The foundation of the Golden Age of Hollywood was the Movie Theatre Experience. Without TV and Netflix and DVDs, people only had a limited time to see their favorite stars in action and a picture that had a lot of buzz…there was a sense of urgency to see a film before it was gone!
The movie palaces of yesteryear were built around creating an experience for the patron…the spaces were luxurious, with carpets, crown molding, elaborate curtains, fabrics, furniture, and anything else that could create a unique memory and draw the crowd back for the next picture. William Randolph Hearst even had thousands of fresh roses lining the proscenium of theatre for the premier of Marion Davies’s film Cecilia of the Pink Roses.
Much of the glamour is gone from the movie-going experience today, and sadly, these beautiful movie palaces are disappearing to be replaced by strip malls, gas stations, parking lots, and housing complexes.
Progress is important, but so is preserving our cultural history. To find out how you can help save our remaining historic theatres from extinction, follow The Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation.
If you live in another city with an organization dedicated to preserving historic movie palaces, please share in the comments below so we can all support each other in this cause!