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In olden days...

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  • donnyc_astoria
    Reading Mira s post I began thinking about the theatres (I prefer this spelling) I had the pleasure of going to in my hometown of New York City. What I recall
    Message 1 of 2 , Jan 18, 2004
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      Reading Mira's post I began thinking about the theatres (I prefer this spelling) I had the pleasure of going to in my hometown of New
      York City. What I recall with the most affection are the movie theatres that housed the "big" important movies. Those movies, like a
      stage show, required you to buy your tickets in advance. Many of these were movie versions of Broadway musicals such as "West
      Side Story," "My Fair Lady," "The Sound of Music" and "Hello, Dolly." But also movies like "Cleopatra" fell into this category.

      This practice turned going to the movies into an event, not only because the move was special, but also because the theatres were
      nothing like the ones we attended on a regular basis. These theatres were huge, with columns, large, imposing screens, balconies
      and seating room for a small country! Two of these theatres were The Rivoli, The Criterion, both long gone. The closest thing we have
      left here in NYC is Radio City Music Hall and they don't run movies like they used to.

      It's very sad to me that young people today won't know what this experience was like, although in the age of cell phones that take
      photographs, they'd probably just be bored. Well we weren't bored. Not by a long shot.

      I'd like to say one thing regarding my interest in Classic Theatres, movie and legit. I notice that most people here are interested in the
      exterior and marquees. My interest lies inside. In the auditoriums. I go to the theatre to see a show, but before going in I stand on the
      sidewalk and examine the facades just like I've done a thousand times before. Once inside I do the same thing. A theatre is a holy
      place to me and I'm so happy to know others feel the same way.
    • jimor2
      ... this spelling) I had the pleasure of going to in my hometown of New ... theatres that housed the big important movies. Those movies, like a ... these
      Message 2 of 2 , Jul 29, 2004
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        --- In historicmoviepalaces@yahoogroups.com, "donnyc_astoria"
        <overit@n...> wrote:
        > Reading Mira's post I began thinking about the theatres (I prefer
        this spelling) I had the pleasure of going to in my hometown of New
        > York City. What I recall with the most affection are the movie
        theatres that housed the "big" important movies. Those movies, like a
        > stage show, required you to buy your tickets in advance. Many of
        these were movie versions of Broadway musicals such as "West
        > Side Story," "My Fair Lady," "The Sound of Music" and "Hello,
        Dolly." But also movies like "Cleopatra" fell into this category.
        >
        > This practice turned going to the movies into an event, not only
        because the move was special, but also because the theatres were
        > nothing like the ones we attended on a regular basis. These theatres
        were huge, with columns, large, imposing screens, balconies
        > and seating room for a small country! Two of these theatres were The
        Rivoli, The Criterion, both long gone. The closest thing we have
        > left here in NYC is Radio City Music Hall and they don't run movies
        like they used to.
        >
        > It's very sad to me that young people today won't know what this
        experience was like, although in the age of cell phones that take
        > photographs, they'd probably just be bored. Well we weren't bored.
        Not by a long shot.
        >
        > I'd like to say one thing regarding my interest in Classic Theatres,
        movie and legit. I notice that most people here are interested in the
        > exterior and marquees. My interest lies inside. In the auditoriums.
        I go to the theatre to see a show, but before going in I stand on the
        > sidewalk and examine the facades just like I've done a thousand
        times before. Once inside I do the same thing. A theatre is a holy
        > place to me and I'm so happy to know others feel the same way.
        ****************
        Well, Don, I'm not sure that theatres are "holy" but like you, I too
        look primarily for the ornate interiors to see the beauty that once
        made up the thrill of going to the movies. When I grew up as a child
        in Milwaukee we had some 20 movie palaces to choose from (and some 40
        other lesser show houses), and I recall especially the mystic aura of
        the EGYPTIAN ( http://www.cinematreasures.org/theater/2375/ ) under
        its star-studded sky, as the 18-foot-tall figures of Egyptians in gold
        leaf looked down on us, and later I reveled in the graceful interior
        of the ornate RIVERSIDE ( http://www.cinematreasures.org/theater/2260/
        ) when the five enormous chandeliers dimmed and the feature "20,000
        Leagues Under The Sea" started upon the closed house curtain, and as
        it opened with the titles having a rippling-reflections-of-the-sea
        backdrop which was accentuated by the velour folds of the opening
        draperies. The magic of that filled auditorium was palpable in 1956 as
        was the last time I had the privilege of experiencing a sold-out house
        in 1970 when the former WARNER (
        http://www.cinematreasures.org/theater/1903/ ), the most ornate
        theatre (possibly aside from the historic PABST of 1895) in the city,
        showed the movie "Airport" and all 2500 people gasped and laughed as
        one in that gilded auditorium. They hadn't replaced all the light
        bulbs in the twin chandeliers nor in the ten coves of tri-color lights
        above the grillework, but it was still something special to see the
        golden-tasseled burgundy velour draperies around the six huge murals
        "after Fragonard" and know that all that glamour was just for us. I
        didn't know it then, but three years later the place would be split in
        two and renamed the CENTRE; and that in '82 it would be renamed the
        GRAND and then closed for good in '95. These may not have been of the
        size and grandeur of NYC's palaces, but they were jewels in their own
        right, and I miss them! Jim R.
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