December 21, 2004
HARRISBURG, PA — Over the next few weeks demolition is scheduled for two vastly different Harrisburg Pennsylvania area movie theatres – each of which exemplified theatrical design for the decade in which it opened: the East Park Center and Capital City Mall 6 Plex.
East Park Center
Built in 1963, the East Park Center at 4400 Derry Street was the first shopping center theatre in Central Pennsylvania. Dubbed the ‘Airplane Hanger’ (its convex steel shell exterior looked like one), the free-standing building was 130 feet wide yet only 90 foot deep. The East Park had been designed for reserved seat, 70MM roadshow attractions, with 1,200 rocking chair seats (all on one floor), a 45 foot high by 90 foot wide screen, and 6 Track Magnetic Stereo Sound. Whether due to architectural folly or a desire to save costs (perhaps both), the auditorium ceiling was left exposed ‘“ thereby creating horrible acoustic problems.
November 22, 2004
Eric D. Weiss, director of building standards and safety, noted that because of its structural issues, “The building will be taken down slowly and carefully, perhaps even in bucketfuls.” The cost to demolish the building is estimated at under $300,000.
November 18, 2004
YONKERS, NY — The former Kimball Theatre burned to the ground on November 16, 2004, destroying the one time 700-seat movie house. The theatre was being used as a furniture store at the time, but still had the Kimball marquee above the front entrance.
For more information, read this Journal News article
November 12, 2004
ALLENTOWN, PA — After 16 years of owner Mark Mendelson letting the Colonial Theater sit vacant and rotting, the City of Allentown has issued a final ultimatum… again… for the building.
This time however, the City appears ready to take action as the building is in danger of collapse with 16 or so years of water pouring in the building now has a sinkhole — which is dooming the building.
The building was closed when Mendelson bought it in 1988 and was in fairly good condition at the time. The roof was let go and that completely destroyed the building. Repairs were started about 3 years ago on the roof, but quickly stopped before the building was secured.
Story about the Colonial’s owner and his affect on Allentown
November 8, 2004
SOUTHEND-ON-SEA, ENGLAND — The Odeon Southend cinema is alas no more. It has now been demolished.
The site has been bought by Southend College who plan to build a large college building where the once superb Odeon was.
I was one of the last people to visit the Odeon a few weeks ago and took the last pictures of the auditorium.
November 1, 2004
GREENVILLE, PA — November 8, 2004 is the day set for the classic Jordan Theater to be destroyed.
The Jordan was opened in 1946 in honor of the first Greenville resident killed in WWII, Cpl. James O. Jordan. This great theater was the finest of Blatt Brothers chain of theaters in Pennsylvania.
Recently, a bordering church obtained ownership and are scheduling to destroy the building, contents (including both projectors), on November 8th. The bright marquee with illuminated JORDAN across the top will be destroyed as well.
Another unfortunate demise of history and culture.
October 28, 2004
BRISBANE, QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA — Demoliton is due to begin this week on the former Metro Theatre in the centre of Brisbane in Albert St.
Much altered from it’s Art Deco design from the 30’s in it’s 1972 conversion to a tacky 70’s 3 cinema complex. This complex became known as the Albert Cinemas in 1973. They have been closed for just on three years.
While the upstairs and downstairs lobby retained the same space after the conversion, I wonder if any old traces of the Metro would be found during demolition. The theatre is to be replaced by an eight story building.
The Metro is one of a dwindling number of theaters Loew’s built overseas during the 1930s and 1940s under the moniker Metro, emphasizing its then-ownership of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
October 11, 2004
BRADFORD, ENGLAND — The fate of the Bradford Odeon was sealed at a meeting last week when it was stated that demolition was the only viable option for the building, possibly retaining the two corner towers.
The spectacular interior had been butchered beyond recognition in the 1960’s and restoration is not feasible, says a report in Yorkshire Today.
September 24, 2004
WATERBURY, CT — The lobby of the former Ville Theatre was demolished last week. The auditorium remains standing.
September 6, 2004
FAIR OAKS, CA — The Sunrise Drive-In, which has operated sporadically over the last few years, is slated for demolition. Local civic leaders have sought its permanent closure due to code violations and public safety issues.
Developers plan to demolish the theater, and the county is revoking the commercial use permit to operate a Drive-in at this site, according to a report in the Sacramento Bee.