November 3, 2006
CHICAGO, IL — Demolition of the Rosewood Theater building on Montrose Avenue in Chicago, began Monday, October 30, 2006. The theater opened in 1916 and closed in 1953. The building is coming down to allow for expansion of the adjacent Montrose stop on the Chicago Transit Authority’s Ravenswood line.
I have a number of recent photographs of the exterior of the building before demolition and am taking more pictures as the demolition progresses. Email me at if you would like copies of the pictures.
The building was rather plain, but what interested me was the barrel-vaulted concrete roof that was supported from the outside by an exposed Pratt truss system, which meant that support columns were not needed in the auditorium.
(Thanks to Robert Feldman for providing the photo.)
YORK, ME — A sad followup to our story regarding their closing two months ago.
The York Beach Cinema was demolished on Tuesday, October 31st. The theater was originally built in the 1850s to house horses. It was converted to an opera house in the early 1900s. It switched to a silent-movie house in 1928, and has been showing films up to this summer. The theater was demolished so that a hotel can be built on the site.
Crews began knocking down the York Beach Cinema at 8 a.m. Tuesday.
By noon, construction manager Butch Mellette expected the 78-year-old movie theater to be a pile of rubble.
“It shouldn’t take more than four hours to get it down,” said Mellette. “We have to be careful though because of the adjacent building.”
For more information, see the Portsmouth Herald Maine news story.
October 16, 2006
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK — The Continental Theatre here in OKC was finally demolished in October 2006. I’ve taken many pics of the demolition, and would be happy to share some of them with you. My best movie-going memories were in that great building.
It opened in 1965 with “The Greatest Story Every Told.” Director George Steven even came for the opening. It closed in either 1983 or 1984.
(Thanks to Mike Rogers for providing the photos and story.)
August 3, 2006
VISALIA, CA — The Mooney Theater Drive-In Theater is slated for demolition in September 2006. This is a dual screen theater in perfect working order. What a classic, what a shame!
July 26, 2006
It debuted with a hit comedy back in the day when a Saturday matinee started with a Porky Pig cartoon and children lined the sidewalk to pay 75 cents for a movie and a bag of popcorn.
Almost half a century later, Evanston Theaters is a dank and musty place filled with cobwebs and torn movie screens. High-rise condominiums threaten to replace the theater’s high ceilings and plush curtains.
For the full story, visit the Chicago Tribune Article.
July 17, 2006
SAN CLEMENTE, CA — PLEASE HELP! To all friends of Historic Theaters… the San Clemente Historical Society needs your immediate help in whatever capacity you are willing to help save the iconic Miramar Theater at 1700 N. El Camino Real from the wrecking ball of irresponsible development and special interests disguised under that misused and maligned word “Progress” !
To help with the Society’s stated position and on going efforts to stress the adaptive reuse of the Miramar Theater circa 1938 ( when it was opened ) please sign and have all your friends and family members sign the Petition to Save the Miramar Theater ASAP!
July 12, 2006
MIDDLESBROUGH, ENGLAND — Part of Middlesbrough Town Centre was closed today, when part of the former Odeon Cinema collapsed during demolition works.
The collapse also took away scaffolding that had been erected on the Fry Street side of the auditorium. It is believed the wall gave way whilst work to remove the auditorium roof was being carried out.
It appears that the demolition was being done from within using large bulldozers to remove the ceiling. luckily, no-one was injured, although some cars parked in Fry Street are believed to been damaged.
The roads are expected to remain closed until Wednesday Evening to allow emergency demolition work on the remainder of the auditorium and removal of the scaffolding.
The Evening Gazette has more information on the collapse.
I’ve also added photos of the collapsed building to Flickr.
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.