May 27, 2011
FLINT, MI — The tornado in Joplin, MO claimed more than 100 lives. The previous tornado with a death toll of at least 100 was the Beecher Tornado which struck the Beecher district north of Flint, MI on June 8, 1953. Near the tornado’s path was the North Flint Drive-in Theatre.
The drive-in was safely evacuated and, despite recollections to the contrary, received only minor damage from the tornado. The drive-in reopened when the curfew was lifted a few days later.
May 16, 2011
LOS ANGELES, CA — I was browsing through a 1926 copy of ‘The Film Daily’ when I came across a photograph labeled T.L.Tallys first show shop, Los Angeles. It was obviously a very old photo, although not dated in the magazine – and was curious, so looked up Tally’s on Google and found this website.
I’ve done a general search for images for Tally’s on Google but not found this particular photo. There is an awning over the door advertising “The Great Corbett Fight”. As far as I can find this was filmed in 1894 so it’s obviously a very early photo of the first American movie house. I’ve put it on my Flickr photostream here as I’m sure you will find it of interest.
May 5, 2011
FINSBURY PARK, LONDON, ENGLAND — The Guardian Newspaper reports the discovery of a police file concerning inappropriate behaviour in the back row of the Rink Cinema in 1916. According to the paper the Rink is now a bowling alley.
“I knew immediately I had struck gold. They are really, really rare, a unique insight into the behaviour of cinema audiences almost a century ago,” he said.
When the police went in plain clothes they certainly did see things, but struggled to prove that the management must have known exactly what was going on. “The whole of these people were behaving in a disgusting manner throughout the whole performance”, one wrote.
April 26, 2011
NEW YORK, NY — The online publication BuzzFeed recently featured a collection of seventy-five pictures of abandoned theaters from across the U.S. Most, but not all, are movie theaters. (Unfortunately, you have to click the “Source” link below each photo to find out the name of the theater if you do not already recognize it, as the the pictures are labeled only by the name of the city in which the theater is located).
The images are often haunting, and the collection is an example of an emerging (and somewhat controversial) genre of photography preoccupied with urban decay, dubbed by some “ruin porn.” The collection of photos can be viewed here: Buzzfeed and an article about this emergent genre of photography can be read here.
April 11, 2011
LAVALE, MD — My family owned and operated the Crystal Drive-in Theatre from the 1st opening day until it closed in 1969. I would like to hear from anyone that enjoyed the Crystal and if there are any pictures of the old drive-in. with any information.
Richard Young II
April 8, 2011
MEMPHIS, TN — Interesting story about the film distribution buildings of Memphis in this article.
In an age when movie theaters would change their offerings several times a week, the films had to be ready to ship, and trucks would move in and out of the district at all hours of the night. For much of its tenure as a film distribution center, Memphis served the areas of Arkansas, West Tennessee, North Mississippi and the boot heel of Missouri.
The location was a natural with its centralized spot in the Mid-South, access to major roads and bridges, and the trains running through Memphis Union Station that stood only a block to the south.
Read the full story in Commercial Appeal.
The current plans call for the Kings' interior spaces to be restored to their original 1929 splendor. Once reopened, the theater will be the third largest in New York City.
April 4, 2011
SAN FRANCISCO, CA — Recently in their blog called The Bold Italic, Sam Harnett and Gundi Vigfusson presented a narrative and photographic retrospective called the “The Standing Dead,” a look some of San Francisco’s fading and former neighborhood theaters, including a glance at a few former downtown theaters. Some of the theater profiles include the Strand, the St. Francis, the Sun Sing, the Rialto, and the New Mission.
The blog article can be read here.
April 1, 2011
Some one-dozen former ushers at the Boulevard Theater in Revere, MA meet every five years since graduating from Revere High School in 1946.
The scheduled 1951 gathering was cancelled since World War II had ended and most of the ushers were overseas concluding their service in the Armed Forces.
At the most recent gathering – in addition to the usual reminiscing about quelling the regular Friday night, second balcony confrontations with groups of exercise and stable boys, jockeys and horse trainers from the nearby Suffolk Downs race track – a special recollection is usually resurrected regarding the strange and coincidental reunification
of four former ushers – in Tokyo, Japan.
March 31, 2011
POMPTON LAKES, NJ — Moral sinks to an all time low at the Colonial Twin, when the crew’s paychecks start bouncing, and the day’s receipts reveal a box office shortage, in the latest episode of Colonial Twin Follies!