April 2, 2007
CHICAGO, IL — “Thats all folks, Theater Closed”
That’s what the marquee read on the Village Art Theatre. And so closes one of Chicagoland’s oldest surviving cinemas. It began operation in 1916 as the Germania, later changing its name to the Parkside. It was also known as the Gold Coast, the Globe and most recently alternated between being called Village and Village Art. Up until the 1990s, it remained a single screen and was well known for showing off-beat fare, second run fare, and midnight movies. In the 1990s, it was carved up into 4 screens, perhaps to better compete with the nearby Piper’s Alley, and losing much of its character in the process.
In the late 1990s, Village Entertainment incorporated and started taking over other cinemas, beginning with the Village North, then many theatres which were a part of the ill-fated Meridian chain, and most recently the Lincoln Village and the North Riverside. Village’s finances and business practices were questionable, however, and no sooner would Village Entertainment take over a place, it would close several others. Since 2006, Village Entertainment closed the Golf Glen, the Pemberton, the Lakehurst, the Belvedere and a few others.
March 22, 2007
SAN ANTONIO, TX — A sad day has arrived in San Antonio. Santinkos Theatres announced today that the Mission Drive-In will not open for the ‘07 season and that things are up in the air in regards to the future of the theatre due to some events this past winter.
Back in January while the theatre was closed for the winter, some vandals broke into the concession stand and destroyed all of the equipment including all four projectors and its fm sound system with damages over $500,000.
Santikos has pulled the Mission from its website and they did say that they would re-evaluate its value this winter or in the spring of ‘08. But from what I can see, the only thing that will be on at the Mission next spring are bulldozers cause Santikos Theatres did say that the property was not really making money.
It truly is a sad day as the Mission was the last remaining drive-in in the San Antonio area.
For more info on this story, go to the WOAI Webpage.
March 20, 2007
WINDSOR, ONTARIO, CANADA — The Capitol Theatre has filed for bankruptcy and officially closed on March 14. A bankruptcy trustee is expected to change the theater’s locks and liquidate the theater’s assets. Creditors are expected to meet with three weeks.
Because the theater is a heritage site and a 1993 agreement with the city of Windsor provided $1.3 million to save the theater from the wrecking ball, the city of Windsor is expected to take over the building.
For more info, go to The Windsor Star.
March 13, 2007
STE-FOY, QUE — StarCite 18 in Ste-Foy, an suburb of Quebec City has been closed by Cinemas Fortune, Inc. It had 4,184 seats. It is next door to an 14-plex called Ste-Foy 14.
In January, Cinemas Fortune closed 6 screens out of 12 of the Galeries de la Capitole.
As a result, Quebec City lost about a third of its movie screens.
January 17, 2007
ST. PETERSBURG, FL — After a long run since its opening at an early mall, the AMC Tyrone Square is closing.
AMC has closed its Tyrone Square 6 movie theater after a 33-year run, officials said Tuesday.
AMC is expected to build a new theater on Tyrone Square Mall property, but specifics were not available early this week.
An Old Navy store will go into the vacated space, said Jeni Wilson, a mall spokeswoman. She said it could be open by early summer.
To read the full story, go to St. Petersburg Times.
December 27, 2006
VICKSBURG, MS — Just want to pass one about the Pemberton Cinema 4 which is the only cinema in Vicksburg, MS. The Pemberton Cinema Square 4 which had been owned by Regal Group and now Village Entertainment. Just a few days ago it has been closed permanentaly at Pemberton Square Mall because of high rent issues with CBL Associaites of Chattanooga, TN.
Over the years the Pemberton Square Four has never been upgraded. Projectors broke down, leaky roofs, etc. Now for the first time in 100 years, Vicksburg is once again without a cinema.
One truth I can tell of the Pemberton 4 is it never got any of the important films like “United 93” or Oliver Stone’s “World Trade Center”. Those are just examples. Poor marketing on behalf of the cinema owners can be blamed as well. But not upgrading equipment and expanding its size contributed to its demise. Before this surprise closing happened, Village Entertainment had plans to refurbish it. But high rent made this 21 year old cinema the victim.
October 25, 2006
ATLANTA, GA — The Garden Hills Theatree is closing after about 65 years of near constant operation. This is yet another example of the inability of old single screen theatres to compete with the megaplexes of today, even in the “art house” niche.
To read more about this, visitAccess Atlanta. Registration is required and it is good through 10/30/06 when it will move to the archives where you will have to pay to see it.
Several personal histories and a detailed description of this site are in the comment section of its Cinema Treasures page.
September 27, 2006
RACINE, WI — The first-run Marcus Westgate Cinema opened in the late 1960’s and was named to honor the recently-demolished Westgate Outdoor Theatre which itself had been truncated over the years for encroaching commercial construction (the Westgate shopping center) which eventually overwhelmed the Westgate Outdoor.
The Westgate Cinema’s demise had been expected to occur around Thanksgiving as the Marcus chain prepares its new multi-screen complex in the nearby village of Sturtevant. So the sudden closing on Sunday night after the final screening of “Hollywoodland” at 11:39 pm took the community by surprise.
September 26, 2006
LOS ANGELES, CA — Laemmle closed The Fairfax 3 Cinemas last week. The theater was mostly known for second-run indepedent films and minor festivals. This is the message of the Laemmle website:
After five years and a thousand and one good foreign, independent and art movies (or thereabouts)
Laemmle Theatres reluctantly announces we are ending our tenancy at the historic Fairfax Theatre.
Sincere thanks to all our Fairfax customers for their loyal patronage.
September 19, 2006
SAN FRANCISCO, CA — The staff of the Metro Theatre in San Francisco was informed over the weekend that it will close its doors forever on Saturday Sept 23. The owner of the building has bought out Regal Entertainment’s lease and plans on demolishing the building and replacing it with condo apartments.
The Metro, which opened in 1924 and was designed by famed theater architect Timothy
Pfluger, had one of the biggest screens and best sound systems in San Francisco. Their superior screen image was provided by 35/70mm Todd-AO/Norelco projectors with a 5000 watt water cooled lamphouse.
The sound system was first rate and to Regal’s credit, they had a tech come in and tune it up on a regular basis.
It will be a shame to see this place go.