June 19, 2006
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND — According to a report from the Manchester Evening News, the Old Empress Cinema on Oldham Road has burned down:
An investigation is underway into a huge fire that caused the front of an old cinema building in Miles Platting to collapse.
Up to 30 firefighters tackled the blaze at the old Empress Building, Oldham Road.
The first crews from Manchester Central and Philips Park discovered the two-storey building well alight with flames shooting through the roof.
They immediately called for back up and were clear of the building when the front collapsed.
Debris was scattered across two lanes of Oldham Road, which was closed in the direction of Manchester to Oldham.
Note this Cinema was spotlisted as a grade 2 listed building a few years back and the authorities did nothing what-so-ever to secure this small piece of social history. Manchester City Council, Northwest film society, and English hertage all should hang their heads in shame.
So what’s new? Giving a building a listed status in the UK means nothing anymore.
May 23, 2006
MEDFORD, NY — Sometime this past week, I don’t know exactly when, Brookhaven Multiplex Cinemas on Long Island was demolished.
I used to work there and have some great memories of that place seeing movies there over the years since I was a kid until they closed in 2003. It’s a shame to it wasn’t very old and I always passed it while riving down the LIE.
March 3, 2006
PASSAIC, NJ — NJ Schools Construction Corporation runs out of money for demolition of the Montauk Theater and the Hotel Passaic which are in the school zone of a new elementary school. City concerned that parents will refuse to send their children to the new school if buildings remain open and operating, the Montauk is now run as an adult theater.
Link to NY Times article.
February 3, 2006
The following was sent in by Ian Grundy:
“Demolition of the former Leeds Cannon triple is now underway, as the picture taken yesterday (Wednesday 1st February) shows.
The cinema opened as the Ritz in November 1934, designed by the ABC house architect W. R. Glen with 1,950 seats. It was renamed ABC in 1959 and closed in 1969 for an expensive twinning with the circle extended forward. ABC2, in the former stalls, closed in 1974 to be split in two giving a three screen cinema with Screen 1 670 seats, screen 2 474 seats and screen 3 236 seats.
All three closed in 2000 and have been unused since. The cinema was aslso called MGM towards the end."
February 2, 2006
MIDDLESBROUGH, UK — Plans to demolish the former Odeon Cinema Middlesbrough, most recently operated as Jumpin Jaks Nightclub, have been revealed in the Teesside Evening Gazette. If approved the cinema building will be replaced by a 30m, 375ft high tower block.
January 24, 2006
CHICAGO, IL — A sad day here as another one of Chicago’s historic theaters faces the wrecking crane. At around 2:00pm Friday, January 20th, the fight to save the Adelphi Theater was crushed as the wrecking crane opened it’s huge steel jaws on it’s bucket…. then closed the bucket’s jaws equally as quick…. then taking hold of it’s first few chunks of bricks and then dropped them from the bucket to the ground.
Within minutes most of the back wall of the theater that runs along Ravenswood Avenue was a pile of rubble ready to be carted off.
It’s a sad, sad day.
- Bill Morton
Citizens for the Adelphi Theater
- Bill Morton
November 14, 2005
WILDWOOD, NJ — Good sources relate that the long-awaited razing of the former Hunt’s Shore (1939) and Blaker (circa 1900) theatres at 3500 Atlantic Avenue will begin shortly. The former Hunt’s offices were situated between the theatres. Vintage seats still remain in the Shore balcony and bottom portion of Blaker ground floor, condition at this point precarious. Projectors were said to still be up in Blaker but good luck getting up there.
November 3, 2005
SEATTLE, WA — Demolition began Oct. 31, on the Northgate Theatre in Seattle, according to the Seattle Times. Simon Properties wants to use the land the theater occupied for expansion of Northgate Mall. The adjacent Northgate Medical Office Building will be torn down as well.
The Northgate Theatre opened in September 1951 with 1,500 seats. It boasted Seattle’s largest staff of ushers (who wore buckskin uniforms) and the country’s largest crying room. Built in a Northwest Indian motif, the theater was an anchor of the Northgate Shopping Center.
This once-spectacular theater with its giant marquee is regarded by some as the first shopping-center moviehouse. It is featured in the book “Cinema Treasures.” The Northgate closed as a movie theater in 2002. It had brief incarnations as a concert venue and rave house before closing forever.
October 26, 2005
SOUTHEND, ENGLAND — The old main entrance on to the High Street has now been demolished, work is well underway on the new collage building.
A small limited print booklet was delived to homes in Southend giving a brief history of the building and plans for its future, a PDF copy is currently available here for a short time.
October 11, 2005
HOLLINWOOD, ENGLAND — The Roxy is to be demolished after owner retires and sale to the council.
The Roxy site, will be turned into a high quality business park, much of which is currently under construction, and so it has decided to purchase the Roxy site and demolish the cinema.
Although a simplified ‘Roxy Managing Director Ken Blair has decided to retire and is selling the cinema to the council’ story has appeared in the local press, the truth is that the local council is determined that the site must be redeveloped, and has made the Roxy owners — an offer that they couldn’t refuse'.
What I, as an outsider, cannot understand, is why the council aren’t willing to allow the Roxy to continue operating as it is until the site is actually ready to be redeveloped, or, even better, until a new city centre cinema provides the local residents with the sort of service that they have come to expect from the Roxy over the past 68 years.