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When I lived in San Diego during the 90’s, I lived right around the corner from the Ken Theatre. Next door was the best video store in town, Kensington Video. I was fortunate to many modern classic films on the big screen in glorious 35mm. I saw several great films including
Barry Lyndon, Cabaret, A Clockwork Orange, The Exorcist, Taxi Driver and Midnight Cowboy, just to name a few. Great foreign films Das Boot,
Pelle the Conqueror, Burnt by the Sun, and Dersu Uzala. It was nice to have the Ken in town, a place I could escape to. Too bad the rising costs of greed, keep theatres like the Ken from existence. For cinephiles, the next best place is Quentin Tarantino’s New Beverly Cinema in Los Angeles. One of the few great places left in the country where you can still catch a good old classic movie in 35mm. Thank you Quentin!
This theatre opened in December of 1977. It had two large auditoriums that were later split into four. Later four more screens were added to include a total of eight. The original high walls in the lobby, which also had an ice cream counter, had a collage of old movie posters. I remember seeing Gone With the Wind, ET, French Lieutenants Woman, Out of Africa, The Color Purple and a few others there. This theatre opened as a Blair Cinema and later was operated by United Artists Theatres. I moved to California in 1990, so don’t know when it actually closed. Wish I had all those posters that were cut up to use as the lobby decorations.. Probably worth a few thousand by now. Happy memories!
I worked at the AMC Town and Country 6 and helped train the Metro Village staff. The theatre opened in December 1980 with The Jazz Singer, Stir Crazy, The Aristocats, and First Family from what I remember. Mr Berger was the general manager and was known as being a jerk. The outer auditoriums were nice with Dolby Stereo. Saw many films there including Reds, For Your Eyes Only, Flashdance, Terms of Endearment, Scarface Amadeus, Ghost, JFK. Metro Village and Town and Country also had Midnight movies Friday and Saturday sponsored by radio station KDKB. Crazy nights working those shows.
This was a great single screen theatre that was around before my time. I was in my early teens when I started subscribing to their monthly calendars. It was the late the late 70’s when this theatre competed against the Valley Art in Tempe who also had a monthly calendar. Although I didn’t even have a drivers license, I did manage to get my mother and a good friend to go with me for a movie. Although I would have gone to the Sombrero more often if I was able to, I did mange to see Days of Heaven, Badlands, The Other Side of Midnight and Pretty Baby before they closed in the early 80’s. I believe an office building now stands where this gem of a theatre once stood. I do remember Islands restaurant around the back too. The Sombrero must have been the place to be back in the late 70’s. Unfortunately no other theatres exist in the Phoenix area that allow us movie buffs to catch
these great double features that the Sombrero once
played. The Valley Art is still around and run by Harkins
theatres a local first run chain. Would be great if someone could take it over and bring back the diverse classics once screened there in 35mm. Hey, I’ll even settle for classics on DCP. At least I can dream about the thought, but grateful to have experienced those great theatres in their calendar days.
I’ve been to the Loft twice for their 70mm showings. Saw Tron and West Side Story. Both prints were in great shape. Hopefully they will add a better sound system to their main auditorium after the redo the seating. Hope they play The Sound of Music, Patton, and Brainstorm in 70mm.
After Heavens Gate was released in 35mm we played it at the Town and Country 6 in Phoenix in the Dolby house. I remember it did well the first weekend, but seemed to die out the following week. The version we showed didn’t compare to the 70mm version I had seen at the Century Plaza Cinemas in L.A earlier that year.
I saw Heavens Gate in 70mm Six-track Dolby Stereo at the Plitt Century Plaza theatres in Century City back in the spring of 1981. As I was entering Steve Martin and Bernadette Peters were exiting the movie. After my showing was over I saw Sally Field waiting for her car. Nobody bothered her. I’m glad to have seen a movie at the Century Plaza cinemas which I hear are now gone. As for the movie, it seemed long, but the large screen and excellent sound made up for the weak movie.
This was one of the last great single screen theatres in the Phoenix area. I had the pleasure to see some big screen titles there including The Deer Hunter, The Last Emperor and The Mission. Also saw Fatal Attraction there opening weekend. The Kachina had a small lobby and a great big curved screen. Sad too have seen this one close as the Now defunct Galleria put this single screen out of business.
I worked at the Town & Country during high school from 1980-1982. Mr. Cedar was the manager during that time. Got to work with some really cool, fun people and the summer months were a blast. We played Raiders of the Lost Ark, Stripes, Tron, Star Wars, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, American Werewolf in London among other blockbusters. I remember the ice cream shop and Jutenhoops around the corner. Good old times. This theatre opened in 1976 and closed some time in the 90’s.
The old Christown Theatres went from 1 screen to 2 then to 5 then to 11. Theatre 3 was the large auditorium which featured 922 seats, THX sound and 70MM capability. I was fortunate to see many of the big blockbusters in that autitorium and several in 70MM…. RAISE THE TITANIC, THE BLACK HOLE, DISNEY’S SLEEPING BEAUTY, INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM, STAR TREK 4 THE VOYAGE HOME. Also saw ROCKY, SUPERMAN, STAR TREK II, GANDHI, TOP GUN, AND TITANIC among others in that auditorium. Does anybody know if Harkins kept the 70MM projectors when he closed this theatre or the old Cine Capri? If he did, he needs to have a 70MM FILM FESTIVAL like the great movie exhibitors do in Europe. Anyone wanting info on these festivals can look them up on the great website 70MM.com.
The Camelback Theatre was located on the south side of Camelback road near Scottsdale Road. This where “MIDWAY” and “ROLLERCOASTER” played in SENSURROUND. The large theatre was split into 3 screens.
Nice theatres, but Harkins should have kept a large theatre in the new complex like he had in the old Christown off 19th Ave. That theatre was awesome and the first in Phoenix to feature THX. That theatre also was equipped for 70MM which in my opinion was and still is far more superior than the new IMAX. Harkins, bring back a 70MM Film Fest to your new Cine Capri theatre’s.
I was fortunate to see SEVERAL 70MM showings in the 922 seat auditorium.
RAISE THE TITANIC 80'
WALT DISNEYS SLEEPING BEAUTY 81'
THE BLACK HOLE 81'
INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM 84'
STAR TREK 4 THE VOYAGE HOME 86'
I also remember hearing about structural damage during the Bethany’s engagement of “Earthquake” in late 74' early ‘75. I do believe it was closed for a week for some repairs. I was not fortunate to see “Earthquake” at the Bethany, but got to see it later that year at The Hayden West Theatre off Grand and Indian Schoool. The Sensurround was awesome. I remember my dad feeling a bit shaken up after the show. My brother and I loved it though. I do believe “Earthquake” was the only Sensurround showing at The Bethany. After that, both “Midway” & “Rollercoaster played in Sensurround at the Camelback Theatre near Scottsdale Rd.
Wish we Still had theatres like the Bethany and theatres that would play Sensurround like the film fest this past June in Germany.