February 19, 2017
From delmarvanow.com: Cape Charles’ Palace Theatre is turning 75 and a birthday bash has been planned to mark the occasion.
The Palace, built to be a gem of the mid-Atlantic, began as a thriving endeavor in a booming railroad town but fell into disrepair and disuse in the mid-1960s when Bayshore Concrete completed the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel project and the trucking industry overtook rail freight transport.
Today, amid swirling rumors of sales and foreclosures, the theater and the nonprofit housed within its walls serve as a testament to the changing times and the undeterred resilience of the town’s artistic soul and future potential.
The Palace Theatre, opened on March 18, 1942, was designed by Alfred Lublin, a Norfolk-based architect, for $75,000, and more than 30 architectural firms were involved in the construction. William Carroll Parsons, a local entrepreneur, footed the bill for the land and the building with the intention of owning the largest, most modern theater between Norfolk and Philadelphia.
February 10, 2017
Note: The Theatre Historical Society will visit these, and many more theaters during its 2017 Conclave, to be held June 26-July 1! For more information and registration, please visit: http://historictheatres.org/conclave-theatre-tour/
Story from LAist.com: Few neighborhoods sparkled brighter in early 20th century Los Angeles than downtown’s historic theater district. Nickelodeons and vaudeville theaters began to appear on Broadway around 1910, and by 1918—when the opulent Million Dollar Theater opened its doors—the corridor had been established as L.A.’s theater district. Most of the 12 remaining theaters on Broadway date back to the 1920s and ‘30s and include lavish movie palaces like the Los Angeles Theatre (built in 1931), where Charlie Chaplin’s City Lights had its world premiere. On Saturday night, six of Broadway’s historic theaters will open their doors for the third annual Night on Broadway festival, hosting a veritable glut of excellent (and free!) arts and music events. Here’s a sneak peek at the gorgeous interiors and exteriors of some of those theaters in anticipation of this weekend’s big event. Featured above are photos of The Theatre at Ace Hotel (formerly the United Artists Theatre), the Orpheum, the Los Angeles Theatre and the Tower Theatre taken during the 2015 Night on Broadway festival.
From newson6.com: Tickets are on sale right now for Second Saturday Silents at the Tulsa’s Circle Cinema. This time a Buster Keaton silent flick will be accompanied by the Circle’s original 1928 theater pipe organ.
Bill Rowland plays the theater organ at the Circle Cinema; he plays to accompany the once-a-month silent movie at the Circle.
“This is the original organ that was installed in the Circle Cinema – or Circle Theater at the time – in 1928,” Rowland said.
Rowland plays with his shoes off because he said he gets a better feel of the keys.
“You can’t look at your feet, you gotta look up there,” he said.
The console where Rowland sits is more or less a control panel; behind the movie screen is where the action is – a huge blower to provide the wind, and there are dozens of pipes of different lengths.
There’s also an area called the toy counter – fun sound effects like a base drum, train whistle, bird whistle and a car horn, all of it, he can operate from the console.
So, you put it all together and you have an accompaniment for a silent movie.
Theater organs had their heyday from 1915 to about 1930 when talking movies took over; but cities like Tulsa, which have theater organs, create opportunities, like Second Saturday Silents, so they can show them off.
Silent movies are every second Saturday at the Circle Cinema.
January 24, 2017
From LA Weekly: The restoration of the Orpheum Theatre, followed by an even more high-profile facelift at the Theatre at Ace Hotel, marked the start of a renaissance of sorts for Los Angeles’ many downtown theaters. A number of these dot Broadway, which at one point rivaled its New York counterpart with its cultural offerings. In 2008, Los Angeles City Councilmember Jose Huizar started his Bringing Back Broadway initiative, a 10-year plan to revive that particular thoroughfare, many of whose theaters have spent decades either vacant or not used to their full potential. The Bringing Back Broadway initiative has met many of its goals and now showcases Broadway’s renewed glamour once a year in a free street festival: Night on Broadway. In its third year, Night on Broadway has grown from 35,000 attendees in 2015 to 60,000 in 2016. On Saturday, Jan. 28, a mile-long strip of Broadway stretching from 3rd Street to Olympic will be closed off for the festival starting at 4 p.m. and running until 11 p.m. Six of Broadway’s historic theaters occupy this stretch and will host music, art and comedy: the aforementioned Theatre at Ace Hotel and Orpheum, as well as the Globe, the Palace, the Los Angeles and the Million Dollar.
The music is a mixed bag, featuring artists and DJs from Los Angeles staples including KCRW, dublab and Funky Sole as well as the trendsetting sounds and visuals of indie pop label Iamsound and an emerging local artists stage curated by Viva! Presents. Many theaters will have themes specific to their history, such as “Recalling the Golden Age” at the Million Dollar Theatre, with tributes to Pedro Infante, Antonio Aguilar and other stars of classic mariachi music and Mexican cinema. Additionally there are a few outdoor stages, including a main stage at Olympic and Broadway — a first for the festival — featuring headliners Mayer Hawthorne and Oingo Bongo Dance Party, among others.
“We have an eclectic group,” says Huizar. “We want people to experience what they may have seen in these theaters in the past, and what they may expect to see in the future, exposing them to performances they might otherwise not come across, something a little bit out of the ordinary — but always with a connection to what used to be on Broadway.”
January 13, 2017
From The Oxford Eagle: Panola Playhouse has been a venue for live community theatre since 1962, but from the 1920s to 1958, it was a first-run movie theater.
This weekend, the Playhouse goes back to its roots.
On Saturday, Jan. 14, beginning at 7 p.m., the venue will be hosting a double feature of horror films. “Fright Night” will consist of two horror throwbacks: 1960’s “Little Shop of Horrors” and “Night of the Living Dead” which will begin at 9 p.m.
January 5, 2017
From WIBC.com: The Historic Artcraft Theatre in downtown Franklin is showing the classic movie Jailhouse Rock this weekend in honor of Elvis Presley’s birthday.
Elvis would have been 82 on Sunday, Jan. 8.
“The fact that he talent as a musician, but he [also] could act. He had acting chops. And so that’s why he did as many movies as he did because he was a natural at it,” says Rob Shilts, the Executive Director of Franklin Heritage, Inc. and the Historic Artcraft Theatre.
Jailhouse Rock was Elvis’s third film and one of his most notable. The movie was released in Nov. 1957 and features Judy Tyler as Elvis’s love interest. Tyler was killed in a car accident just weeks after filming was completed. Her death had upset Elvis to the point where he did not attend the premiere and may have never watched the film in its entirety during his lifetime. The movie was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry in 2004.
The movie is showing at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 6 and Saturday, Jan. 7 Tickets are $5 for adults, $4 for seniors 55 and older, as well as college students and military personnel with ID. Tickets for children under 12 are $3.
For more information, as well as a full schedule of upcoming films visit historicartcraftheatre.org.
December 27, 2016
From The Post-Star: In 1938, Cornell Hall won a brand-new Plymouth at the Strand Theatre on Main Street. And on Friday night, his grandson, John Hall Jr., was back at the historic venue for a holiday event that breathed life into the long-dormant movie house.
“In the 1990s I did the plumbing and heating,” said Hall, referring to work he completed for the town when the theater housed town offices and the town courtroom. “My father, Jack Hall, was always here as a kid.”
Along with Hall, about 40 people came to a holiday screening of Frank Capra’s classic, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” on Friday night.
“Tonight is its very first presentation in over 50 years,” said Jonathan Newell, executive director of the Hudson River Music Hall and the committee to renovate the Strand.
Unsure of the exact date the last film was shown in the theater, Newell said they found a copy of a 1961 Post-Star article that was talking about demolishing the movie house.
Debbie Pollack of Hartford made a point of coming to see the film. “I wanted to come because it’s the first movie shown here in over 50 years,” she said earlier in the day. “And I watch the film every year, it never fails. It’s a fantastic film.”
The film, starring Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed, premiered on Dec. 20, 70 years ago. The famed holiday classic was released at a time the Strand Theatre was in business, although it’s not known if the film was actually shown in the theater.
First opened in the 1920s, it was initially a vaudeville house and later started showing films.
On Friday night, those arriving early for the event got to see the original animated film “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” while popcorn popped in a traditional kettle. And just after 6:30 p.m., Newell, who was wearing an original Strand Theatre usher’s cap, welcomed moviegoers.
The Strand Theatre, purchased by the Hudson River Music Hall from the town of Kingsbury in October, received a $100,000 pledge from the Sandy Hill Foundation. And according to Newell, there has been a huge volunteer effort to restore it to its former glory.
“We have retired contractors who come here every day like they are coming to work,” Newell said.
Volunteer Mary Ellen Barlow tells the story of the day they discovered the original lobby ceiling.
“The day we closed, Jonathan climbed up a ladder and pulled back a tile and the first thing he saw was that first section,” said Barlow, pointing to the richly ornate plaster flowers and swirling patterns of the historic structure.
“I love the building and what it stands for,” said Michelle Bennett, who came to see “It’s a Wonderful Life” with Hall.
But just hours before Friday’s showing, volunteers and the renovation committee wondered if they would actually be able to show the film in the lobby section of the theater. “We got our CO (certificate of occupancy) at 3 p.m. today,” Newell said, adding that they scrambled to get the temporary theater set for the night’s unveiling.
Starting in January, Newell said they plan on offering a senior film series and an art film series.
“Two Wednesdays a month we will be showing a film for seniors and they can come in and see it on the big screen,” he said.
Additionally, there are plans for an open mic night, concerts and more films while they continue construction on other parts of the building, Newell said.
Behind the lobby, where Friday night’s film was shown, are the performance stage and previous seating, now under a concrete cap. Newell said originally the seats were settled in sand and once they remove the concrete cap, they will do something with the sand, perhaps a beach party.
“Maybe we will sell buckets of sand from the Strand,” he said.
December 22, 2016
From the Atlanta Business Journal: The Fox Theatre is as entrenched in Atlanta history as The Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO) and “Gone with the Wind.”
And on Dec. 25 at 7 p.m., the venue will be the subject of a documentary airing on Georgia Public Broadcasting in celebration of the 87th anniversary of the Fox’s 1929 sold-out Christmas Day opening for the premier of Disney’s first cartoon starring Mickey Mouse, “Steamboat Willie.”
December 8, 2016
From the Dayton Daily News: The historic Gloria Theatre in downtown Urbana will host the movie, “Home Alone” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10, and Sunday, Dec. 11. The $5 per person admission will benefit ongoing renovation of the Gloria. Doors will open about 30 minutes before each show.
The film is the second in a series of Christmas movies to be shown at the venue, 75 years after Urbana industrialist and philanthropist Warren Grimes opened the theater for its first movie presentation on Christmas Day 1941.
The movie will be the first to be shown with the theater’s newly installed state-of-the-art 4K digital projection system, upgraded surround sound and new 38-by-16-foot screen. The new screen is about two and a half times larger than the theater’s previous screen.
October 20, 2016
From WALB-TV 10: A historic theater is preparing to show off its rare organ.
A year after it was damaged by lightning, the 1928 Moller organ at the Rylander Theatre in Americus is fully repaired.
An organist from Atlanta will play it during a special showing of the silent movie classic “Phantom of the Opera.”
“People just know this isn’t something you get to do everyday. This isn’t like going to see a scary movie at the Carmike, this is actually an experience more than just seeing a movie,” said Rylander Theatre Managing Director Heather Stanely.
Tickets cost $10 for adults and $5 for students.
The one time only showcase will be Friday, October 28th at 8 o'clock.