Saturday, September 27, 2008

Gone By

I never saw a movie at the Pacific Theatre at Hastings Ranch. Always meant to, but didn't get around to it. Now the place is closed. I don't know how long this whale of a building has been empty—a year at least, maybe more.

I found these old reviews of the place on Yelp.com. They give an idea of what the waning days must have been like at this particular branch of the Pacific Theatres empire. Sounds like an odd but interesting place. Even had a giant screen.

This is the top of the back stairway. I picture a hapless, minimum-wage teenager leaning against the rail on a summer night, a few years back. He's just taken out the trash and he's sneaking a cigarette. He stamps it out with his Converse All-Star high-top, kicks the butt away from the railing and slinks back inside.

Was that you? If you have a Pacific Theatre Hastings Ranch story, we'd love to hear it here in the comments section.

My first job was in a movie theatre. But don't get me started.

(Blogger is having issues today with certain blogs, including mine. If you're unable to comment, the only solution I can offer at the moment is to use a browser other than Internet Explorer or Safari. Blogger recommends Mozilla Firefox.)

24 comments:

Dina said...

Come on, tell us about your first job, please...?

Petrea said...

Hi Dina,
I see you managed to post a comment! I reposted, but I still don't see the rest of the blog on a Safari browser so I don't know what's up. I'll keep trying to figure it out.

From de Cafe said...

P, I use Firefox. My preferred browser but none r perfect.

Have no problem with you blog. Everything looks berry wunderful as usual.

I wasn't even aware that theatre was vacant. I need to sniff around more.

Bibi said...

Sad, isn't it, a movie theater that's closed? People are watching films all by themselves on their tvs. I like this photo--would have been good for "Lines" Theme Day, but I'll bet you've got another one planned!

Yes...tell us about your job...

USelaine said...

I have to admit, I rarely go to movie theaters anymore. The audiences are the problem. People talk as if they are alone in their living rooms! All through the picture!

Trish said...

I spent many an afternoon or evening at the Pacific Theater in Hastings. I remember the huuuuuuge auditorium they once had---it felt like walking forever to get to your seat, or out of the room. It was once a Drive-In Theater, converted I believe 40 years ago in Oct 1968.

I cannot remember many of the movies I saw there, but I do recall seeing Yentl there with my grandparents in 1983, and Bird On A Wire in 1990 with a date while running into TWO of my ex's in the movie which caused quite a stir. Or Navy S.E.A.L.S with a friend, whom many thought was my date, which started a huge to-do even though we really were just friends.

I too had a first real job in a movie theater. I think I can STILL recite, nearly every line in two of the movies that ran that summer because I heard them so frequently. Any wonder I do not go out to see many movies anymore?

As I understand it, the place was rather dumpy in the waning years. Then again, many movie houses in the 70's and 80's were dumpy, then many were revitalized as multi-plex places and upgraded. Now 20-30 years later, they are dumpy again. humnn.

And P---a perfect description of the scene from about 20-25 years ago for that location. The only change I might make, tho the Converse hi-tops were popular, I might change it to stomping it out with his Vans. They were popular in SoCal long before anywhere else.

Ted Thompson said...

One browser to rule them all...

And that browser is FireFox!!

Interesting, you had a post a few days ago that mentioned another now closed theater. For some reason it pains me to hear of them. So many old theaters had such incredible architecture inside (and outside).

I know we are now far removed from the days of newsreels and Saturday afternoon serials, but it still makes me sad to see/hear of a theaters demise.

Susan C said...

Nothing to add about the movie theatre, but I do love the light and lines in this photo.

USelaine said...

On the other hand Ted, while my first browser of choice is FireFox, it can fail to load graphics too. It seems like it's a cache problem right on my desk top, so I clear the cache and such as it prompts me when I close it down, and that often helps. If it doesn't help, I use Safari, which is built in to my iMac. I also have Opera to use if the others don't work. If they all can't present the pictures, it very often is a problem at Blogger! If you go to your Blogger Dashboard and click on Blogger Buzz (down the page), you might see a notification that they are working on a bug.

Christie said...

It is sad when things close, and old theaters are just one of those "things that happen". I don't go to the theater often, usually about once a year, (3 times in 2007--most ever!) and I'm very picky about what I watch at the theater. We just like watching DVD's too much. Although...sometimes there is nothing like the big screen.

My first job? A fruit market that I got let go from because it was "slowing down" --- in JULY!! I still don't know why they didn't like me. One of the owners kept finding things for me to get yelled at for. Like picking up a moldy peach instead of hiding it so no one could see it before I threw it away. Little things like that. Very confusing. But thankfully I have the best job in the world now!!

Miss Havisham said...

That was a fun theater to go to. I saw all of the Star Wars ez there. It was the Pasadena version of the Cinerama Dome, well sort of.

The thing I remember most about it was the photo both machine in the lobby. I wonder who got that little prize. I'd like to have one of those in Satis House.

I guess the building is slated for demolition due to a redevelopment plan for that whole spot. Steve Haderlien said he didn't know about it when first asked. It's hard to believe the city councilman for the area was in the dark (ding!). Ah, well.

pasadenadjacent.com said...

This is where I saw all the disaster films of the 70's. Posiden Adventure, Towering Inferno, Earthquake and all with surround sound.
When I was a kid I managed to worm myself into an usherette position for a play starring Dixie Carter and Richard Chamberlin. I had such a crush on Dick.

Petrea said...

I hope the Blogger problems are solved for tomorrow. I don't think they were browser problems but Blogger problems.

Funny, Star Wars (the first one) was what I thought about when I read about the big screen in this theatre. Star Wars came out in 1977--31 years ago.

So, more than 31 years ago I worked at the Egyptian Theatre in DeKalb, Illinois--an old Vaudeville Palace (now beautifully renovated, but not then). I took tickets. I was paid $1.10 per hour, and that summer they were showing "The Valley of the Dolls." My first job. And by the way, Christie, for some reason my boss didn't like me much, either. Probably because I was as charming and honest a cherub as yourself.

Trish, thanks for the good stories. You must be a heartbreaker, with all those exes!

Here's something for you, Miss Havisham.

Petrea said...

Hello, PA! We crossed in the blogosphere. Excellent story. Did you get to meet the handsome Dr. Kildaire?

Miss Havisham said...

Nothing like a photobooth!

USelaine said...

I had a crush on Richard Chamberlain too. I've always had incredible gay-dar. Raymond Burr appealed as well.

Dina said...

Good morning Petrea. Still can't get all your blog on Internet Explorer, but it's fine on Firefox. Good luck to you and Blogger to fix it.
So you started at $1.10? Wasn't that below minimum wage? Well, you got to see or hear the movies anyway. (I started my first PT job at age 16, a long time ago, in the neighborhood drugstore in Chicago for $2.50.)

babooshka said...

We go to the movies at least once a week. Not so much the new, but foreign, arthouse, classic and the occasional new one slips in. I'm always angry(again!) when cinemas are closed and turned into bingo halls or faceless boutiques. As for blogger, I am having daily issues. Very annoying.

Petrea said...

A note on Blogger's "known issues" last Friday says: "If you have a customized template or have inserted some 3rd party code into your template, your embedded comment form may not appear as normal."

I think that refers to a lot of us, so I hope they've been working on it through the weekend.

I don't know, Dina, do you suppose they paid me less than minimum wage? Then the job was worse than I thought! I only got to hear the movies. I was too young for the racy material in "Valley of the Dolls."

I guess the cinema, as it was fifteen or twenty years ago, is a thing of the past. I still love seeing a movie in the theatre, though. I think it was Elaine who mentioned how rude audiences can be these days, but maybe the younger generation is missing something. Just last Friday night I saw an independent film with an audience that was totally involved. What a great experience that still is.

Trish said...

I know Blogger was doing a planned outage...Fri I think? Sometimes, after the "updates" , stuff does not work properly. Am using Firefox and have had no issues, either posting, commenting or visualizing your pages. These things happen sometimes.

$1.10 was not all that off for the time. A few years later I know I was making $2.50/hr, $3.05/hr. I was impressed when I heard $3.35/hr.

A lot of exes. LOL. Yes, I suppose that seems like the truth. Funny thing now is I've been married working on 18 years. Back then, this lengthy lustfest we have had would have seemed interminable. Perspective, like in many of your photos P---is in the eye of the beholder.

Petrea said...

Trish, this is why I don't live in the same town where I spent my twenties.

Todd said...

I cleaned the carpets and manned the door of the Pacific Hastings during my high school years. The "Big Theater" was the place to see a movie, unfortunately the corporate brand was 'family friendly' flicks. David Lynch's Fire Walk with Me was as avante garde as it got, I snuck away from my duties to watch that -- his worst only second to Wild at Heart -- too many times. That, and I invented creative lies about Romanian AIDS babies to convince patrons to boost my take for the annual Will Rogers charity drive.

Todd said...

P.S. cleaning the big theater, especially after last showing of HONEY I BLEW UP THE KIDS on a Friday night was Teh Suck.

Petrea said...

Todd, those are the stories! I don't suppose you snuck cigarettes or wore Converse high-tops?