The Lexington Herald from Lexington, Kentucky on April 11, 1976 · 83
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The Lexington Herald from Lexington, Kentucky · 83

Lexington, Kentucky
Issue Date:
Sunday, April 11, 1976
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E-14 Sunday Herald-Leader Lexington Ky April 11 1978 History Of Kentucky State Theaters Reflects Ups And Downs Of Downtown " 1 ' ing Area EDrrors non: tm tiKiaOM at " M Sraw cwMiwn wHS A CMcCwAr IMH and altar aWradlaa TTwWlMriiSg ttaaTfii'p1aa Paw Mi affari may taw taaa rtiaiitaaad 1 M waak by m tacMa ¥ M IwHaw ata lam imaryrtwt la iwwna mam afamaal 1 aawn taart Kaatucfey ana daMM Ttaalra By Toni Carter Staff Writ late February when the own era of the Lexington Mall filed an eviction action In Fayette Quarterly Court against Enquire which la headquartered in North Wfl breham Mass The action— a duplicate suit waa filed in FayetteCi- rcuit Court three days later dble —asked for a forcible detai- Within die last two weeks a Massachusetts firm Ea-quire Theatres of Lexington was hit by two legal Judgments which resulted in the loss of Its interests in four Lexington motion picture theatres The first action began in ner ruling to break the lease under which Esquire's Royal King and Queen Cinemas had been operating Behind b Rent The basis was that Esquire was three months behind in rent This amounted to $11-301 or $3767 a month In the circuit court suit the owners have also claimed an additional $1189 Esquire's share of a common use area charge and $356 in past dues to the mail's Merchants Association The King and Queen Cinemas had opened Christmas Day in 1974 Esquire’s lease was supposed to run 20 years past March of 1975 Last week M Switow and Sons Enterprises of Louisville sued Esquire and others for die same reason— nonpay-t ment of rent— also in Quart- erly Court Esquire had held the lease on the Kentucky and Cinema Theatres located in the 200 block of East Main Street since fall of 1971' A Judgment has since been issued in that case restoring the theatres to the building there are eight indoor theatres In operation Once Dominant Switow had at one time dominated the downtown movie business The firm bunt the Kentucky opening It Oct 4 1922 with the silent film "The Eternal Flame" with Norma Talmadge Admission the remaining theatres down- at the Cinema and "craze town— were taken over by and cult" films at the Ken-the Schine Chain Theatre? Picky then the largest motion pic- Amusements owners Switow and ending would Esquire's lease which not have otherwise expired until 198L The terms of die lease had Esquire paying $6626 a month rent for both thea-tresplus a percentage of the theatres’ proceeds above $450000 a year was 25 cents for adults (30 cents at night Sundays and holidays) and ' tor children "never over 10 cents” The ‘ Kentucky’s’ motto was "Every Patron an Honored Guest - ture exhibitor in die east Schine become so that in 1949 a suit by the Justice Department resulted In an anti-trust Judgment forcing the organization to dispose of some 40 theatres in New York' Ohio Kentucky and Maryland The government had charged the firm with monopolizing the movie business in violation of anti-trust laws The suit took 10 years to litigate Regained Control In 1958 Switow regained management control of the downtown theatres when the ' Schine lease expired In 1964 the State was remodeled into a theatre for "art films" and ' renamed the Downtown Cln- ema But the Switow organization has forecast a change in the theatres' operations now that it has decided to come back to Lexington actively Didn't Want To "Actually Switow didn’t want to get back into these theatres” explained Henry Saag general manager of the LouuvUle firm No Defense Esquire made no attempt to defend the Switow action although it was represented in the mall eviction Now Esquire has no On April 2a 1929 Switow opened the State with the film “Trial Marriage” Sound had come of age by then and the State's debut featured a "Vitaphone” welcome by A1 Jobon Admission for adults had climbed in seven years to 30 cents although dally matinee admission waa 15 cents The price for children remained at a dime - On Oct 1 '196a Switow movie interests in Lexington latres have The State heralded Itself as "The Jewel Box of the the Blue Grass? the two mall theatres been indefinitely closed and the downtown theatres may be moving to help downtown along with themselves toward the business dominance the area enjoyed before the massive exodus to suburban shopping sites In the 1960s In the early years' the Kentucky and the State resembled today’s movie theatres about as much as a man resembles an ape ' Back in the 1920s downtown was Lexington’s shopping center along with being its amusement center And there were seven reasons why the latter was the case: seven theatres which offered either movies or live "vod vfl" Back in 192a the downtown theatres were the Strand Ben-All Opera House Ada Meade Or-pheum Kentucky and the State the latter now known as the Cinema And from seven Indoor theatres in 1929 the i Lexington movie base hasn’t really grown that much Now Always Huge The Kentucky has always been a huge theatre with expensive elaborate appointments like ironwork from New Orleans and hand-painted walls Despite remodeling In 195a the theatre still holds 1100 people Even initially: the State was meant to be more Intimate It’s Interior architecture — some of it is still visible today— was that of a Spanish courtyard The overwhelming physical appearance of theatres built in those days was no accident They were meant to reflect the "dream factory” from whence movies were produced Some years after the State opened both it and the Kentucky— along with most of again leased -both theatres this time to the Panther Theatre Corp of New York In 197 Panther — by this time It had changed its corporate name to Countrywide Theatres — assigned the balance of Its lease to Esquire The firm eventually gained control of some local drive-in theatres Including the Circle 25 and the Family but has disposed of these to a Cincinnati company Fred Mills who will continue as manager ‘ of the downtown theatres under Switow has seen the bookings of both theatres— at least in the last year— drop from major first-run releases to "X” and "R” rated movies “But we decided should because we felt current operation waa getting a little behind in their rent payments and we felt we could do a better job have a better operation u a whole” The theatres will be under the supervision of Bruce Shinbach president of Swi-tow’s Alpha Cinemas in Louisville “The Switows have never1 operated any theatre that was less than first class” he said v Leonard A Lemer manager: of Barney Miller’s i downtown said of the management change 'These are folks who win Improve the downtown theatre situation and I’m glad to see them take the theatres back from off-premises management know that it will increase traffic in downtown” Dudley Webb part-owner! of several night life functions either operating or under Pilot Club Bags Variety Of Acts Whether your bag la gospel or Jazz or any of the variations in between you’ll find it Easter Sunday at the Red Mile when the Pilot Club sponsors its Charity Day attheRaces Leading the list of entertainers who have donated their time to appear at the event— proceeds from which go to the Arthritis Founds- tion— are Tony Leonard V and Tony Lbvello who will open the day’s : events at 12:30 pm with a Bicentennial Salute featuring a medley of pa- triotic songs Following a five-race program which is scheduled to end at approximately 2 pm the Solid Rock Quartet from Trinity Baptist Church win appear led by Enrique Romero - ‘ Debbie Works and the -Travellers offer a middle- -of-the-road country sound a la Mac Davis Miss Works is a student at Tates Creek High V School and the other I members of the group are students at George- -town College The real country sound ' will be provided by the Lee Family— complete with gut bucket The Tatea 1 Creek Chamber Singers the' school’s advanced choral group will perform under the direction of Jane Hodges The grotty has performed before numerous civic groups and has received superior ratings in a number of choral competitions The Tates Creek Jazz Band will perform under the direction of Md An- derson The group is composed of members of the both the Tates Creek Marching Band and the Tates Creek Concert Band Also appearing win be Robin McGinnis first runner-up in this year’s Miss Lexington Pageant and the Clown Patrol from the Oleika Temple Shrine - -:C - Admission to the day's activities is free Also planned are special games and an Easter Egg Hunt for the children will go to : establish an arthritis clin- ical teaching - and research center in the University of Kentucky Medical Center ' construction downtown said the change in management' and better film features downtown wfll have "an ab-l sohitety positive effect” Sugar Shack Lounge PHONE' 253-1314 IT PAYS TO READ NEWSPAPERS Opening Ads These ads were run in Lexington newspapers tar the openings of the Kentucky and State theaters the former in 1922 and the latter in 1929 Since their opening they have been run by Schines’ and Esquire management companies as well as the Switow’s This week active management reverted to the Switow corporation TOW mnfcnr" N Broadway at 1-75 For Reservations Call 299-8407 THTWIlnllnHT THE FINEST IN DINNER THEATRE Matinee Sat Apr 17th This Show Definitely Closes April 25th The Kentucky and Cinema Theatres are open under new manaqement with 2 new first run featuresl IN yj? nU iAi HiraDHltHGOaS KARENBLA0CESUCEIXHN-BU£ARHARR5 WILLIAM DEVANE DPtsT human -TO MM2® ramSV YLTOR CINNTC httJBDHriQC0CX-iLWiRTicmjr4Ttia From the devious mind of Alfred Hitchcock a diabolically entertaining motion picture There no body In the family plot ftMILYPtOT 1:30 3:35 5:40 7:45 9:50 BARGAIN MATINEE TIL 2:30 PM ALL SEATS S125 rw AM i MUfciUta -- i r1

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