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.”
January 12, 2005
BOSTON, MA — A Massachusetts state supreme court judge has refused to reverse a lower court’s ruling allowing demolition of Boston’s Gaiety Theatre. Since no legal impediment remains, demolition could start at any time.
The Glass Slipper strip club, an abutter of the Gaiety, tried to prevent demolition of the century-old theater until pending lawsuits were resolved, but the club’s attempts were denied in the Land Court, Appeals Court and now the state’s Supreme Judicial Court.
Associate Justice Francis X. Spina made his decision on Tuesday afternoon, January 11, stating that the Glass Slipper has “failed to show that they will suffer irreparable harm if an injunction does not issue.” Spina also said that the Glass Slipper lacks standing.
January 10, 2005
TROTWOOD, OH — After nearly 37 years of showing movies, the Kon-Tiki Theatre is no more.
The theater opened in 1968 as the Kon-Tiki. It featured a South Pacific decor, which included conch shells for restroom sinks, illuminated tiki faces on the facade, and volcanic and abalone shells in the walls.
In the late 1980s, it became the Loews Salem Ave. It closed in 1999 and sat vacant until 2005 when it was demolished by the City of Trotwood to make way for future developement.
The theater is unique because I am not aware of any other theater that has a South Pacific decor. Visit www.daytondailynews.com for the full story.
January 5, 2005
TROTWOOD, OH — After nearly 37 years, the Kon-Tiki Theatre is no more.
The theater opened in 1968 as the Kon-Tiki. It featured a South Pacific decor, which included conch shells for restroom sinks, illuminated tiki faces on the facade and volcanic and abalone shells in the walls.
In the late 1980s, it became the Loews Salem Ave. It closed in 1999 and sat vacant until this week when it was demolished by the city of Trotwood to make way for future developement. The theater is unique, because I am not aware of any other that has a South Pacific decor.
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.