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Recording in a movie theater
Old 22nd May 2006
  #1
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Talking Recording in a movie theater

So i was at a movie the other night and started looking around... shiite talk about a cool place to record... started thinking, it would be lucrative to make friends with the theatre manager and go in after midnight to track in a giant theater... Almost dead... HUGE... could do some cool effects w/ a GIANT dead room like that. Some of those theaters are like 100 foot cielings now.. insane.
Old 23rd May 2006
  #2
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True North's Avatar
 

Funny you mention this - there is a theatre near me that has been closed down for about four years. I was driving by it the other day and thought the very same thing as you. It would be a very cool place to try and record some drums. If I can ever make my rig mobile I would love to see if they would rent it out for a couple of nights!
Old 23rd May 2006
  #3
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you figure, by definition, they are designed to be acoustically perfect. Especially if you could get into one of those HUGE imax theaters... more easily accessible to bribing a manager than are opera theatres.
Old 23rd May 2006
  #4
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sheltersoton's Avatar
 

woah weird, im recording my bands album in july and were tracking the drums in both my room (tight, dark, hard brick room) and in a 200 seater cinema screen! i can wait, its gonna sound massive"""
Old 23rd May 2006
  #5
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Count Dz's Avatar
 

Ya there's a studio here in Atlanta that's called Nickle and Dime
http://www.makearecordatlanta.com/. It used to be an ol' movie theatre now it's a full fledged studio. Don McCallister is the owner had a few bands that he's recorded that have done pretty well, Sister Hazel and Shawn Mullins. Nice place and cool people.
thumbsup
Old 23rd May 2006
  #6
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AlexLakis's Avatar
 

Wow, what a...great idea!

Wonder if they'd let you use the popcorn machine in the lobby too...
Old 23rd May 2006
  #7
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Count Dz's Avatar
 

Probably...hopefully it's not like the hotels. Put it out there and also here's your bill. 20 bags of popcorn for $200.
Old 23rd May 2006
  #8
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RCM - Ronan's Avatar
Daniel Lanois had a studio in an old Movie Theatre in Ventura, CA where he did several cool records
Old 1st October 2008
  #9
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wesarvin's Avatar
 

I know I'm resurrecting an old thread, but I once ran live sound for a show in an old theater...some of the best acoustics ever!

They just converted one of the megaplex screens at our AMC into an IMAX theater. AMC's are usually a little slappy sounding...but this newly-treated-hella-lotta 703 room is gorgeous.

hmm...
Old 1st October 2008
  #10
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i could be wrong but wasn't there a studio in Oregon thats in a movie theater? for some reason i think the town was named Weed. I think the article was in tape op.... o could be wrong, though...it happens a lot.
Old 1st October 2008
  #11
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mark.james's Avatar
 

there is a speakeasy theatre in oakland,ca that is now renting out the entire building for "parties" and i was thinking of tracking some drums... the seating in the front comes out (obviously, since they are couches)

Mark
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Old 1st October 2008
  #12
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wasn't there a studio in Oregon thats in a movie theater? for some reason i think the town was named Weed.



no no it was Weed California and the place is called radiostar studios....sylvia massey's place and yes one of the tracking rooms was an old theater
Old 1st October 2008
  #13
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travisbrown's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by rcm View Post
Daniel Lanois had a studio in an old Movie Theatre in Ventura, CA where he did several cool records
El Teatro in Oxnard - also the name of Willie Nelson's album recorded there.

I think it was an old mexican porn theatre at one time.
Old 1st October 2008
  #14
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AnthonyRochester's Avatar
 

Why would a large dead room be good? To get a huge sound, you want a live sounding room, and if a room is really dead, the size of it doesn't matter that much. Right?
Old 1st October 2008
  #15
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This is not a "New" idea, although it's a cool one. The original Stax and Hi studios in Memphis where built in old theaters. Actually Hi studios is really called Royal Studios as it used to be "The Royal Theater" back in the 1940's. I imagine that a lot of old studios were originally theaters.
Old 1st October 2008
  #16
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Yes - LARGE and DEAD is very cool...
Most theaters (for spoken word and movies) have been designed and treated for standing waves and room anomallies that otherwise make for "bad sounding" rooms. I recorded a symphony in a theater for spoken word - added a touch of OTB reverb and viola! - best sounding symphony I have ever done.

LARGE and REVERBERANT "CAN" be cool if everything lines up well with what you are recording. Jazz in a barn = no good.
Old 1st October 2008
  #17
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mslim's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rcm View Post
Daniel Lanois had a studio in an old Movie Theatre in Ventura, CA where he did several cool records
Actually Oxnard. I was driving by the other day and it was for rent. "El Teatro". Back in the day, Movie Theaters were a popular place to record, Stax, Grits'n'Gravy. There's an old VFW Hall here in Newhall CA in a movie house that I've had my eye on. Figured maybe I could trade the good Veterans a couple Sat nights of Blues Band for the use of their facility.
Old 1st October 2008
  #18
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There was a nice, old, circa '1920s movie theatre in Dallas called the Arcadia that burned down in 2006.
It was a big dance club in it's last days, but in the '80s it was used for rock concerts.
I mixed F.O.H. for quite a few bands there, but I also recorded L.A. Guns and Danzig with a remote truck in '88.
My good friend was able to use the space to track a band as well in about 1989.
There was a full orchestra pit which led to an area that was directly below the stage where he set up his rig.

Anthrax also did a live recording there that was nominated for a Grammy.

It was great sounding room!

In the late '80s there was also a theatre I looked at as a location for a studio in Garland, Texas.
Ironically, it is right across the street from where the two guys got murdered last summer as they left their studio.
It is a great, smaller theatre called "The Opry" but when I was looking at it the ceiling over the stage was leaking badly.
The owner of the property didn't want to put any money into it in order for me to lease it, so I dropped the idea.
About ten years ago someone bought the place and re-opened it as a C&W concert venue.
It had also been used as a concert venue back in the '70s and early '80s and my wife performed there several times as did Leanne Rimes when she was little kid

The real problem with a theatre is the up-keep on such a HUGE space....
read: HVAC requirements equal huge electrical bill
Old 1st October 2008
  #19
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springer's Avatar
 

OH DANNY!!! (... memories...)
I remember seeing Miles Davis and Weather Report concerts back in 1982 there at the lovely Arcadia. Man those were good days...
I was down front row center and Miles gave me a tap on the head - what a treat for a little skinny college jazz student...
I think the tik price was around $20???
Old 1st October 2008
  #20
Gear Head
 

Yeah im floor staff at a theater, I always think it would be cool to do that, especially since the projection booth is so damn cool, plus one of our managers forgot her keys and basically said there's a way to get in the theater by getting around the locks.

EDIT: yea upkeep does suck, we just went through our big inspection and everything went fine (we have the cleanest pretzel warmer ever apparently) but not a few days after inspection we had a bad leak in Righteous Kill from all the rain we've been getting so he decided to close down the theater the following day and right as we clocked out and where about to leave he got a major leak at the front doors. my manager was pretty pissed...he never catches a break.
Old 1st October 2008
  #21
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Sylvia Massey's studio.

I think it's called Radiostar or something like that
Old 1st October 2008
  #22
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jumpnyc's Avatar
 

There's an old vaudville theater on the lower east side of NY - my friend runs part of it - where Black Crowes and Jimmy Page last recorded - very cool - mic'd elevator shafts - backstage area has like 40' ceilings. Massive.
Old 1st October 2008
  #23
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Beardhead's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by zkaudio View Post
So i was at a movie the other night and started looking around... shiite talk about a cool place to record... started thinking, it would be lucrative to make friends with the theatre manager and go in after midnight to track in a giant theater... Almost dead... HUGE... could do some cool effects w/ a GIANT dead room like that. Some of those theaters are like 100 foot cielings now.. insane.
We've done that for our last album. Well, it wasn't that huge, perhaps about 100 square meters. But it was absolutely cool :-)

Claus
Old 2nd October 2008
  #24
Gear Nut
 

you are on the right track. acoustic spaces are an often overlooked factor in recording.

a very cool "indie rock" 10" album by the band Trackstar from SF was recorded in a landmark theater on an otari 1/2 8track you know the sound of the 90's.
Old 2nd October 2008
  #25
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Greg Curtis's Avatar
 

Isn't there a place in Weed, CA that is a converted movie theater?

Tilted floor would make it kinda weird, don'tcha think?

Not as much isolation as a good studio, noisier A/C. Different approach to acoustics, also.

But it still is cool!

thumbsup
Old 2nd October 2008
  #26
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andsonic's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Curtis View Post
Isn't there a place in Weed, CA that is a converted movie theater?

Tilted floor would make it kinda weird, don'tcha think?

Not as much isolation as a good studio, noisier A/C. Different approach to acoustics, also.

But it still is cool!

thumbsup
Just to clarify:
Sylvia Massey's studio is Radiostar and it is in Weed, CA (not Oregon). It's in an old movie palace.
RadioStar Studios V.2

I have not been to the studios, but I have driven thru Weed, and it's beautiful there.
Ms Massey - I am very jealous of your location.

Now otoh, our studio is in a barn and I love the acoustics.
Old 2nd October 2008
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaellus View Post
wasn't there a studio in Oregon thats in a movie theater? for some reason i think the town was named Weed.



no no it was Weed California and the place is called radiostar studios....sylvia massey's place and yes one of the tracking rooms was an old theater


thats it...damn weed
Old 2nd October 2008
  #28
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DontLetMeDrown's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by travisbrown View Post
El Teatro in Oxnard - also the name of Willie Nelson's album recorded there.

I think it was an old mexican porn theatre at one time.
Interesting. I grew up in Oxnard and have passed by that place hundreds of times. Never knew there was recording going on there. Kinda of a sketchy part of town.
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