Rising from the Ashes

The completed Cine Capri Model. Photo by Jim Peterson.

In the months that followed the loss of the Cine Capri I kept wondering if there was some way I could take something so negative, and turn it into something positive. One of the things my father taught me was the virtue of community service, and I wanted to do something to honor both my dad, and the theater.

I made a few phone calls and was referred to Harold Williams, a local architect. Not only he had served on the Save the Cine Capri committee, he also had a copy of the blueprints, courtesy of the Haver family. (The late Ralph Haver had been part of the team of architects who designed the original Cine Capri.) All it took was one phone call, and I got my very own copy of the blueprints.

Funny what can happen when the right woman gets her hands on a set of blueprints. Think of it as, Honey, I Shrunk the Cine Capri. My mission was to rebuild the original Cine Capri, albeit on a bit smaller scale, as in quarter inch. (One quarter inch equaling one foot.) I would commission a 1/4 scale model from the original blueprints, and do a charity fundraiser in my father’s memory.

Harold and I spent the next few weeks looking for the right model builder before awarding the project to Doyle Hostetler. As soon as Doyle started work I started planning the fundraiser, but it proved to be a much more daunting task than I expected. The first event planner I hired just didn’t see my vision, and after much frustration, I finally had to let her go. Fortunately, it came all together once The Arizona Historical Society, and my second event planner, came on board. The model unveiling, and the charity fund raiser, would be included with the opening for two other museum exhibits. It would turn out to be the perfect opportunity.


Work begins on the Cine Capri model. Photo courtesy of Doyle Hostetler.
The model takes shape. Photo courtesy of Doyle Hostetler.
Replicating the copper fascia. All of the details from the original were reproduced for the model. Photo courtesy of Doyle Hostetler.

My Contribution to the Cine Capri Model

Stain glass window in the original Cine Capri lobby, circa 1998. Photo by Harold Williams.

So here I am, thinking I’ve got this. I’ve got a highly skilled man working on the Cine Capri model, I’m working on the charity fund raiser for the museum opening, and we’re all good. Then I get a phone call from Harold Williams. Someone needs to recreate the famous stained glass window from the lobby, and that assignment goes to me.

Ever had one of those moments when you hear yourself saying, “Sure, I’d be happy to. No problem,” while at the same time, the voice in your head is shouting, “How the hell am I going to pull this one off?” Yep, it was that kind of a moment. Granted, I had a degree in art, but I’d spent the last few years laying out magazine pages and print ads on a Mac. This project would be something completely different, and something I’d never done before. Gulp!

Harold sent me a photo of the window, which I enlarged and taped to my kitchen window, and then I traced the basic outlines with a pencil. The next step was to dig up my old t-square and triangles, (could thing I hung on to them after going digital), and tighten up the drawing, taking my best guess as I added the details that didn’t present well in the photo. With that the hardest part was done. All that was left to do was to scan the drawing into the computer, fill in the colors with PhotoShop, and take the file to Image Craft for outputting the file onto clear film. Thank goodness Doyle, my model builder, sent me a detail drawing from the blueprints, so they would have the proper scale for the output. Then, voila, it was done. The “window” went back to Doyle, and it remains on the model today.

The original window was created by a glass artist in New York. At the time the original Cine Capri was built, Camelback Mountain could be seen from this window, and the stain glass was designed to be a representation of the sun rising over Camelback Mountain. As the neighborhood grew and developed, the view of the mountain became obstructed, but I think “Uncle” George had this in mind when he had the window commissioned. Unfortunately, he no longer had any record of who the artist was, much less have any of the artist’s drawings, which means I’ll never know for certain if my recreation is completely accurate or not. It is, however, a very close facsimile.


Hand drawn window rendering by Gayle Martin.
Window rendering from the original Cine Capri blueprints, with notes from model builder Doyle Hostetler.
Color proof for the Cine Capri model window.