Perusing our photo archives, I've found a genuine gaggle of old theater photos, in most cases Omaha theaters that aren't around anymore.
Over the next few weeks, I'll be sharing highlights from our collection, one post at a time.
For our first entry, I'm including shots from the Dundee, Chief and Cinema Center theaters. If you've got some theater requests, I'd be happy to look for the photos.
The movie theater at 82nd Avenue just south of West Center Road opened on Dec. 22, 1967 and closed at the start of 2009. It was one of Omaha's first and longest-running multiscreen venues, expanding from one auditorium to eight by 1984.
A 1967 artist's rendering of the Cinema Center.
In this March 1975 photo, Steve Stokes, left, and Mike Sheehan watch theater manager Jerry Greeno replace the "Earthquake" poster with "The Great Waldo Pepper" in the lobby of Cinema Center. Mike and Steve had been to see "Earthquake" 59 times before it ended its run. Greeno started letting them in for free after the 20th viewing. "Yeah," a theater employee said, "but we must have made $100 on them at the concession stand.
In this July 1982 photo, crowds wait in line for movies like "Firefox," "Rocky III," "Poltergeist," "E.T." and "Annie." The movie turkeys that summer were "The Thing" and "Grease 2."
Movie-goers gather at Cinema Center for the opening of "Jurassic Park" in the summer of 1993.
The Cinema Center sign in October 1995.
The Cinema Center sign right before the theater closed for good in January 2009. Photo by Alyssa Schukar/The World-Herald
Cinema Center manager Gerry Greeno hugs loyal customer Ken Gooch goodbye in January 2009. It was the second-to-last night before the Omaha theater closed its doors permanently. Gooch brought Greeno a scrapbook of items related to the theater as a going-away gift. When you're in the theater, Gooch said, "you're crunching corn, sucking suds and laughing your guts out ... it's therapy. The best kind in the world and, I might add, the cheapest." Photo by Alyssa Schukar/The World-Herald
The Chief Theater, which was located at 4600 S. 24th St., opened in 1941 and was a fixture in south Omaha for more than 30 years before closing at the end of 1972.
The Chief Theater in March 1947.
The grand re-opening of the new Chief Theater on April 5, 1947. More than 1,200 people bought tickets for the 9:30 a.m. showing of "The Jolson Story."
A showing of "Roarin' Rockin' Action," and the cool air conditioning, brought the kids out for the matinee in September 1957. Scanned from a book called "Historic Omaha: An illustrated History of Omaha and Douglas County" by Bob Reilly, Hugh Reilly and Pegeen Reilly.
The Dundee, 4925 Dodge St., was built in 1925 as a vaudeville house. Eighty-nine years later, it's Omaha's only remaining single-screen movie house. It's been closed for several months for renovations, but owner Denny Moran told The World-Herald the theater should reopen by late spring or early summer of this year.
The Dundee Theater in 1925.
"You can be as loud as you want," says Amanda Pintore, 13, from left, on why she and her friends enjoy the midnight shows at Dundee Theater. Nicole Roberts, 14, reaches for the drink of Taylor Alston, 13, as Laurel Sariscsany, 13, watches "The Princess Bride." This photo was taken in 2002.