Discuss Detroit Archives - Beginning January 2007 New Book, Downtown Movie Palaces by Hauser. Previous Next
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Jjaba
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Username: Jjaba

Post Number: 5042
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 1:27 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Find a copy of the new book, DETROIT'S DOWNTOWN MOVIE PALACES by Michael Hauser. Hauser is the marketing mgr. at Detroit Opera House and a VP of the Theater Histocial Society of America. The book is full of illustrations and good Detroit theater history. Co-author is Marianne Weldon.

Just at Grand Circus Park, there were a dozen palatial theaters, 26,000 seats. 5 remain today.

jjaba, Westsider.
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Jjaba
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Username: Jjaba

Post Number: 5043
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 1:31 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The book is published by Arcadia Publishing Co.
200 photos, 128 pages. Costs about $15.00
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Gistok
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Username: Gistok

Post Number: 3857
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 1:44 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Michael Hauser also belongs to Preservation Wayne, and is responsible for putting on the annual Historic Downtown Detroit Theatre Tours every August. He also does the great movie memorabilia display at the Detroit Opera House during that tour, which unfortunately didn't happen during last years tour because he was too busy with the Arcadia book.

Michael also did the Hudson's memorabilia display at the Detroit Historical Museum a few years ago.

Michael lives in East English Village, and is a great assett to Detroit's historic preservation efforts.

A few years ago I asked Michael about a possible restoration of the Michigan Theatre. He said such an undertaking would cost $60-$75 million, and that it just won't happen at that price.
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Sharmaal
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Username: Sharmaal

Post Number: 1025
Registered: 09-2004
Posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 1:48 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Paging Ms. Americana.
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Irvine_laird
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Username: Irvine_laird

Post Number: 8
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 2:19 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Mr. Hauser is curator of the Detroit Historical Museum's current exhibit "Detroit: The 'Reel' Story," which chronicles "100 years of going to the movies in metro Detroit." It's the best exhibition I've seen at the museum. Lots of artifacts and stories.
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Jjaba
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Username: Jjaba

Post Number: 5045
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 10:16 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Ofcourse, Gistok is the premier movie show expert on the Forum. Only William Fox knows more about theaters than Gistok, but he's dead.

jjaba, online at the UA.
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Scottr
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Username: Scottr

Post Number: 439
Registered: 07-2006
Posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 11:09 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

looks like a fantastic book, and right up my alley. i will be sure to check it out.

I hope to see that memorabilia display this year, Gistok, I am planning on being on that tour! (I've already got it marked on my calendar) I was disappointed I had previous engagements that day last year, so perhaps this will make up for that.

The exhibit at the Historical Museum - is that a permanent exhibit, or temporary? I would love to see it, but not sure I will be able to in the near future. If it's temporary, how long does it run?
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Rhymeswithrawk
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Username: Rhymeswithrawk

Post Number: 475
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 11:30 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Where can we buy this book? Anywhere local? Pure Detroit, perhaps?
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Gistok
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Username: Gistok

Post Number: 3864
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Wednesday, March 21, 2007 - 12:38 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Scottr, if you happen to take the tour, I'll be the on site guide at the State Theatre (my 9th year). I get introduced by Preservation Wayne Executive Director Francis Grunow, a great guy whom I really enjoy working with. After the State Theatre tour, I introduce the Walking Tour guides to the groups and they become your shepherds around the theatre district.

All tours start at the State Theatre and end at the Fox... opps, I should say end at the City Theatre (formerly Second City).

I introduce the tour members to Movie Palace info, such as the 3 types of palaces (Palace, Temple, Atmospheric)... talk about main floor, mezzanine (loge) and balcony levels, circulation space... the Movie Palace Architects, etc.

I would pick another theatre (such as the Fox) to be the guide for, but I like the State because I am the first Preservation Wayne guide finished for the day (last tour 11:30 finishes at the State at noon). Then I go to the Opera House for lunch, and hobnob some more with the earlier tour members, and then go to the Fox, and do more of the same.

Last year we had a local legend... organist John Lauter playing the mighty 4/36 Wurlitzer organ at the Fox. A great guy, whom I hope becomes a regular part of our August tours.

I have met many great forumers during the tours.... Digitaldom, Detourdetroit, Pam, 56packman, and many others. And that is also where I met Forumer Bobj (another great guy) who is one of the PW walking tour guides.

(Message edited by Gistok on March 21, 2007)
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Kathleen
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Username: Kathleen

Post Number: 2115
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, March 21, 2007 - 6:36 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Rhymeswithrawk: It's an Arcadia book, which you can buy at most of the standard bookstores around town. And yes, you should find it at Pure Detroit as they keep the Arcadia books on Detroit topics in stock.

Here's a thread from last November outlining some of the recent Arcadia titles on Detroit:
https://www.atdetroit.net/forum/mes sages/76017/87296.html
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Scottr
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Username: Scottr

Post Number: 442
Registered: 07-2006
Posted on Wednesday, March 21, 2007 - 12:37 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks for the info, Gistok, I look forward to meeting you! Being a theatre fan myself, I've always been impressed by your extensive knowledge of them.

I certainly hope Mr. Lauter joins the tour again - I've heard his name before, maybe in the Cinema Treasures comments, or the waterwinterwonderland site.

Coincidentally, as I type this, the show I am watching (How It's Made, Discovery Channel) is doing a segment on pipe organs.
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Xd_brklyn
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Username: Xd_brklyn

Post Number: 215
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, March 21, 2007 - 12:38 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Did not see any end date for the "The Reel Story" exhibit. If his material is in use, will Mr. Hauser be able to do the movie memorabilia display at the Opera House for this summer's tour?
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Irvine_laird
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Username: Irvine_laird

Post Number: 9
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Wednesday, March 21, 2007 - 1:22 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"Detroit: The 'Reel' Story" runs at the Detroit Historical Museum through February 2008. The book is for sale at Borders or at the Detroit Museum gift shop.
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Scottr
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Username: Scottr

Post Number: 444
Registered: 07-2006
Posted on Wednesday, March 21, 2007 - 1:26 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Excellent, that's plenty of time for me - thanks, Irvine!
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Gistok
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Username: Gistok

Post Number: 3869
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Wednesday, March 21, 2007 - 1:34 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Scottr, yes John Lauter has contributed a lot of historic info on both Cinema Treasures and Waterwinterwoderland sites.

Mr. Lauter has met and studied under the late great Gaylord Carter, theatre organists for the stars, who died several years ago in his 90's near Los Angeles.

Gaylord Carter was the favorite organist for silent film star Harold Lloyd in the 1920s. Harold Lloyd liked to go around to the Los Angeles theatres to do head counts to see if his counts matched up with those of the theatre chains. And he always thought that Gaylord Carter added the best music to Lloyd's silent pictures.

It was Gaylord Carter's mid 1980's visit to Detroit to play the Fox's 4/36 Wurlitzer that got me into being a movie palace junkie. In the mid 80's the Detroit Fox was closed, except for special events.

I had never been there before, and was just overwhelmed by the vastness and opulence of the Fox (and that was before it was restored). Add to that the overpowering 4/36 Wurlitzer, and I have been hooked on Movie Palaces ever since.

(Message edited by Gistok on March 21, 2007)
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Jjaba
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Username: Jjaba

Post Number: 5048
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Wednesday, March 21, 2007 - 1:42 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

So Gistok, please explain the 3 kindz theaters you mentioned.

John Lauter was a recent winner of jjaba trivia.
jjaba sent him a prize for the scholarship. As jjaba is a member of THS and ATOS (Amer. Theater Organ Society), Lauter offered jjaba a concert sometime. That would be amazing.

jjaba highly recommends the national and regional tours given by these two groups. Listening to 3-4 organ concerts DAILY for a week in historic venues on vintage theater pipe organs is a real experience. jjaba attended the Oakland-SF conclave and the Tampa conclave. They are very well run. The next one is in NYC this summer.

jjaba, old theater and organ fan.
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Scottr
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Username: Scottr

Post Number: 445
Registered: 07-2006
Posted on Wednesday, March 21, 2007 - 2:42 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I envy you, Gistok - I've never heard a theatre organ myself, but definitely look forward to it. I've heard so many raves from you, jjaba, and others, I could hardly NOT look forward to such an event. Plus, my dad is a huge fan of organs, and i have inherited some of that myself. (At my brothers wedding at the Cathedral in Syracuse, I think he was paying more attention to the organ than his own son!)

My own interest began with a 1994 high school trip to Toronto, where we saw Phantom at what was then Pantages. I was in no way prepared for anything like that; before then, the theatres I had known were little more than 4 walls and a slanted floor. It took a few years before that interest took its present form, and although my interest grew with a showing of Rocky Horror and a concert at Kalamazoo's State Theatre, it took seeing the Michigan in 8 Mile to push me over the edge - I knew nothing of that travesty before that point.

Still, despite my love of them, I'm ashamed to admit that I have yet to see any of the Detroit theatres with my own eyes, (a matter of money and time, not a lack of interest) although when I had the opportunity last summer, I was sure to see our own Capitol Theatre up here in Flint. So I am greatly looking forward to my first view of Detroit's palaces.
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Gistok
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Username: Gistok

Post Number: 3870
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Wednesday, March 21, 2007 - 2:53 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

OK Jjaba, but I know I'm preaching to the Choir as far as you're concerned... :-)

1) Palace Style: Movie palaces that look like European palaces and Opera Houses. These include such styles as Baroque, Renaissance (usually Italian or French), Rococco, Neoclassic, classic and Engish Adamesque (a style that 18th century English architect Robert Adams developed). Detroit's own C. Howard Crane built most of his earlier movie palaces in the Palace style (Madison, Capitol, State). Palace style movie houses have been around since the advent of movies, and had their greatest flowering in the late 1920s with such great theatres as the Michigan, San Francisco Fox, NYC Paramount, Loew's Kings (Brooklyn), Loew's Jersey (Jersey City), and Kansas City (MO) Midland.

2) Temple style: This theatre style appeared in the mid 1920's, and were designed like exotic temples or cathedrals. These could be Gothic, Romanesque, Mayan and Aztec, Egyptian, Babylonian, Persian, Indian (Hindu), Siamese, or "Oriental". Famous examples are our own Detroit Fox, Detroit United Artists, Chicago/Milwaukee Oriental, Detroit (old) Fisher.

3) Atmospheric Style: The Atmospheric Style Movie Palace was first developed in 1923 in the Houston Majestic Theatre (razed) by movie palace architect John Eberson. Atmospheric theatres had curved ceilings usually painted sky blue. The sidewalls and procenium arch were usually opulently designed to look like building fronts. This gave one the impression that you were in some ancient courtyard. When the theatre lights went down, the ceiling was often lit up with stars to make it look like the night time or evening sky. Many atmospheric theatres had machines to project nighttime clouds or stars onto the ceiling to make the effect more convincing. The theatre side walls were usually done up in a Spanish or Italian Mediterranean style, although Aztec, Egyptian and even Siamese sidewalls are known. Examples of this type of theatre are Detroit's Grand Riviera (Mediterranean, razed), Redford Theatre (Japanese), the Bronx Paradise (Renaissance), Tampa Theater (Mediterranean), Loew's Valencia (Queens, Spanish), San Antonio Majestic (Spanish).
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Gistok
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Username: Gistok

Post Number: 3871
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Wednesday, March 21, 2007 - 3:06 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Scottr, one of the most moving moments in my life happened in Germany in the 1980's. I was visiting Speyer's 1000 year old Cathedral (largest Romanesque Cathedral in the world, with an interior 440 ft. long and 108ft tall). It was a dull rainy day, and I was alone in the vast cathedral at the time, and went into the crypt (largest in Europe) to visit the final resting place of 8 German Emperors (buried 1039-1291).

While I was down there I suddenly heard the organ playing up in the nave. The sound was resonating throughout the massive structure, and I went back up to the Choir, where I heard the organ pipes playing over 400 ft. away above the entrance portal.

It was a very moving experience, especially being alone in such a vast space, where ones senses were all in tune to the majesty of the place and time.
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Scottr
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Username: Scottr

Post Number: 447
Registered: 07-2006
Posted on Wednesday, March 21, 2007 - 3:18 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The State in Kalamazoo (Spanish, 1927) and the Capitol in Flint (Roman, 1928) are also atmospheric theaters by Eberson. (Although I'm sure Gistok knows that, I'm merely adding for those interested...)
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Scottr
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Username: Scottr

Post Number: 448
Registered: 07-2006
Posted on Wednesday, March 21, 2007 - 3:23 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

That would be amazing to hear that, Gistok, especially alone. I wonder if my dad has been there - he was based in Germany when he was in the Air Force. I'll have to ask when I get the chance. Thanks for sharing the memory :-)
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Kathleen
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Username: Kathleen

Post Number: 2118
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, March 21, 2007 - 3:30 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Scottr: Maybe when you visit Detroit, you'd have time to check out the Redford Theatre for their classic movie offerings with organ prelude and intermission.

The Motor City Theatre Organ Society runs the theatre and has done a lot of restoration work.

http://redfordtheatre.com/
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Scottr
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Username: Scottr

Post Number: 449
Registered: 07-2006
Posted on Wednesday, March 21, 2007 - 4:57 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks, Kathleen, for the recommendation and link. I will be sure to keep it in mind, perhaps even make a special trip. i'm generally not much into classic movies, but i see in june they are showing Back to the Future - one of my favorites.
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Eastsidedame
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Username: Eastsidedame

Post Number: 5
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Thursday, March 22, 2007 - 10:25 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Is book available through Amazon? If so, I'm in! A great movie house site is cinematreasures.org. They've got a lot of good stuff on Detroit's theaters.
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Legsdiamond
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Username: Legsdiamond

Post Number: 44
Registered: 01-2005
Posted on Friday, March 23, 2007 - 12:12 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I got my copy off Amazon. Love it.
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Gistok
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Username: Gistok

Post Number: 3879
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Friday, March 23, 2007 - 12:37 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

These books are available at local bookstores (New Horizon's in Roseville is where I saw it). If you're gonna help the local economy buy it at a local outlet.

Amazon.com commands a 55% commission off of book sales, and all you're doing is making an out out of state billionaire even richer.

Now if you're looking for hard to find stuff, yeah, Amazon.com is the best source, but not when local retailers also carry it.

We should help the lousy Michigan economy all we can in these trying times! :-)
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Kathleen
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Username: Kathleen

Post Number: 2122
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Friday, March 23, 2007 - 7:25 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Get your Arcadia books at Pure Detroit; they carry many Detroit-related titles at the Guardian Building and Fisher Building locations.

Also Borders, Barnes and Noble, and other local bookstores carry the Arcadia line.
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Aiw
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Username: Aiw

Post Number: 6216
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Friday, March 23, 2007 - 10:00 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hey Gistok, if you're ever up in the Toronto area, there is an old Atmospheric theatre that closed and has been converted into a bookstore.

Talk about adaptive reuse, it's quite interesting to walk through.
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Aiw
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Username: Aiw

Post Number: 6217
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Friday, March 23, 2007 - 10:05 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Here are some links:

http://www.mikeboon.com/2006/0 5/the_runnymede_theatre.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R unnymede_Theatre
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Scottr
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Username: Scottr

Post Number: 452
Registered: 07-2006
Posted on Friday, March 23, 2007 - 12:10 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Wow, that's amazing. While I hate to see any theatre converted from its intended use, if it has to be done, that's the way to do it. Bookstore patrons are probably more likely to appreciate their surroundings too, although i doubt anyone could walk into a place like that and not be awestruck, regardless of what it's used for.

it's certainly a far better reuse than a parking garage or basketball court (Brooklyn Paramount - although that could have been far worse than it is)
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Jjaba
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Username: Jjaba

Post Number: 5056
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Friday, March 23, 2007 - 3:44 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The Egyptian Theater by Frederic Hummell is a jewel in the desert. Boise Idaho is in the desert and so when you see the guilded statues shimering under the star-lit blue sky, you think you're in Karnak. Oy veyesmere, that's pretty. Fully restored as a movie house with theater organ. Also, available for medium venue concerts. It is privately owned.

Thanks Gistok, jjaba always learns from you.

jjaba, Westsider.

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