Iconic 'mushrooms' removed from valley Harkins Theatre

These mushrooms are unique and long-standing.They've marked the entrance to the old Harkins Camelview 5 Theatre for the past four decades.

- These mushrooms are unique and long-standing.

They've marked the entrance to the old Harkins Camelview 5 Theatre for the past four decades.

"He just called them mushrooms, I thought, 'Hey, dad, aren't they like umbrellas or canopies? No, they're mushrooms, Dan,'" Dan Harkins said. "When we first opened, he had a vision that we would have dancers on top and we would have fireworks and sky lights, and we had one of those, we had skylights and Red was just a genius."

Red is Dan Harkins' father who started Harkins Movie Theatres. The Camelview 5 closed its doors in December and is under demolition, but one thing that won't be destroyed are the iconic mushrooms.

"Today, the mushrooms are being severed from their roots and a crane is going to pick them up and put them on a truck," Harkins said. "They'll be restored, re-polished, neon reinstalled and then resurrected at our theater support office here in Scottsdale."

Dan says today is a bittersweet day.

"It's just really sad, it's an end of an era, it's the end of an amazing era," he said. "The old Camelview was the longest running theater in Phoenix history."

But there's new memories to be made just a few hundred feet away from this exact location.

"What makes me not cry right now is the new Camelview is so amazing and that's what's really hold the tears back," he said. "That theater, we decided, because it was going to replace and be the successor to Red's creation. We had to make it glorious and amazing and people come up to me all the time and say it's the best movie theater in the world."

Dan says his dad is probably pretty proud and surprised by it all.

"He's up in showman's heaven looking down thinking, 'God, I didn't expect the old Camelview to last this long, it's amazing it did,'" he said.


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