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Author Topic: Old theatre broken into and vandalized
Evans A Criswell
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1579
From: Huntsville, AL, USA
Registered: Mar 2000


 - posted 11-25-2000 03:10 PM      Profile for Evans A Criswell   Author's Homepage   Email Evans A Criswell   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Earlier today (2000/11/25), I was leaving a friend's house in a neighborhood not far from our old University 6 theatre, which has looked the same for four years since it closed. Since I was so close, I decided to go up the street by the theatre to look at it and it appeared that the box office windows looked broken. I drove up in front of the place and every window and door in the front of the building had all the glass completely broken out. The lobby looked like it has been seriously vandalized and some of the auditorium exit doors were standing open. The exterior of the building has been covered with what looks like gang graffiti for years. The glass-breaking has been done very recently, though, because I recently took pictures of the building and all the glass was intact. (For the pictures, see http://home.hiwaay.net/~criswell/theatre/images/univ6/ ) Photo u6-6.jpg shows a good close-up of the front of the building with all the glass intact.

I doubt this building will ever be used again. Is this the fate of most late 1970s and early 1980s multiplexes that fall by the wayside?

Evans A Criswell http://home.hiwaay.net/~criswell/theatre/



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Ken Layton
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1452
From: Olympia, Wash. USA
Registered: Sep 1999


 - posted 11-25-2000 04:46 PM      Profile for Ken Layton   Email Ken Layton   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
When I drive by old, closed theaters, I always try to keep an eye on things. If something doesn't look right, I call the police and have them check it out.

From what you described, it sounds like the owner of the theater building doesn't care about it at all. Who would want to reopen the theater if it's all vandalized and dilapidated.


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Erik Schill
Film Handler

Posts: 38
From: Rochester, NY, USA
Registered: Nov 2000


 - posted 11-25-2000 06:10 PM      Profile for Erik Schill   Email Erik Schill   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
When we moved from our 20 year old 8 screen theatre to a new fancy 12 screen in the mall 3 years ago it didn't take long for it to get broken into. It happens about once every few months, we still own it too so every now and then a few of us have to go over there on our days off to clean up a bit incase the home office people ever come to town and want to see it.

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Ken Layton
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1452
From: Olympia, Wash. USA
Registered: Sep 1999


 - posted 11-25-2000 08:03 PM      Profile for Ken Layton   Email Ken Layton   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Here is a photo of a theater that's been closed for 20 years. It's been broken into several times because it's out in the middle of nowhere. The screen was slashed to ribbons, curtains stolen, and that RCA mono speaker had its horn stolen along with the bass driver, too.


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Ken Layton
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1452
From: Olympia, Wash. USA
Registered: Sep 1999


 - posted 11-26-2000 12:52 PM      Profile for Ken Layton   Email Ken Layton   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
You want pictures of vandalism. Here is what I call vandalism----from the Twin City Drive In Theater in Centralia, Washington.
Take a look at what they did to the booth!



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John Pytlak
Film God

Posts: 9987
From: Rochester, NY 14650-1922
Registered: Jan 2000


 - posted 11-27-2000 12:53 PM      Profile for John Pytlak   Author's Homepage   Email John Pytlak   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Sad that some people get their jollies by tearing up and vandalizing old theatres. Especially sad to see classic "movie palaces" and well-designed large screen theatres get vandalized to the point of making restoration impossible, then being turned into parking lots and chain drug stores.

------------------
John P. Pytlak, Senior Technical Specialist
Worldwide Technical Services, Entertainment Imaging
Eastman Kodak Company
Research Labs, Building 69, Room 7419
Rochester, New York, 14650-1922 USA
Tel: 716-477-5325 Fax: 716-722-7243
E-Mail: john.pytlak@kodak.com

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Evans A Criswell
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1579
From: Huntsville, AL, USA
Registered: Mar 2000


 - posted 11-27-2000 03:36 PM      Profile for Evans A Criswell   Author's Homepage   Email Evans A Criswell   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Concerning the University 6 vandalizing:

I first thought that homeless people may have broken into it to live in it, since we had some very cold weather, followed by some very miserable rainy, windy, cold days, but after thinking more I realized that they probably would have only broken one window or door to get in to minimize the effects of the weather on the inside. Since every single pane of glass in the front of the building was broken, it was clear that the people who broke in were breaking in with no other intention than vandalizing the place. It's almost surprising that they didn't try to burn the place. I'll drive by the place again within a day or two and see if anything has been done (like boarding up the windows and doors, which is frequently done to vacated businesses anyway).

I hated to see the vandalizing, since the theatre would have made a good second-run theatre (since we have no second-run theatre anywhere near Huntsville or Decatur anymore). It is very close to the university here and would have attracted many college students if it had been reopened, provided the crime was kept under control. One person I spoke to a couple of years back expressed interest in buying the place and using one auditorium or two to show movies and putting a restaurant/club in the rest of it.

Evans



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William Hooper
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1879
From: Mobile, AL USA
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 11-28-2000 12:33 AM      Profile for William Hooper   Author's Homepage   Email William Hooper   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Ken:

That theater with the slashed screen &
smaller screen on the wall behind - When
was it built?

The screen on the wall looks like 1.37:1
(Academy), but I thought the practice of
putting the screen on the wall was quickly
going out in the pre-Academy ratio 1.33:1
silent movie days.

Of course, even in the silent days, there
was no telling what aspect ratio they'd make
the screen:

A cool photo from the LOC site at
http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?runyon:2:./temp/~ammem_o2Nq::


------------------
William Hooper
Junk drawer: http://www.geocities.com/hollywood/theater/3622
Theatre Empire: http://members.xoom.com/saenger.1


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Jerry Chase
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1068
From: Margate, FL, USA
Registered: Nov 2000


 - posted 11-28-2000 10:01 AM      Profile for Jerry Chase   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Question to our fav. Kodak rep.;
"Would those windows in the theatre be classified as contrast stealers?"

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Ken Layton
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1452
From: Olympia, Wash. USA
Registered: Sep 1999


 - posted 11-28-2000 10:07 AM      Profile for Ken Layton   Email Ken Layton   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
William Hooper:

I have heard stories that the theater was built 1929, 1932, or 1938 depending on which old timer you talk to! The theater has a 1938 RCA tube amplifier, RCA 1040 soundheads, Super Simplex projectors, and Peerless Magnarc lamps. Surprisingly, NONE of the booth equipment was vandalized---just the screen slashed and drivers taken from the speaker cabinet. Funny, but I bet the vandals were probably trying to figure out how to hook the field coil bass driver to their car stereo!


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Scott Norwood
Film God

Posts: 7867
From: Boston, MA. USA (1774.21 miles northeast of Dallas)
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 11-28-2000 10:32 AM      Profile for Scott Norwood   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Norwood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Actually, Ken's description makes it not sound that bad. If someone were to attempt to restore the theatre, he would probably replace the screen anyway and either trash the RCA speaker or (hopefully) donate it to someone who collects this stuff, since an upgrade to Dolby and the need for multi-channel sound would certainly be in order and would render the RCA speaker useless for the theatre. At least the booth equipment wasn't damaged. Hopefully someone will consider trying to restore the place.

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John Pytlak
Film God

Posts: 9987
From: Rochester, NY 14650-1922
Registered: Jan 2000


 - posted 11-28-2000 12:26 PM      Profile for John Pytlak   Author's Homepage   Email John Pytlak   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Jerry Chase said: "Question to our fav. Kodak rep. :"Would those windows in the theatre be classified as contrast stealers?""

Contrast KILLERS! Give them the death penalty!

Since there are no curtains or blinds on the windows, I suspect the old theatre was only used after dark. Or they wanted some light to help the musicians read the music .

That "screen" is certainly wider than the 1.33:1 aspect ratio of most silent films.

------------------
John P. Pytlak, Senior Technical Specialist
Worldwide Technical Services, Entertainment Imaging
Eastman Kodak Company
Research Labs, Building 69, Room 7419
Rochester, New York, 14650-1922 USA
Tel: 716-477-5325 Fax: 716-722-7243
E-Mail: john.pytlak@kodak.com

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Evans A Criswell
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1579
From: Huntsville, AL, USA
Registered: Mar 2000


 - posted 12-03-2000 07:52 PM      Profile for Evans A Criswell   Author's Homepage   Email Evans A Criswell   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 

The Univeristy 6 theatre I began this thread mentioning, which had every glass window and door completely smashed recently, has now (as of 2000/12/03) been neatly boarded up and it appears that they went to the trouble to paint all the boards the exact same color as the building. I wonder if that building will ever get used again.

Evans A Criswell
http://home.hiwaay.net/~criswell/theatre/

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Jesse Skeen
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1494
From: Sacramento, CA
Registered: Aug 2000


 - posted 12-04-2000 10:42 PM      Profile for Jesse Skeen   Email Jesse Skeen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
You think that's bad, you should see what they did to the Cinema 2 theater in Davis (actually a single-screen despite its name)- first everything inside got ripped out, then they built the top half of the auditorium into a second story, and now a music store's opened up in there with guitars and crap on the walls! The restrooms, amazingly enough, look exactly the same though.

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