Kerasotes Eastgate Cinema: A Look Back at the Twin Cinema

I worked at a movie theater called Kerasotes Eastgate Cinema in East Alton, Illinois from 1989 to 1991. During those years, I took a few pictures. And when the theater was converted into a larger theater in 1990, I took a lot of pictures. I don’t really have any pictures of the completed theater, but at least there’s a few construction pictures for you to look at. Enjoy!

Here’s a picture of Sherman the workaholic. (assistant manager) This picture displays the crazy 60’s looking wallpaper with matching BAC carpet. This is Tracy getting ready for a date after work. This is taken on the #1, #2, #3 side of the theater right around the beginning of construction. The boarded-over part used to be floor to ceiling glass. Notice the old “BAC” carpet from the theater’s BAC Theater days.
Susan, caught on camera stealing money from the register. This picture was taken before any of the contruction started. The front ticket window is now where the door to the back room is. If you look in the background you can see the old McCrory’s store which was torn down around the same time the new theater was built. This is the hallway by #5 and #6 before it was beautified by wallpaper and carpet. Believe it or not, I actually managed to fit my car into this hallway before they installed the doors.
Inside one of the new auditoriums, not sure which one. Those dangling metal things will from the top of the new concession stand.
The new office was finally completed but much of the theater still remained in shambles. I was crawling around above the ceiling tiles one evening for one reason or another and decided to lift a tile and take this surprise picture of our dumpy old manager. She was not amused. I think this may be a shot of the new back room.
Not much has changed in the concession area yet but you can see lots of construction out the window. Sherman is just too cool for anyone. Click here to find out a few ways to piss Sherman off.
THIS is what we had to work behind for several months. The door you see to the right of this concession stand is now the door into the backroom of today’s concession.
This picture is pointless and you can’t see anything in it that you care about. But I’m leaving it here anyway. This is the old office that they just ripped apart, what will soon become the new handicap restrooms. The computerized thingie on the wall is the theater’s temperature and lighting controls. This could actually be dialed in with your modem and you could type commands at it but I never managed to blow anything up with my home computer.
This is where the new concession stand is about to be placed. All those metal things hanging from the ceiling will form the overhead lighting. This is the ever-lovable assistant manager Sherman, walking below me as I’m hiding on a scaffold. Not a smart thing to do while I’ve got a camera in one hand and a water balloon in the other.
This is Cinema #6 in progress. The red brick is what used to be the outer front wall of the theater. This is the day they took away our old sign with the movie times and replaced it with a new & improved sign, leaving the old one here in the back room. We thought it’d be fitting to stick up the old movie times and prices from when we first began working there in 1988 – Rainman and The Naked Gun.
Sherman, hard at work. The boxes stacked behind him contain the tiling which covers the floor today. That’s a Darkman banner in the background there, remember that idiotic movie? Not many others do either.
This is Tracy standing in the old concession area. You get a peak at the back room which is now office space. The door led into Cinema #4 (then #2) right by the door into the projection booth. This picture is taken from the pay phone’s viewpoint of all the construction in the new section of the theater.
Here’s a view of the temporary concession stand taken from the top of a scaffold. And another, slightly different view.
Me doing the nightly inventory. Nothing much to see here, except the old crappy popcorn warmer and butter machine. This is Staci, standing next to the very first of the improvements – the soda machine. The old one died in a huge puff of smoke so they had to install one of the new ones a little ahead of schedule.
This is the old office which was located where the men’s and women’s handicap restrooms now stand. In this picture, Sherman would be facing towards the door of the men’s restroom, his cluttered desk blocking it. Model employee Matt stands in front of our latest creation – the big stack of large popcorn buckets. Taken in the newly completed backroom.


A FEW FACTS ABOUT EASTGATE’S CONSTRUCTION


  • During the entire transistion into a six-plex the theater didn’t shut down for business one single day. We all just worked around the construction.

  • The payphone in the lobby never moved. They built and wallpapered around it. It never left the wall.

  • On each side of the theater outside you’ll notice doors up on the 2nd level. Those were built there just to lift the new movie projectors into the projection booths. Once the projectors were in, the keys were thrown away and the doors haven’t opened since. (As far as I know.)

  • In the old concession stand we had a safe built into the floor to keep all our large bills in. The safe was under a thing that was disguised as a water drain. They never pulled the safe out of the ground – instead they just cemented over it and it now rests forever under the floor in the back room.

  • There is a large pentagram drawn in permenent marker underneath the carpet in the main lobby area. It’s part way under the tiles around the concession and partway under the carpet on the right side near theaters 4, 5 and 6. We drew it late one night just to annoy the construction workers. We also had left a chair sitting in the middle of it and a surgical glove laying next to it covered in black hair dye. Long story, don’t ask…

  • A secret passage! At the top of the stairs that come up from the manager’s office now if you lift the ceiling tile and climb up with a ladder you’ll see a large hole in the top part of the wall filled with insulation. If you remove the insulation you can climb into the hole and jump down onto the other side. You’ll land on what used to be the lower section of the theater’s roof. It’s covered with rocks and if you walk to the edge you can look down onto the ceiling over the concession stand. If you bring a flashlight and look around you’ll find grafitti in several places. A free cookie goes to anyone who can tell me what the grafitti says.

  • Nuclear powered exit signs? Well maybe that’s streching the truth, but none of the exit signs are hooked up to a power source of any kind and they glow green 24 hours a day. There are no light bulbs to replace, no batteries to change and there is no way to open them up. If you look on the top of any of the exit signs you’ll probably see a large warning sticker with a nulcear warning symbol on it, along with an address to their manufacturers at the Isolight Corporation. So don’t stand under an exit sign for too long, you may develop a tumor. :)

  • I wrote a couple of parody songs, inspired by life at Eastgate in 1989 – 1991. Click here to read the lyrics.

COMMENTS ABOUT THIS PAGE


If you have something to say about all of this, then make your comments below…

FROM – Andrea in East Alton – 11/13/02 12:42:46 – Some of those things are really cool! I’d love to find that secret passage. See I work there now. Did you guys ever have any ghost stories about theater 1 or 6?? If so let me know. You can email me at Buffy14@hotmail.com or Willow_2002@webtv.net

FROM – luke in illinois – 07/03/02 10:26:11 – I now work at the improved theatre, you have said theres alot of secret passages up stairs but where,one of these days I will find them. by the way did you guys have a new marquee cause the one we have stinks. It would be nice if they bought us a new one but I highly doubt it.

FROM – Muffy-Miranda-Eric in East Alton – 05/23/02 03:10:58 – We all three work at the theatre now. We wanted to tell you that the keys to those doors upstairs in booth were located. We have keys to both doors. We open the doors for a cool breeze every now and again. We are in the process of finding the secret room you mentioned. We also started opening all the drains in concession in hopes to find the safe. We didn’t know till now that it was cemented over. We would like to correspond with you about the theatre, If you are interested, please email us at ladyvamp30@yahoo.com Oh 1 more thing, did you guys get a break room? Cause we have NONE!!!!

FROM – Mecha-Zack – 05/13/02 13:23:56 – I’ve got a couple of thoughts on the following subjects: Thought one: Your site said: The payphone in the lobby never moved. They built and wallpapered around it. It never left the wall. ( This would make a great prank! You know that prank thing where you set the phone to dial 9000 times? Do it again except it’ll have a new effect: No one will know who’s calling or why. OOOOWEEEEOOOOOO!)

Thought 2: In the old concession stand we had a safe built into the floor to keep all our large bills in. The safe was under a thing that was disguised as a water drain. They never pulled the safe out of the ground – instead they just cemented over it and it now rests forever under the floor in the back room. (Hmmmm….If you left the money inside the safe, all you would need is a sledgehammer (to break the cement), a shotgun, (to blow away the pieces) a crowbar (unless you knew the combo to the safe) and a huge fat wallet. (If there is money,and if you actually do this go buy yourself something nice, something sporty, a P4 emachines. You deserve it.

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