Submitted by Jeff Buster on Tue, 05/01/2007 - 18:59.

Miles Avenue Cleveland drive in theater

When I was in High School I changed the marquee weekly at 3 of our local theaters.   The ladders I climbed and the gravity exposure I had 40 feet up over the public concrete sidewalk makes me wince now when I think about it.  But one of the job perks was that I got to see Tom Jones 14 times from the projection room. 


The projection room is actually very similar to a welding room.  You have a 3/8ths inch thick copper clad carbon electrode facing another carbon electrode with a whole lot of 24 volt dc current running between them making what is tantamount to a stabilized lightening strike of light.   Charles Brush invented this type of light source right in Cleveland.  The street lights in Public Square originally operated similarly to projection lighting.  Lots of heat gets sucked off through the vent pipe directly over the projector.  It is noisy, like electricity zapping. Look at the transformer and heavy drop of wires coming from the left of the photo above.  Mega power for the projectors.


The cans of 35 mm cellulose film tear past the front of the lenses that focus the carbon arc.  If the film drive stops, the film will melt and burn up.


I changed the marquee every Wednesday.  Lucky I’m not dead or a quadriplegic. Where was OSHA.  Then again, where is OSHA under Bush?


What happened to drive ins, the perfect meld of America’s Hollywood and Detroit fetishes? Have you ever been to a Drive In Theater?  Last time I went was with Allegra Amtmanis.   I have posted recently about stapled paper communications on a telephone pole, about keeping clear of TV  - and Drive Ins are another mode of public communication.  Where is the public communication genre headed?     

And let's not forget about the architecture.  This Theater is a jewel...I think it delivers a more potent message than Gehry's PBLEwis.   Has the Miles been torn down yet? 

Miles-Drive-In-theater-Clev.jpg400.41 KB
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