July 11, 2005
SAN MATEO, CA — The Palm Theater on Palm Avenue could be having a date with the wrecking ball as early as today, according to the San Jose Mercury News. The Palm is to be demolished to make way for a 19-unit condominium complex. The theater, which closed this past spring, was the last single-screen movie house remaining in San Mateo.
Since the 70s, the Palm had been operating as an adult cinema. There is little sorrow for many who live and work near the theater in its demise. “We don’t want it, and we don’t need it,” said City Council member John Lee. Bob Reed, who owns a gas station across the street from the theater, says “I’m ready for it to go.” Victoria Ortiz, who lives near the Palm, recalled taking her children to matinees there before it switched to what she calls “that stuff”.
June 24, 2005
NEW YORK, NY — The Beekman Theater, on New York’s Upper East Side, will show its last film, Universal’s “The Interpreter”, this weekend before being scheduled for demolition for the site to become part of the new Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center’s “Breast and Imaging Center for outpatient care.
Beth Simpson, a spokeswoman for Clearview Cinemas, which has run the theater for the past 6 years, says, “We love the neighborhood, and have proudly brought quality movies to this community. Unfortunately, the theater’s landlord has exercised a lease option to take back the property. Regrettably, we have no choice but to cease operation of the theater.”
[Ed. — As many of you know, we’re quite saddened about this news and have been providing commentary for many journalists working on this story.
If you live in New York, please consider visiting the Beekman for one last show this weekend. If so, bring a camera and take some photos. We’d love to repost shots of the Beekman’s final moments.]
June 17, 2005
WIGAN, ENGLAND — The Ritz Cinema, opened in 1938 and built in the Art Deco style of the period is being demolished. After a new multiplex opened it finally closed on 31 May 1998. As I only moved to the area recently, I never went there but many local people have fond memories of it. The cinema is currently being demolished in the town centre, today atop a hill, I could see the yellow curtains still hanging around the giant main screen.
Visit this site for a whole gallery of photographs taken inside the building last year. They even left the pepsi cans in the fridge!!! I think this is extremely sad.
The cinema is being demolished to build yet another shopping centre.
June 6, 2005
ELGIN, IL — The Crocker Theater of Elgin is coming down. Demolition began Tuesday May 31.
These are sad times for the City of Elgin and it’s residents.
May 30, 2005
LOMBARD, IL — The following was sent in by the “DuPage Friends”:
“Lombard Trustee Proposes Resolution to Demolish Historic DuPage Theatre and Shops
While the Village of Lombard is busy reviewing a proposal to restore the historic DuPage Theatre and Shops in its downtown, District 4 Trustee Steven Sebby has requested that
Village Manager Bill Lichter place on the June 2, 2005 Village Board Agenda a resolution to demolish the theater and existing buildings.
The revitalization plan now under review by the village includes the complete restoration of the DuPage Theatre as an arts and cultural center, as well as the development of upscale condominiums, restaurant and retail space and parking.
The plan, proposed by architectural firm Daniel P. Coffey & Associates, a nationally renowned architectural firm specializing in theater restoration, and RSC & Associates, highly credentialed condominium and commercial developers, compelled the Village Board at a special meeting on April 27, 2005 to refer the plan to Village Staff.
April 27, 2005
HONOLULU, HI — The following was written by Lowell Angell:
“Honolulu – April 22, 2005
Demolition began last week of the 1936 Waikiki Theatre in Honolulu. Designed in a unique Tropical Moderne style, it was regarded by many as Hawaii’s most beautiful theatre.
Located on Kalakaua Avenue, the famed Waikiki resort area’s main thoroughfare, the 1353-seat theatre was designed by Hawaii architect C.W. Dickey and built by the local Consolidated Amusement Company as its deluxe flagship theatre. It opened August 20, 1936 with the movie “Under Two Flags.”
The theatre featured a lush garden forecourt with a large fountain, a lobby with ornate Moderne wall murals and ceiling fresco, and an atmosheric auditorium lined with artificial tropical vegetation including two full size coconut palms, a proscenium in the shape of a rainbow, and a corps of smartly-dressed usherettes. A 4-manual 16-rank Robert Morton organ was added soon after the theatre opened and enjoyed by generations of island residents and visitors. The organ has been removed and portions will be reinstalled in the local Hawaii and Palace theatres.
April 26, 2005
Although the theatre can no longer be saved, litigation is likely to continue on the subject of whether Boston’s Midtown Cultural District zoning requires the developer to build a replacement theatre, or to make a monetary contribution towards restoring some other nearby theatre.
April 15, 2005
LEWISTON, ME — According to the Press Herald, the 102-year-old Empire Theatre will be demolished this spring to make room for a parking lot. This once rampant demolition practice for parking spaces had subsided in recent years and it is surprising to see such an old theater, of an increasingly rare vintage, going down without much notice from the community or preservation groups.
Are there any Maine/New England Cinema Treasures members out there who can shed light on this?
(Thanks to John Elwood for notifying us about this story.)
March 11, 2005
ALLENTOWN, PA — The demolition of Allentown’s historic Colonial Theater commenced this past Saturday, March 5th.
As previous news articles have reported, the Colonial was to be demolished by the City of Allentown. Shame on Mark Mendelson for destroying a theater that was a real gem when he bought in in the 1980s and letting it get this bad.
Double shame on the City of Allentown and them letting the Colonial get this bad before they finally obtained the nerve to do something.
February 4, 2005
MISHAWAKA, IN — The Tivoli Theatre, Mishawaka’s 1925 movie palace, gave one last show February 2nd to a crowd of about 75, who watched the decrepit theater withstand several blows by a wrecking ball before it finally gave in and crumbled in a cloud of dust.
According to the South Bend Tribune, for one of the bystanders, Jeremy Unruh, whose theater company might have been one of those to have used a restored Tivoli, seeing the wrecker’s ball slam through the arched window framed by terra-cotta on the brick facade gave him mixed emotions. “I’m sad to see it torn down, but at this point, it’s like seeing a dying animal being put out of its misery.”