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TOPIC: Favorite movie books?

Favorite movie books? 27 Sep 2001 16:44 #2046

  • Mike
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My two favorite novels that take place in and around theatres are The Moviegoer by Walker Percy and The Last Picture Show by Larry McMurtry. Can you suggest any others?

About the movie business there is Silent Screens, The Show Starts On The Sidewalk, etc. Can you suggest any others about the movie theatre and drive in business?

Mike Hurley
Michael Hurley
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Re: Favorite movie books? 28 Sep 2001 00:51 #2047

  • RoxyVaudeville
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Other books about theatres or the theatre business:
"The Best Remaining Seats" by Ben Hall
"American Theatres of Today" (1927)
"Fox,The Last Word" by Preston Kaufmann
"American Picture Palaces" by David Naylor
"American Theatres" by David Naylor & Joan Dillon
"Great American Movie Theatres" by David Naylor
"Ticket To Paradise" by Margolies & Gwathmey
"Movie Palaces" by Ave Pildas
"Nickelodeon Theatres and their Music" by Q. David Bowers
"Shared Pleasures" by Douglas Gomery
"Philadelphia Theatres" by Irvin R. Glazer
"The Last Remaining Seats" by Robert Berger & Anne Conser
"Those Wonderful Old Downtown Theatres" volumes 1,2 & 3 all by Phil Sheridan
"Lost Broadway Theatres" by Nicholas Van Hoogstraten
"Turn Out The Stars Before Leaving" by John C. Lindsay
"Hollywood's Master Showman" (Sid Grauman) by Charles Beardsley
"Gaumont British Cinemas" by Allen Eyes
"Cinemas in Britian" by Richard Gray
"Reading's Movie Memories" by Barbara A. Wade
"Drive-In Movie Memories" by Don & Susan Sanders
"Montreal Movie Palaces" by Dane Lanken
"Hollywood on Main Street" by Linda Chase
and dozens of other books devoted to just one theatre.

Another great source for theatre information is to join the Theatre Historical Society of American and recieve their publication "Marquee Magazine" that comes out five times a year and is filled with stories and pictures of historic theatres all over America. Check them out at:

Many of the books listed above are out of print but can still be found in many bookstores in New York and other large cities. If you go to the Theatre Historical Society website... click on "Bookshop", and you will be able to order some of the books listed above.

In addition to all listed above, which is just a part of my collection, there are a number of theatre management books and manuals that were published over the years. I also collect theatre equipment catalogues from the early times (1910) through today. I have boxes and boxes of such manuals etc.

Exhibitor magazine published a hard cover Theatre Catalog from 1940 thru 1957 that covers every topic of theatre buildings and operations. They are very rare. I have all but the first one, and continue to look for one.

I especially find the management books interesting as they give great insight how things have changed over the years. I have some from 1910, 1927, 1939, 1953, 1965 and 1973. This covers every decade of single screen theatre operations. It's a shame no one has ever published a theatre management book since the advent of mutiplex theatres. I'm sure some of the chains have their own, but I'm not aware of any being written in general for the industry as a whole.

I'm a true believer that in order to truly be knowledgeable of any industry you must know it's history. Only by studying from whence we came can we understand why we are here and where we should go. Many in our industry have no idea what our industry is based upon, and only by studying it's origins do we come to understand what we have done to abandon the true aspects of showmanship that it was built upon. Most people today have no idea what it was like to go to the movies years ago prior to TV, and therefore don't miss what they have never experienced.

You might be surprised what you might learn that you can still carry over to your theatres today from the management techniques of years gone by. Try to find some of those books and then indulge yourself in an enjoyable and informative education about what we all love... the great movie theatre business.

[This message has been edited by RoxyVaudeville (edited September 28, 2001).]
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Re: Favorite movie books? 28 Sep 2001 20:10 #2048

The Movie Business Book Edition 2

Canadian Palaces Of The Night
Since 1987
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