Showing 5 comments
WOW! The morning papers are reporting Joyce Hecht has sold the Boyd (with 4 stores, office space and a basement used as a club) to an undisclosed limited partnership for $1.35 million. Heydt is said to be “thrilled” with the new developer. The realtor that handled the deal says showing movies has not been ruled out but described plans for an “arts center.” Moravian College, which made an attempt to purchase the property earlier, has already said they look forward to talking with the new owners. WOW! The realtor says the new owner “has the funds to do everything he needs to do.” and “I think it’s going to be pretty spectacular.” WOW! I’m keeping my fingers crossed, but WOW!
To help keep the doors open in the late 50’s the Lyric featured traveling burlesque on Saturday nights. I have fond memories of when my friend and I would buy the cheap balcony seats and spot his father’s bald head down in the orchestra.
The Black Bear Film Festival will highlight twelve features at the Milford Theatre Friday through Sunday, October 14-16, 2011. A centennial tribute to D. W. Griffiths on Sunday will include three 1911 films, portions of which were filmed just miles from the theater (this is also the centennial of the theater). The Film Salon this year will feature short films, annimation, guest speakers and submissions from local students and is free of charge. There will be an Opening Night Gala at the Tom Quick Inn. Individual event tickets start at $10. Information at www.blackbearfilm.com or 570-409-0909.
The West Side became a big-ticket, reserved-seat venue in the early 60’s with Windjammer (1958), the only film made in Cinemiracle, a 3 projector system like Cinerama (but all 3 projectors were in the same booth). It was a travelogue about a 17,500 mile voyage of the Christian Radich, a Norweigan training ship, which opened in 1.33:1 aspect ratio and a few minutes in expanded to 2.59:1 on a huge screen. Wow! Seven channel stereo. Wow! It was great. If my memory is right, it played for close to a year, amazing for a town the size of Scranton. Later, the West Side showed Cinerama films in both 3 projector and, I believe, 70mm Cinerama. Cinerama bought Cinemiracle and showed Windjammer in Cinerama theaters, then later converted it to Cinemascope for wide release. The West Side was the largest theater in Scranton so it was a great place to see the “big” movies.
The Nile was operated by the Heydt family until the city took it for redevelopment in the 1970’s. The site sat
vacant, then became a parking lot until the 1990’s when two office buildings were developed. Joyce Heydt still owns and operates the nearby Boyd, showing first run movies. The Nile often showed comedies, monster, and horror along with an occasional blockbuster and, in my memory, attracted a lot of teenagers. The auditorium had emergency doors on the right side and, if you were quick enough, you could sneak in while others were exiting.