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death trap Oriental style
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mfritschel
Cinematographer


Joined: 27 Jun 2003
Posts: 143
Location: Port Washington, WI

PostPosted: 10.28.2003 2:51 am    Post subject: death trap Oriental style Reply with quote

Since Wisconsin is a barren wasteland for movie viewing, I hope all you Wisconsinites were happy to see that one of the last places to catch independent movies is now a potential death trap when the heat is on. Just food for thought. Oh if you go to the theatre and start to feel sleepy leave!!

Here is a related article for all of those who might care to know what I am talking about.

http://www.jsonline.com/news/Metro/oct03/180292.asp
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beltmann
Studio Exec


Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 2341
Location: West Bend, WI

PostPosted: 10.28.2003 4:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The very next day I received a phone call from a friend, who seriously inquired whether I "was okay." On Monday, at least five fellow teachers asked me whether I was there. I guess my frequent travels to the Oriental precede me.

I was not present during Saturday's event, but I was planning to go on Sunday. Needless to say, I canceled those plans. I just hope everything is repaired in time for the first annual Milwaukee Film Festival, coming in November!

Actually, we should be demanding an update from matt header, since he works there. What's the deal, Matt?

Eric
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matt header
Studio Exec


Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 623
Location: Milwaukee, WI

PostPosted: 10.28.2003 5:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, here's the deal: the managers of the Oriental came up with an elaborate plan to poison everyone with carbon monoxide and then steal all of their wallets when they were passed out. They made their own employees sick in order to keep up the realistic appearance.

Just kidding (considering the managers of the theater haven't made a comment yet, I probably shouldn't have said that...). Actually, I was supposed to work Saturday night, but I got there at about 6:30 and everything was all closed off by policemen already. I talked to my bosses and they know about as much as everyone else: there was a gas leak in the basement somehow.

I work tomorrow so I'll ask around and see if Wisconsin independent moviegoers still have to risk their lives in order to see a movie. I figure this is also a good time to say, on behalf of everyone that I work with, God, this is embarrassing and makes the theater look pretty bad: sorry.

If I learn anything, I'll keep you posted.
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beltmann
Studio Exec


Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 2341
Location: West Bend, WI

PostPosted: 10.28.2003 11:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

matt header wrote:
I figure this is also a good time to say, on behalf of everyone that I work with, God, this is embarrassing and makes the theater look pretty bad: sorry.


The Oriental has provided me with most of my memorable movie experiences over the last twelve years. It's also the only theater I can think of--except perhaps the Downer--that I trust in terms of projection; the projectionists not only know what they are doing, they seem to care about doing it right. In other words, an unexpected gas leak in such an old building can't possibly alter my opinion of Milwaukee's finest "movie palace."

(As contrast: Last night I attended BEYOND BORDERS at a local multiplex--a hole I sometimes patronize when seeing junk--and the film did not start on time. After ten minutes, I finally reminded them to begin the picture. Then it was misframed for the duration. Without exaggerating, 90% of my experiences there have been marred either by irresponsible employees, or truly, truly awful projection. Films are almost always misframed, out of focus, or not given enough bulb wattage. It's obvious that the managers view the movies only as enticements for the concession stand. Art has zero place in their equation.)

Eric
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Danny Baldwin
Studio Exec


Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 1354
Location: San Diego, CA

PostPosted: 10.28.2003 11:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, one of my favorite actual theatres has one awful projectionist who always gets things wrong. The picture on Bowling for Columbine started 20 minutes late and took 10 minutes to get to the right size and the sound on Le Divorce was murky for the first 20 minutes. Coincidentally, both times, my car wouldn't start up afterwards.
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beltmann
Studio Exec


Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 2341
Location: West Bend, WI

PostPosted: 10.28.2003 11:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spooky...
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beltmann
Studio Exec


Joined: 26 Jun 2003
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Location: West Bend, WI

PostPosted: 08.06.2005 10:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Didn't feel like starting a whole new thread just to mention that Entertainment Weekly listed "10 Theaters Doing It Right" and gave the number 9 slot to Milwaukee's Oriental Theatre.



Here's the full list:

1. Alamo Drafthouse (Austin)

2. Kennedy School (Portland)

3. The Castro (San Francisco)

4. The Senator (Baltimore)

5. Film Forum (New York)

6. Cable Car Cinema (Providence)

7. The Arclight (Hollywood)

8. Grauman's Chinese Theatre (Hollywood)

9. The Oriental (Milwaukee)

10. Muvico Paradise 24 (Davie, FL)



I've been to the Oriental and only heard of another 4. Has anyone else attended any of these?
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Danny Baldwin
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PostPosted: 08.06.2005 11:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't been to any, but I've heard of Film Forum, The Chinese Theatre, The Arclight, and, of course, The Oriental.
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Michael Scrutchin
Studio President


Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 832
Location: Pearland, TX

PostPosted: 08.06.2005 11:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

beltmann wrote:
I've been to the Oriental and only heard of another 4. Has anyone else attended any of these?




I haven't been to the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin (EW's #1 pick), but I saw Freddy vs. Jason at the Alamo Drafthouse in Houston. It's about an hour drive for me (longer if there's heavy traffic), so I haven't been there since, but it was a pretty nice place. As you probably know, the Alamo Drafthouse theaters serve meals and drinks while movies are showing, so you can order yourself a dinner and a glass of beer, whatever. I initially thought this would be distracting, but the staff was incredibly quiet and unobtrusive about it. The one in Houston used to show crazy, obscure cult movies on Wednesday nights -- and admission was free! -- but don't know if that's still going on. I'm sure the ones in Austin do cool things like that.
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Michael Scrutchin
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beltmann
Studio Exec


Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 2341
Location: West Bend, WI

PostPosted: 08.07.2005 12:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michael B. Scrutchin wrote:
I haven't been to the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin (EW's #1 pick), but I saw Freddy vs. Jason at the Alamo Drafthouse in Houston. It's about an hour drive for me (longer if there's heavy traffic), so I haven't been there since, but it was a pretty nice place. As you probably know, the Alamo Drafthouse theaters serve meals and drinks while movies are showing, so you can order yourself a dinner and a glass of beer, whatever. I initially thought this would be distracting, but the staff was incredibly quiet and unobtrusive about it. The one in Houston used to show crazy, obscure cult movies on Wednesday nights -- and admission was free! -- but don't know if that's still going on. I'm sure the ones in Austin do cool things like that.


Ah, I was hoping you would report back on the Austin house! Sounds like the Houston one is at least similar.



Milwaukee has a drafthouse called the Rosebud with a like-minded concept: Food, drinks, and loads of couches. (Patrons are encouraged to take off their shoes and bring pillows.) For a while it was an awesome place... lots of independent/foreign fare (I saw Boys Don't Cry, Bittersweet Motel and All About My Mother there) and quality midnight movies (Taxi Driver, the orignal Planet of the Apes). But when the Rosebud canceled the midnight shows and then started programming regular first-run mainstream stuff, there was no longer any reason to bother. I haven't been there since Mulholland Drive.



Eric
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beltmann
Studio Exec


Joined: 26 Jun 2003
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Location: West Bend, WI

PostPosted: 08.07.2005 12:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Matt Header,



Did you guys at the Oriental get a heads-up about EW's list? (I also read the full article in Premiere about Rocky Horror a few months back, too. Lots of recent national press for our "home" palace, eh?)



Eric
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matt header
Studio Exec


Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 623
Location: Milwaukee, WI

PostPosted: 08.07.2005 5:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I actually just found out about this a day before most other people did, too: when the Journal Sentinel ran an article about this upcoming article. I was working, however, when a few news stations came in to interview our manager, and we've been getting lots of congrats about it from customers.



It'll be two years working there in September, and I still am surprised at how much I like going to work. That's completely unlike me.



Coincidentally, I also just became a manager at the theatre last week. I feel sort of giddy whenever we get a 35mm print or a stack of previews in the mail that I get to put together. That's pretty much playtime.
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Danny Baldwin
Studio Exec


Joined: 26 Jun 2003
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Location: San Diego, CA

PostPosted: 08.07.2005 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

matt header wrote:
Coincidentally, I also just became a manager at the theatre last week. I feel sort of giddy whenever we get a 35mm print or a stack of previews in the mail that I get to put together. That's pretty much playtime.


I totally wish you were my manager.
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matt header
Studio Exec


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Location: Milwaukee, WI

PostPosted: 08.07.2005 5:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah, but I rule with an iron fist. I'm finally gonna whip this theatre into shape.
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Monkeypox
Cinematographer


Joined: 17 Jul 2003
Posts: 156
Location: TX

PostPosted: 08.07.2005 8:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alamo in Austin is wicked awesome.
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