Buck Jones and those Old Time Theatre Palaces …

20 Oct

Buck Jones and the Old Time Theatres has turned into another Blog Monster – so huge that it could literally take dozens of posts to do it justice …

The Old Time Movie Theatres/Palaces

Buck Jones old time theatre

“art for art’s sake”

And Palaces they were. Do you Remember? Some lucky folks will. Others (mostly the young) may not.

Fortunately, a few of these incredible Movie Palaces still remain – have been saved. Unfortunately, most of them have been callously torn down.

Testifying to their beauty, those that still remain are now usually the domain of Fine Arts.

Beautiful indeed they were. The sensation. The atmosphere. The Grandeur …

Going to the Theatre in those days was a special event. The Names suggested so: The Grand, The Palace, The Ritz, The Royal … The Majestic … The Orpheom …

Outside, The Marques blazed – large and spectacular with lights and neon.

Inside – the Entrance – The Doors – plush carpeting – staircases – balconies – brass, mirrors, glitter, gold, lighting, chandeliers, curtains, soft music – everything was exquisite. Somebody really cared. And made you feel like royalty – a palace – a grand experience. Undeniable elegance. Here was an appreciation of Culture – Arts – and Craftsmanship – something to aspire to – and inspire us – as all great Art does.

Then there was the Program:

You’re were seated. Lights dim. Grand music swelling. The beautiful stage – the curtains slowly part …

First on the program you’d typically get a black and white Newsreel – news on the current War; the launching of the Titanic; the crash of the Hindenburg; a new motorcar; celebrity gossip; recent sports achievements; ??? – in these 5 to 10 minute reels. Then came the cartoon – sometimes three! Followed by previews of Upcoming Attractions. The pre-movie show was an entertainment experience in itself – often half an hour long – or more – before the curtains would close again … and then re-open. Now for the main attraction!

In this posting – for the sake of  brevity – I take the privilege of showcasing just a few of these marvelous theatres that we had in Canada.

Theatres of Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia

Royal Theatre - Victoria

The Royal Theatre is an opera house and concert hall located in Victoria, British Columbia. Opened in 1913, the theatre has operated under many guises, including cinema (1917–1981); operated during some of that time by Famous Players), opera, and concerts.The theatre was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1987.

Orpheum Theatre - Vancouver 2

Orpheum Theatre - Vancouver

The Orpheum is one of the most beautiful concert halls in North America, hosting Canadian and international musicians, lecture series, and unique events. The Orpheum is a designated National Heritage Site built in 1927 and refurbished in 2009.

Hard to believe they showed movies at these places/palaces isn’t it?

But they did.

Next: The Old Time Theatres of Alberta

 

 

 

 

2 Responses to “Buck Jones and those Old Time Theatre Palaces …”

  1. Marilyn Armstrong October 21, 2015 at 9:44 pm #

    I do remember, I do, I do. We had the Loew’s Valencia. It is still standing, actually, though it isn’t a movie theater anymore. I saw “Shane” there and got lost watching the stars twinkle in the ceiling. It was an amazing experience.

    • jcalberta October 22, 2015 at 12:54 am #

      There isn’t a single one of those amazing theatres still standing in Calgary. One of the last has been turned into a sports bar. The Grand was torn down without a whimper or a whisper. I know that the US has been wise enough to save several of these outstanding heritage sites. And they are indeed marvelous. Bravo to that !

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