Old movie theaters... at least theaters from my childhood if that counts as old
So I was looking at that Jedi thread and it reminded me of the theater I saw it at in Des Moines, Iowa. The River Hills / Riviera theater had 1300 seats and two screens one big and one big curved seventy foot screen. That's the screen that I saw all three Star Wars movies, Raiders, Body Snatchers, Top Gun and probably most other major films that I saw from the mid 70's through the early eighties.
I was just doing some reading on it and found these stats:
River Hills opened with a reserved-seat run of “Mediterranean Holiday” on April 19, 1968. (“2001” followed the booking of “Mediterranean Holiday on June 26, 1968.)
The RIVIERA half of the complex opened a week before the RIVER HILLS half on April 12, 1968, with the debut attraction being “Where Angels Go…Trouble Follows.”
River Hills is famous for being the host venue for the Des Moines area exclusive booking of the original “Star Wars.” The movie ran for 29 weeks in the River Hills auditorium (May 27-Dec. 13, 1977), and then when replaced by “Close Encounters Of The Third Kind” it moved to the Riviera auditorium, where it ran for another 27 weeks. The combined 56-week run is, I believe, second only to the 113-week roadshow run of “The Sound Of Music” (at the Capri) as the longest-running movie in Des Moines exhibition history.
Newspaper ad from the Des Moines Register, May 27,1977
“Begins Tonight! Star Wars. Star Wars will be presented with DOLBY SOUND a special new sound system that the River Hills has installed that will astound your mind with the ULTIMATE QUAD SYSTEM.
Adults $3.00, Children under 12 $1.25”
Playing at the Riviera Twin- The Godfather and The Godfather Part II.
I haven't lived in Iowa for over 20 years and I knew the theater had been closed about 10 years ago in favor of malls and shoe box sized multiplexes but I hadn't really looked up anything on line about it before. I attached a couple of sad pics of it being demolished. Seats removed and a pic of the big curved screen where I saw all those films.
I know you can never go back but man I wish I could see some films there again.
So where was your big movie going experience back in the day?