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Trip October 25th, 2012 01:04 PM

Movie Palaces of Days Gone By
This was the inside of the Oriental Theater in Mattapan MA, where I spent many a day watching double features,and a slew of cartoons.

This place was great...we had a twinkling sky, buddha's at the exits with green lit eyes Some of the rows had lights at the first seat, and oriental carpeting..

Tha rest rooms could have come out a Busby Berklee musical of the 30' laquer, huge urns and it was painted red...Sadly, it's now an electical warehouse. I wonder how much of the inside is still there.

Did you have a movie palace like we did?

Floridanamaw October 25th, 2012 01:40 PM

Perot Theater in Texarkana TX

This is where I spent many of movie night or Saturday afternoon. I loved the balcony.

CruisinK n J October 25th, 2012 08:57 PM

Movie Palaces of Days Gone By
My aunt and uncle used to treat me to the Orpheum in Minneapolis. But the local Cannon Theater in the small town where I grew up was where I spent Saturday afternoons watching MGM musicals and Abbott and Costello.


Trip October 25th, 2012 09:26 PM

Judy walk down memory lane...

belgique October 25th, 2012 11:24 PM

Detroit was full of gorgeous theaters. The Fox downtown has been renovated and is still beautiful, but all the neighborhood places were wonders, as well.

Live theater was at the Shubert - I saw Oklahoma with Gordon MacRae and Shirley Jones there with Grandma, when I was quite young.

Detroit had amazing architecture and it's sad that a lot of it is gone.

rollerdonna October 26th, 2012 07:01 AM

Even the little town of Pictou has a historical old theatre that has recently been brought back to life. this is what it looked like in the early '20's:

This past year it has seen a revitalization, and is being used as a venue for rock bands, open mike nights, kids' parties, large group bookings, craft shows, and even classes in yoga and Zumba and juijitsu. Nice to see it in working order again!


CruisinK n J October 26th, 2012 07:53 PM

Movie Palaces of Days Gone By
Trip, oh my, is that really the Orpheum in Minneapolis?



Luanne Russo October 26th, 2012 09:37 PM

Trip, My two favorites are the both in downtown Atlanta. One is the Fox. It was as a child, all red. I understand it is still there.

The other was the Lowe's Grand. Most beautiful place in the world. This was where the movie, "Gone With The Wind" premiered. Sadly it burned down in the 70's

Funny story now, but not to my mom when it happened. My mother's office was down and across the street from the Grand. When she heard the fire trucks, she looked out, and then called the man who took pictures for the firm, and he photographed it in the stages of burning down. When the film was developed, he gave the whole stack to her, to give to me. She didn't look at them, but just handed them off to me.

In the pictures was also a group of pixs of a roof top swimming pool. It was not just any pool, but the Playboy pool next door.:D This was the 70's, and fake boobs were just getting popular. One of the pictures is of a woman sunbathing without her top, and her boobs had fallen to each side of her body, still in the same form.:D

Now my mom probably never said the word Playboy, so this was a shock to me, but it turned into a joke between my brother and me. We never told her about the pixs, and I still have them somewhere up in the attic.

Maybe I should tell my son there are boobs in the attic. I'll bet he can find those pixs.:rolleyes:

Trip October 26th, 2012 09:43 PM


CruisinK n J October 26th, 2012 09:50 PM

Movie Palaces of Days Gone By
Luanne. I lived in Atlanta for five years and remember the Fox well. There are some old movie theaters in downtown Los Angeles that have been restored. Haven't seen any of them. Must cost a fortune!


Luanne Russo October 26th, 2012 10:11 PM

Thanks Trip. Sure brings back memories.

Cruznut2 October 27th, 2012 05:35 AM

Trip, Many a Saturday was spent in "The Melrose Theater" For .50 we could spend an entire afternoon watching a newsreel, 2 cartoons and two movies. That price also gave us popcorn and tonic.


mehawk October 28th, 2012 07:11 AM

Houston had many of these. There are some facades still visible but there is only one grand theatre still in use today... the River Oaks.

AR November 4th, 2012 05:24 PM

I "collect" theatres, it's a passion of mine.

When I was 14 I broke in as a projectionist at a 700-seater near where I lived. Worked in that booth all through high school and college. It was (and still is) an old vaudeville house called the Darress. One of its claims to fame is that it was the place where Burns and Allen, whose act was bombing badly, decided to switch things around, give George the straight lines and Gracie the gags. The rest is history. I loved running the Saturday matinees there: 10 cartoons, a Stooge reel, and King Kong. Now that's show biz!

A few of the houses that are precious to me: The Detroit Fox, still a legend; Radio City Music Hall, the "Showplace of the Nation," and well beyond a legend--I've been backstage there many times, and in the booth as well; The Chicago; The Atlanta Fox, where a good friend who was the musical director and conductor for High School Musical invited us for opening night of the national tour; the Lido in Newport Beach CA, a medium-size house, and an absolute jewel, where the lobby woodwork is maintained by a local boatyard.

There are many many others in my collection, and I love them all. I rejoice each time one is saved, and I mourn each time one is torn down. No matter how many stadium seats they put in modern "cineboxes" in shopping malls, they'll never have the panache of even the most mediocre of the old houses.

I once wrote an article about my love for them in the magazine of the Theater Historical Society of America. If you pm me with an e-mail address I'll send you the manuscript.

balabusta November 4th, 2012 05:44 PM

I grew up going to the Oritani and Fox theaters in nearby Hackensack, New Jersey. Most of these old theaters were originally "Vaudville theaters" that were replaced with movies when the "talkies" came out in the late 1920's. I remember staring at the two balcony boxes, one on either side of the theater, where I would imagine that the very rich people in each community once sat.

katlady November 5th, 2012 12:17 AM

C-sis and I went to Saturday matinee at the Lorenzo. It was a beautiful old theater. This theater opened in April 5, 1947 it was around all through my youth and I saw many a movie here. Sadly this theater had been
vacant since 1982 and is in disrepair.:( Picture from This it a non profit group that was trying to save the theater and restore it. I don't know what happened with that effort.
Anthony Heinsbergen (1895-1981) did this mural.
This mural was made to really glow under black light. This picture below is the same mural.
The lobby.

digitcamera November 5th, 2012 07:36 PM

The town I grew up in had an old opera house, that was running for many years. Unfortunately it got shut down, and the town is desperately seeking someone to buy it to try and keep it open otherwise it will be demolished. I can't find any pictures of it online though.

If I remember correctly there is an entire website dedicated to old and abandoned movie theaters and malls, but I can't remember the links off-hand.

Trip November 5th, 2012 11:02 PM

Kat, your art deco palace is amazing! I am a big art deco fan.The boxes we watch movies in now, would make all these architects roll over in their graves:(

AR November 6th, 2012 10:20 AM


Originally Posted by Trip (Post 1453829)
Kat, your art deco palace is amazing! I am a big art deco fan.The boxes we watch movies in now, would make all these architects roll over in their graves:(

Exactly. Of course it's no accident that so many of the storied old houses were built in the art deco style, because so many came online from the very late 20s through the 30s, when art deco was all the rage. The other big fad was what was called the "atmospherics," championed by architect John Eberson among others, that featured the star ceilings, and exotic interiors in Oriental and Middle Eastern motifs. They're all wonderful.

Cineboxes will never come close. It's a tragedy.

Kuki November 6th, 2012 12:11 PM


Sort of like AR, my first job was in the movie business. Only I was an usher, while going to school.

This picture doesn't do the place justice. It sat 1500 patrons, and the interior was quite grand. I believe it opened in the 20s.

I think I saw Gone With the Wind several hundred times.:mrgreen:

AR November 7th, 2012 10:24 PM

Gone With the Wind?

Cripes that thing was torture. Had it a couple times on re-releases. 12 bloody reels, intermission after part 7.

When she said, "I'll never go hungry again," I used to say, "No but the audience will if they don't go to the lobby and get a friggin' Tootsie Roll."

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