Phoenix Theatre
Petaluma, CA

The exterior of the building. This is after the 1988 remodeling of the outside. Previously, the building was a chocolate brown color with a huge awning running around the perimiter of the building.

The booth! Simplex E-7 on SH-1000 soundhead, illuminated by a Xetron XH-2000 lamphouse with 2000W bulb. The Xetron Maxi-10 automation system never did work, this booth was run manually.

A closer look at the Simplex E-7. The big brown box at the upper right is the side light dimmer control.

The projector and lamp seen as you enter the booth. The film transport is a Cinemeccanica tower system that can hold a feature on each side, and to change features you rotate the tower around and thread the next show as the other rewinds.

Another wide shot showing the projector, tower, and lamp. Sound in these days was a Dolby CP50 running thru Yamaha power amps and Meyer Sound speakers. Now the sound is via a Kintek processor patched into the venue's audio board (mono).

The Phoenix has not shown a non-'Rocky Horror' 35mm movie since 1990- (the last showing of RHPS was in 1998). Aaron Sisemore still services the booth equipment (which is the main reason why the booth equipment hasn't fallen victim to the teens over the years as the rest of the building has)  and projects any 35mm film shows (when they ever show it anymore).  The following pictures may bring tears to your eyes as this once grand movie palace is now basically a teen hangout and live music venue.

The exterior of the Phoenix, circa 2002.

What's left of the original poster cases on the east wall.

The main entrance to the theatre.

Inside the Phoenix' auditorium, looking at the stage.

Auditorium lower floor rear wall, right side.

Part of the right side wall.

Another interior shot.

Auditorium lower rear wall, left side.

Stage right side of the proscenium. The stage left side is identical. This is one of the few areas left in the building that have not fallen victim to graffiti or vandalism (probably because it is too high to reach

The stage at the Phoenix. Everyone from Ray Charles to Woody Herman to Roseanne Cash to Metallica have performed on this stage at one time or another.

The stage as seen from the stage right entrance.

The original light controls from the old days.

Another shot of the stage, looking out onto the auditorium floor.

Yet another view of the auditorium from the stage.

Inside the room directly adjacent to stage left. This is the primary dressing room.

The passageway from the dressing room to stage left.

Looking from stage left to stage right.

The former video arcade, now more of a lounge area. Another section of the former arcade is now a free clinic for teens.

The 'snack bar' at the Phoenix.

One of two grand staircases leading to the mezzanine level, balcony, and restrooms.

Right side auditorium doors, with a little glimpse of what used to be here.

The mezzanine level and balcony entrance.

Right side of mezzanine level and men's room entrance.

The men's room. At one time these were some of the nicest bathrooms I have ever seen in a public place. Not anymore. :(

View of the balcony.

Another view of the balcony.

What remains of the video DJ booth that was in the balcony in the late 80's.

More of the upper balcony seating. There is less graffiti up here because the balcony is usually kept closed.

Back wall of the projection booth.

The projection booth, with the Cinemeccanica tower moved aside.

The Xetron XH-2000 lamphouse and front wall of the booth.

The Simplex E-7, SH1000, and Kintek sound system that John Eickhof might recognize.

The Neumade rewind bench with Wolk rewinds.

The old Western Electric service cabinet and door to the power room.

Back in the 80's when I projected here, (there was practically no graffiti on the walls then)  we would make up 'joke titles' along with fader and format settings and would collect them on the front wall over the course of many years. This is about all that is left of those.

The carbon-arc current controls and original Simplex 'XL' amp rack.

Another shot of the Simplex E-7.

As you can see the booth has become a storage area, and there are two couches and a TV, DVD player and VCR set up in here for people to watch videos. Sad. One of these days they plan on renovating the building to include the booth. We'll see what happens.

Special thanks to Aaron Sisemore for the pics.