its ongoing closed-down state, along with many other once-great things that Philadelphia, Pennsylvania once showcased, is reflective of Philadelphia’s current extremely screwed up reward structure. It’s a reward system that elevates the city’s most worthless, unimaginative, uncreative, and untalented elements to the highest level of social stratification, while treating anyone who’s the total opposite — what few if any are still left — as if they are “worthless pieces of trash.” It’s why we no longer see great people coming out of Philadelphia anymore the way we used to, and why we haven’t for many many many years now. As for the reward structure itself, why it functions the way it does is very understandable. For not a single penny used in it is legitimate. A great deal of it is simply laundered money — the proceeds of illegal arms dealing (Philadelphia still ranks number one in this), illegal drug trafficking, fraudulently bilking the taxpayers in the rest of the state and the U.S. for constant bailouts of Septa (our public transit system), etc., medical malpractice and fraud, human trafficking, routine auto theft and, indeed, just about every other vice you can think of. And it is doesn’t help that Pennsylvania’s current governor, formerly the mayor of Philadelphia, can far more be likened to a dictator than a legitimate political leader. There’s absolutely no such thing as democracy when it comes to Pennsylvania’s current Governor Ed Rendell.

And right now with his leading the charge, Philadelphia is about to explode into a gambling mecca with its citizens — whether they be good or bad — having absolutely no say over it.

So against all that backdrop it would indeed require a miracle to bring the Boyd Theatre up to what it’s supposed to be. Short of an all-out revolution, war or purely an act of God there’s no way that I could see it. But with those things taking place I could see the Boyd Theatre being very instrumental in helping turn this city around for the better. Right now, however, it’s “Welcome to Myanmar”…

TheaterBuff1 commented about Boyd Theatre on Sep 30, 2007 at 1:56 am


TheaterBuff1 commented about Loud previews disturb patrons, hurt exhibitors on Sep 28, 2007 at 4:44 am

I meant to say mid-70s, above, not mud-70s. Sorry about that Fruedian slip… :–)

TheaterBuff1 commented about Loud previews disturb patrons, hurt exhibitors on Sep 28, 2007 at 4:39 am

Sigmund Freud was a pioneer in psychoanalysis. So naturally he made all sorts of mistakes given that. But underlying it all I don’t see any evidence to suggest he was insincere. So that, in my judgement, takes him out of the category of psuedointellectual. If you want to see a perfect example of a pseudointellectual, check out the documentary, LENNON (2000). In that movie there’s a particular scene where Lennon’s interviewed by a snotty woman who’s as psuedointellectual as they come. Other perfect examples include William F. Buckley — a true classic! — and most recently, Ann Coulter.

Now regarding STAR WARS, as for the timing of it, yes, it was post-Vietnam and post-Watergate as you say. But for more relevant, I feel, it was post- two key assassinations, that of Bobby Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. With those two great leaders having been downed, by the mud-70s it totally redefined what space exploration was to be about and set the stage for Reagan to come in 1980. There’s a scene in STAR WARS where a planet, eerily similar to earth, gets completely destroyed — as if by some “amazing force of great intelligence.” This is the kind of thing that STAR WARS put across. And American moviegoers, without wise leadership to guide them, gullibly fell for it as though it was a “great movie.” Can I suggest Marc Antony’s Funeral Oration might’ve come in handy at that moment?

Now as for TEN COMMANDMENTS. Subjugating the general public into subscribing to an irrational belief system, you say? For I seriously beg to differ! For there’s not one miracle in that movie that cannot be explained in secular terms. Do you know it’s possible to stun and hypnotize snakes so they can become as stiff as wooden staffs? And that this trance can be broken by tossing the hypnotized snake down onto a hard surface? And are you aware that water can appear to be turned to blood the same way Chicago turns that river it has green each year on St. Patty’s Day? And the Red Sea is well known to undergo massive tidal shifts several times a day. There are times in the day when the tide goes down so thoroughly that you can actually walk across it where the bottom becomes exposed. But when the tide reshifts the water overflows these exposed areas tsunami-like.

The movie THE TEN COMMANDMENTS no doubt stylizes these “miracles” it depicts, to make it look as if a super-deity is behind them all. But what movie doesn’t exaggerate that way for better effect? Meantime, historically we do know that the Jews of today descend from a people who were held in bondage as slaves in ancient Egypt. Yet they overcame this bondage and fled somehow. And your explanation for that is….? As for there being no records of this Jewish exodus in ancient Egyptian writings, which I myself pointed out several entries back, could that not be similar to how many in the South to this day insist that the Civil War was purely one of Northern aggression and that ending slavery all throughout the U.S. had nothing to do with it? And don’t forget, relating to events more recent, there’s Holocaust denyers. Your city just hosted one.

TheaterBuff1 commented about Loud previews disturb patrons, hurt exhibitors on Sep 27, 2007 at 3:24 am

I thought “psuedointellectual” was a term that applied only to those who ignore the facts and delve in sophistry. And not to be distracted by your calling me one, I still think that.

As for what you say about artists and medium, yes, we do think of the medium up to the point of, “Should I communicate this idea with oil on canvas, egg tempera or casein on wood gessoed panel, with watercolor on coarse paper, with charcoal on newsprint, or what have you.” But we don’t get hung up on, “Is this paint Windsor-Newton or Grumbacher? Is this brush sable, hogshair or nylon?” and all that other crap. We want to know if the materials we use are durable, but that’s as deep as it goes. Maybe an ad we see in American Artist Magazine or whatever will convince us to go with Shiva, but if the local art supply store doesn’t carry it it becomes a case of, “Ah, whatever.” The only exception is when artists grind their own colors, but very few do that anymore. When we buy paints we do, of course, make distinctions between ultramarine, cobalt and pthalocyinide blue, between cadmium red and vermillion, when we go to paint we choose between a flat or round brush, and should the canvas be coarse or fine, that sort of thing. But it’s only those beneath us who want to nitpick any specifics beyond all that. For me personally, though, and I wish I could say it’s true of all artists but it’s probably not, I AM sensitive to such things as is the natural environment being hurt in any way by those who produce the materials I work with? Are animals getting exploited needlessly? Is slave labor involved somewhere along the line? Unfortunately, given the irresponsibleness of current trade and manufacturing processes, those things do have to be considered.

Meantime, did I actually hear you say that STAR WARS is a “masterpiece”??? This from the same man who several entries back lashed out at me for singing praises of THE TEN COMMANDMENTS?! Are we talking about the same STAR WARS here? The one with the primary message, “Let the force be with you”? For “Let the force be with you”? What the heck kind of “good message” is that to brainwash movie audiences with?! Isn’t that essentially the same philosophy that Shakespeare’s Macbeth went with? Wasn’t “Let the force be with you” what the blind and stupid followers of Hitler all got lockstep behind? That was an awful message. And it went hand-in-hand with an awful movie, whether we’re talking STAR WARS or TRIUMPH OF THE WILL — except TRIUMPH OF THE WILL was a case where its filmmaker, Leni Reifenstahl, actuslly DID elevate the medium, if you want to focus strictly on that.

TheaterBuff1 commented about Loud previews disturb patrons, hurt exhibitors on Sep 27, 2007 at 1:37 am

That can’t happen with digital cinema, while what you describe sounds a bit like that classic scene in THE WIZARD OF OZ where the booming voice of Oz says, “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!”

Which ties very heavily with what LorenzoRodriguez was saying; “I am talking about a worldwide economic system, Capitalist, Socialist, and Communist, capable of reducing every single one of us to a number on a quarterly report or portfolio.”

See, down there in Mississippi, Caesar, they want you focused on the cinemas down that way — just as is the ongoing case in rural Pennslvania — while not paying attention to the disappearing farmland all around you. The cinemas will tell you [with the sound volume cranked up to an ear-shattering level], “WE’RE what’s important! Keep your focus on US!”

Am I on the right track with that thinking, LorenzoRodriguez? Or am I not?

TheaterBuff1 commented about Tower Theatre on Sep 26, 2007 at 3:40 am

Has anybody ever pinpointed why the Tower has the most fantastic acoustics in the world? Or is this just one of those freak and seemingly coincidental phenomenons that no one as of yet has ever been able to fully explain? I remember how Bowie, and also Springsteen, absolutely idolized that theater for that very reason. And here it is into the 21st century, and it still has it!

TheaterBuff1 commented about Loud previews disturb patrons, hurt exhibitors on Sep 26, 2007 at 2:21 am

Actually, the W.C. Fields quote you’re referring to is, “All things considered, I’d rather be in Philadelphia.” It was supposed to have been engraved on his tombstone, but apparently never was. Meantime. just to be factual about it, Fields wasn’t actually from Philadelphia but was from Upper Darby, a Philadelphia suburb, and home to the Tower Theater, known the world over for its excellent acoustics — the latter being something you should pay closer attention to, as certainly the great theater designers of the past did. And as for the fine arts crowd, which I’m partially a part of, you’re quite mistaken. We don’t talk about those things you mention at all. Only the talentless amateurs do that. Our whole focus is on message, and expressing ourselves with whatever works and with whatever we happen to have on hand at any given moment.

Now Caesar, as for illegal Internet downloading undercutting cinema profitability, that’s just a huge cop out on some in Hollywood’s part. For you can’t download from the Internet the great experience of seeing a great film exhibited in a great theater. No matter how you try to cut it. What perhaps you can download, though, is a lousy movie that wouldn’t be improved any by seeing it in a really poorly run multiplex. I certainly won’t argue with Hollywood there. As for the farm situation you describe down that way, that greatly worries me. For it sounds to me that cinemas down that way and exciting new ones rising up are being used as a major distraction to undercut that area of the country’s farming industry even further, just as is going on right now here in Pennsylvania. Farming is the highest profession, because it is the most essential — not a one of us could exist without it — but you’d never know that, given how in so many places it’s getting cast aside right now as if belonging to the past. These days when you travel up north and west out through Pennsylvania it is really awful to see all the intense development where beautiful farmland used to be. There are some suburbs of Philadelphia now where they’re much more city-like than many parts of this city are. It’s both crazy and really sad. It’s like opening the door to your cellar, getting whoooosh! — hit in the face with flames of a blazing fire down there — quickly slamming the door again, and saying to yourself, “Uh, I didn’t just see that, please somebody tell me I didn’t just see that!” I would say from this that sound levels in our theaters being too loud when the trailers are being shown is the least of our worries.

TheaterBuff1 commented about Looking for theater to buy on Sep 25, 2007 at 3:43 am

One of the grandest movie palaces on America’s entire east coast is currently up for sale — The Boyd Theatre in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (known for a time as the Sameric). As such, it is Philadelphia’s last standing movie palaces and is in a prime location, Center City. Meantime, you can see magnificent photo images of it at the following link: View link

And my personal feeling is that it’s totally ripe for digital cinema, being as no other theater in Philadelphia has this right now. This link — — gives you a full summary of its tremendous earning and revenue-generating potential. So by all means give strong thought regarding possibly purchasing the Boyd.

TheaterBuff1 commented about Loud previews disturb patrons, hurt exhibitors on Sep 25, 2007 at 2:20 am

There is no theatrical sound system so great that it can make up for the movie being exhibited being less than gripping. And to be sure, the movie that’s being exhibited is clearly failing if anyone in the audience while watching is wondering what the theater’s sound system is. At this late stage in theatrical sound technology evolution we should be to the point that whatever sound system is being used is a moot issue since all that’s currently available and being applied is great. While let it be noted the greatest theatrical sound system in the world cannot make up for the movie being exhibited being lousy. And “lousy” is not as subjective a term as it sounds (no pun intended). Case in point, I hear you talking about the state of movie theaters around Vicksburg, Mississippi these days, Caesar, but my not having been through that way for some time, I wonder what the state of farmland is around there of late while this other is going on. Is all that being rapidly phased out while no one is noticing, the all new multiplex theaters you describe, and other new ones going up, being used as a distraction from all that as it were? I.e., is it now to the point that if a movie exhibited there seeks to put across what people in that area of the country — as well as elsewhere — need to attune to once again, the audience reaction is that the film in question is “lousy”

For such is a huge problem in rural (or what not very long ago was rural) Pennsylvania right now. And I mean huuuuge. The movie theaters in Pennsylvania’s major cities — such as here in Philadelphia — range from poorly run and backwards to nonexistent, while reports coming from Pennsylvania’s previously rural areas are just the opposite. And there’s most clearly something majorly wrong with that, while I’m wondering if that’s the case in Mississippi as well. And it sounds to be, going by what you’ve been saying. And though this might all seem off topic relative to this particular CT page, that’s the way awareness increase often is. The Lord works in mysterious ways as they say.

TheaterBuff1 commented about Loud previews disturb patrons, hurt exhibitors on Sep 23, 2007 at 11:27 pm

LorenzoRodriguez, you wrote: “I can tell by the details in the postings who among us, like me, has physically and emotionally dedicated this precious life to the mostly wonderful world of motion picture exhibition.”

In offering up my rebuttal to that, and not disputing your statement, let me just say that you obviously: 1) never did this in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; 2) went nowhere fast if you tried to; or 3) you’re much older than I realized and did it back when it was still possible to. (That is, back in the days when many people still believed in God. Actual God, that is, not one of man’s own making.) Consider yourself to have been very very lucky to have been in a place that enabled you to achieve what you did, and that still allows you to. And do not take it for granted.

For from my Philadelphia-based perspective, well-run theaters — except that they have what you consider to be excessively loud trailers — are better than no theaters at all. And by well-run theaters I mean those such as Philadelphia once had in abundance but that had been forced to shut down via intimidation, extortion, vandalism, racketeering, political pressures from bogus religions, the bad elements forcing out the good and so on.

TheaterBuff1 commented about Majestic Theater on Sep 23, 2007 at 10:47 pm

Great photos, Lost Memory!

TheaterBuff1 commented about Loud previews disturb patrons, hurt exhibitors on Sep 23, 2007 at 4:01 am

If I understand correctly, historically there’s not a single mention anywhere in ancient Egyptian writings of someone named Moses leading the Israelites out from Egyptian oppression and bondage. And there seems to be no historic economic shifts of that sort that we come across when we study ancient Egypt’s evolution. And this regarding a culture that had writing and careful records kept.

But see, when I watched THE TEN COMMANDMENTS as a child at the Mayfair Theatre, I didn’t view it in the sense that an historic account was being exhibited. Rather, I simply saw what I felt was a great movie with a great underlying storyline, in and of itself. In that context whether it was historically accurate or not was irrelevant. For even though I was a child, I knew when I saw what looked like Roman soldiers that it was far from being historically accurate. But I was also able to see beyond that. To not let such historic flaws get in the way of what ultimately was being said. And whether what was depicted in that film actually ever happened or not proves nothing in my opinion, while you seem to think it’s evidence that there is no God. That’s like saying because Betsy Ross was a myth or George Washington never chopped down the cherry tree there is no United States.

Being as I grew up here in Philadelphia, and visiting the historic Betsy Ross house at Arch Street and Second was a frequent destination of school trips, not to mention how we regularly sang in the school auditorium a song retelling the Betsy Ross legend as if it was actual fact, what do you think my reaction was later in life as an adult when I found out the Betsy Ross tale never really happened? Do you think I felt my whole world suddenly turned upside down? For no. My straightforward reaction was, what did it really matter? I still believed in the principles of the United States. But that’s just speaking for me. Others I can’t speak for.

And the same goes with religious accounts. Was there really a Noah with his ark? A Gsrden of Eden? Did Jesus really feed the 5,000 with two fish and loaves of bread? I don’t know, and I don’t bet on it either way. For that’s all in the past. But you seem to think if those things can be disproven it disproves all else. It disproves whatever we believe in and of the here and now. I can attest to the past that I bore witness to. But that’s as far as I care to go. That I authoratively have a right to. And for the most part I’m a futurist. And when I look at certain things in the past I ask, “Well, it worked then, why can’t it work now?” When I do that I’m thinking future, not past.

And just because it can be “proven” that Moses never led the Israelites out from Egyptian bondage, does that mean that doing that sort of thing is a bad idea? No. That’s not proof that it is. That’s no proof at all. It’s just garbage talk. That’s how I look at it.