Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Hellman Theatre

I recall attending the Hellman only three times. Once in the 70's on a class field trip. We watched a screening of "How the West Was Won" (1962) in Cinerama! I went back in 1981 to see Roger Moore as James Bond in "For Your Eyes Only" and then again in 1984 to see David Lynch's "Dune." Now, (again) these are the movies I remember.

When I saw "How the West Was Won," the Hellman was still a single screen theater, seating over 1,000. I remember the gold curtains on the walls, the plush seats and the massive Cinerama screen - The Hellman Theater was truly a movie palace.

Unfortunately by the time we saw "Dune," the theater had been twinned, and very awkwardly so. They literally built a dividing wall down the center of the auditorium, halving the center seating section and not adding another aisle to walk down. The seating was then kind of off-center to the now smaller screen.


Hellman Theatre (1960-1989)
1365 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12206

Opened in 1960 on Washington Avenue, across the street from SUNY Albany. Originally designed with a large, very lavish lobby and lounge, and gold draperies throughout the auditorium. The two center sections had gold seats, while the two aisles flanking the walls had blue seats.

United Artists took over in the 70’s, and twinned it in the 80’s. It was the last of the Hellman Theatres in the Albany area to close. It sat empty for a few years. The theatre was eventually demolished.
(via Cinema Treasures)

What's There Now?
Flickr Photo Set

Publication and date unknown.

Boxoffice Magazine - May 30, 1960

Boxoffice Magazine - June 6, 1960

Motion Picture Herald - July 2, 1960

Motion Picture Herald - July 2, 1960

Motion Picture Herald - July 2, 1960

Photos via Cinerama
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