Orchestra Hall Movie Theatre Enhancements Take Place with Your Support

Posted on February 02, 2011

Lakeside cherishes the historic Orchestra Hall movie theater. We want to make certain that this tradition continues to be an active part of our community for another 90 years. Films are presented on a projector built in 1944, movies are projected on an old, yellowed concave screen and the sound system has deteriorated.

We invite you to read the stories below to learn out about these Orchestra Hall changes and consider contributing to the Lakeside Fund so that we can further enrich this cultural experience. With your gift of $250 or more before March 31, 2011, you can honor a special loved one at the featured movie presentation on Sunday, June 19, 2011.  If you wish to participate, please download the Orchestra_Hall_Enhancement_Form_2011.pdf or give online.

Orchestra Hall has been a gathering place in Lakeside for more than 90 years.  Families reconnect to watch a matinee show while on summer vacation, friends anxiously wait to purchase their tickets on a rainy day, while others attend the Chaplain’s Hour lectures and educational seminars during the Chautauqua summer season.

Built in 1928, Orchestra Hall first presented 35mm films for its guests.  By the 1930s, also known as the “Golden Age of Hollywood,” sound was becoming increasingly popular in feature films.  During this time, the Lakeside community gathered for Saturday afternoon movies, including Around the World in 80 Minutes and Alice in Wonderland. Since then, many posters have adorned the historic theatre walls and great classic movies have been featured on the big screen.

Films are still presented with a 1944 Simplex 35mm tandem projector system. Movies are projected onto an old, yellowed concave screen that sits a distance away from the theatre seats, and the sound system has deteriorated tremendously over the years. All of these challenges have greatly reduced the quality of the movie-going experience.

During the fall, Orchestra Hall Manager Richard Thomas researched ways to repair the deficiencies in the theatre equipment. He located a company in Chicago, Full Aperture Systems, who specializes in this type of work, and contacted James Bond to discuss the equipment condition.   With more than 30 years experience in the movie theatre business, Bond will help Lakeside upgrade the movie experience.