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Backyard Theater - Outdoor Movies

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Author Topic: Any former DI projectionists ou there?  (Read 13911 times)
Glen
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« on: November 03, 2009, 12:51:40 am »

  Worked as a projectionist in the early 80's with 20 min reels and carbon arc lamp houses.  It was truly an art form.  Now it is all but a forgotten memory as even Drive-Ins have succumbed to the platter system. 
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movieman
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« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2009, 05:33:07 am »

I started out as a projectionist at two hardtops and the moved on to the D-I's. Then ran 15 D-I's at one time.  Most of our theaters were uion booths. In center city Phila. the first run theaters had two operators  (one for each machine)  How things have changed.  rg
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Riviera Drive in
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« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2009, 09:52:44 am »

I always wanted to be in the film business, much to my folk's horror. So 2 days after I graduated high school, I loaded up my 68' ford fairlane and drove from upstate NY to LA and entered UCLA film school. 4 years later I have my pretty much useless degree in hand and no film jobs on the horizon. Well a boy has to eat, so I took a job as a projectionist at a great old movie house on the Sunset Strip. Huge old Century carbon arc machines. Beautiful machines. I eventually ended up at a 2 screen drive in out in the valley. And when my old man called to see if I had gotten a gig in the business, I said yes, I'm in exhibition!
To their great relief, I eventually made a sucsess of myself in production. Although, to this day, my Mother keeps asking when I'm going to get a real job!
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Glen
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« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2009, 11:07:11 pm »

    Made lots of super 8 stop motion movies when I was 14 (1978).  Sometimes I wonder what if anything would have happened had I stuck with it.... Undecided
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RoseRanch
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« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2009, 01:47:20 pm »

Riviera Drive-In, just curious, which theater it was on the Sunset Strip?

And if any of you have any more good stories about running the projectors or those wild nights, let's hear 'em.  I researched what it takes to run a drive-in some time ago and finally decided it wasn't for me.  So many great memories of going to the d-i with the family though...
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movieman
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« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2009, 03:24:30 pm »

The hardest thing operating a D-I today is paying the bills. Film cost is up an profits are down. On the up side no speakers or heaters to repair.   But its still fun.  rg
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RoseRanch
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« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2009, 12:21:25 pm »

Must've been exciting at times but I'm glad, with our backyard theaters, that we don't have to choose between playing whatever lousy movies are out at the time.  We get to play just what we want.
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Riviera Drive in
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« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2009, 06:28:06 pm »

hey Rose Ranch.
I worked at an old Lowe's State theater that was all the way down at the end of the strip. It was torn down sometime in the mid-eighties. See, now I've gone and dated myself!
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Glen
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« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2009, 11:32:52 pm »

The first few films in my exhibition career of 15 years were The Blues Brothers, The Shinning, Friday the 13th, Cheech & Chong up in Smoke and The Island.  Can anyone guess the year?


* 100_0930.JPG (1945.75 KB, 3648x2736 - viewed 482 times.)
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Riviera Drive in
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« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2009, 09:13:09 am »

I'd say around 77?
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Glen
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« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2010, 12:51:36 am »

     Very close, actually 1980.
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moondrivein
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« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2010, 10:37:48 am »

I made my first change over in 1970 at the Absecon Drive-In, near Atlantic City, NJ. Two Simplex XL's & a pair of Strong Excellite carbon arc lamps. The double feature that night, (I think) was Kelly's Hero's, & The Honey Moon Killer's. The Absecon's Selby screen is still standing. (I showed the last film there in 1983.) There is now a Lowe's Home Center on the property. Crazy Bob.
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movieman
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« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2010, 08:55:48 am »

Yes, Indoor and D-I's.  When I first came to work for Budco theatres. A long time agooooooooooooooo!   rg
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Glen
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« Reply #13 on: April 02, 2011, 10:49:00 pm »

My part of town is so ripe for a drive-in that if Lowe's would build one, they would make more money selling popcorn and pizza than they would selling light bulbs and toilet seats.  Ahhh yes, Kelly's Heroes.  Great flick!


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nevinh
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« Reply #14 on: April 03, 2011, 10:23:12 am »

Crazy bob, my goal is to make it out to the moon drive in this summer.
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