2001 McHenry Avenue,
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Previously operated by: Redwood Theatres Inc.
Architects: William Bernard David
Firms: Ainsworth & McClellan
Styles: Streamline Moderne
Opened April 26, 1967, the Briggsmore Theatre was originally planned to be a ‘Cinerama’ style screen. At time of raising-lacing up screen, it was discovered the builders were about a total of eight feet too narrow. Decision was to create a 70mm house.
Projection system setup as a 35-70mm. At the time, this was one of only five such houses in the United States. Had a six-track stereo sound system. Behind the screen were five two-way speaker systems, with eight surrounding speakers in the theatre. Auditorium seating was single floor with left-center-right aisle configuration. The front entrance was all glass with a huge cathedral style window. The lobby had a 11 foot tall three-tier crystal and brass chandelier and when illuminated could be seen from the street. The entire house was very elegant in design and decor.
The opening showing of “The Sound Of Music” was booked for four weeks, it was held over for total of 17 weeks. A first for Modesto theatres. My knowledge is first hand, as I was the manager given this, (flagship) theatre to undertake.
We had the ‘gala opening’ same night in conjunction with the new Prescott Drive-In, located at Briggsmore and Highway 99. It was owned by Robert Lippert.
The Briggsmore Theatre was later ‘tri-plexed’, then completely removed, (I believe) in the 1990’s. It was closed in August 1999.
Theatre was designed by: Ainsworth and McClellan and William B. David of S.F. Redwood Theatres president Richard Mann, father who started the theatre chain was George Mann.
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