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dallasmovietheaters: Correction – The Stamm “featured” six luminescent murals, but no longer; all were destroyed when the theater was gutted, and Gary Parks’s reproduction from memory of one of them is apparently all that survives. I hoped to be able to reproduce more at my blog, Jim Lane’s Cinedrome, but I never heard back from deanharris of the Stamm family, or from goodyear4, who mentioned having two pictures of the Stamm’s murals that he or she was reluctant to share.
Many of the image links in the comments here are no longer available, alas. Also, my own comment of 3/3/2011, provides a link to my post about the Stamm from my old Blogspot version of Jim Lane’s Cinedrome. A better version of that post is here at my new, improved Cinedrome site.
If anyone has additional images of the Stamm – or better copies of the one I’ve posted – I’d be grateful for permission to share them. With credit, of course, and gratefully!
Apropos of my previous comment, I just uploaded two frame captures from Play It Again, Sam showing Woody Allen in the auditorium and lobby of the Surf. Enjoy!
Many fond memories of the Surf in its 1970s revival-house heyday, but here’s a favorite: The Surf appears at the opening of Woody Allen’s Play It Again, Sam (1972), with Allen sitting in an all-but-empty Surf watching Casablanca, only to go home to find the ghost of Humphrey Bogart giving him advice on “dames”. Well, that same 1972 summer I went to the Surf to see Casablanca with my then-wife and best friend — and we couldn’t find three seats together.
I’ve always said that the biggest fantasy in Play It Again, Sam isn’t the ghost of Bogart, it’s the idea of seeing Casablanca at the Surf when it’s “all but empty”.
goodyear4: I hope you’ll decide to post those pictures of the Stamm murals, and that you’ll kindly allow me to add them to my Stamm post at Cinedrome along with Gary’s rendering. With credit, of course, and gladly!
Joe Vogel: Thank you, thank you, a million times thank you! I’ll post the repaired link in my Cinedrome post on the Stamm without delay.
CORRECTION: The grainy pics on my post are from Motion Picture Herald, not Box Office. Oops!
Those who remember the Stamm Theatre might like to read this post on my Cinedrome blog. I post as many (grainy) images as I could find of the interior from that 1949 Box Office Magazine article. Alas, the link to that ad for Gulistan carpets mentioned by Joe Vogel above has now gone dead, but I do include — with the artist’s permission — Gary Parks’s rendering of one of the Stamm’s auditorium murals. I hope you get as much bittersweet pleasure in reading the post as I did in preparing it.
Re: Trainmaster’s comment. My father had certain dealings with George Stamm when our family lived in Antioch during the 1950s; suffice it to say his memories of the man were not fond. The Stamm was my home-away-from-home in those days, and it broke my heart to see it gutted to the bare concrete walls in 1999. If the Stamm family did indeed refuse to allow photos of the interior, then didn’t photograph it themselves, shame on them; it was nothing less than a crime against posterity. If anyone does respond to Trainmaster’s request for interior shots, I’d love to hear about it myself.