Comments from RogerC

Showing 13 comments

RogerC
RogerC commented about Fulton Theatre on Aug 22, 2020 at 2:17 pm

Clarification of my previous comment. The Strand Theater was across the street. The Fulton, according to a 1974 item in The Fresno Bee was originally a silent movie house called The Bijou. Converted to sound to become The Majestic. Went out of business shortly and was closed for two years in the Depression. Reopened as The Fulton in 1932 with new neon marquee and remained open until,1952.

RogerC
RogerC commented about Strand Theatre on Aug 22, 2020 at 2:07 pm

Correction to above comment. The Strand was across the street from the Fulton and was originally known as the Fresno Photo Theater. The original operators left it to fight in World War 1.

RogerC
RogerC commented about Crest Theatre on Aug 17, 2020 at 5:07 pm

Fresno’s Broadway St at the time the Crest opened was a part of State Route 99 before Freeway 99 was built. All motorists driving through the Central Valley on the 99 as they went through Fresno would pass by the stunning Crest marquee. It was the most welcoming sight on the route.

RogerC
RogerC commented about Hardy's Theatre on Aug 16, 2020 at 4:14 pm

I would be curious to verify the original seating capacity of 1917. Some claim it was closer to 2000. Over the years the capacity shrunk. The insanely high and steep upper third of the balcony was sealed off. Projection booth always on the main floor so there were no “keystoning” issues with the screen image. The 1950s remodel with “Rocking Chair Loges” in the rear orchestra also reduced capacity. But in the 50s it was the most comfortable movie seat in Fresno. Another remodel in the 60s expanded the lobby and snack bar and finally added rest rooms on the main floor.

RogerC
RogerC commented about Wilson Theatre on Aug 16, 2020 at 3:55 pm

The Wilson had a large glass chandelier over the orchestra that was removed in the 1950s supposedly because it was difficult to maintain and there was fear it could collapse. The Wilson and the Warner Theater across the street both had large vertical blade signs visible for blocks on Fulton St. I have seen images of these signs taken in the 1930s but don’t recall as a child in the 1950s seeing them. For decades, the Wilson and the Warner were the two largest cinemas in Fresno.

RogerC
RogerC commented about Fine ArtsTheatre on Aug 16, 2020 at 11:49 am

The Fine Art Theater (not called the International Theater) probably had closer to 500 seats. In a ragged Southeast Fresno neighborhood across from the horse race track on the Fresno Fairgrounds, it was originally a low priced sub run neighborhood cinema called the Mayfair that Gerald Hardy once operated. When Art Theater Guild, who had venues in San Francisco and Los Angeles, took over, they eliminated popcorn and a snack bar, but did sell imported chocolates, and offered complimentary coffee to give it a cool vibe. For a time it was next door to a live arts venue known as Fresno Community Theater which helped make the neighborhood seem more vital. The Fine Art had no matinees and always advertised “Free Supervised Parking” in their adjacent lot. The ran foreign language films – I saw Bergman, Fellini, Kurosawa classics there. They ran “Underground” movies at midnight, a lot of the Andy Warhol stuff. As the years rolled by they relied more and more on soft core erotic titles, Russ Meyer films, and ultimately abandoned the art house programming and went full time pornhouse.

RogerC
RogerC commented about White Theatre on Aug 15, 2020 at 6:24 pm

I recall seeing historic ads of Orpheum vaudeville acts at the White. Fresno was a pit stop between longer Orpheum runs in San Francisco and Los Angeles. The performers, many of them national celebreties, stayed next door at the Hotel Fresno.

RogerC
RogerC commented about UA Movies 4 on Aug 15, 2020 at 6:16 pm

The current Food Max was never a movie theater. To the south of it facing Barstow St was the UA Movies 4 now a Hobbytown USA. The building to the north of Food Max facing Blackstone Ave was the Festival Cinemas now the service department of a Nissan dealership.

RogerC
RogerC commented about Fulton Theatre on Aug 15, 2020 at 6:09 pm

1132 Fulton St was the address of the Strand Theater. Previous incarnation of the Fulton?

RogerC
RogerC commented about Strand Theatre on Aug 15, 2020 at 6:05 pm

I wonder if The Strand is the original name for the Fulton Theater at 1139 Fulton.

RogerC
RogerC commented about UA Movies 4 on Feb 27, 2013 at 11:10 am

I would correct the opening to December 1975. I remember buying the first ticket and the film was Sam Peckinpah’s The Killer Elite which had it’s national release 12/19/75. I kept the ticket stub which was number 000001.

RogerC
RogerC commented about Northgate Cinemas 4 on Feb 26, 2013 at 11:16 am

After having downtown theaters with 1200 to 2000 seats and more recent neighborhood houses like the 890 seat Tower and 980 seat single screen Manchester, Fresno in 1971 found itself saddled with this little concrete bunker with 4 screens with 190, 280, 340, and 190. What I don’t see listed here is the nearby UA Movies 4 which opened 4 years later in December 1975 with Sam Peckinpah’s Killer Elite. It was easy to confuse the two 4-plexes as one was the UA Cinemas on Blackstone Ave just south of Barstow and the other was the UA Movies on Barstow Ave just east of Blackstone Ave. The more recent Movies 4 had two larger houses that were in the 400-500 seat range.

RogerC
RogerC commented about Orpheum Theatre on Nov 28, 2001 at 11:35 am

According to a Variety listing, late in 2000 the house record for the Orpheum was broken by the pre-Broadway tour of the London musical “Mamma-Mia”. The show grossed over a million dollars a week.