• July 1, 2011
  • May 31, 2011

    Casino Theater (1909) torn down in Ware, Massachusetts; sad, ugly video

    Historic Ware movie theater comes down:

    WARE, MA — NBC affiliate WWLP reports that the Casino Theatre has been demolished with all sides pointing the blame away from themselves. For more on this incredibly frustrating story (that is light on details), visit the WWLP site.

  • April 19, 2011

    Page Cinema Arts Theatre meets wrecking ball

    DAYTON, OH — Without ceremony, or any public announcement, demolition of the former Page Manor Twin Cinema (Page Cinema Arts Theatre) located in the Riverside section of Dayton, began on Monday the 11th of April. Tearful onlookers shared childhood memories of The Page as bulldozers started razing the theatre that had served the area since the early 1970’s. Opened originally as a single screen by Century Theatres, the property was taken over by Chakeres Theatres of Ohio and Kentucky who operated The Page as a twin cinema for several years. As a first run theatre, The Page was a popular venue for the area near Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and the Air Force Museum. Several owners operated the theatre following Chakeres' exit and The Page remained a popular sub-run and eventually bargain venue. The Page Twin closed and remained dark for several years.

    In 2009 Nouveau Cinema Group, Inc., NCGI, a Dayton-based, 501 c 3, non-profit Corporation, expressed interest in renovating and reopening the long-shuttered venue as a reperatory, classic film and live venue. The cinema was renamed The Page Cinema Arts Theatres and met with great public and community support. NCGI’s plans were curtailed when it was discovered that one of the groups founders had used the majority of funds raised for his personal use. The case is currently being handled by the Montgomery County Prosecutors office.

  • March 30, 2011

    Christchurch cinemas demolished after earthquake

    CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND — Three Christchurch cinemas were demolished in March 2011 as a result of the September 11/February 22 earthquake. They are the:–

    Joyland/Princess cinema, New Brighton. Opened in 1918 abd closed 1946. It had a seating capacity of 500.

    Harbour Lights Cinema, Lyttleton. Opened March 20,1917, closed 1979-1985. Seating capacity was 575.

  • February 3, 2011

    Charles I-II-III in Lake Charles soon to be demolished

    LAKE CHARLES, LA — When it opened in 1970, the Charles Theatre, later the Charles I-II-II, was a model of modern suburban single screen theater design. It closed in 2006 after it survived a battering by Hurricane Katrina and a subsequent tornado, ending its movie exhibition days as a discount house. It will soon only be a memory, as demolition preparations are underway.

    It’s a landmark that brings back memories for many if not most long time residents of Lake Charles— the Charles Cinema. When it was first built it was what local preservationist AdleyCormier calls the “first suburban style movie house” and an early version of a multi-plex movie house with three screens showing three different movies at one time.

    A story with video is here.

  • December 30, 2010

    Showcase Toledo is now just memories and rubble

    TOLEDO, OH — Once a prestige first-run and 70mm Cinerama house, the Showcase Toledo has been leveled. The theater was closed in 2005 by National Amusements. It originally opened as twin in 1964 and ended its days as a five-plex.

    In fact, Waniewski says water leaks inside of the building left it in bad shape. He also says the theater’s seats had been damaged and that repairs would have been too costly for the building that just wasn’t selling.

    The price tag has dropped from more than $7 million to around $3 million and a potential investor pulled out within the last year.

    The story with a demolition video is here.

  • December 22, 2010

    Capitol Theatre in Woodstock has met the wrecking ball

    WOODSTOCK, ONTARIO, CANADA — The Capitol Theatre opened in 1908 as the Woodstock Opera House, has been demolished as demanded by the city last June when the structure’s roof collapsed. It was long operated by Famous Players and closed in 1999.

    The Capitol, with its gold and burgundy carpeting, was where I worked as a teen in the ‘70s, where I met my future wife – she a cashier of some skill, me a red-coated usher, flashlight tucked neatly into my inner (ripped) pocket.

    Then-owner Tom Naylor used to pull up in front of the theatre on packed Friday nights, parking his car Batman-style in a No Parking zone, an acknowledged, flashy perk for the only theatre owner in a small city.

    The full reminiscence, with a picture, appeared here.

  • November 1, 2010

    Closed Beverly Drive-in in Hattiesburg razed by fire

    HATTIESBURG, MS — A fire early in the morning of October 30 destroyed the Beverly Drive-in. The theater had been closed since 2005, but there were hopes it might eventually reopen. The Beverly originally opened in 1948 and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Only two operating drive-ins remain in Mississippi.

    A fire that started around 3 a.m. reduced the historic landmark to nothing but a smoldering memory. Hattiesburg firefighters gained control of the blaze by 4:15 a.m., but by then only the screen’s metal framework remained. The cause of the blaze is not known.

    The story, with a picture, is in the Clarion-Register.

  • October 21, 2010

    Cinedome 70 demolished in Utah

    RIVERDALE, UT — Despite the efforts of a Facebook group organized to help save it, the twin-domed Cinedome 70 has fallen victim to the wreckers. Opened in 1970 and closed in 2001, it was once a major venue for 70mm films.

    Early Monday morning a wrecking crew began tearing apart and knocking down the old Cinedome 70. And as wood was snapping and it’s 40 year history was being wiped out – we caught up with folks who remember the theater in its glory days. One is former movie goer Sean Poole. “I grew up in Riverdale and this is where we would always come for movies.” April Sajt not only watched movies here – she and her entire family worker here. “My mom worked here. My older sister worked here. I worked here and then my younger sister worked here.”

    The story and a video of the demolition are atABC4.

  • October 5, 2010

    Showcase Cinemas in Louisville to be razed

    LOUISVILLE, KY — Following the announcement that the closed Showcase Cinemas in Toledo, OH will soon be demolished, National Theaters has confirmed that the Showcase Louisville closed since 2004, will also be torn down soon. As was the case with the Toledo Showcase, the theater opened in 1964 with one of its auditoriums equipped for 70mm Cinerama.

    Steve Horton, vice president of operations, said the 20-acre property will be more marketable without a giant, deteriorating building that has in recent years become a target for vandals and loitering.

    The company has wrapped a security fence around the property and begun the first phases of demolition. Horton said the building will be knocked down completely by year’s end.

    The story is in the Louisville Courier-Journal.