More than 100 years after the first movie delighted audiences, movie theaters remain the last great community centers and one of the few amusements any family can afford. While countless books have been devoted to films and their stars, none have attempted a truly definitive history of those magical venues that have transported moviegoers since the beginning of the last century.
In this stunningly illustrated book, film industry insiders Ross Melnick and Andreas Fuchs take readers from the nickelodeon to the megaplex and show how changes in moviemaking and political, social, and technological forces (e.g., war, depression, the baby boom, the VCR) have influenced the way we see movies. Archival photographs from archives like the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and movie theater ephemera (postcards, period ads, matchbooks, and even a "barf bag") sourced from private collections complement the informative and engaging history.
Also included throughout the book are profiles detailing 25 classic movie theaters that have been restored and renovated and which continue to operate today. Each of these two-page spreads is illustrated with marvelous modern photographs, many taken by top architectural photographers.
The result is a fabulous look at one way in which Americans continue to come together as a nation. A timeline throughout places the developments described in a broader historical context.
"We've had a number of beautiful books about the great movie palaces, and even some individual volumes that pay tribute to surviving theaters around the country. This is the first book I can recall that focuses on the survivors, from coast to coast, and puts them into historical context. Sumptuously produced in an oversized format, on heavy coated paper stock, this beautiful book offers a lively history of movie theaters in America, an impressive array of photos and memorabilia, and a heartening survey of the landmarks in our midst…" (Leonard Maltin)
"Handsomely produced and extensively illustrated, "Cinema Treaures" is detailed without being dull and thoroughly at home with this often neglected subject matter.Its title would have you believe it is a celebration of the golden age of movie theaters. But this book is something completely different: an examination of the history of movie exhibition, which the authors accurately call "a vastly under-researched topic."
(Kenneth Turan, "The Los Angeles Times)