Comments from StephenAdams

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StephenAdams commented about Pacific 1-2-3 on Sep 1, 2008 at 7:38 pm


Although I trained with Jack at the Hollywood Pacific, it wasn’t long before I was “committed” to the Wiltern shortly after Keith Devereaux and the nasty boiler fire. Al Young was District Manager. A number of years ago I was one of two candidates for Manager of the soon-to-open Disney El Capitan Theatre. During the interview process, I learned that the manager of the Lakewood Center (I’ve forgotten her name) during that time was still with Pacific in the home office. She opened the Lakewood right after it was divided – I remember working the opening. I think her first name was Terry.

Forgive me Jack for not calling you all summer long! I’ll do it soon.

StephenAdams commented about Pacific 1-2-3 on Jun 22, 2008 at 12:55 pm

JACK!!! I do remember the goatee, the Bent Flashlight Award, and a lot more. I think I know how to reach you and Don by phone, and I’ll try. My day is made! And once again, I can thank this theatre for another great life experience!

StephenAdams commented about Pacific 1-2-3 on Jun 8, 2008 at 5:55 pm

Marjorie may have mostly spoken with managers and the ubiquotous Erne DelPonte. Yes, Ernie was short, portly and could be funny in a campy sort of way. He was a huge movie minutia hound. When Pacific decided to triplex the house, they sold-off all the old lobby furniture – grand old items fit for a castle. Ernie got first pick. Yes, that box office was small – it was constructed for a “grind” policy where patrons came and went all day long. If you had to “sell” the house with the two windows it had… well, you couldn’t. The safe was incredibly small, remember? Jack straightened every bill so that it took as little space as possible so he could get enough cash in there to go through the evening. Remember how the window air conditioner just above the safe used to clog with lint from paper currency? I remember Holly quite well. She was a lovely and competent young girl. I wish I remembered John. Did he work the door or snack bar?


StephenAdams commented about Pacific 1-2-3 on Jun 8, 2008 at 9:22 am

I was hired by Walk-in General Manager Harold Citron an assistant manager to Jack Tate in 1972. I was also a long-term member of the American Theatre Organ Society (later, President). I too remember the 4-manual 28-rank Marr & Colton theatre pipe organ.

Do you remember doorman Ernie DelPonte? How about Marjorie Maine’s daily noon chats by the box office?

Jack came to Pacific from Denver, CO sometime in the 1960s I believe. He and his partner Don Boxwell were both theatre managers – Don at the Academy in Pasadena. Jack spent time at the Pantages before moving on to the Picwood for its massive redecoration. He then assumed the position of Managing Director at the Hollywood Pacific (one of the last such positions). Jack and Don owned a wonderful Victorian in Pasadena they were restoring. I believe Jack left Pacific just before the triplexing to open an antique store in New Hampshire with Don. I corresponded with them for years, until they moved back to their native Denver, where I lost track of both.

Does anyone know where they are now?

StephenAdams commented about Pacific 1-2-3 on Feb 20, 2007 at 6:12 pm

One of the things I admired most about the Warner was that it was a fully-featured movie palace. No other Hollywood house (perhaps even in all of LA) had a seating monitor.

And compared to other Hollywood houses, it had been kept extremely clean in the stage, basement, and dressingroom areas. Until the house was divided-up, it was always run with dignity and sense of showmanship.

When I was assistant to Jack Tate in the early 70s, Ernie DelPonte was our daytime doorman. He had befriended such daily boulevard walkers as Marjorie Maine, and many was the time I’d step out to the box office to find several such long-retired actors and acresses talking old times with Ernie. I think it was Ernie who bought the ornate brass and gilded wood lobby seating monitor before the theatre was broken-up into three.

StephenAdams commented about Pacific 1-2-3 on Feb 5, 2007 at 3:31 pm

When I worked for Pacific, the DM for Hollywood was the saintly Dick Mason – a vaudevillian who couldn’t retire. I loved that man for his patience with a 22 year-old trying his hardest to do everything right.

At the Wiltern Theatre, I began working under Al Young – a card-carrying jerk. I’ll probably “pay” for saying that, but I’ve waited 32-years to say it, and it feels good. Harold Citron was President of walk-ins, and he hired me in his office on the 3d floor of the Warner Building.

Has anyone here thought of having a reunion of Pacific managers? Oh, the stories! How about having it at the Warner? Would Mike Forman be willing to make an appearance? It would be great to see him again.

StephenAdams commented about The Sleeping Giant of Hollywood on Feb 4, 2007 at 6:39 pm

Between 1971 and 1973 I was assistant manager at the “Hollywood Pacific” under the venerable Managing Director, Jack Tate. At that time, the Cinerama installed drapes and suspended ceiling were still in place, along with three projection booths on the main floor. Behind the drapes and lowered ceiling, the theatre’s 4/28 Marr & Colton Theatre Organ was still installed, although it barely operated. Originally, the house was equipped with a seating monitor. Cinerama replaced all seats in the newly-draped house, and removed the ornate display board located in the former entry vestibule to a basement storage room. In the 1970s the Hollywood Pacific was a first run house, and often a hard ticket “road show” showcase. The theatre was maintained beautifully, and watched carefully by a stage hand, engineer, and full theatre staff. Pacific Theatres' home office was then located on the third floor where Warner Brothers Theatres offices were located. A viewing box at the rear of the balcony could be accessed from these offices, though in 1972 it was well above the suspended ceiling installed in the latter-day Cinerama era.