Comments from Crazy Bob Madara

Showing 101 - 125 of 138 comments

Crazy Bob Madara
Crazy Bob Madara commented about Greenwood Theater on Sep 18, 2006 at 11:32 am

I remember showing “Five Easy Pieces” at the Greenwood in late November, 1971. We show Italian language films on Tuesday nights, and the joint was packed! The Main projectionist’s were Artur Fenton & John Friel. They trained me to replace Mr. Fenton who was very old. The small booth sat in front of the split balcony. It was about a 9x9' room. The equipment consisted of a pair of Super Simplex 33mm projectors, Strong Cinearc (Peerless Magnarcs – not McAuley)Simplex XL sound heads & XL magnetic penthouses. We showed “My fair Lady” and the stereo worked! They could bring back older movies in the days before vcr’s. The theatre had been tatsefully modernized in the early sixties, I believe by Henry-Levy, not “THE FRANKS”. The carpets were red,black, & yellow in small, squre geomectric shapes. The marquee was flat above the entrance doors. the a small roof with light bulbs hung over the marquee & entrance. It said Greenwood on the front, with individual bulbs. The screen was curved and the curtains worked. The lobby was narrow because the rest rooms were on either side. As you entered the auditorium, the narrow balcony steps were to the left, torwards the screen not the back wall. You would go up the steps with a wooden railing and find a small hall or walk way behind the booth. There were seats on both sides. The balcony curved out a little on each side of the booth. The was almost zero keystone angle on the 31' wide screen? That number is stuck in my head , but it might be wrong. In 1973, “THE FRANKS” leased thre Greenwood & the Circus Drive-in to some fly-by-night-guy. I worked for the guy a few times and he was showing XXX. The place was getting run down.

Crazy Bob Madara
Crazy Bob Madara commented about Shore 4 Theater on Sep 18, 2006 at 10:37 am

The Photos & info above are fantastic. I visted the booth of Hunt’s Shore Twin maybe 20-30 years ago and met the projectionist, Joe Griesbach. Joe is an electronic genius and owns his own electronics store near Wildwood, NJ. The last time I visted Joe, he was doing projection at the Bayshore 8, in North Cape May, NJ. The theatre was once an Acme super market. The last time I talked to Joe on the phone, I think that he told me that “THE FRANKS”, were building a mega-plex in Rio Grande, NJ.

Crazy Bob Madara
Crazy Bob Madara commented about Old Movies by The Sea on Sep 18, 2006 at 10:20 am

I met Ted at the Delsea Drive-in in August, 2004. He was there to watch a show under the stars while sitting on the hood of his vintage car. He came into the booth and introduced himself. What a great person! He truly loves theatres and isn’t all about money. We talked for well over an hour about his, mom& pop, Sea Theatre in Wildwood. I’ve been past it but it was closed for the season. It would be worth the trip for anyone just to meet Ted!

Crazy Bob Madara
Crazy Bob Madara commented about Olden Theatre on Sep 18, 2006 at 10:04 am

I visted the Olden booth in November of 1971. They were showing soft core X or art pictures. The projectors were Simplex E-7 and the carbon arc lamps were Peerless Magnarc’s. Thay had Amprex magnetic sound heads. and Altec tube sound. The non-union operator kept calling the projectors “cameras” & refered to the 35mm film as “tape”. I was apalled and I was only nineteen. LOL.
Maruca' s Tomato Pies, (don’t call it pizza), was on of my favorite hang outs before starting the show at the Greenwood, right around the corner. (22.00 per shift)!

Crazy Bob Madara
Crazy Bob Madara commented about Victory Theatre on Sep 18, 2006 at 9:49 am

Walt Hoffman, who was the businees agent for local 359 at the time, told me that there was once a small theatre on south Broad street, what at the time was known as “Kudra Furs”. I believe that it was a few blocks south of the CYO. I past it everyday in the early seventies. It was a dark red building.

Crazy Bob Madara
Crazy Bob Madara commented about Atlantic Drive-In on Sep 18, 2006 at 9:06 am

I worked at the Atlantic in one form or another from 1969, until 1985, when it closed. The Atlantic was designed by Jack Vogel. “THE FRANKS” opened it in 1966 or ‘67.I saw “Casino Royale” there in 1967. The concession was operated by Berlo Vending Co. (ABC Mr. Dee-Lish)& then Walter Reade Org.

Below is a link to a photo of me in 1984 managing the Atlantic Drive-in. I loved the job so much that I wore suits to work!

Crazy Bob Madara
Crazy Bob Madara commented about Apollo Theatre on Sep 18, 2006 at 8:30 am

The main projectionist was Otto Bertoldi. One Summer day in 1971, I spent a few hours with him while he was running the MGM hit “Shaft” continuiosly. The projectors were Simplex E-7’s & the carbon arc lamps were Strong Mighty 90’s or Excelite’s. Otto told me that he had been working there since 1926, and showed a newsreel about Lindberg crossing the Atlantic Ocean on his first day. He said that the booth was once part of the original balacony know as “N-word Haven”. He showed me the ornate ceiling above the booth, and the large concrete steps that went down to a once, separate box office and entrance on NY. Ave.

Crazy Bob Madara
Crazy Bob Madara commented about Shore Theatre on Sep 18, 2006 at 8:01 am

I think that the post card above might be the Beach Theatre. I think that it was also known as City Square. I know that it 3rd floor apartments.
“I am Curious Yellow” played for quite a spell at the Hollywood, around the late sixties.
I believe that the Shore was on the north corner of Ohio Ave., & Greene’s Army- Navy Store was on the south corner. The hospital was one block east.

Crazy Bob Madara
Crazy Bob Madara commented about Beach Theatre on Sep 18, 2006 at 7:50 am

Your’re right, Ken. The triple X films kept the Beach in business. When I worked there, ushers were non existent. Just the cashier. I don’t even think that they sold popcorn.
If weren’t for VCR’s the Beach Theatre might have stayed open longer…until the internet.
I remember old projectionist Fred Rest & Fred Dodd. telling me that the Beach had different names at one time. I believe that it was called City Square, and Shore (not the same Shore at Ohio & Atlantic). My memory is foggy.
The fire in 1982 started in the shoe store by a kerosene heater. There were stores at the lobby level, and empty apartments above the stores & lobby.

Crazy Bob Madara
Crazy Bob Madara commented about Colonial Theatre on Sep 14, 2006 at 9:00 am

The Blob was one of my favorites. I saw the carbon arc lamps that appeared in the film on ebay fo .99.They said that they were going to throw them in the dumpster if nobody bid on them. We made the trip from South Jersey to Phoenixville, Pa. We met Ted, the projectionist. He gave us the grand tour & treated us like royalty. He said that they had to get the back room behind the booth cleaned out because they were turning it into a screening room.
I posted some before & after photos of the famous Peerless Magnarc’s below.

Crazy Bob Madara
Crazy Bob Madara commented about Baronet Theatre on Sep 10, 2006 at 11:36 am

Here'a shot of my ugly old mug showing “ A Prairie Home Companion”, at the Baronet. I feel like a “reel” projectionist again! I love this vintage Brenkert & Ashcraft equipment. It produces a beautiful & quality presentation! This photo was taken on Saturday September ninth, 2006.

Crazy Bob Madara
Crazy Bob Madara commented about Levoy Theatre on Sep 7, 2006 at 7:46 pm

Joe Pierce Jr. gave me a tour in 1998. Wow! what a neat theatre right in my own hometown. I was doing volunteer work to help clean it up. I was cleaning up old plaster on the balcony floor when my left leg went right though the balcony floor right to my hip. I quickly pulled my leg back up and saw though the hole in the floor a bunch of people looking up with plaster on their heads! The booth equipment was Super Simplex projectors & Ashcraft Suprex arc lamps. The calender on the wall said December, 1974. I think that was when the Levoy closed.

Crazy Bob Madara
Crazy Bob Madara commented about Virginia Theatre on Sep 7, 2006 at 7:31 pm

The Virgina had 35/70mm Cinemacanica Victoria projectors. I saw “The Sound Of Music” there in the mid sixties and the marquee said TODD A-O. I was once visiting the booth about 1972, and saw a sign on the wall that said “NO LARGE V ANYMORE” I asked the operator what it meant? He said That there use to be a large neon V on top of the marquee in the forties. The sign was to remind them that they didn’t have to turn it off any more. I think that it blew down in a storm. I worked at many AC theatre that had the marquee switches in the projection booth. I remember the Virginia having no balcony & a tin ceiling. They told me that George Hamid used to take the 70mm projectors up to his Stadium Theatre in South Philly during the Winter.

Crazy Bob Madara
Crazy Bob Madara commented about Tilton Square Theatre on Sep 7, 2006 at 7:14 pm

I last worked at the Tilton in 1981. It was a Twin by that time. The Main store in the shopping center was “MR. BIG”, then it was changed to “JAMESWAY” The Tilton booth was still change over & carbon arcs with 6000' reels. Theatre #one had Century 35/70mm machines. The lamp houses were Ashcraft. Mort Hodge was the main projectionist and business agent of local 310 at that time. In 1977, Hodge was alone in the Tilton booth during the day. Three thugs came into the booth and tied him up and set the place on fire. One of the thugs substained burns. Mort managed to escape and the fire did minimal damage. The thugs were caught headed north on the Garden State Parway. I believe that the Tilton was getting ready to show “Star Wars”.

Crazy Bob Madara
Crazy Bob Madara commented about RKO Reade's Trent Theatre on Sep 7, 2006 at 6:58 pm

The Trent Had a Balcony. I worked there from around 1970-72. The only time we opened it was for the premire of “Carnal Knowledge” & “The French Connection” I used to sit in the balcony and watch movies like “Blackula” & “Klute” until I heard the bell ring. That met that I had to climb the short metal ladder and make the change over in time. We had three Super Simplex projectors, two Ashcraft Super High & one Peerless Magnarc. We showed “The Stewardesses” in single strip 3-D. The theatre still had all of the old 3-D stuff from “Bwana Devil”, long time projectionist Frank Cooper told me. We still had working RCA Mag. sound. We ran “Woodstock” in stereo. Walt Hoffman was the business agent & Ed Snyderman was the big RKO boss. Next door were the Olde Coach diner & Knobby’s Nut Shop.

Crazy Bob Madara
Crazy Bob Madara commented about Point 4 Theatre on Sep 7, 2006 at 6:35 pm

We installed two RCA Centry projectors from the Manahawkin Drive-in in autitorium’s 3&4, booth #2 with a 5 teir Christe platters in the middle. I can’t remember what projector heads we put in booth #1. I also worked there as manager/projection along with the legendary Jim Layman in 1984. Doug Rieck of Long Beach Island was the circiut tech. I got alot of complaints about the sight lines. If some one sat down three or four rows in front of you, their head would be in the way. Hey, the place was a gutted out old bowling ally. “THE FRANKS” put a Hillary’s Ice Cream Parlor in the lobby, but the city made them take it out.

Crazy Bob Madara
Crazy Bob Madara commented about Rivoli Theatre on Sep 7, 2006 at 6:14 pm

I remember riding by in the sixties and the marquee said “McCales Navy Joins The Airforce” What year was that? Yes, Sam Frank had the Rivoli, The Circus Drive-in, The Colonial in Egg Harbor City, and the three Long beach Island theatres. I think he had the Penn in Pennsville too. There was once a theatre in Mayslanding, NJ called the Ritz? My Father told me that he watched Tom Mix films there when he was a kid. I believe that this was one of Sam Frank’s first theatres. I worked for “THE FRANKS” at the Greenwood in Trenton, NJ in 1970 I showed “Five Easy Pieces”.

Crazy Bob Madara
Crazy Bob Madara commented about Rialto Theater on Sep 7, 2006 at 6:02 pm

It was for sale in the Summer of 1973. I believe that it was torn down around December 1973. Yes, it was once part of the WB chain. It had one of “The Planet Of The Apes” on the marquee for at least a year. I saw “Woodstock” there in 1970. Bob Lord was the projectionist. The Rialto was on the east side Main Street between the Black Horse Pike & Old Turnpike. No balcony. In 1974, “THE FRANKS” bought the Super Simplex projectors, RCA PhotoPhone sound heads, and Motiograph pedestals. We installed it all in the Ventnor in the spring of 1974.

Crazy Bob Madara
Crazy Bob Madara commented about Mayfair Theatre on Sep 7, 2006 at 5:47 pm

I worked at the Mayfair for Local 359 of the projectionist union. I remember running “Shaft” for what seemed like months on end. I recall that the owner was Vince Herny? To get to the booth, You had to go out the fire escape from the balcony and go up some outside steps (In all kinds of weather). The equipment consisted of two Simplex XL’s with Ashcraft Corelites. and one Simplex E-7 with a Peerless Magnarc type “F”. I offten ate at the Savoy restaurant which was very close by. Years later I was in Trenton and the Mayfair was still open? State Street was closed to motor vehicles and was turned into a pedestrian mall with trees in the middle of State Street. Could have been 1982?

Crazy Bob Madara
Crazy Bob Madara commented about Margate Theater on Sep 7, 2006 at 5:28 pm

The Sensuround films were played at the Ventnor, which was a single screen in 1975. The Margate was twinned by “THE FRANKS” in 1973 and could not have Sensuround. I believed that the reopened it early in December of that year. The Main projectionists at tha time were Ed Hodge & Al Greenwood. The Margate opened in 1937. It had simular architecture to the Embassy. The roof of the autitorium was barn shaped and ran paralell to Ventnor Ave. The door to the booth open right behind the snack bar. This made it fun to interact with the cute candy girls. “THE FRANKS” built a new projection booth in front of the old one. It was a semi automated change over booth. The original Simplex XL’s were retained but got new Christe xenon lamphouses. the smaller side got the old E-7s from the Towne Cinema (Astor), Peerless Magnarcs. Both side got 6000' reels. I’m sure that it was still open in 1984. I was hired to just manage. Bob lord of Northfield was the projectionist. The shows were “Lady In Red”, and “Places In The Heart” By that time the Margate got Platters. BTW, at the time time all of “THE FRANKS” concessions were leased out to the Walter Reade Organization.

Crazy Bob Madara
Crazy Bob Madara commented about Lyric Theatre on Sep 7, 2006 at 5:00 pm

In 1973, The cumberland county business agent, Ed Pepper, offered me a job there paying 14.00 a shift. The Lyric looked kinda like the Landis on the outside. They were playing spanish language films there in 1973. Around the same time I was offered by the Atlantic City local 310, business agent Rich McSweeny, Matinee’s at the Charles for 21.50 a shift & Evenings at the Ventnor for 23.00 per shift.

Crazy Bob Madara
Crazy Bob Madara commented about Colonial Theatre on Sep 7, 2006 at 4:04 pm

It was located on the main drag (Philadelphia Ave.)I believe that it was part of the early “The Franks” chain. My good friend John Rogers of MaysLanding, NJ use to work there as projectionist. John. is now in his eighties. He visited me in the booth of the Delsea Drive-in, when I was running it in 2004.

Crazy Bob Madara
Crazy Bob Madara commented about Garden Theatre on Sep 7, 2006 at 3:42 pm

Going north on Broad St., it was on the right hand side. Around 1972, It had Garden Theatre painted on the south side of the building but very faded. The name on the Marquee was hand lettered It said “Teatro Puerto Rico”. They were showing Spanish language films. The booth was one of my all time favorites. Very early Regular Simplex projecctors, Western Electric (Mirror-phonic?) sound heads. When you opened the soundhead door, you would loose the sound. The carbon arc lamps were called Strong Mogul’s. Instead of an electric change over behind the aperture, The had two sliding metal plates on tracks that were mounted on the wall and slid in front of port holes. The place had a large wooden balcony with windows ob the back wall.

Crazy Bob Madara
Crazy Bob Madara commented about Towne Cinema on Sep 7, 2006 at 3:03 pm

It was on Atlantic Ave, Between New Jersey & Delaware Aveenues. I believe that Al & Barbera Frank acquied it in the late sixties. They changed the name from Astor to Towne Cinema. They were following the same trend that the Charles did. It was their entry into the Atlantic City Market. When in Oct. 1969, they opened the brand new Towne Twin located next to the Atlantic Drive-in, near Pleasantville, The Towne Cinema lost it’s luster in a hurry. In 1971 “The Franks” leased the Towne Cinema to Luis Hernandez. He ran as a discount 3rd run house showing old James Bond 007 films. I was helping him learn to run the equipment. The Union looked the other way. The Booth equipment was Simplex E-7’s, Peerless Magnars’s & Motor Generator. The E-7’s were moved to the Margate when it became a twin in 1973. The Towne Cinema was closed by then.

Crazy Bob Madara
Crazy Bob Madara commented about Capitol Theatre on Sep 7, 2006 at 2:38 pm

I worked there in thr mid-seveties for Al Baker. The manager was an AC cop, I think his name was Mike Freil. I ran a lot of 16mm XXX films there. The 35mm equipment was Super simplex projectors & very early model of the Peerless Magnarc carbon lamps. I ran a 35mm film there called “Snuff” It was shot in Mexico and suposedly showed a guy really killing people by cutting them up while they were tied dowm! It was sick! To get to the booth, I remember going out a back door at the back of the autitorium, and up some real skinny metal steps. The Center & the Astor were kind of like that too.