The latest movie theater news and updates
April 29, 2017
From the Herald and News: In Hollywood’s golden era, grand movie theaters sprung up in towns across the country to showcase the latest Charlie Chaplin, Abbott & Costello or Lewis & Martin laugh-fest. While the era of fluorescents, marquees and drive-ins have almost completely disappeared in favor of iMax and modern stadium theaters, a group in Lakeview are working to revive a forgotten time when the local theater was the centerpiece of small town social life.
Like most smaller communities, Lakeview once had multiple theaters and a drive-in offering the latest cartoons, newsreels, serials and double features of westerns and classic Hollywood glam. Today, none remain in operation in the area. The Marius Theater decades ago was converted into office space, and the drive-in is now a vacant lot. Yet the Alger Theater, constructed in 1940, still stands, unused except for the occasional special concert or film premiere. Its décor is reminiscent of the art-decco era with a 1940s Hollywood’s bygone sentimental era. A walk inside is a trip through time back to classic Hollywood instantly sparking nostalgic memories for those who lived it and others who have only heard the stories or seen it recreated in popular films like The Majestic.
From the Springfield News-Leader: Some neighbors and business owners near a south Springfield movie theater don’t want to see it turned into a church. They’re signing petitions in protest.
The Premiere Palace, located in Chesterfield Village, is under contract to be bought by Life360 Church, which is looking to relocate its nearby Park Crest campus to the 29,000-square-foot theater at 2220 W. Chesterfield St.
Deby McCurter, who has lived in Chesterfield Village for 15 years, said she’s worried that losing the movie theater will be a hit on property values and the tax base.
“(The theater) is just a great community hub. They’ve upgraded it. They’re doing first-run movies. They’re still the most reasonably priced anywhere. It’s just iconic,” McCurter said.
Leo Crosby, the executive pastor of Life360 Church, said representatives from the church have met with Chesterfield Village residents and organizations.
April 27, 2017
From Syracuse.com: The city of Auburn has declared the nostalgic Schine Theater unsafe and has ordered its non-profit owners to repair or demolish it.
The order is one of a series of orders the city send recently to owners of vacant property, said Edward Onori, chairman of the Cayuga County Arts Council, which owns the theater at 16 South Street.
Onori said the citation will have little effect on its work with the city to restore the old building. “This is just to get us to the table to do something there,” he said.
The arts council is applying for grants to restore the building, Onori said.
The city’s Code Enforcement Officer Lane Pausley told The Citizen that the Schine did not have any specific violations, but that the order was prompted by 25 to 30 years of “non use and disrepair.”
From The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Small-town America may have been knocked down in recent decades, but don’t count it out. Private and public efforts have begun to breathe new life into abandoned main streets as people look for amenities closer to home.
One trend has been the restoration of historic theaters across the region.
“Western Pennsylvania has some really good examples of people who have pulled together to do something for their communities,” said Rick Fosbrink, executive director of the Theatre Historical Society of America, which recently moved to Pittsburgh from Chicago.
Philadelphia, PA – North Broad Investments, a Historic Preservation Taskforce and the Uptown Theater
From GoodMenProject.com: here’s been an attempt, in one form or another, to revitalize the Uptown Theater in North Philadelphia since the late 1980s, yet to no real avail, despite it being spacious, well-constructed and rich in historic value, black history in particular. If the now crumbling walls at 2240 N. Broad Street could talk, they’d tell stories of a magical 16th birthday party for Mr. Stevie Wonder; Mr. Earl Young, the drummer whose chops are heard on classic recordings, like ‘Disco Inferno,’ receiving informal tutorials on music theory; classic battles of the bands featuring super-groups like The Temptations and the Four Tops; and even an unconventional church who was displaced by a massive winter storm.
From WNEP.com: A long-awaited movie theater is set to open this week in downtown Scranton.
The Iron Horse Movie Bistro is a blend of both restaurant and theater.
A company from Tennessee bought the old Marquee Cinemas about a year and a half ago. Some construction snags delayed its opening by almost a year.
The place will finally open Friday and offers a different kind of movie-going experience.
The decor inside the Iron Horse Movie Bistro is a nod to Scranton’s past but not to the past movie theaters that have been at the corner of Lackawanna and Penn Avenues.
Aspiring chef Nicole Santiago was surprised to learn that she could work as a cook. The place serves a lot more than popcorn. The movie bistro is a combination of a restaurant, bar, and movie theater.
One theater will offer at-your-seat service.
From LoHud.com: Those looking to elevate the traditional dinner and a movie date night will soon have a new option.
An eight-screen, 580-seat iPic Theater that combines a luxurious film-watching experience with high-end food and drinks is set to open May 5 in the still-under-construction $150 million Rivertowns Square development.
April 20, 2017
From the Baltimore Business Journal: The Maryland Film Festival is preparing to move into the Parkway Theatre at Charles Street and North Avenue this week as famous Baltimore filmmakers Barry Levinson, John Waters and David Simon will be on hand Thursday for a gala there.
The $18.2 million renovations began last year at the site that had been vacant for 40 years, said Jed Dietz, director of the Maryland Film Festival. The nonprofit purchased the theater and the old “Chicken Box,” building located next to it from the city for $1 in 2012 after the Baltimore Development Corp. sought the redevelopment of the corner into a cultural center to add to the growing cultural space in the community.
From the Palm Beach Daily News: The iconic “Paramount” sign crowning the façade of the historic Paramount Theatre Building has deteriorated beyond repair and is in line to be replaced with an exact duplicate. But first the Town Council must approve a variance for the replacement, which, at 156 square feet, will be far larger than the 20 square feet allowed under today’s code.
The sign is original and has adorned the building since 1926, architect Gene Pandula told the Landmarks Preservation Commission on Wednesday.
“The sign is obviously an extremely important historic element of the building,” Pandula said. It “has been one of the constants of this building, even as other changes were made over the years.”
The sign is made up of individual letters, each 30 inches tall, which are no longer lit because the wiring is in bad condition, he said.
“It does need to be replaced,” Pandula said. “It’s been turned off for a while now. It’s not in an appropriate condition to plug in.”
April 19, 2017
From The New York Times: To sell more tickets, some movie theaters have introduced seats that tilt, spin and rumble to match the action on the screen, devices that spray water and pump scents and salted pretzels the size of steering wheels.
Recently added to that list: playground equipment in auditoriums to cater to 3- to 12-year-olds.
Cinépolis, which has more than 4,900 auditoriums worldwide, last month introduced Cinépolis Junior at theaters in Los Angeles and San Diego.
They are equipped with a 55-foot-long and 25-foot-high play structure with two slides and two platforms with “wobble hoppers” (similar to stationary pogo sticks) and “stand n’ spins” (smaller versions of merry-go-rounds). A separate area enclosed with a colorful fence has green lawn turf and plastic animal sculptures for climbing and crawling.
Cinépolis USA, a Dallas-based subsidiary with theaters in California, Connecticut, Florida, New Jersey and New York, plans to open more junior auditoriums in the United States.