The Leader-Post from Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada on August 22, 1980 · 12
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The Leader-Post from Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada · 12

Publication:
Location:
Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
Issue Date:
Friday, August 22, 1980
Page:
12
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12 The Leader-Post Regina, Saskatchewan Friday, August 22, 1980 off ) ist fill Interior of Montreal's Palace Theatre is transformed Palace nostalgia has vanished MONTREAL (CP) - The painted-plaster winged lions, dragons, cherubs and giant male and female nudes sometimes gold-leafed and the ornate dome are disappearing from the Palace Theatre this summer in the name of progress. The lavish and ornate interior of the Palace, the last of this city's great downtown movie houses, is being gutted and transformed into a six-cinema facility. Almost 60 years of memories and nostalgia for millions of Montrealers are evoked by the picture house, once one of the most famous in Canada and the flagship of Allen Theatres, the country's first theatre chain. Now owned by Famous Players Canadian Corp., a subsidiary of Paramount Pictures of the United States, which in turn is controlled by the New York-based conglomerate Gulf and Western Industries, the 2,000-seat Palace has suffered too long and too often from box-office anemia. "The day of the 2,000-seat mausoleum has passed," Bill Murray, vice-president and general manager of Famous Players Canadian, said in an interview from Toronto. "They don't pay any more. It's far more economical to turn them into five or six theatres." Jack Zwibel, the last manager of the Palace, concurred. "It's sad to close a theatre," he said. "But the place was never .full, not even for a hit like Star Trek. W& haven't had to open the balcony for years. "Municipal tax is by the seat whether it's filled or not. It doesn't pay to keep them." Investors' complaint checked CALGARY (CP) - The RCMP's commercial crime division and the Alberta securities commission are investigating complaints from more than 150 western Canadians who invested in two Calgary companies. Dr. Ralph Duncan, a Calgary dentist who heads the investors' group, says the group has made complaints to the RCMP and the commission against Calgary accountant Thomas Drinnan and his companies, Taprite Leasing Ltd. and Industrial Beverage Dispensers Ltd. He said the investors, from Winnipeg to Victoria, bought and leased thousands of automatic beer-dispensing machines from the firms. However, in March, investors stopped receiving monthly rental cheques. "We now fear only a handful of machines ever existed," said Duncan. He said the investors have been refused several requests for a list of locations of bars where the machines are located. Two weeks ago Drinnan and his companies were successfully sued by two former partners who had formed a company with him in 1978 to buy 1.200 of the machines. In that lawsuit, the former partners alleged their machines didn't exist and a court-appointed inspector reported be could, find no documented evidence the machines do exist. The plan to gut the Palace comes at a time when some of the surviving "mausoleums" in other cities are being recognized as architectural and community assets. A recent survey in Time magazine found at least 50 Palace-age theatres in the United States that have been restored and, in some cases, added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. In Canada, the city of Vancouver bought and restored the Orpheum after a public outcry against the decision of Famous Players Canadian to demolish it. It now is the home of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. Murray said a similar plan for the Palace was not considered because Montrealers "don't seem so historically, minded." The Palace was built in 1921 during the boom days of movie theatre construction in North America. In addition to its moulded plaster figures and vast circular dome, a set of linen-paned fake windows hid the scores of pipes for the Wurlitzer organ. The Palace was originally named the Allen, after its builders, the Allen family Jule and Jay of Brantford, Ont. It was designed by C. Howard Crane of Detroit, one of the major theatre architects of the period. Crane designed most of the approximately 40 theatres the Aliens built across Canada between 1910 and the early 1920s. Only a few survive. The inaugural program at the Allen included after the fashion of the day, 11 items, among them the playing of national airs by the Allen Premier Concert Orchestra, the overture from II Trovatore and excerpts from Rigoletto, a violin duet, a program of classical dances, a newsreel, a comedy short, and the feature presentation the drama Lessons in Love, starring silent-film queen Constance Talmadge. Shortly after the opening, however, the Allen family chain found itself in difficulty when Hollywood producer Adolph Zukor of Famous Players later Paramount Pictures determined to extend his domain into the exhibition of movies, not only in the U.S., but in Canada. When the Aliens declined to sell him control of their chain, another exhibitor, N. L. Nathanson of Toronto, did -forming Famous Players Canadian Corp. In 1923. the Aliens finally sold 35 of their best theatres to Famous Players Canadian for the bargain-basement price of $650,000. Included was the Montreal Allen, with its original 2,500 seats, the largest theatre in the chain. Shortly afterward it was renamed the Palace. In 1928, when sound pictures came in, the Palace was the first theatre in Canada to be wired for sound. It billed itself as the "Home of the Perfect Talkie." The first talkie to play there was Street Angel, starring Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell. The year before, Gaynor had won the first Academy Award ever given, for her role also opposite Farrell in Seventh Heaven. Through the 1930s, the film program at the Palace changed every Sunday. Prices ranged from 25 cents before noon to a top of 50 cents in the evening. In 1953, when the pioneer single-projector, wide-screen system CinemaScope was introduced, the Palace was the first Montreal theatre to be equipped with it. The first CinemaScope film was the biblical epic The Robe, starring Victor Mature. Revenue increases OTTAWA (CP) - Radio and television advertising revenue increased 17 6 per centlast year over 1978 to $879 million, Statistics Canada reports. Radio advertising last year was worth $352 million up 15.2 per cent while television advertisng rose 19.2 per cent to $526.8 million. The figures also show industry operating expenses increased 15.3 per cent last year to $1.2 billion. The next after-tax profit for private broadcasters was up 18.2 per cent at $74.8 million while the operating costs of the CBC financed mainly from parliamentary grants rose 11.9 per cent to almost $540 million. New director LONDON, Ont. (CP) -Composer-conductor Alexis Hauser has been appointed to a three-year term as music director of the London Symphony Orchestra, succeeding Clifford Evens, who died last week in Toronto. The Vienna-bom Hauser is an honor graduate of the Vienna Academy of Music. Victor Feldbrill served as interim music director following Evens's resignation in August, 1978. What's slower than a speeding bu!st, and able to hit tall buildings at a single bound? Thank God it's only motion picture! iiHUSi niwjonii h;i IBllY.iiIlMI DID Jill JIM HAMS IllII 1111 IMC (I'D M'IUV I'MI'I WW mill WINltt Ml I KB 111 ADULT 1773 BROAD ST. 922 6161 Today Open 1 :30 One Matinee Only 1 :40 Tonight Open 7:00 Shows 7:20-9:20 Sat. ft Sun. Open 1:30 Shows 1:45-3:40 5:35-7:20-9:30 Sr CTp-J JOIHf.lMl RVKW PRtPVTSA THMANRnNMlVtRMAN PRODUCTION A Ml'ART ROSFMlfcRO HI M ROBERT RFDFORD "BRl BAKLR" YAPHET KOTTO JANE ALEXANDER MURRAY HAMILTON dwidkhim 1 IM MClN I lRXjHury tucvutiw PmductT TED MANN Produced by RUN MIA HUMAN Dirrrlcdhy TtAKVROtNBt,RU 5.rccfipUy (V O RIMITM Mf b . I. Rl HTERandARTIM RROW in ( (RESTRICTED) MkbL0$tH1rRIN COLORBYIVM Xt w TONIGHT 7:00-9:10 (Proof of age to be shown) 12th. AVE. AT SCARTH ST 525 6363 SAT. & SUN. 2:30-4.4N7:00-&1O THE SHOBS AGAINST THE SLOBS. $ ( ftp sJ . 2nd WEEK! A Jon Peterc Production "CADDYSHACK" CHEVY CHASE RODNEY DANGERFIELD-TED KNIGHT MICHAEL aKEEFE BILL MURRAY, c h Original Songs by KENNY LOGONS- Music Composed by JOHNNY MANDEL Written by BRIAN DOYLE MURRAY I HAROLD RAMIS & DOUGLAS KENNEY Executive Producer JON PETERS Produced by DOUGLAS KENNEY -Directed by HAROLD RAMIS RESTRICTED ifCHNiccxc' ouNoiiiAcn wiumu On cotHi koi t tm I 4n OfflOf ncrunc t ftc'cjic ii m 0m hciufts comknt u Chh KD Thru WARNER BROS O Wrne Commuraclon Company llth AVE AT BR0A0 ST W2 im TONIGHT AT-7:10 and 9;00 p.m. Doors Open 6:30 p.m. SATURDAY AND SUNDAY 1:45. 3:30, 5:20, 7:10, 9:00 p.m. ' Doors Open 12:30 p.m. rm. mi LORIMAR mium LEE MARVIN MARK HAMIU m tAMUEl FULLER1 THE BIG REDONE' ROBERT CARRApNE BOBB7 M K0 KEUTWARD f IE6FRIED RAIKH f TEPHANE AUDRAN DANA KAPROfF MIOIMXtCfT WWTTIN MOO(KTIBT CIMOIOWMAIIWIT1WUTION INTUNATMMAl CENECORMAN (AMUEL FULLER otAHin Restricted (Proof of sge required) IQNMM ua nmX TONIGHT 7:30-9:30 12th. AV. AT SCARTH ST. 522 6361 SAT. & SUN. 1:45-3:40-5:35 7:30-9:30

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