The latest movie theater news and updates

  • March 24, 2017

    Las Vegas, NV – Assembly Democrats want to save historic Huntridge Theater in Las Vegas

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    From the Las Vegas Review-Journal: Two Nevada Assembly members want to take another stab at saving the Huntridge Theater in Las Vegas.

    Democrats Heidi Swank and Elliot Anderson of Las Vegas introduced a bill Monday seeking $3 million for the Division of State Lands to purchase the shuttered theater near downtown Las Vegas.

  • Brooklyn, NY – Bed-Stuy’s historic Slave Theater has been torn down

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    From Curbed NY: Bed-Stuy’s Slave Theater, a nexus of black culture from 1984 to 1998 and the birthplace of a new wave of political activism in a time of heightened race relations in NYC, is no more. Brownstoner swung by to find that the historic building at 1215 Fulton Avenue, between Bedford and Nostrand streets, has been completely demolished. In its heyday, the theater was a gathering place for rallies lead by the Reverend Al Sharpton, who credited the talks with shifting the center of New York’s civil rights movement from Harlem to Brooklyn in a 2012 Times article. Now cleared, the site is awaiting its future as a mixed-use building developed by Industrie Capital Partners.

    Although the Slave shuttered in 1998, its demise began a decade later following the death of its proprietor, Judge John L. Phillips Jr.. The theater became embroiled in a dramatic ownership dispute with allegations of elder abuse, back taxes, and politically-motivated revenge. The property was poised to hit the foreclosure auction block in July 2012, prompting local theater group New Brooklyn Theatre’s attempt to crowdfund the Slave back into existence.

  • Alton, IL – Alton plans to demolish local movie theater

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    From KSDK.com: A long-abandoned movie theater in the Metro East may soon be facing the wrecking ball.

    Alton Cine, a 300-seat cinema located off of Homers Adam Parkway in Alton, Ill., closed its doors for good in 1998. But despite the 19-year closure, city leaders hope to tear down what locals consider to be an eyesore.

    The announcement was initially made during a mayoral candidate forum earlier this month.

    According to Alton Mayor Brant Walker, a private owner has maintained the property that has sat in disrepair for nearly two decades. The cinema has remained in poor conditions both inside and out, including the roof reportedly falling in on itself.

    Mayor Walker said the city plans to assess the building for asbestos. Once the asbestos is removed, the building reportedly won’t take long to level out. He did not give an exact date for demolition.

    Mayor Walker said he believed ‘Titanic’ was the last showing at Alton Cine.

  • Fort Worth, TX – Downtown’s hidden theater awaits a restoration angel

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    From the Star-Telegram:
    The last outpost of downtown Fort Worth’s movie house “Show Row” may yet make a comeback.

    But the new owners of the Hollywood Theater, closed 40 years, are not yet ready to say much about plans to lease the space for potential restoration to its 1930s showbiz glory.

    Another hint of the Hollywood’s possible return appeared this week, when the unsigned social media account Urban Fort Worth posted photos of the theater’s dusty remnants.

    The theater is next door to the Historic Electric Building Apartments on West Seventh Street. The lobby and facade were converted to retail space in 1979, and the lower floor was paved for apartment parking.

    But the top half of the theater remains: two upper balconies, the upper concourse and most of the decorated screen.

    The new Houston-based owner, Tradewind Properties, is advertising the space for lease. Property manager Amber Frisbie said Thursday that the idea is “very preliminary” and Tradewind President James Rastello isn’t ready to discuss it.

  • James Island, SC – James Island movie theater closes abruptly for good

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    From Live5News.com: One of James Island’s oldest movie theaters is closed to the public for good, according to the Assistant Manager of the theater.

    Carmike James Island 8 located off Central Park Road showed its last films to movie goers Thursday night.

    “We got the info that yesterday was our last day,” said the assistant manager who identified himself as Charles.

    According to the Carmike theater website, which is a subsidy of AMC theaters, there are no show times listed for the theater this weekend. Show times on Fandango are not listed either.

    “There was a lot of background chaos that went on,” Charles said.

    City of Charleston documents show the property was sold to a developer to build a multi-family apartment complex.

    At a Design Review Board meeting earlier this month, the renderings were denied based on comments from the board regarding building placement and setback from Central Park Road and Up on the Hill Road.

    Messages for comment from AMC Theaters management was not immediately returned.

  • March 20, 2017

    Dennis, MA – Best seat in the house: Dennis theater upgrades

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    From Wicked Local Yarmouth: The Cape Cinema in Dennis Village has a big, loyal following of patrons who come often to the movies, the live showings of the Metropolitan Opera, the National theater, and Bolshoi Ballet, as well as concerts and community events. They also love the nostalgic ambience of the historical 1930 building, the old movie posters, the popcorn popping in the lobby, and the dancing figures on the Rockwell Kent ceiling mural, but when it comes to sitting down for the show – oh, those chairs.

    The faded red armchairs with starched white covers may look appealing at first, but underneath, the original upholstered seats from 1930 are splitting and held together with big strips of duct tape. The wood in the chair backs is splitting as well, making them uncomfortable for many patrons.

  • Saline, MI – New Emagine movie theater has 1,000 recliners, 48-foot screen

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    From MLive.com: Whether it’s to a magical kingdom or a post-apocalyptic wasteland, Saline’s new Emagine Entertainment theater is prepared to take visitors where they want to go.

    The 54,000-square-foot movie theater is celebrating its grand opening Saturday, March 18 at 1335 E. Michigan Ave. in the Commons at Saux Trail retail complex. Movie showings this weekend on its nine screens include Disney’s live-action “Beauty and the Beast,” “Logan” and “Kong: Skull Island.”

    But not before a party to commemorate Emagine Entertainment’s 10th movie theater in Michigan. A VIP event was scheduled Friday with sneak previews of the theater, a ribbon-cutting ceremony and movie showings to benefit the Foundation of Saline Area Schools and Saline Area Social Service.

    It took nearly seven months to turn the former Country Market grocery store into an Emagine Entertainment movie theater.

    “We had competitors tell us it couldn’t be done,” CEO Paul Glantz said, noting it is the third grocery store-conversion for the company.

    There was an eight-figure capital investment, validated by a trade analysis showing a need in Saline and significant growth in nearby Pittsfield Township, Glantz said.

    Staff were already busy, vacuuming carpets and washing windows, preparing for the first round of moviegoers to be ushered into a lobby filled with sofas and a gas fireplace. A bar has Michigan breweries on tap and an assortment of liquor bottles lined up neatly on the counter.

    Iconic movie posters, like “Rocky” and “Citizen Kane” line the hallways, and the concessions stand is neatly packed with candy and a variety of popcorn and beverages.

    The location’s nine theaters are decked out with state-of-the-art sound and projection systems and contain nearly 1,000 leather recliners that stretch 7 feet. Emagine made a point not to put seats too close to the screen, Glantz added.

  • Galesburg, IL – Renovation of Historic Galesburg Theater Gets Rave Reviews

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    From CBS St. Louis: The renovation of a more than 100-year-old theater in western Illinois is getting rave reviews.

    The Register-Mail reports improvements to the Orpheum Theatre in Galesburg have so far included a new sound system, stage curtains and a repaired roof.

    Executive Director Kevin Maynard says he expects the rest of the repairs funded by a nearly $1 million capital campaign to be completed by next year, barring unexpected delays.

    The vaudeville theater first opened in 1916.

    Last year the Orpheum raised $920,000 through a capital campaign, exceeding its $850,000 goal. As of this week about $400,000 has been spent.

    Maynard says many people are coming in and seeing the changes. He says they’re saying the renovations are “breathing new life into the building.”

  • Fairfield, CT – Petition pushes to re-open town’s Community Theatre

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    From the Fairfield Citizen: The First Selectman tried, unsuccessfully, a few years ago to nudge the owner of the Fairfield Community Theatre to make a deal with a developer, so the shuttered movie house could be reopened. Now, Keith Rhodes, a member of the Economic Development Commission, has started an online petition, seeking to put pressure on owner David Pollack. In just a matter of hours Monday, Rhodes’ change.org petition had surpassed the initial 500 signature goal. As of Thursday that goal is now at 5,000 and over 3,300 people have signed the petition. “As evidenced by the groundswell of support, I am very confident that David Pollack and the Pollack Family Trust will do the right thing here and allow the town of Fairfield to finally broker a deal with the many interested property developers and other groups,” Rhodes said. “It is my understanding that all attempts of town diplomacy have failed, even at the highest levels.” The theater, and its marquee is an iconic part of the downtown. It was run as a non-profit foundation for about 10 years, but the group’s founder, Leo Redgate, was hesitant to raise the money needed to make needed repairs, without a long-term lease or purchase agreement. “The truth is that the entire Fairfield community is tired of the sad sight of the once vibrant Fairfield Community Theatre in the center of our proud town,” Rhodes said. “There is so much potential, and as a long-time town resident, father of two and a member of the town’s Economic Development Commission, I wanted to do something about it.” Community and Economic Development Director Mark Barnhart said the town shares the same goal in seeing the theater restored and re-opened. “The petition shows, that even after being closed for more than five years, there is a strong affinity for the Community Theater and frustration with the apparent lack of progress,” Barnhart said. “I have seen some hopeful signs as of late, as David has stated a willingness to sell the property, though, clearly, things are not moving as quickly as anyone would like.” Barnhart said he remains in touch with Pollack, and his broker, and will continue to provide whatever assistance he can to facilitate the sale of the property. Calls to Pollack were not returned. “The town’s goal is to create a beautiful, multipurpose performing arts center for children, students and parents alike,” Rhodes said. “To date, David Pollack has refused to sell the property, and the theater just sits there in disrepair.” The 100-year-old theater is about 8,000 square feet and seats 700.

  • Belleview, FL – In Photos: Ocala Drive-In Theatre Still Shows Films After More Than 50 Years

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    From WUFT.org: The Ocala Drive-In Theatre in Belleview brings the Americana experience of old drive-in theaters to a new generation.

    Though the drive-in first opened in 1948, it has closed, reopened and changed hands several times since then. It’s also had many updates since it first opened, including new projectors, projector bulbs, screen paint and sound systems.

    “Nostalgia. A lot of nostalgia here,” said Nancy Bigi, a cashier who currently works at the drive-in and who worked there in the ’70s and ’80s. “It brings back old memories, [for me] and the new generation,” Bigi said.

    Like a drive-thru restaurant, you pay at the first window and then pull forward. The inside of the theater is a field with two screens on opposing ends with a projector booth and concession building in the center.

    Typically, the drive-in shows two movies in one session for $6 per adult. A refurbished concession building offers the Ms. Pac-Man arcade game and snacks for movie-goers. The concession building also has several painted murals on each wall to enhance the retro aesthetic.

    The large grassy area and a larger arcade present opportunities for fun for the whole family. When the drive-in isn’t showing movies, it hosts flea markets in its 20-acre field.