Las Vegas Theaters and Movies I remember

It probably comes as no surprise that I am a movie junkie.  I have loved films since I was a child and spent most of my teenage years dragging my friends to movie theaters around Las Vegas.  From the Fox Charleston Plaza to the Huntridge to the original MGM Grand Hotel's wonderful theater to our own Cinerama Dome (the one off of Paradise Road, not to be confused with the CineDomes on Decatur) to the Guild and El Portal downtown to the Red Rock Theaters and Parkway and Boulevard Theaters to the Drive-ins, every weekend found us in the a theater somewhere in Las Vegas watching movies, old and new.

It was still the era of the double bill and we saw some great ones.  The original MGM Grand Hotel had an awesome movie theater downstairs from the casino.  Every week they played an old MGM movie, complete with cartoon and newsreel.  I think the admission price was $2.50.  You got a printed program as well.  Inside the theater was furnished with plush leather love seats and small tables in front with a call button.  You pressed the button and a cocktail waitress would come take your order.  It was movie heaven.

I saw the re-issue of "Gone With the Wind" in 1969 with my mother at the Cinerama Dome.  The film was 30 years old and I remember being mesmerized by the epic force of the story and the love story.

The Guild was more of a rep house that played films such as "Harry and Tonto" and "Next Stop Greenwich Village".  When I was only five years old, my bio-dad took me to see "To Kill a Mockingbird" there.

The Huntridge played the Disney movies and had a sound-proof cry room upstairs where mothers could take their crying babies and still watch the movie without disturbing the rest of the audience.  My first date was at the Huntridge.  We went to see "The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean".

I saw "The Sound of Music", "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid", "The Poseidon Adventure", the "ToweringInferno ", the "Hot Rock" and many more at the old Fox Plaza theater on East Charleston

The Red Rock Theater was my neighborhood theater.  Close enough that we could hike there and back without having to wait on the bus.  Luckily, Al Richardson soon got his license and a car and we would fill the car with friends and go to the Red Rock.  "Billy Jack", "The Sting", "American Graffiti" "The Godfather" (it played for a year there), "Blazing Saddles", "Young Frankenstein" and many of the great and not so great films of the early and mid-1970s.  Instead of going to my high school prom, my date took me to see a double bill of  "Magnum Force" and "Dirty Harry" at the Red Rock.  I didn't miss the prom at all.

In addition, we had KVVU-Channel 5, which showed old Cagney and Bogart films every Thursday night from 7:00 - 11:00 pm.   KLAS-Channel 8 had a Saturday late night movie and each network had a Monday and Friday Night at the Movies.  In those pre-VCR and DVD days, it was the only way to see classic studio era films.

Michael Abbott was one of the founders of a film society at UNLV and they would get 16mm prints of films such as "Battle of Algiers" and "Z" to show on campus.

All the theaters that I frequented as a child and as a teenager are gone now, except for the Huntridge and it is but a shell of its former self.

Today, we have DVDs and Netflicks and Turner Classic Movies and it is much easier to see the old Hollywood movies whenever we want.  

Turner Classic Movies, each February, has a salute to the 31 Days of Oscar where they show Oscar nominated and winning films.

In addition they have some wonderful promo material such as the jukebox "31 Days of Oscar Dayoram".

I have put on the site in case there are other movie lovers out there like me.

You can find it here: