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I miss this granddaddy of Springfield theaters. It was a majestic old palace and those of us who grew up in the 80s remember it fondly. I was devestated when I heard that it would close and outraged that a radio station would move in there, especially since they gutted it.
Perhaps one day the building will be saved and the radio station evicted to make way for a refurbishment and a re-instatement of the lavish interior.
I remember when the Dickie 8 was built and have very fond memories of attending, by now, hundreds of movies there over the years. I do not recall there being a second hall to the theaters as the description states.
It was rumored long ago that the vacant lot next door would be used to expand the theater, but that never occurred. When Goodrich purchased the theater, it felt very different. The atmosphere just felt more tense and combative (probably because the Campbell 16 was slowly draining away business).
However, the theater has remained popular with an elite cadre of people in Springfield who value limited crowds, great and comfortable seats, the best projection in town and a better sound system than any of the renovated Campbell 16 theaters.
It was announced this past week that Dickinson Theaters had re-purchased the theater. I don’t know when it went/is going into effect and I don’t know if they’ll change the theater name back to Dickinson 8 as it was when it originally opened, but to me it sounds like good news. Maybe Dickinson will revitalize it, do a bit of touch ups (some parts of the place have gotten rundown) and maybe work on that expansion they had long ago promised.
For me, the Campbell 16 will always be a second-rate theater. While the stadium seating is nice to have, it’s very crowded. The smallest theaters are even more cramped and I’ve had numerous experiences where the projections either melted, scratched, broke, played without sound and other problems.
I avoid this theater whenever I can, preferring to catch a flick at the less crowded, more spacious and better technicals of the Springfield 8.
I remember the theater very well. Growing up in Springfield, it was one of the great joys to be able to come to the mall on Sunday, not contend with traffic and see a movie.
Some things I remember: In 1995, my grandfather took me to see a movie there, I can’t remember which one now, but I recall seeing the large house stand-up for the film Clue. I commented that I wanted to see it and was told I was too young. Clue remains one of my favorite guilty pleasures ever.
I also remember seeing Best Picture 1989, Driving Miss Daisy, which was the film that launched my interest in the Academy Awards (which I continue to this day). And towards the end of its run, it was one of the few theaters in town that consistently got smaller, independent movies while the larger cineplexes were inundated with more populist fare.