• March 1, 2010

    Former Surf Theater (and hotel…) destroyed in fire

    HAMPTON BEACH, NH — The Surf Hotel which once contained the Surf Theater has burned to the ground. The lobby of the ocean side Surf Theater was most recently operating as Bucky’s Hot Dogs. Winds over 100mph were recorded last night at Hampton Beach. It was thought that the roof blew off and hit power lines, causing the blaze which engulfed the entire block.

    A fire fueled by heavy winds quickly spread from the Surf Motel to adjacent buildings and destroyed a block of businesses before it was brought under control early Friday morning.

    “This is a sad day,” said Hampton Beach Area Commission Chairman John Nyhan. “These folks have worked hard all these years, struggling to make ends meet these last few years. And to have this happen. It’s just horrible.”

    Vintage Picture (picture shows small marquee)

    Read more in Seacoast Online.

    -John Elwood

  • February 12, 2010

    Short-lived Abacoa 16 in Jupiter to be demolished

    JUPITER, FL — Opened in 2001 and closed in 2006, the Abacoa 16, last operated by Crown Theaters, is to be demolished. The master plan for the area designates that the location that the theater currently occupies be used for a theater, and citizens still would like to see one there, but currently there are no plans for a replacement.

    A demolition permit has been issued to Oakland Park-based Miami Wrecking Co. to knock down the theater with yellow walls and big glass doors. Technicians are shutting off the water, sewer and electricity. Demolition will begin after Jupiter building department officials make sure all utilities are properly shut off.

    Since closing in January 2006, rumors have circulated that Florida Atlantic University, the Scripps Research Institute, LA Fitness, a bowling alley, Target and the Jehovah’s Witnesses were interested in renting the tall-ceilinged building. The theater — three times the size of the Carefree Theater in West Palm Beach — had 16 screens and 3,733 seats.

    The whole article is in the Pam Beach Post.

  • January 11, 2010

    Century poised to fall

    HAMILTON, ONTARIO, CANADA — The Century Theatre is scheduled to be torn down today after years of deterioration.

    Barring a last-minute miracle, the entire Century Theatre will come down as early as Monday, the city’s chief building official says.

    John Spolnik, who is also director of building services for the city, said he spoke with the engineer hired by the historic buildings' owner after the engineer’s inspection yesterday.

    To save the facade, which was the owners' development plan, would require an extensive design and stabilization process, he said. This would take too much time — time the city does not have because of safety concerns.

    Read more in the Spectator.

  • December 24, 2009

    Granada Theater will be razed soon

    BEAVER FALLS, PA — The last classic movie house in Beaver County, the Granada, is being demolished. Opened in 1911 as the Colonial, the theater had deteriorated beyond the point of reuse or renovation according to city spokesmen.

    “We’ve had people say, ‘Oh my goodness I hate to see it go,’ but it is in such bad shape on the inside you could never really remodel it,” Beaver Falls City Administrator Steve Johnson said Thursday. “It would be cheaper to build a new building.”

    Unis Demolition of Aliquippa this week erected a temporary barricade around the theater and restaurant, 1121-1125 Seventh Ave. A Castlebrook representative said demolition should start on Dec. 30.

    More information here in the Times Online.

  • November 10, 2009

    Alhambra Theatre demolished

    OPENSHAW, MANCHESTER, ENGLAND — Along with many shops and houses, the Alhambra Theatre is being demolished as I am writing this article. I noticed as I went to work, bit by bit, the demolition team working their way up the high street. Eventually and aided by a coincidence of fire, the Alhambra is now partly demolished. A real shame. But I guess it’s just another old building in the way of progress.

    Andy Dixon 09/11/2009

  • October 21, 2009

    Northcote Plaza Theatre set to be demolished?

    MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA — The 1934 art deco Plaza Cinema on High Street in Melbournes' northern suburbs — Northcote has been sold to a developer for $4 mil and is set for demolition with permits for commercial and residential development. It will be a sad day to see this theatre’s iconic tower and landmark pink exterior disappear from Northcote’s street-scape.

  • October 12, 2009

    Boise Towne Square Reel Theater bites the dust

    BOISE, ID — The 21-year-old Boise Towne Square Reel Theater has been demolished. With six screens, it was once the largest multiplex in the area.

    The six screen complex sat vacant in recent years – after struggling under two separate owners. At one time, the theater hosted the most screens in Boise. It opened under the ownership of Cineplex Odeon in 1988 and featured nearly 1200 seats in all. The theater remained popular until the opening of Edwards Cinemas on Overland Rd. at the Boise Spectrum in 1998.

    Read more at KTVB.

  • October 1, 2009

    Beach 4 in Cape May, NJ appears doomed

    CAPE MAY, NJ — Opened in 1950 as the Beach Theatre, the Beach 4 is nearing a date with the wreckers. Although the demolition permit has yet to be issued and efforts have been underway to preserve the cinema, the owners have stated their intent to demolish it within the next four months.

    The owners of the Beach Theatre in Cape May plan to demolish the structure within the next four months.

    Bruce Frank, president of Frank Investments that owns the beach-block movie theater, said Friday that the demolition would take place before the end of the year.

    The full story can be read at

  • August 13, 2009

    Robert E. Lee Theater in New Orleans to be demolished

    NEW ORLEANS, LA — Closed for nearly two decades, the Robert E. Lee Theatre will soon have an appointment with a demolition crew.

    But 18 years after General Cinema shut down the theater in 1991, the building’s owners, M&O Realty Inc., have decided to demolish it to make way for a new retail-office development, said Dan Schaneville, who represents M&O.

    Although the theater flooded after Hurricane Katrina, the structure was not badly damaged and the decision to finally tear it down was unrelated to the storm. The real problem is that its design is too rooted in the 1960s to be functional in 2009.

    Read the full story in theTimes-Picayune.

  • July 8, 2009

    Regency Cinema demolished

    RACINE, WI — Demolition began on Monday, July 6th, 2009 of theRegency Value Cinemas.

    The movie screen had been torn down, the seats were empty and the ruins were real — the handiwork of a yellow Caterpillar 235C there on Monday to begin demolishing the theater at 5230 Durand Ave., which closed in mid-April. Azarian Wrecking is in charge of the demolition, and is expected to be there until the end of next week.

    Randy Jansen, 44, looked on with a camera around his neck.

    “If I’d have known the seats were in there I’d have said "I’ll buy a row,”‘ said Jansen, there to take pictures for his wife Melissa, who worked at the theater for 15 years.

    Read the full story in the Journal Times.