The history of movie houses
The first permanent movie theater is founded in L.A. It doesn’t take long for owners to raise ticket prices from a nickel to a dime. Greedy bastards.
The age of the grand movie palace takes off with New York City’s Regent Theater (capacity: 1,800).
Chicago’s Balaban & Katz freeze out the competition with the country’s first air-conditioned theater.
Sid Grauman opens Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. Celebrity-foot fetishists rejoice.
The foreign-film snob is born: Herman Weinberg puts English subtitles on the German songfest Two Hearts in Waltz Time.
Inspiration Point becomes irrelevant after the drive-in debuts in Camden, N.J.
Popcorn is still being sold in carts outside theaters, but candy sales inside top $10 million (though no Swedish Fish until 1957).
3-D movies bow with Bwana Devil, go big with 1953’s House of Wax, but ultimately wane thanks to dorky cardboard specs.
Richard Burton’s head looks ginormous in The Robe when the CinemaScope wide-screen system debuts. It will last forever! (Actually, it was gone in 14 years.)
Cheesy gimmicks like Smell-O-Vision, AromaRama, and electro-shockers under the seat (for The Tingler) prove a buzzkill to everyone except John Waters.
Lana Turner joins the mile-high club when a TWA NYC-L.A. flight kicks off regular in-flight movies with By Love Possessed.
IMAX technology premieres at the Fuji Pavilion in Osaka, Japan, causing a worldwide geekgasm.
Atlanta opens one of the world’s first eight-plex theaters, and there’s still nothing good playing.
George Lucas’ THX sound system bows. The audience is listening. And now deaf.
Chicago goes live with the first cell-phone system in America. And yes, we can hear you now. So shut it.
The only good thing about those irritating red-dot laser pointers? A really funny episode of Seinfeld.
Stadium seating and movable armrests become standard, further endangering date classic the ”yawn move.”
Crying-toddler rights leap forward when Loews Cineplex launches Reel Moms to arrange showtimes for infant audiences.
A St. Louis woman is arrested for using her cell phone during Anaconda 2 — but not, oddly, for buying a ticket to Anaconda 2.