Murals Featured in Beautiful Cinema Treasures Book

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Learn more about the Cinema Treasures book

What twin theater opened in 1915?

How did Marcus Loew begin his career?

Where was stadium seating first popularized?

Who was “Roxy”?

Answers to these questions and many more can be found in a new book to be released by MBI Publishing Company this October.

Cinema Treasures (ISBN 0-7603-1492-6), by Ross Melnick and Andreas Fuchs, will not only interest anyone working in or studying motion picture exhibition, but just about everyone who loves to go to the movies.

Melnick and Fuchs demonstrate how classic theaters in major cities and small towns across the United States are alive and well today, thanks to the dedication of their owners, community initiatives, and cultural and corporate sponsorships. Cinema Treasures showcases American movie theaters of all eras and architectural styles.

There are single-screen theaters, twins, triplexes, and, of course, multi- and megaplexes— all of which are of intrinsic cultural, social, architectural, and historical significance, at the same time as they hold a special place in the hearts of moviegoers. Cinema Treasures celebrates the past, present, and future of the moviegoing experience.

In addition to individual theater profiles chosen to represent over 100 years of moviegoing, the main attraction of Cinema Treasures is its tour through the history of U.S. theatrical exhibition— from the penny arcade and nickelodeon pioneers, to the designers and showmen of the movie palace era, the drive-in developers and widescreen visionaries, and the theater circuits of today.

Well-rounded and meticulously researched, this survey features an informative and engaging narrative filled with hundreds of beautiful photographs, vintage ads, and other fascinating images.

A Word from the Founders

Since 1999, Cinema Treasures has worked to preserve what remains of one of the most important cultural legacies of the twentieth century, the movie theater.

As our most devoted users know, in late 2000, we launched our website with over 100 theaters and a few dozen photos, hoping to attract a few kindred spirits who could help us build a growing theater database and community of theater preservationists.

Today, with over 6,500 theater listings from dozens of countries, over 1,500 theater photographs, and thousands of users, we are overwhelmed by the support for this website and the “Cinema Treasures” we fight to save.

So it is with tremendous pleasure that we are releasing this new book that profiles some of the best classic movie theaters still operating in the United States.

Co-written by Ross Melnick and Andreas Fuchs, this book is not just about the past, but will also focus on the present and future of classic movie theaters. Despite the glory of Radio City Music Hall and the RKO Roxy Theatre, the grandeur of movie theaters did not end with the opening of these theaters in December 1932.

Cinema Treasures showcases movie theaters in the United States from the 1890s to the present. There are single screen theaters, twins, multiplexes and megaplexes. Nearly all of the 30 theaters given detailed theater profiles are still showing movies (either during annual film series or festivals or as part of their daily programming). Again, this will be a book about the present and future of classic movie theaters, not just the past.

Indeed, through Cinema Treasures, we’ve made friends around the world who care deeply about these special places, and we see this book as an opportunity to connect with an entirely new group of movie theater fans.

Finally, we want to thank our tireless volunteer staff who have helped make this site what it is today: Bryan Krefft, Grant Smith, William Gabel, Roger Katz, Chad Irish, and Ian Grundy. And a special thanks, of course, to all of our members. This site would not have been possible without your help!

All of our continued thanks, and now… back to work!

Ross Melnick & Patrick Crowley
Founders, Cinema Treasures

About the Authors

Learn more about the writers of Cinema Treasures

Ross Melnick
Ross Melnick is a film historian and the co-founder of Cinema Treasures. His work has been published in several journals and he regularly speaks at conferences and to the press regarding the motion picture industry and movie theater history and preservation. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in American Studies from Brandeis University and a Master of Arts in Critical Studies from the UCLA School of Film, Television and Digital Media.

Andreas Fuchs
A third-generation cinema operator, Andreas Fuchs works with exhibitors worldwide. He provides editorial services to trade publications Film Journal International and Film Echo. His articles have appeared in The Hollywood Reporter, Auditoria, and Cinema magazines, among others. Andreas has a Master of Arts in Cinema Studies from New York University and completed his Film Studies at Centre Odeon in Paris. For more information about Andreas Fuchs, go to www.creativecinema.net.