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Entertainment/Theatres
 
 
Boston's Downtown Movie Palaces,  by Arthur Singer & Ron Goodman
 
Since the late 1800s, Boston has been a trendsetter in the movie business.  It was here that the name nickelodeon first appeared on a storefront theater.  In 1896, B.F. Keith added film to his Washington Street theater and throughout his national chain of vaudeville houses.  In 1914, Boston’s Modern became the country’s first theater with an installed sound projection system. Several years later, the city had its first movie palace: Marcus Loew’s Orpheum.  Boston became a center for elegant movie houses, including the Metropolitan, Keith Memorial, and Paramount. Thanks to civic and academic leaders, many of Boston’s theaters have been preserved and restored and are alive and well today.  Compelling images and fascinating stories take the reader through decades of Boston memories of double features, kiddie shows, newsreels, world premieres, and the sheer enjoyment of “going out to the movies."
 
Softcover, 6 x 9, 128 pgs.    
Price: $21.00
 
The Chicago Movie Palaces of Balaban and Katz, by David Balaban
 
Brothers Barney and A. J. Balaban started out with a rented Nickelodeon theatre, but their dream was to operate large movie palaces.  So in 1916 they joined with Sam and Morris Katz to form the Balaban and Katz Theatre Corporation.  By the mid-20s, the B&K chain, as it became known, had populated Chicago with large, ornate theatres boasting plush lounge areas, antiques and artwork.  The Chicago Theatre in Chicago's Loop (restored in recent years) featured first-run films alternating with live stage shows by top bands and Hollywood stars.  Most of the other B&K theatres are gone, but grandson David Balaban has collected a treasure house of photos that witness to their proud exteriors and marquees and their magnificently elegant interiors.

Softcover, 6 x 9, 128 pgs.   
Price: $21.00                                                                  
 
 
Detroit's Downtown Movie Palaces,  by Michael Hauser and Marianne Weldon
 
The spokelike grid of wide grand avenues radiating out from downtown Detroit allowed for a concentration of theaters initially along Monroe Street near Campus Martius and, after the second decade of the 20th century, clustered around Grand Circus Park, all easily accessible by a vast network of streetcars.  In its heyday, Grand Circus Park boasted a dozen palatial movie palaces containing an astonishing total of 26,000 seats.  Of these theaters, five remain today, fully restored and operational for live entertainment.  Detroit, more so than any other North American city, illustrates how demographic and economic forces dramatically changed the landscape of film exhibition in an urban setting. 

Softcover, 6 x 9, 128 pgs.    
Price: $21.00
 

 Kearney's World Theater,  by Keith Terry and Jon Bokenkamp

 

The World Theatre in Kearney, Nebraska, opened in 1927 and was welcomed by an excited public. More than just a movie house, it proved to be a social center, where people of all professions, ages, and income levels would frequently gather.  Some came because it was modern and new and there were few equally attractive alternatives.  Some went because it was a sort of sanctuary, offering temporary distraction from hard time with bits of humor, drama, mystery, or adventure.  For others it provided escape from the heat of the day and a meeting place for keeping informed.  Over time, the entertainment and economic landscapes in the country changed, affecting The World's profitability as well as others like it.

Softcover, 6 x 9, 128 pgs.    
Price: $21.00

 

Maryland's Motion Picture Theaters, by Robert K. Headley

 

Since motion pictures were first exhibited in the late 19th century, Maryland has been home to hundreds of theaters.  Some were built for movies, others were traditional theaters, music academies, lodge halls, even town halls.  Historic photographs in this volume illustrate the development of movie theaters throughout Maryland.  Contemporary theaters are not neglected.  Since the average life span of a movie theater is 25 years or fewer, some theaters may vanish almost overnight.  This has been the fate of most theaters built in the 1960s and the multiplexes built between 1964 and 1990.  Exploring these pages, readers can relive the nostalgia of past trips to the movies in an era when double features and numerous “short subjects” were the norm.

Softcover, 6 x 9, 128 pgs.
Price: $21.00


 

Milwaukee Movie Theaters,  by Larry Widen

 
Prior to World War II, there were 90 single-screen movie theaters in Milwaukee.  By 1960, that number had been reduced by half.  With the arrival of television for the home market, the golden age of the movie theater in Milwaukee was dead.  Yet their ghosts continue to haunt the old neighborhoods.  Churches, warehouses, stores, nightspots, and other businesses now occupy the former Tivoli, Paris, Roosevelt, and Savoy Buildings.  Others are simply vacant hulks, decaying from the inside out.  The Elite, Regent, Lincoln, and Warner are but a few of the many silent sentinels from the days when Milwaukee was in love with the movies.  Larry Widen is a historian and the author who operates the historic Times and Rosebud cinemas near downtown Milwaukee.

Softcover, 6 x 9, 128 pgs.
Price: $21.00
 
Theatres of Oakland,  by Jack Tillmany and Jennifer Dowling
 
Oakland has a rich theatre history, from the amusements of a gas-lit downtown light opera and vaudeville stage in the 1870s to the ornate cinematic escape portals of the Great Depression.  Dozens of neighborhood theatres, once the site of family outings and first dates, remain cherished memories in the lives of Oaklanders.  The city can still boast three fabulous movie palaces from the golden age of cinema: the incomparable art deco Paramount, which now offers live performances and films; the stately Grand Lake gracing the sinuous shores of Lake Merritt; and the magnificently eccentric Fox Oakland, with its imposing Hindu gods flanking the stage.  The Paramount and Grand Lake still stir the heartstrings of patrons with showings preceded by interludes on their mighty Wurlitzer organs. 

Softcover, 6 x 9, 128 pgs.    
Price: $21.00
 

Theatres of San Francisco,  by Jack Tillmany  

 

You read the sad stories in the papers: another ornate, 1920s, single-screen theatre closes, to be demolished and replaced by a strip mall.  That’s progress, and in this 20-screen multiplex world, it’s happening more and more.  Only a handful of the 100 or so neighborhood theatres that once graced these streets are left in San Francisco, but they live on in the photographs featured in this book.  The heyday of such venues as the Clay, Noe, Metro, New Mission, Alexandria, Coronet, Fox, Uptown, Coliseum, Surf, El Rey, and Royal was a time when San Franciscans thronged to the movies and vaudeville shows, dressed to the hilt, to see and be seen in majestic art deco palaces.  Unfortunately, this era passed into history despite the dedicated efforts of many neighborhood preservation groups.


Softcover, 6 x 9, 128 pgs.    
Price: $21.00
 

Theatres of San Jose,  by Gary Lee Parks 

 

San Joseans have long had their pick of the best in stage and screen entertainment.  In the late 19th through the mid-20th centuries, theatres were beloved places.  Whether in downtown, the neighborhoods, or surrounding communities, theatres provided the thrill of a night on the town. Most of the early theatres built in San Jose exist only in photographs, many exhibited in this book for the first time.  A few, such as the palatial California Theatre and the venerable Jose Theatre, serve exciting new uses in todayÂ’s entertainment marketplace.  Even such relative newcomers as the Century 21 Theatre and its fellow domed cinemas have begun to gain a romance of their own.


Softcover, 6 x 9, 128 pgs.    
Price: $21.00