Comments from turnkey

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turnkey commented about AMC Criterion 6 on Aug 3, 2022 at 1:26 pm

The above description is not quite accurate. I worked in Santa Monica in the early-mid 1980s. The theater was not “razed around 1983” – it had to be later than that, either the late ‘80s or early '90s. And let me tell you, after the theater was sold by the Mann company (late '70s?) it went DOWNHILL just like the rest of the Santa Monica mall. At one time it was a .99 and even .49 theater showing double and triple “grindhouse” type fare. The poor manager made attempts at respectability but the majority of the audience was homeless or riff raff types. He even tried screening “The Ten Commandments” – for free – around Christmas time, thinking families might show up – but was horrified, or so I heard, when the theater was packed with transients.

turnkey commented about 4 Star Theatre on May 22, 2013 at 2:03 pm

Looks like a demo is in its future:

turnkey commented about Vine Theatre on Sep 16, 2011 at 6:42 pm

Does anyone have any idea on what their rental rates are like. I spoke to some old guy answering the phone years ago and it was a joke. Hopefully he’s not there anymore.

turnkey commented about Picwood Theatre on Jul 6, 2006 at 9:31 am

I lived on Military Ave in the ‘70s, within walking distance of the Picwood. I remember going to the Picwood Bowl, Chess & Games Unlimited (to play the new video game, “PONG”!) John Fine Cameras, Shep’s Deli, Sal’s Liquor (to buy football cards!), and other shops in the area. It seems like everything other than the Apple Pan are long gone! My favorite memories though have to have been the Picwood. AS a kid in the '70s, seeing great films with the fantastic seats…nothing could have been better. When I started dating, I took a girl to see “The Lonely Lady” starring Pia Zadora at the Picwood. This was in '83 and it must have been the last time I visited this theater. What a riot! It was opening night and the movie was so bad —in a good way — the audience was screaming and yelling lewd comments to the screen — nothing I care to repeat! And Pia Zadora showed up at the end and I recall one of the ushers or the manager having her sign the one-sheet on display in the audience. A truly bad film but a great way to end my memory of the Picwood!

turnkey commented about Brentwood 1 & 2 on Jul 6, 2006 at 9:02 am

do you know approximately what year this was? I left the westside in the late 80s and when I came back in the mid 90s I don’t recall the theater being there…just trying to figure out the exact date. It’s too bad an independent owner didn’t take over. That area could use a cool theater.

turnkey commented about Brentwood 1 & 2 on Jul 5, 2006 at 4:02 pm

I live a block away from where this theater used to be. Yes, it was a second-run, second-rate theater in every manner possible. They would show second-run films, but, since they were in a nice section of town, charge first-run prices! I recall the manager telling the audience about what a great guy he was to hire the handicapped, and I thought that was a cool thing to do (hire them, not brag about it) but the theater itself was not that impressive.

turnkey commented about X 1 & 2 Theatres on Jul 5, 2006 at 3:52 pm

I used to go to this theater back when Johnny Legend and Eric Caiden of Hollywood Book and Poster ran it as the “Hawaiian Gardens” in the early ‘90s, for about 6 months or so. I was under the impression (I think Johnny told me this) that the people from Florentine Gardens owned it. They would share the parking lot. There were some amazing double and triple, and maybe even quadruple bills — strange exploitation films like “Switchblade Sisters” and “Let me Die a Woman.” It was a pleasure to attend this theater every weekend. Unfortunately not enough filmgoers were into this and I think it folded after a few months. The manager was some nutcase named Dale who gave Johnny a hard time and had no apprectiation for either the films or the fans. Once, I started asking him a question and before I uttered three words he said, “no, no…no, NO!”…JERK.

turnkey commented about Criterion Theatre on Jun 6, 2005 at 3:33 pm

I went there as a kid in the ‘70s when it would show family films like the Disney/Kurt Russell movies or “Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster.” Then, in the early '80s (83-84) I worked across the street from it at J.J. Newberry’s. By then the theater was showing double-features for .99, then it went down to triple-features for .49. On one Christmas weekend they showed the “Ten Commandments” for free. I don’t know how they made a profit. I went a few times to see the (mostly terrible) movies they showed like Lucio Fulci’s “7 doors of death” (aka “The Beyond”). It was a real grindhouse experience complete with bums and delinquents heckling the screen, the audience and each other. Management did not seem to care that this once-great theater was now given to the dregs…