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Alex Holds Tribute to Projectionist

George Crittenden, who worked at the theater for years, is remembered at a day dedicated to him.

By Veronica Rocha
Published: Last Updated Sunday, August 3, 2008 10:23 PM PDT
More than 300 people attended a free cartoon and movie showing on Sunday afternoon at the Alex Theatre dedicated to the theatre’s late chief film projectionist, George Crittenden. 

Filmgoers watched a Warner Bros. cartoon of Sylvester the Cat and Tweety Bird, which were Crittenden favorite animated characters, Alex Film Society President Randy Carter told theater audience members.

Crittenden died June 4 in his childhood Glendale home of a brain tumor, his friends said. He was 80.

“There was nothing in this theatre he did not play a part in,” he said.

“There is nothing to do with film that George wasn’t a part of.” 

Crittenden, a lifelong Glendale resident, began working as an usher at the theatre in 1944.

In 1950, he began working as a film projectionist at the Alex and Temple theaters in Glendale and Magnolia Theatre in Burbank.

Crittenden served as the Los Angeles Branch manager of Films Incorporated from 1960 to 1983.

He returned to the Alex Theatre and worked as the chief film projectionist from 1985 to 1991.

Crittenden was a founding member of Alex Film Society and rebuilt the theatre’s projection equipment in 1994.

Sunday’s film of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s 1945 musical “State Fair” was one Crittenden had asked the society’s board to be shown at the theatre several times before his death.

“He pitched it year after year, but we were kind of like ‘Nah’,” the Alex Film Society board member Pam Ellis said. “But now we are showing it in George’s tribute.”

Crittenden always had a smile on his face, the theatre’s Event Services Manager Karen Smith said.

“I miss my George,” she said.

He was knowledgeable about films and knew who was dead or alive in each film, the society’s board member Brian Ellis said, adding that Crittenden, who was an only child and never married, was a perfectionist.

“There was a certain way of doing things the right way,” Ellis said.

Crittenden often held summer night film showings for his friends at his home, society board member Linda Harris said.

Her fondest memory of Crittenden was every time she met up with him.

“When he saw me he would say “Linda” very softly with a smile on his face,” Harris said.

“He was good-natured man.”

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Status Update from the Alex Theatre


As the saying goes, "The Show Must Go On." However, sometimes, unprecedented circumstances call for the show to be paused. This is one of those rare times.



Currently, our shows through April 5th will not be taking place on their original dates.



The Glendale Arts and Alex Theatre staff have been hard at work behind-the-scenes collaborating with the presenters of these performances to reschedule dates and communicating with ticket buyers about their options.



We are continuing to monitor directives established by local, state-wide, and national authorities and will post developments on shows scheduled beyond April 5th as they happen.



While our staff is working remotely, we are with our beloved Alex in spirit, and our hearts remain committed to the thousands of patrons we happily serve every week and our extended family of presenters, producers, performers, and community members who call the Alex home.



These are trying time for everyone. The economic impact on the dual industries with which we identify - non-profits and performing arts/live entertainment - has been swift and severe.



If you are able, we ask you make a gift at that will allow us to continue our work at the Alex Theatre - a place for arts and entertainment to be enjoyed; a symbol of history, beauty, and community - during this time, so we are ready to bring healing and happiness to all who need it when the time is right.



We wish all of you and your loved ones health and safety throughout this situation and can't wait to welcome you through our doors again when the show is ready to go back on.



With our love,


Glendale Arts/Alex Theatre Management Staff


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