Comments from techman707

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techman707
techman707 commented about Glen Oaks Theater on Feb 24, 2011 at 4:24 am

I believe once Century started managing theatres for Springer, Springer was no longer operating any theatres. However, there was a strange booking arrangement and in some instances, when the film companies placed ads in the newspaper where they list all the theatres playing a particular picture, it would occasionally say “Springer’s Xxxxxx Theatre” instead of Century’s.

The so called “lesser” Century theatres you refer to were Springer Theatres in the first place….that’s why they were “lesser” theatres (a polite way of saying a dump). -LOL

techman707
techman707 commented about Glen Oaks Theater on Feb 23, 2011 at 4:07 pm

Century operated the Community under the Century “banner”, however, it was actually owned by Springer. Century was just the management company for Springer. Century was already gone when the Community was twinned and was probably under the control of RKO CENTURY WARNER and the buildings that were still owned by Century and taken over by RKO CENTURY WARNER were not subject to the old restrictions. I’m trying to remember what “Springer’s” first name was, but I’m getting senile, but I remember things from 40 years ago better than yesterday.

techman707
techman707 commented about Glen Oaks Theater on Feb 23, 2011 at 1:48 am

But you’re absolutely correct about the clause. That’s why the Queens and Community didn’t wind up as catering halls. -LOL

techman707
techman707 commented about Glen Oaks Theater on Feb 23, 2011 at 1:42 am

Springer was a relative of Scwartz.

techman707
techman707 commented about Palace Theatre on Feb 22, 2011 at 4:43 pm

“And how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?
posted by saps on Feb 21, 2011 at 7:30pm”

Don’t believe in angels.

techman707
techman707 commented about Glen Oaks Theater on Feb 22, 2011 at 4:36 pm

I really don’t know what happened to Mr. Schwartz, but, based on his age I assume he must have passed away. I imagine Mr. Schwartz would have to be around 95 to 100 or more if was still alive, which I doubt. My father was also friends with Jack Warner. I only met him twice, but back then he arranged for me to get a 16mm print of “Gypsy”, which I still have to this day. It’s still like brand new (last I looked) and is a pretty rare Technicolor IB print. In 1964 he sent my father 6 tickets for the premiere of “My Fair Lady” at the Criterion. STILL one of my favorite films. My father told me he saw a screening of the 1927 version of “The Jazz Singer” at the Winter Garden Theatre. I thought it premiered at the Warner Theatre, and I’ve never been able to resolve the discrepancy.

I don’t know how or why, but my father also friendly with producer/director Richard Brooks, who I never met but sent my father tickets for the premiere of “Lord Jim” in 1965 at Loews State. I was amused because my father wasn’t really a real big movie fan, while I on the other hand and despite being a projectionist, really loved (past tense) movies. I say loved because I really don’t “Dances With Wolves”, “Forrest Gump” and “Titanic”. I mainly like musicals from the 50’s to early 70’s the best.

I would have wanted to get involved to obtain landmark status for a number of theatres in New York, but when I was diagnosed with stage 2 emphysema, which is now end stage, I was just too weak to do anything.

I was happy that Loews Valencia was saved when they gave it to the Tabernacle Of Prayer years ago….at least it saved that beautiful theatre. The RKO Keith’s on Main Street didn’t fair so well. When I worked at the Prospect with your dad, my friend Willie Hastad worked at the RKO Keith’s. He was very friendly with your father and worked with me at the Prospect before he went to the RKO Keith’s. Willie also moved to Florida around when I did. Actually, I’m in Florida right now. I own a house here, as well as my home in NY, that I wound up with when my father passed away in 1997. While I lived in Florida for years, flying back and forth when I worked at the Alpine 7 plex (former Loews Alpine)in Brooklyn. I also worked as the serviceman for Golden Theatre Management that owned the Alpine from 1973 until 1988 when Cineplex Odeon took it over. I designed and installed the multiplexing of the Beverly, Rugby, Granada, Fortway, Oceana, Alpine, etc. in Brooklyn and the Quad Cinema and Olympia (Loews Olympia) in Manhattan (I think that’s all of them).

I’ll be back in NY at the end of the month. It’s been too hot for me down here and it makes breathing hard from the humidity. I considered a lung transplant, but after looking into it and hearing all the requirements, I decided against it.

I’ve always had a screening room in my home. Way before all this talk about “Home Theatre” and had both 16 & 35mm projectors in my booth. When I originally moved to Florida I got rid of all the 35mm film but kept my 16mm collection. That was a BIG mistake because although I kept it in an air conditioned house, all my Eastman prints went bad (turned red). All I have left are my Technicolor prints, which were new or in excellent condition and included some of the best pictures ever made. I was going to try to sell them, but I’m just too weak to deal with all of them (and my wife is of NO HELP!). I think I’m going to donate them to either the AFI or the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria if they’re interested. I’m sure the Museum Of Modern Art would be. I’ve now replaced EVERY picture with DVD or Blu-rays of every film I had plus a few more. About 400 in all. I use an expensive video projection system where the Blu-rays look better than some 35mm prints (and they don’t show dirt near the end of every reel -LOL).

When I originally moved to Florida I donated hundreds of rare items and documentation to the Museum of the Moving Image. They said they made me a life patron and sent me their monthly flyer for a number of years and then NOTHING. I still have a lot of stuff, both here in Florida and in New York. My wife will probably just get a dumpster when I die and throw out treasures through her ignorance.

techman707
techman707 commented about Glen Oaks Theater on Feb 22, 2011 at 2:12 pm

Century just didn’t want to close a theatre and have some other company come along and open the theatre to compete with them. They probably didn’t want anyone to take over what they closed and make money when they couldn’t.

Century went out when the two crooks Schwartz & Landis (not the Schwartz that was originally Century’s president) took over Century, RKO and Stanley Warner theatres. They used the name RKO Century Warner Theatres. After beating the bank out of 50 million, the theatres were somehow taken over by Cineplex Odeon Theatres a company from Canada. That guy, Garth Drabinsky also turned out to be a crook. After wasteing a ton of other peoples money, they sold out to Loews (really Sony Theatres). Sony then sold everything to Regal, I believe.

RVB: The Lynbrook was a Skouras theatre and then became a UA theatre. Century had the Fantasy in Rockville Center. Skouras owned most of their own theatres, probably with exception of the ones they took over from Frisch and Prudential circuits.

techman707
techman707 commented about Glen Oaks Theater on Feb 22, 2011 at 10:15 am

1931 is sure a long time ago, it’s before I was born. Many of the Century Theatres in Brooklyn have been torn down. Even when the theatre business was good years ago, when Century decided to close a theatre and sell the building, they had a policy of putting deed restrictions preventing the building from ever being used as a theatre again. The Bellrose, Park and Floral were victims of that policy. Fortunately, there were a few theatres that they didn’t own the buiding so they were reopened by independents.

techman707
techman707 commented about Glen Oaks Theater on Feb 22, 2011 at 8:02 am

My father was a childhood friend of Leslie Schwartz and he would send him a yearly Century card….but rarely used it.

I would guess that Ed Bernhardt must have passed away some time ago since back when he replaced your dad at the Prospect he had recently had a stroke, which is why he needed the cane. Although I’m much younger, I’ll be meeting up with everyone any time now.

techman707
techman707 commented about Palace Theatre on Feb 22, 2011 at 7:52 am

All I know is at the time I was told that the portable booth was the FIRST TIME that 70mm was being shown at the Palace. So I doubt that 55 DAYS AT PEKING could have been shown in 70mm. As for Super Technirama 70, that was shot like VistaVision, 8 perf 35mm horizontal pulldown and blown DOWN to 70mm. The only film shot in 55mm (55.625) were the Cinemascope 55 films. 70mm release prints are shot on 60mm and printed on 70mm print stock to make room for the 6 mag tracks.

techman707
techman707 commented about Glen Oaks Theater on Feb 22, 2011 at 4:40 am

TKM: Your bringing back memories when you talk about twirling the thermometer. Back then they had the “engineers union” that operated the heat and AC. If the temperature wasn’t within a certain range, they went “looking” for the engineer to correct it. Do you remember a DM named Jackie Jackson?

RVB: If they had a turnstile at the Glen Oaks, that must have been installed in later years. When I worked there in 1968 they a doorman that took the tickets. I recall the old Park Theatre having a turnstile before it closed, but it once had a doorman. As for a theatre on the North side of Hillside avenue, I never heard about that and I graduated from Martin Van Buren High School (when it was nice and new).

techman707
techman707 commented about Palace Theatre on Feb 22, 2011 at 3:21 am

I believe the late opening of Ben-Hur was because the portable booth and installation wasn’t ready. They probab;y never figured on the new booth.-LOL

techman707
techman707 commented about Glen Oaks Theater on Feb 22, 2011 at 2:52 am

The projection booth at the Glen Oaks was NEW large and clean (since most booths were old and filthy) with a new bathroom. It had 2 Century CC projector heads, Century Soundheads and Peerless Magnarc lamphouses (very late model which was rare).

A neat feature of the Glen Oaks was that you could go out on the roof from the projection booth, which was also used to change the Marquee since it was mounted on the roof. You could also go out on the roof at the Meadows and could see Manhattan from there.

techman707
techman707 commented about Glen Oaks Theater on Feb 21, 2011 at 1:13 pm

The Glen Oaks wasn’t that tiny, it was bigger than the old Park. Which Park are you referring to, the Old Park or the new Park East. There was a short overlap period, a year or two, that both theatres were open together. They turned the old Park into an appliance store, but I can’t remember the name. They used to advertise on TV all the time and had a number of stores throughout NY.

techman707
techman707 commented about Park Theatre on Feb 21, 2011 at 12:40 pm

I think it was more like 600 seats. I know its replacement, The Park East, was larger. Maybe it’s that one that has 800 seats.

techman707
techman707 commented about Park East Theatre on Feb 21, 2011 at 11:50 am

TKM: Someone asked about Century’s Park Theatre (not this new Park East), but I can’t even find it in the database.

techman707
techman707 commented about Glen Oaks Theater on Feb 21, 2011 at 11:43 am

Which theatre do you mean, the OLD Park?

techman707
techman707 commented about Glen Oaks Theater on Feb 21, 2011 at 11:30 am

I sorry to hear that your father passed away, he was a nice man and easy to get along with. I didn’t know he went to the Meadows. In 1978 there was a big snowstorm and I was supposed to go to work at the Prospect, but I lived in Fresh Meadows, so I wound up working at the Meadows that day. They were running The Longest Yard. I know that when Cineplex multiplexed the Meadows, the manager was Al Alvarez (who I guess you know posts on here).

It’s funny that I can remember things like that, but I can’t remember an hour ago.

P.S. I know your fater also worked at Century’s Park Theatre on Lakeville Rd & Jerico Turnpike, before the Park East was built, because the operator who worked there and lived around the corner, Frank Magnatta, knew your father well. Frank also passed away a few years ago.

I guess you’re Bernie’s daughter, since he never mentioned having a son?

techman707
techman707 commented about Glen Oaks Theater on Feb 21, 2011 at 9:48 am

He was a real nice guy, we got along great at the Prospect. After about 4 years I went to the RKO Alden and when I left he was transferred to another theatre. When I left the manager was Mr. Bernhardt, a short guy with a cane. I guess your father must have come back after I left.

All I know is that they tore down the theatre and that spot will NEVER look the same to me. At least with the RKO Keiths, you can still see the building as you come dpwn Main Street….even if it is sans marquee.

techman707
techman707 commented about Queens Theatre on Feb 21, 2011 at 9:29 am

I just posted in the Glen Oaks thread asking YOU if your father’s name was Bernard. I knew him well, we worked together for a few years at the Century’s Prospect be I left around 1980 (I think) to work at the RKO Alden in Jamaica that they turned into a quad. The projectionist there was old and didn’t want to run platters. The funny thing is that not too long after we switched, they multiplexed the Prospect.

techman707
techman707 commented about Glen Oaks Theater on Feb 21, 2011 at 9:21 am

“My late father was a manager at this theater in the 1960’s. He was also a manager at many other Century theaters until 1986, when he retired after 30 years with the Century chain. I used to go around to all the theaters w/ him when I was off from school, and so I grew up hanging around many of the now demolished theaters he was managing at the time. If anyone has any questions that I know the answer to about this or any other Century theater( 1960’s to 1986), post it, and I would be glad to reply! ( The Glen Oaks had a Mays department store as an anchor store up the street, as well as a candy store next door, as well as a wonderful bakery, cleaners/tailors, and a Hallmark card store up the street…)just thought I would throw that in.Regards
posted by tkm on Feb 20, 2011 at 11:14am”

Was your father’s first name Bernard? The last time I worked at the Glen Oaks he was the manager (around 1968). When I went to work at Century’s Prospect in 1975 here was the manager there. The last time I went to downtown Flushing the whole dam theatre was gone.

techman707
techman707 commented about Embassy 1,2,3 Theatre on Feb 2, 2011 at 4:20 pm

You mean the difference between cement hot splices made at the lab and “film exchange” hot splices that come apart.-lol
Labs can’t afford to have stock splices come apart, since it can take them a half a day to rethread the processor.

techman707
techman707 commented about Embassy 1,2,3 Theatre on Feb 2, 2011 at 6:21 am

“More recently, does anyone remember the disastrous prints of "SCHINDLER’S LIST” in Manhattan that went from color stock to black and white, breaking at each joint?
posted by AlAlvarez on Feb 1, 2011 at 11:03am"

I recall them shedding very badly and a focus problem going from B&W to color stock. There may have been prints with weak lab splices going from B&W to color (or vica versa). But if the operator inspected the film that wouldn’t happen….right?

techman707
techman707 commented about Embassy 1,2,3 Theatre on Feb 2, 2011 at 5:21 am

“crackpot” ideas or not, they REALLY did that stuff as incredible as some of it might seem. I’ve never read Widescreen Review magazine and don’t know R.M. Hayes, but it sounds interesting.-lol

techman707
techman707 commented about Embassy 1,2,3 Theatre on Jan 30, 2011 at 5:29 pm

Probably because it’s true. The problems they described when running 30fps on the Cinemechanica Vic X’s was described to me by 3 different projectionists that ran it at the time had such detail that I believe it to be true. Since two of the 3 projectionists didn’t know their ass from their elbow mechanically, only the truth could account for their detail.

They did strange stuff back then. When “Thunderball” was running 24 hours a day at the Paramount, At 3am I went to see one of the projectionists who was a friend of mine. His partner that was working that night had been a projectionist there for many years. We got into a conversation and he described a “newsreel system” that had been installed there that actually processed B&W 35mm film right out of the camera magazine and developed, dried and sent it, still green, right to the projector in one continuous operation. This gave them up to the minute (so to speak) news on the big screen. At first I though it was a joke, but, guess what….it was TRUE. A few years later I actually came across documentation for the system.

I don’t know what the big deal is about 30fps Spartacus, especially considering some of the strange things they did back then. They built 2:3 pulldown intermittents to print Todd/AO 30fps to 24fps for 35mm prints. Why do you find it so difficult to believe they did a 3:2 pulldown intermittent for printing 24fps to 30 fps just like a 35mm telecine projector. I put together a few telecine projectors in the late 70’s. The “original” engineer who designed the Simplex telecine projector was still alive then and lived in Stowe Vermont (where the Von Trapp family of Sound Of Music fame lived), his name was Ed Mercier. He had a complete machine shop in his barn.