Comments from Escott O. Norton

Showing 1 - 25 of 77 comments

Escott O. Norton
Escott O. Norton commented about TCL Chinese Theatre on Mar 31, 2022 at 6:11 pm

The Chinese is NOT, I repeat NOT in danger of being torn down for housing. A local preservation group took something out of context and starting this scare campaign to boost attention to their org. The LA City Planning Dept responded that the theatre is not in any danger. The rezoning is part of a citywide effort to promote more housing opportunities, allowing areas that previously couldn’t build housing to have the option.

Escott O. Norton
Escott O. Norton commented about Rialto Theatre on Mar 3, 2021 at 8:30 pm

On March 10, 2021 at 7pm I will be doing a free online presentation on the history of the Rialto, leading right up to the recent exterior restoration that the owners did over the last year. I consulted with them to make sure authentic colors and materials were utilized. The presentation will include exclusive behind the scenes photos of the process as well as historic interior photos of non-public areas. You can register here: www.crowdcast.io/e/rialto

Escott O. Norton
Escott O. Norton commented about Rialto - South Pasadena, CA on Nov 12, 2020 at 4:59 pm

Great shot! After collecting Rialto photos for decades this is the first time I’ve seen this one! Thanks!

Escott O. Norton
Escott O. Norton commented about Miramar Theatre on Oct 9, 2020 at 12:42 am

According to city files, there is substantial movement on the Miramar Theatre. in 2017 the previous owner got a plan to restore and adaptively reuse the property, with the theatre being an event space and the bowling alley adaptively reused as a food court. The property was sold in Dec 2019 to Fortuitous Partners. Permits have been pulled for partial demolition of the bowling alley structure, reports have been filed about what exact materials can be saved and not, and the new operator, restauranteur James A Markham will be running the food court element. I can’t find any info on who will be involved with the theatre. A pretty detailed Historic Structures Report on the theatre, including interior photos, can be seen here: https://www.san-clemente.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=28628

Escott O. Norton
Escott O. Norton commented about Miramar Theatre on Oct 8, 2020 at 8:53 pm

A new buyer has been announced. No name, but he appears to be a local restauranteur. https://www.sanclementetimes.com/historical-happenings-coming-attractions-miramar-theatre-complex-the-sequel/

Escott O. Norton
Escott O. Norton commented about TCL Chinese Theatre on Aug 3, 2020 at 4:40 pm

Hi Bill_Lonee, and welcome! Great story! I remember my first viewing of Star Wars, also at the Chinese, and it also changed my life! I remember events in my life as pre- and post-Star Wars!
I hope when theatres reopen eventually that you come back and watch a movie at the Chinese, I go all the time (well, until it has to close) and the theatre is still magic, and in my opinion one of the best places to see a big movie!

Escott O. Norton
Escott O. Norton commented about State Theatre on Jul 31, 2020 at 4:38 pm

Jmetcalf, what’s the latest? I just drove by the State after not seeing it for years. Did you contact the owners? Does anyone have current or vintage interior pix? Thanks!

Escott O. Norton
Escott O. Norton commented about TCL Chinese Theatre on Jan 31, 2020 at 5:47 pm

bigjoe59, what great collection! I would love to see photos of the House of Rothschild program, or any programs that are from Los Angeles theatres. In fact, if you’re ever interested in donating any, the Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation maintains an archive of ephemera related to theatres in L.A. County. www.LAHTF.org.

Escott O. Norton
Escott O. Norton commented about Rialto Theatre on Nov 22, 2019 at 2:30 am

Thanks Jorge! Yes, I was there for the 3 day shoot, they did exteriors and interiors. They even shot in the projection room which is a first for the Rialto! Mick Garris, the writer/director, was really great, he actually visited the Rialto a lot when he was younger and wrote the script with it in mind, having no idea that he would be able to shoot there! For those interested, here is a link to some behind the scenes photos I shot during filming of Nightmare Cinema: https://www.facebook.com/pg/FriendsoftheRialto/photos/?tab=album&album_id=2558787384140105

Escott O. Norton
Escott O. Norton commented about Eagle Theatre on May 23, 2019 at 6:58 am

I will be touring the Eagle with the listing agent tomorrow, and then will be moderating a community meeting on Thursday May 23 at 7:30pm at Eagle Rock City Hall to gauge community interest and see if we can bring the Eagle Theatre back to life. Anyone in the area is encouraged to come. If you are interested in getting involved, you can also email me at .
Thanks, Escott Norton, Executive Director Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation

Escott O. Norton
Escott O. Norton commented about Star Theatre on Mar 6, 2019 at 7:33 pm

Here is the latest news on the Star Theatre. The current owner has proposed tearing down the Star to build 22 condo units on the property and adjoining parking lot. The Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation has submitted comments and case studies and spoken at the 2 most recent hearings. We found multiple errors and faulty assumptions in the Draft EIR. Last night, the Planning Commission unanimously voted to approve without any debate or discussion. Public comment was evenly split, 4-4.

Here is our advocacy page on the Star, it will be updated with all the information we have: www.lahtf.org/star-theatre/

Detailed project documents are available here on the City of La Puente’s website: http://lapuente.granicus.com/GeneratedAgendaViewer.php?view_id=3&event_id=455

Escott O. Norton
Escott O. Norton commented about TCL Chinese Theatre on Dec 7, 2018 at 8:34 pm

The Chinese is not the largest screen, I think the record for that is in Sydney, Australia, and I think it is the 3rd largest screen in the US, but the Chinese is easily the largest IMAX theatre by seating capacity at 932, according to http://www.lfexaminer.com/theaUSA.htm. In my opinion it is the best audio and picture quality I have experienced. And it is a stunningly beautiful historic theatre too!

Escott O. Norton
Escott O. Norton commented about TCL Chinese Theatre on Jul 11, 2018 at 10:12 pm

BigJoe, I recommend you spend some time on my friend Kurt’s website. He has an exhaustive collection of photos and information, including a COMPLETE list of every movie and show ever presented at the Chinese. Also check out the 1927 tour of the theatre! http://graumanschinese.org

Escott O. Norton
Escott O. Norton commented about Rialto Theatre on Dec 11, 2017 at 9:24 am

Photo by Lin Cariffe, for the National Register application in 1977.

Escott O. Norton
Escott O. Norton commented about Rialto Theatre on Dec 11, 2017 at 9:23 am

Photo by Lin Cariffe, for the National Register application in 1977.

Escott O. Norton
Escott O. Norton commented about Rialto Theatre on Dec 11, 2017 at 9:23 am

Photo by Lin Cariffe, for the National Register application in 1977.

Escott O. Norton
Escott O. Norton commented about Rialto Theatre on Dec 11, 2017 at 9:22 am

Photo by Lin Cariffe, for the National Register application in 1977.

Escott O. Norton
Escott O. Norton commented about Rialto Theatre on Dec 11, 2017 at 9:22 am

Photo by Lin Cariffe, for the National Register application in 1977.

Escott O. Norton
Escott O. Norton commented about TCL Chinese Theatre on Oct 11, 2017 at 6:51 pm

I agree on the Chinese center railing. Unfortunately that is a building/safety code requirement. The only way to have avoided it would be not having a center aisle. My favorite seats are the last 3 rows of lower section, right on the center aisle, even with the railing.

Escott O. Norton
Escott O. Norton commented about TCL Chinese Theatre on Oct 5, 2017 at 2:55 am

Hi leotyx,
I’m not going to get into a discussion about what IMAX is best other than to say that “true” IMAX means nothing because any theatre licensed to show IMAX is legitimate. Maybe call it “original format” IMAX if you want!

I’d also question “as intended” by the director. Certainly he knew it would be shown in multiple formats and was OK with that, or he would have pulled a Tarantino and only released it in IMAX 70mm. When I worked in the film biz we had monitors with multiple formats outlined so all information was captured for all formats. I’m sure Nolan did that.

My point was really to compare the architecture, the relationship of audience to screen. The theatre was almost empty, I could have sat in almost any seat, and I did more once. I stand by my conclusion that the steep rake and relationship of seating to screen at the Universal Citywalk is not conducive to watching a full length movie, at least for me. The seating relationship was designed for short event films, and is spectacular for that use in my opinion, but it doesn’t work for me for a full length drama. In the end, there is no “right”, it is a matter of opinion, and I expressed mine knowing I would get some pushback!

Escott O. Norton
Escott O. Norton commented about TCL Chinese Theatre on Aug 22, 2017 at 6:03 am

BigJoe59, I finally saw Dunkirk at the Chinese and it was pretty amazing! Very immersive, with stunning visuals and sound design. If you like Nolan’s style I think you would like this. If you are frustrated by Nolan’s multilayered sound style, this will drive you crazy. That is rally the main criticism I’ve heard, that you “can’t hear the dialogue”. For me that was just fine. Now to the projection and sound. I decided to see it in 70mmIMAX so I could compare (here is another theatre nearby that was showing it in that format).
I’m sure I will get plenty of disagreement, but I thought the quality of the IMAX Laser and the IMAX 70mm were almost indistinguishable, and both looked incredible. The sound in both theatres was very similar too. What made the experience at the Chinese much better for me was the positioning of the screen and seating. At the 70mm theatre Universal Citywalk, unless you were near the very back you have to crane your neck to see the full screen, which I found uncomfortable. At the Chinese I sat at my favorite place, just behind the cross-aisle near the middle, and that put me square in the middle of the screen. No neck ache!

Escott O. Norton
Escott O. Norton commented about TCL Chinese Theatre on Aug 22, 2017 at 5:52 am

It’s a nice glossy colorful book with the first pages about the history with both vintage and recent photos. There is also a timeline. The majority of the book is handprint ceremonies through the years. Some great photos there too. Amazon is also selling it, so that shipping might be cheaper.

Escott O. Norton
Escott O. Norton commented about TCL Chinese Theatre on Aug 1, 2017 at 8:26 pm

BigJoe59, I’ve been out of town for the last few weeks but plan to see Dunkirk at the Chinese as soon as I get back, and will report. My temptation is to also see it in 70mmIMAX at the one theatre it is playing in Los Angeles, and compare.

Escott O. Norton
Escott O. Norton commented about TCL Chinese Theatre on Jun 23, 2017 at 2:06 am

Happy to help! If you just look at the walls and ceiling, I’d say closer to 80%. Including the many changes tot he seating the number would be lower. Soon I will be sharing a great “tour” of what the Chinese was like on Opening Day, put together by one of the foremost Chinese Theatre historians. He has found some amazing photos!

Escott O. Norton
Escott O. Norton commented about TCL Chinese Theatre on Jun 20, 2017 at 10:32 pm

Hi Big Joe, There was a lot of concern about the most recent renovation, and the owners consulted closely with the Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation and other preservation experts during the entire process. The biggest change was the lowering of the floor in front to increase the rake as well as the size of the screen. Lowering the floor essentially destroyed the basement and stage area. We did a behind the scenes tour just before it closed, so that area is well documented. The existing curtains were reused by simply adding a new section of fabric at the top. The original walls and ceiling were protected during construction preserved.

There have been many remodels before this, the biggest in my opinion was when the screen was widened and the 2 pagodas on either side of the proscenium were destroyed. That was way before my time, but I would have loved to see the pagodas. The other big change was the bottom of the chandelier being removed. Again, that was a while ago. There were previous changes to the rake of the seating, originally the seats started at lobby level and sloped down to the stage, but for most of my life there was a steep stairway at the back that people constantly tripped on as they were looking up at the ceiling. So in a way, the recent renovation brings the seating rake back closer to what Grauman built.

As far as what is left from 1927, the ceiling, the walls and side columns, the lobby murals and decor are preserved, the women lounge is original, and much of the behind the scenes office areas above the lobby are untouched. I’ve had meetings in Sid Grauman’s art deco office and it is like traveling back in time! Sid’s private box is also still there, and is used by VIPs. We have some post renovation pictures on our website at www.LAHTF.org and on our Facebook page.