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.
October 18, 2016
From BroadwayWorld.com: In 1980, after the last credit rolled off the big screen at the final showing, the Roxy movie theater closed it doors, reopening three years later as a live performance theatre.
Now, over three decades later, Roxy Regional Theatre Executive Director Ryan Bowie is bringing film back to the corner of Franklin and First in historic downtown Clarksville with the “Planters Bank Presents…” film series.
“After years of our box office fielding calls about what movies were being shown, and with the introduction of many new programs at the theatre this season, the timing was perfect to bring film back to the Roxy,” Bowie notes. “Our goal, moving forward, is to try to appeal to the needs and wants of the entire community. If Clarksville wants film back in this iconic theatre, then we are going to work that into our programming for the future.”
Sponsored by Planters Bank, the series will feature vintage flicks and modern classics, presented on Sunday afternoons in the theatre’s 153-seat auditorium.
“Planters Bank is thrilled to be involved with film being introduced back at the Roxy Theatre,” says Suzanne Langford, Middle Tennessee Senior Marketing Executive for Planters Bank. “There are many people who have fond memories of going to the movies at The Roxy and Capitol Theatres in downtown Clarksville so many years ago. The film series will provide a great way for family and friends to spend Sunday afternoons in downtown Clarksville, making new memories while enjoying the jewel that is our Roxy Theatre. Planters Bank is delighted to play a part in this exciting new endeavor.”
In anticipation of Halloween, the inaugural showing in the series will be the 1993 comedy Hocus Pocus on Sunday, October 23, at 2:00pm.
Originally purchased for a project through the Tennessee Arts Commission’s Creative Placemaking grant program, the equipment for screening the films is on permanent loan to the theatre from the Clarksville-Montgomery County Arts & Heritage Development Council.
“The Arts & Heritage Development Council recently collaborated with the Roxy in airing a film series about Clarksville’s past, present and future. The series was produced through a grant from the Tennessee Arts Commission, and funds from the grant purchased a projector and screen,” says Ellen Kanervo, Executive Director for the Clarksville-Montgomery County Art & Heritage Development Council. “We thought there could be no better way to continue the spirit of the grant than by bringing downtown Clarksville’s past — when locals gathered at the Roxy to see the latest "picture show” — into its present and future — when locals can again gather at the Roxy to see some of those same productions. We are pleased to offer the projector and screen to the Roxy to show movies once again in this historic venue."
Admission to each film in the “Planters Bank Presents…” series is $5 (cash or check only). Tickets will only be available at the door one hour prior to showtime, and popcorn and bottled water will be available as concessions. Upcoming films include the following:
HOCUS POCUS Sunday, October 23 @ 2:00pm
Halloween night will never be the same after three 17th century witches (Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy) are accidentally conjured up in present-day Salem, where they brew a hilarious cauldron of mischief and mayhem!
Runtime: 95 minutes
Release Year: 1993
Director: Kenny Ortega
ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN Sunday, October 30 @ 2:00pm
Two hapless freight handlers (Bud Abbott and Lou Costello) find themselves encountering Dracula (Bela Lugosi), Frankenstein’s creature (Glenn Strange) and the Wolf Man (Lon Chaney Jr.) in this 1948 American horror comedy classic.
Runtime: 83 minutes
Release Year: 1948
Director: Charles Barton
THE WIZARD OF OZ Sunday, November 6 @ 2:00pm
In this much-loved musical adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s classic novel, Kansas girl Dorothy and her dog, Toto, are whisked by a tornado into the magical land of Oz, where they are joined by the Tin Man, the Scarecrow and the Cowardly Lion on an adventure down the Yellow Brick Road to persuade the Wizard to help her find her way home.
Runtime: 101 minutes
Release Year: 1939
Director: Victor Fleming
E.T. THE EXTRA TERRESTRIAL Sunday, November 13 @ 2:00pm
Elliott, a lonely young boy, summons the courage to help a friendly alien escape Earth and return to his home-world in this classic sci-fi adventure which captures that strange moment in youth when the world is a place of mysterious possibilities, and the universe seems somehow separate from the one inhabited by grown-ups.
Rating: PG Runtime: 115 minutes Release Year: 1982 Director: Steven Spielberg
RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK Sunday, November 20 @ 2:00pm
Archaeologist Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) is hired by the U.S. government to find the Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis in this action-packed adventure, the first in the original trilogy cooked up by the dream team of Steven Spielberg and George Lucas.
Rating: PG Runtime: 115 minutes Release Year: 1981 Director: Steven Spielberg
IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE Sunday, November 27 @ 2:00pm
In Frank Capra’s classic holiday comedy/drama, an angel (Henry Travers) helps a compassionate but despairingly frustrated businessman, George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart), by showing what life would have been like if he never existed.
Rating: PG Runtime: 129 minutes Release Year: 1946 Director: Frank Capra
WHITE CHRISTMAS Sunday, December 4 @ 2:00pm
A successful pair of nightclub entertainers (Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye) become romantically involved with a sister act (Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen) and team up to save the failing Vermont inn of their former commanding general in this musical romantic comedy featuring the songs of Irving Berlin.
Runtime: 120 minutes
Release Year: 1954
Director: Michael Curtiz
From The Miami Herald: —
A historic theater in downtown Decatur is celebrating its 100th anniversary with a birthday party and a variety of shows.
The Herald & Review reports (http://bit.ly/2e8OcdQ ) the Lincoln Square Theatre is showing Halloween-themed movies throughout October. The birthday party, with live music, snacks and dancing, is set for Friday.
Adam White is president of the theater. He says while the building is old and needs work, when people come in “it’s like visiting an old friend.”
Lincoln Square Theatre first welcomed guests on Oct. 27, 1916, when more than 1,000 people dressed in suits and gowns filled the seats to watch the play “Hit the Trail Holliday.”
Over the years it drew performers such as Louis Armstrong and comedian Bob Hope.
Restoration of the building began in the 1990s.
Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/entertainment/celebrities/article108653777.html#storylink=cpy
October 14, 2016
From The Daily Miner: When Kristina Michelson walks through the dilapidated Beale Street Theater, she sees the glass as half full.
Plaster is peeling off the walls, the ceiling shows large blotches of water damage, electrical wiring is spliced and exposed, pipes are rusted and broken, and the interior is generally in shambles.
“It’s got potential,” insists Michelson, cofounder of Kingman Center for the Arts, a nonprofit group formed earlier this year with a mission of renovating and restoring the theater that was most recently home to Boston Antiques.
It’s going to be a while before crowds come into Beale Street Theater to watch live dance and theater productions and classic movies.
There’s no timetable for opening at this point, as the group must raise about $500,000 to complete construction work necessary to bring the building up to code, Michelson said. The fire sprinkler system alone is estimated to cost $80,000.
“Our first step was to set up the 501©, and we recently got that from the IRS. Now we can move forward with materials testing on the property,” she said.
The building has undergone several material and structural assessments in the past without any major issues, Michelson noted, and a volunteer architect with the nonprofit group is preparing a detailed report of the building and its operating systems.
In the meantime, Kingman Center for the Arts is forging ahead with plans to develop arts-based programs here, starting with the Art in the Park fundraiser held in August.
On Saturday, the group is holding Zombie Fest 2016 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. in Metcalfe Park, 315 W. Beale St. It features a live theater production of “10 Ways to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse,” a play that Michelson came across while researching for Art in the Park.
The play has a cast of 15, including Michelson’s son, Spencer, a freshman at Lee Williams High School who will be playing the part of one of the zombie survivors.
There’s also a preshow comedy act, flash-mob dance to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” photo booth, games and concessions. Cost is $10.
Kingman Center for the Arts is putting on two children’s theater productions of “The Nutcracker” Dec. 2-3 at Lee Williams High School, and recently held auditions for “A Christmas Carole.”
Originally from Utah, Michelson is an advocate of the arts with teaching and performance experience in music.
She plays piano, saxophone, clarinet and oboe, and was in a professional hand bell choir in Las Vegas before moving to Kingman about three years ago.
She hooked up with Sara and Nate Peterson, who bought the theater for $150,000 and cofounded the Kingman Center for the Arts.
A third-generation artist and art teacher, Sara Peterson had a vision to create more opportunity for arts in Kingman and was the catalyst for Kingman Center for the Arts.
To learn more about the organization or to volunteer, go to the organization’s web site at www.bealestreettheater.com.
“We want live theater and there’s nothing to stop us from getting a theater program up and running in this community,” Michelson said.
The theater opened in 1939 at Fourth and Beale streets, and was built by Harry Nace as part of the Lang movie chain. It closed in 1979, and later operated as a church and furniture store.
October 10, 2016
New York, NY – Lin-Manuel Miranda to Launch Movie Series at United Palace Theatre (Loew’s 175th St.)
From DNA Info: If you missed him in “Hamilton,” now’s your chance to catch the award-winning actor, playwright and Inwood native Lin-Manuel Miranda on a different stage — hosting a screening of the original “Mary Poppins” movie at the United Palace Theatre.
The screening, which will take place Sunday, Oct. 16 in the historic theater on Broadway and 175th St., will launch Miranda’s “Reawaken Wonder at a Timeless Movie Palace” campaign to raise an additional $300,000 to upgrade the theater’s audio system.
Miranda, who donated $100,000 for a projection system that will debut with the film screening, tweeted out the screening details Tuesday morning, causing United Palace Theatre’s site to crash.
September 1, 2016
From WTTV-TV: Tuesday marked the 100th birthday of the historic Hilbert Circle Theatre on Monument Circle.
The Neo-Classical theatre was built in 1916, where a livery stable used to stand. It cost nearly $225,000 to complete, which amounts to roughly $5 million in today’s dollars.
The first movie with sound ever shown in Indianapolis, “The Jazz Singer,” premiered at the theatre in 1928.
We’re told the seats and projection room used to extend into what is now the lobby.
August 30, 2016
From New Jersey Stage: The Newton Theatre will be celebrating its fifth year as a live performance venue on September 9, 2016. A party will take place at 7:00pm prior to the hit show, The Hit Men, which starts at 8:00 pm. The party is open to everyone who has a ticket for The Hit Men. Cake and champagne will be served. The Newton Theatre will have their signature drink, The Blue Newt, available at the bar. There will some surprises, as well.
The management and the staff of The Newton Theatre are excited to reach this milestone. A lot of work went into the restoration of the historic theatre and re-imaging of the former movie theatre into a performance venue.
On September 9, 2011 The Newton Theatre opened its doors with a sold out show by Todd Rundgren. Since then the historic theatre has hosted such iconic artists such as Judy Collins, Lyle Lovett, Arlo Guthrie, Jon Anderson, and The Glenn Miller Orchestra. Rockers like Kansas, Blue Oyster Cult, The Outlaws, Los Lonely Boys, Tom Keifer, and The Bacon Brothers have all rocked the stage. Audiences have laughed with comedians Paula Poundstone, Ralphie May, Jim Brewer, and Vic DiBitetto. Other performers who have graced the stage include Richard Marx, David Cassidy, Rick Springfield, Tommy Emmanuel and many others. Movies have also returned to the historic theatre.
The Newton Theatre has brought a new vitality to Spring Street, Newton and the Skylands Region of New Jersey. Visitors come from a wide radius to see the acclaimed artists.
The night of the anniversary, The Hit Men show will be a treat for fans of legendary artists of the 60s, 70s and 80s. A group of world class performers, superb musicians and vocalists, creative composers and arrangers, The Hit Men are consummate hit-makers who have performed and recorded with Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, Sting, Elton John, Three Dog Night, Jim Croce, Cat Stevens, Carly Simon, Carole King, Tommy James and the Shondells and more.
This brotherhood of musicians relive the magic they created on world stages and in recording studios years ago, bringing audiences a multi-media night of hit after hit, including platinum award winning Four Seasons songs like Oh What a Night, Who Loves You, Big Girls Don’t Cry and Rag Doll, made even more famous by Broadway’s Jersey Boys. They also perform many other huge hits they helped make famous, including Joy To The World, Every Breath You Take, Peace Train, Bad, Bad Leroy Brown, You’re So Vain, Good Lovin’, I Think We’re Alone Now, and Mony, Mony.
During the performance, The Hit Men also share never before heard stories and anecdotes from their days in recording studios and on the concert circuit! The show also features video clips from TV shows and live performances depicting the members of The Hit Men performing with the bands from their rich music careers. Audiences all over America are on their feet, dancing in the aisles with the guys that lived and breathed rock & roll history, The Hit Men!
Tickets for The Hit Men range from $39.00 to $54.00. Purchase tickets by visiting www.thenewtontheatre.com or contact the Box Office at 973-383-3700.
The historic Newton Theatre, located at 234 Spring Street in Newton, NJ, was founded in 1924. Revitalized and fully renovated, Sussex County’s premier entertainment venue reopened in 2011 as a 605 seat capacity live performing arts center. With it’s rich history and diverse programming The Newton Theatre is essential to the buoyancy of New Jersey’s Skylands region.