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After viewing the video above I can see why the Colossus won the war, this megaplex really has no charm whatsoever. It’s almost as if whomever designed this said to themselves “How can I make this 30-plex look as boring and as plain as possible” I don’t think another 30-plex will ever be built in Canada again, what a waste!
The stadium seating and megaplex trend in the mid 1990’s made this type of theatre so obsolete so very quickly, many of these Famous Players streetscape design theatres lasted less than fifteen years unfortunately, not a very long lifespan at all.
I think it’s such a great shame that such a historically significant movie palace has to be destroyed to put up some ugly condo project, I do hope that they can at least save something from the interior that has historical significance. Glad I got to see some films here in the late 90’s when it was still open as a fiveplex by Famous Players.
The Alpine Cinema recently celebrated it’s 100th Birthday this past Sunday June 6th 2021, they say that at this point it’s now the oldest continually operating movie theatre in all of New York City: https://www.brooklynpaper.com/alpine-cinemas-reopens-centennial/
It actually closed in January 2001, among the last titles that were listed on the Kingsway marquee were: Castaway, Dracula 2000 & Miss Congeniality all of which opened on December 22nd 2000. There were also other films listed like The Emperors New Groove & Vertical Limit which had opened earlier in that month.
Famous Movie Shops sold movie themed memorabilia of films that were playing there during this era, such as: Batman t-shirts, Star Trek Soundtrack tapes & compact discs etc. I don’t seem to recall any Famous Players branded logo products although it would have been nice. This concept unfortunately turned out to not be profitable after awhile & was quickly discontinued. Also Cineplex Odeon seemed to know better at the time and did not have similar shops in any of their new 80’s multiplexes.
The original auditorium names at opening were: Metro, Paradise, Tivoli, Palace, Majestic & Rio.
The original auditorium names at opening were: Majestic, Paradise, Palace, Metro, Avalon & Olympia.
The original auditorium names and seat counts at opening were: Majestic 451 seats, Olympia 298 seats, Bijou 254 seats & Alto, Palace & Rio with 238 seats in each one.
The original auditorium names at opening were: Avalon, Rio, Paradise, Olympia, Palace & Alto. The largest of them was the Paradise Auditorium which seated 472 & had 70mm, meanwhile the smallest one was the Olympia with only 216 seats. Dolby SR was featured in all auditoriums when this complex opened in May of 1989.
The original auditorium names at opening were: Bijou, Alto, Rio, Palace, Olympia & Majestic.
The original auditorium names at opening were: Avalon, Olympia, Alto, Bijou, Rio.
The original auditorium names at opening were: Alto, Majestic, Olympia, Bijou, Rio, Avalon, Palace & Paradise.
The original auditorium names were: Alto, Bijou, Rio, Palace, Olympia & Avalon.
Yet, another Famous Players Street of Theaters design will be gone unfortunately. After this one closes, will there be any left in all of Canada?
Did someone at Cineplex forget to remove the vintage 80’s Famous Players signage outside? LOL, can’t tell if this used to have chaser bulbs like the Loews one in Montreal did.
Thanks! Maybe it was only given out the first weekend when we went.
That was the resolution of the photo on the Boxoffice website, I wish that it was in high resolution as well. I supposed we are lucky to have a photo at all.
I noticed in the YouTube video that grandcameo posted this cinema already had the new Famous Players logo and the “Street of Theaters” design with each auditorium having the separate movie palace names of Alto, Rio & Bijou. Was this a prototype for Famous Players? The first cinema that I thought opening with this design was the Gateway 6 in Brampton in October 1988, the Portage Place opened a year earlier. Is there anyone who worked either for Famous Players or Petroff Partnership on this site that would know the prototype status of this cinema?
This sounds really awesome Orlando, I will definitely be there. Your tour of the Loew’s Paradise was one of the best theatre tours that I have ever been on, looking forward to it.
Another story here: https://ny.curbed.com/2019/6/19/18691756/nyc-movies-paris-theater-closing
For a theatre that’s been closed for almost thirty years, it still looks remarkably well preserved. They must be taking very good care of the roof on this former Bensonhurst movie palace.
It looks like most of the upper part is still intact thankfully, thanks for the photo MARKW.
MARKW, Thank you for these photo’s, it’s great to see just how much of the Walker theatre still is intact even after the UA Quading, NBO-AnnieSez-Mandee alterations. Also great to see you back on the site as well. Too bad we could not save the Marboro.
Here is the official Obituary for Dorothy Solomon Panzica, Regal Queen of the Loew’s Kings Theatre in Brooklyn:
Dorothy Solomon Panzica September 13th 1913 – August 23rd 2017
WELLSVILLE – Dorothy Solomon Panzica, 103, of 4192B Bolivar Road, passed away on Wednesday (Aug. 23, 2017) at Manor Hills. She was born on Sept. 13, 1913, in Summerville, Mass., the daughter of William and Sarah (Schneider) Rose. She was predeceased by two husbands, Benjamin Solomon and Charles Panzica.
Dorothy was raised in Brooklyn and was employed by Loew’s Theaters throughout her career, beginning as an usherette, and retiring as the General Manager of the Loew’s Kings Theater in Brooklyn. She and Charles moved to Elm Valley in the mid 1970’s and after Charles passed away, she moved to Cummings Circle in Wellsville, where she resided for many years before moving to Manor Hills in 2011.
Dorothy was well known in the downtown Wellsville area for her kindness and generosity, and for giving away dollar bills folded like shirts to almost everyone she met.
She is survived by a sister-in-law, Frances Rose of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and several nieces and nephews, including Jerry and Sonya Goodman of Pikesville, Md.
She will be buried next to her beloved husband, Charles, in the Calverton National Cemetery on Long Island. Please consider memorial donations to the Hart Comfort House, 141 E. State Street, Wellsville, NY 14895. To leave online condolences, please visit embserfuneralhome.com.
Published in Wellsville Daily Reporter on Aug. 24, 2017