sundance on a sunday

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dstol62
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Postby dstol62 » Thu Jul 05, 2007 1:22 am

frozenCow wrote:
Henry Vilas wrote:
Bwis53 wrote:I miss the Strand, Esquire, Capital, and Middleton Theaters!

Going to the Capital usually meant a visit to Moon's Fun Shop next door.


One of my first film experiences was seeing "Yellow Submarine" at the Capital Theater. Some years later while in my early teens, I used to take the bus downtown to visit Moon Fun Shop and buy a practical joke or trick, but not before stopping at Ward-Brodt on Henry St. to mess around on the Fender-Rhodes electric piano, and purchasing a .75 milkshake at the Plaza next door. Ah, the good old days!

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Postby white_rabbit » Thu Jul 05, 2007 4:04 am

:arrow:
Last edited by white_rabbit on Sat Jul 07, 2007 8:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

Bwis53
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Postby Bwis53 » Thu Jul 05, 2007 7:53 am

I think the only thing I saw at the Oscar Mayer theater was, She Done Him Wrong, with a Betty Boop cartoon before!

Downtown Middleton may have been a little kid's paradise. Back in the 50's. Middleton Theater had a navy-pink-gold art deco motif, with all personel uniformed! If a kid misbehaved and got that flashlight shone on them, he was properly mortified. The elementary schools sold cheap blocks of tickets to the Saturday afternoon matinees. Then afterwards, there were two icecream places, and four places you could buy candy at, on the way home. Hardly anything was wrapped, other than candy bars. The candy store, next to the Middleton Bank, had rows of candy, and things a kid could waste their allowance on.

Sometimes I miss the UW film society showings. I saw Gone With the Wind, there, for the first time. We did a lot of oowing, just watching Scarlet misbehave.

MadMind
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Postby MadMind » Thu Jul 05, 2007 5:27 pm

Silver Screens is an impressive work on the history of Milwaukee's movie theaters.
I contacted author Larry Widen, who is now owner of the Times Cinema, if he'd ever considered writing a book and/or edition covering the city of Madison.
His response was; "If a publisher approaches me, absolutely, yes. I would love to. I just don't have the time to shop the idea around; someone would need to make me an offer."
So there it is, if you want a book on the history of Madison movie theaters, Mr. Widen would be an excellent choice.

The only criticism I have of his book is that it concentrates on the very early years of theaters (pre 1950's) much more than the 1950's-to-present (which is what I'm most interested in).
I was amazed at the sheer number of theaters that were around in the olden days in Milwaukee. Every neighborhood had at least one.

That's one thing that's a bit disappointing about the city of Madison. Seems as if the only "neighborhood" theater the city of Madison has ever had was that of the Barrymore. Everything else was downtown.

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Postby morriskatze » Fri Jul 06, 2007 10:39 pm

I've been to Sundance twice now and enjoyed both visits. Good sound quality, interesting movie choices, and comfy seats.

I don't quite understand the higher prices, and I think the "service charge" or "reserved seating charge" or whatever BS name they have for it is just unnecessarily pissing people off. They should just list the total price of the tickets and be done with it. They should probably advertise whatever they think their strengths are, too, so people know why the prices are higher.

I don't really understand the idea of a Sundance shop either, but even Ben & Jerry's sells loads of crap in their ice cream shop (t-shirts, magnets, LIP BALM?).

I don't mind the reserved seating idea. I lived in England for two years where reserved seating is universal in movie theaters. If you have a favorite place in a theater to sit (like my friends who liked being in the 2nd row middle of the balcony) it's very convenient to be able to buy your tickets ahead and not worry about whether your seats are taken. People will get used to it, and I doubt it will lead to a rash of latecomers as suggested in one post.

I'll be interested to see how the thing develops, anyway.

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Postby frozenCow » Sat Jul 07, 2007 2:20 am

MadMind wrote:Silver Screens is an impressive work on the history of Milwaukee's movie theaters.
I contacted author Larry Widen, who is now owner of the Times Cinema, if he'd ever considered writing a book and/or edition covering the city of Madison.
His response was; "If a publisher approaches me, absolutely, yes. I would love to. I just don't have the time to shop the idea around; someone would need to make me an offer."
So there it is, if you want a book on the history of Madison movie theaters, Mr. Widen would be an excellent choice.

The only criticism I have of his book is that it concentrates on the very early years of theaters (pre 1950's) much more than the 1950's-to-present (which is what I'm most interested in).
I was amazed at the sheer number of theaters that were around in the olden days in Milwaukee. Every neighborhood had at least one.

That's one thing that's a bit disappointing about the city of Madison. Seems as if the only "neighborhood" theater the city of Madison has ever had was that of the Barrymore. Everything else was downtown.


Keep in mind, Madison was always smaller than Milwaukee. They built the theaters in the 1920's (the Strand, Orpheum, Capitol) where the people were. Many people lived in downtown Madison then, and of course everybody shopped downtown.

The Eastwood was actually the last picture palace built in Madison (in the early 1930's), so it makes sense that it was out in a suburb like Fair Oaks on Atwood Ave. Had the picture palace trend continued (and the Great Depression not stalled construction) maybe more would have been built (like on Monroe St or Park St). Madison didn't extend too far past the Isthmus in those days. Neighborhoods that extended beyond the Isthmus (like Nakoma on the west side, or Lake Edge on the east side) were considered country living.

Another pre-war movie theater in downtown Madison was the Parkway theater on Mifflin St on the square. It was actually the old 19th century Opera House and sat next to the old City Hall. Both were torn down in the 1950's to build the Woolworth's building that was on the corner of Mifflin St and Wisconsin Ave.

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Postby Bwis53 » Sat Jul 07, 2007 4:52 pm

That is one of the more fun things about being boomer aged. I can remember when my mom and I had to dodge around the Square shopping, to avoid all the construction!

MadMind
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Postby MadMind » Sun Jul 08, 2007 9:44 pm

frozenCow wrote:
MadMind wrote:Silver Screens is an impressive work on the history of Milwaukee's movie theaters.
I contacted author Larry Widen, who is now owner of the Times Cinema, if he'd ever considered writing a book and/or edition covering the city of Madison.
His response was; "If a publisher approaches me, absolutely, yes. I would love to. I just don't have the time to shop the idea around; someone would need to make me an offer."
So there it is, if you want a book on the history of Madison movie theaters, Mr. Widen would be an excellent choice.

The only criticism I have of his book is that it concentrates on the very early years of theaters (pre 1950's) much more than the 1950's-to-present (which is what I'm most interested in).
I was amazed at the sheer number of theaters that were around in the olden days in Milwaukee. Every neighborhood had at least one.

That's one thing that's a bit disappointing about the city of Madison. Seems as if the only "neighborhood" theater the city of Madison has ever had was that of the Barrymore. Everything else was downtown.


Keep in mind, Madison was always smaller than Milwaukee. They built the theaters in the 1920's (the Strand, Orpheum, Capitol) where the people were. Many people lived in downtown Madison then, and of course everybody shopped downtown.

The Eastwood was actually the last picture palace built in Madison (in the early 1930's), so it makes sense that it was out in a suburb like Fair Oaks on Atwood Ave. Had the picture palace trend continued (and the Great Depression not stalled construction) maybe more would have been built (like on Monroe St or Park St). Madison didn't extend too far past the Isthmus in those days. Neighborhoods that extended beyond the Isthmus (like Nakoma on the west side, or Lake Edge on the east side) were considered country living.

Another pre-war movie theater in downtown Madison was the Parkway theater on Mifflin St on the square. It was actually the old 19th century Opera House and sat next to the old City Hall. Both were torn down in the 1950's to build the Woolworth's building that was on the corner of Mifflin St and Wisconsin Ave.

Point taken. Good post.
Didn't I also read somewhere that at one time there was a theater in Monona on Monona Drive? I misplaced my source.

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Postby frozenCow » Mon Jul 09, 2007 12:08 am

MadMind wrote:Didn't I also read somewhere that at one time there was a theater in Monona on Monona Drive? I misplaced my source.


I’ve never heard anybody talk about a movie theater on Monona Dr, and I've never come across any mention of one in anything I’ve read about the history of Monona. The only theaters in Monona I recall were the theaters that had a brief existence in the South Towne mall in the ‘90s.

Prior to the 1950s Monona Drive was US Hwy 51, with Monona (established in 1938) on the west side and the Town of Blooming Grove (until being annexed by the City of Madison) on the east side. The pre-50s Monona Drive was a collection of farms, farm houses, the Blooming Grove town hall, a tavern, a grocery store or two, Nichols School, the golf course, and a couple of gas stations. The few businesses present seemed to be gathered at the intersections of Cottage Grove Rd, Dean Ave, and where Monona Dr ended at Hwy 12/18 (Broadway). The post-war boom of the ‘50s brought all the development we see today.

If there ever was a movie theater in Monona on “the Driveâ€Â

frozenCow
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Postby frozenCow » Mon Jul 09, 2007 7:00 am

I just remembered that there was a small theater on Monona Ave (now Martin Luther King Jr Blvd) in the '20s. The name escapes me, but I think it had the same name as one of the other theaters (like the Orpheum) and was its predecessor. I've seen pictures of it.

Maybe that's what you are thinking of: Monona Ave not Monona Dr.

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Postby TAsunder » Mon Jul 09, 2007 8:12 am

I went to sundance on sunday again, to see Paprika.

Just when I thought I had the pricing scheme figured out, they tricked me. The noon matinee, unlike waitress a few weeks back, had a $1.50 service fee, making it $7.75.

When I showed up at 11 to buy tickets, they were open but told me they couldn't sell tickets yet because they didn't have a key to the money drawer. I asked if I could pay with credit card and they said no, but I could use the self-service kiosk.

I went to the self-service kiosk. I was somewhat annoyed when I found out it won't let you leave a single empty seat, so I had to either choose to sit next to two people or one row back. After I put in my seat information it asked "Would you like to use your Stored Value or Credit Card?" and I had no idea what that meant so I hit yes. The tickets printed out without me ever entering my credit card for payment. The receipt had someone else's credit card's last 4 digits shown.

I went back to the counter and asked them what just happened. The manager apparently had seen that before, and also coincidentally told them that they can sell tickets using credit cards without a key to the cash drawer.

We got to the theater around noon for the 12:15 showing, and were treated to a couple of sundance shorts before our film. Then the previews started, and the sound was totally out of sync from the video, and the screen was jittery. The second preview was back in sync but still jittery. There were strange things last time I went as well, but they were gone during the actual film last time.

Not this time. Paprika started and the projection was still off. Really jittery, just like the previews. It was pretty annoying, although I did stop noticing it after about 20 minutes. Unfortunately the movie was a let down as well. But at least it was a let down in vibrant colors, comfortable seats, and killer sound.

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Postby depinmad » Mon Jul 09, 2007 8:32 am

saw paris je taime there on saturday night. noticed the same ridiculous phenom of two rows being full from end to end and the rest of the theater empty. picked two seats in the dead center of the top row. great sound and projection. good movie. not sure what i payed but it was alot. i want to say 23 bucks and change for two tickets.

spent a lot of time in the comfy chairs in the lobby. those are nice.

frozenCow
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Postby frozenCow » Mon Jul 09, 2007 7:35 pm

frozenCow wrote:
MadMind wrote:Didn't I also read somewhere that at one time there was a theater in Monona on Monona Drive? I misplaced my source.


I just remembered that there was a small theater on Monona Ave (now Martin Luther King Jr Blvd) in the '20s. The name escapes me, but I think it had the same name as one of the other theaters (like the Orpheum) and was its predecessor. I've seen pictures of it.

Maybe that's what you are thinking of: Monona Ave not Monona Dr.


Ok, I got the name wrong about the theater on Monona Ave (but I could have sworn the Orpheum had a predecessor somewhere, maybe State St). It was the Garrick Theater on Monona Ave, which was apparently remodeled and renamed the Madison Theater in 1936.

Good ol' Angus McVicar took photos of the Garrick Theater and later the Madison Theater. For some reason (according to the WHS captions) the address changed from 115 Monona Avenue to 111 Monona Ave in the name change. McVicar kept excellent records, so either the address really changed or WHS got it wrong. Anyway its location was the 100 block on today's MLK Blvd.

Here are some of McVicar's photos of the theater:

Garrick Theater 1934: http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/whi/fullRecord.asp?id=6408

Madison Theater 1936: http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/whi/fullRecord.asp?id=6419

Madison Theater 1936: http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/whi/fullRecord.asp?id=15309

Madison Theater 1936: http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/whi/fullRecord.asp?id=15300

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Postby rrnate » Tue Jul 10, 2007 3:52 pm

Does anyone know if the Sundance Theater is going to show any midnight movies? I totally like going to midnight movie showings, but it doesn't seem to be going down much in Madison anymore. (Last year I made it to most of the "Summer Camp" showings at the Stage Door...)

-nt-

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Postby mrak » Tue Jul 10, 2007 4:19 pm

frozenCow wrote:Ok, I got the name wrong about the theater on Monona Ave (but I could have sworn the Orpheum had a predecessor somewhere, maybe State St). It was the Garrick Theater on Monona Ave, which was apparently remodeled and renamed the Madison Theater in 1936.

I'm almost certain you're right about Madison's first Orpheum being on Monona Ave.

Unless my memory is letting me down in unprecedented ways, the McVicar photo is in Zane Williams' rephotography book Double Take. I'll look it up in my copy.


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