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Cinema Treasures: A New Look at Classic Movie Theaters
Synopses & Reviews
More than 100 years after the first movie delighted audiences, movie theaters remain the last great community centers and one of the few amusements any family can afford. While countless books have been devoted to films and their stars, none have attempted a truly definitive history of those magical venues that have transported moviegoers since the beginning of the last century. In this stunningly illustrated book, film industry insiders Ross Melnick and Andreas Fuchs take readers from the nickelodeon to the megaplex and show how changes in moviemaking and political, social, and technological forces (e.g., war, depression, the baby boom, the VCR) have influenced the way we see movies.Archival photographs from archives like the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and movie theater ephemera (postcards, period ads, matchbooks, and even a "barf bag") sourced from private collections complement Melnick's informative and engaging history. Also included throughout the book are Fuchs' profiles detailing 25 classic movie theaters that have been restored and renovated and which continue to operate today. Each of these two-page spreads is illustrated with marvelous modern photographs, many taken by top architectural photographers. The result is a fabulous look at one way in which Americans continue to come together as a nation. A timeline throughout places the developments described in a broader historical context."We've had a number of beautiful books about the great movie palaces, and even some individual volumes that pay tribute to surviving theaters around the country. This is the first book I can recall that focuses on the survivors, from coast to coast, and puts them into historical context. Sumptuously produced in an oversized format, on heavy coated paper stock, this beautiful book offers a lively history of movie theaters in America , an impressive array of photos and memorabilia, and a heartening survey of the landmarks in our midst, from the majestic Fox Tucson Theatre in Tucson, Arizona to the charming jewel-box that is the Avon in Stamford, Connecticut. I don't know why, but I never tire of gazing at black and white photos of marquees from the past; they evoke the era of moviemaking (and moviegoing) I care about the most, and this book is packed with them. Cinema Treasures is indeed a treasure, and a perfect gift item for the holiday season. - Leonard Maltin"Humble or grandiose, stand-alone or strung together, movie theaters are places where dreams are born. Once upon a time, they were treated with the respect they deserve. In their heyday, historian Ross Melnick and exhibitor Andreas Fuchs write in Cinema Treasures, openings of new motion-picture pleasure palaces that would have dazzled Kubla Khan 'received enormous attention in newspapers around the country. On top of the publicity they generated, their debuts were treated like the gala openings of new operas or exhibits, with critics weighing in on everything from the interior and exterior design to the orchestra.' Handsomely produced and extensively illustrated, Cinema Treasures is detailed without being dull and thoroughly at home with this often neglected subject matter. Its title would have you believe it is a celebration of the golden age of movie theaters. But this book is something completely different: an examination of the history of movie exhibition, which the authors accurately call 'a vastly under-researched topic.'" - Los Angeles Times
While countless books are devoted to films and their stars, none have attempted a truly definitive history of the magical venues that have transported moviegoers for over 100 years. The archival photos in this stunningly illustrated book take readers from the nickelodeon to the megaplex and show how changes in moviemaking and political, social, and technological forces have influenced the way people see movies. 0-7603-1492-6$40.00 / MBI Publishing
Now avaialble in paperback comes the updated edition of 2004’s illustrated history of the American movie theater. Authors Ross Melnick and Andreas Fuchs bring the story into the 21st century, adeptly showing how industry leaders; social, cultural, and economic change; and ever-evolving technologies have shaped—and continue to shape—the fabulous movie palaces, the cozy neighborhood theaters, and the multiplexes in which generations have experienced motion pictures. This development is illustrated through a collection of nostalgic and contemporary photographs and ephemera. In addition, the engaging stories behind 30 of the most remarkable Cinema Treasures still showing films today perfectly complement this historical account and represent a wide range of theater design and practices.
Taking care to represent a breadth of geographical regions, each chapter will also celebrate the greatest remaining classic movie theaters with marvelous two-page color spreads throughout Each spread will feature a history of the theater; a memory from a former staffer, owner, or notable patron; theater specifications, including screen size, seating capacity, past owners, architect and design style; a timeline listing important media, historical, and film events occurring throughout the theater's existence; and such visual ephemera as outside photos, detail images, and period ads. In the process, Cinema Treasures will show why it's just as important to save these treasured cinemas as it is to save the movies themselves.
About the Author
Melnick - Los Angeles, CA, Fuchs - Fairfield, CT
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