December 2, 2005
Back in the era when movie theaters were in their prime, it amazes me that the Academy Awards never thought to hand out a special award to the best run movie theater or the best run movie theater chain. For all the work and love and dedication that movie theater operators poured into running their theaters in the best possible way, it must have been terribly disheartening each year when the Academy Awards rolled around that they never got any sort of acknowledgment, let alone an Academy Award. It’s as if that aspect of the artistry and presentation was nonexistent, or so it must have felt to the movie theater operators. And today, many in Hollywood wonder why their films don’t fare well at the theater, such as director Ron Howard in recent times wondering what went wrong with his “Cinderella Man” theater-wise.
So if Hollywood hopes to enter an exciting new age of cinema, it could start up the process by giving strong recognition to where it has failed to before.
November 22, 2005
HAVANA, IL — Hello everyone, I am really glad to be a part of this community.
I recently aquired the Lawford Theater in Havana, IL, and went to work immediately painting, redoing the seats, carpeting, just about everything you can imagine! I even refurbished the screen, what a BEAUTIFUL theatre it is too.
This is where I am in need of ANY help. I need a good sound sytem that we can purchase (or better yet, donated) this town is really wild about the theatre re-opening, and they have supported it quite a lot. It’s too bad that others hurt the place so I am am putting all (or most) of my funds into it.
Can anyone out there help us in any kind of donations or sales, we even could use some hot dog warmers, etc! We are a 500 seat 1912 theater with a HUGE sound stage… thanks again for this wonderful site and its information!
November 18, 2005
I have a fantastic idea for The Strand theater in Enfield, CT. I would like to research grants useful in restoration and the eventual reopening of this theater. It has been closed for many years but is a truly beautiful building. If anyone can point me in the right direction it would be greatly appreciated.
October 10, 2005
Cambridge, MA — The Brattle Theatre has brought repertory film programming to Cambridge’s Harvard Square for 52 years, but if they don’t raise $400,000 by the end of this year, they may close.
Here’s a long press release from the Brattle, explaining their predicament:
Repertory film programming at the Brattle simply cannot survive without significant community support. Our current challenges can only be overcome with the involvement of community members who want to keep the tradition of film programming alive at the Brattle Theatre.
The Brattle has experienced the same drop in attendance that has been plaguing cinemas over the past several years. Operating costs – including film rental and facilities management – have increased by 30%. Government, corporate, and foundation funding for cultural organizations have diminished. Furthermore, BFF and the Brattle are feeling the pinch of the changes in Harvard Square’s make-up. As Harvard mainstays like Wordsworth Bookstore, Brine’s and HMV close their doors, the Brattle’s surroundings have lost much of their draw as a vibrant, independent destination. Empty storefronts lead to a decrease in foot traffic, which leads to a decrease in ticket sales."
Just as a ballet company or a museum must be subsidized by donations, so must repertory film programming at the Brattle. By definition, ticket sales are an inconsistent and unreliable source of income. Every other independent repertory cinema in the country relies heavily on public and donation support to solidify their budgets.
October 7, 2005
BILOXI, MS — After over twenty four hours of mother natures worst the Silver Screen of Biloxi has suffered more distruction then you possibly ever see on any Hollywood motion picture. Management and employees have survived and are doing ok. But fear not my fellow movie lovers we shall return. If you would like to see what a bad storm can do to at good movie theater check out our before and after pictures on our web site at http://www.silverscreenbiloxi.com/ and let us know what you think.
September 27, 2005
ROYAL OAK, MI — Landmark Theatres' Main Art Theatre, which will be razed in a few years for redevelopment, is having trouble finding a new home.
Details in this story from the Detroit News: Main Art Theatre running out of time to find new home
September 2, 2005
NEW ORLEANS, LA — It appears that several theaters in Southeastern Louisiana and Mississippi were damaged during Hurricane Katrina.
A spokesperson for Clear Channel Entertainment, which programs legit tours at the Saenger — a palatial 2,800-seat house that was built for movies and stage shows in 1927 — told Playbill.com, “No one can get near the theatre — we have no idea how bad it is.”
Hattiesburg American: How our community and neighbors fared
At the historic Saenger Theater downtown, the wind had blown pieces of a traffic light through the lobby windows. Shattered glass covered the sidewalks outside.
The theater’s manager, Philip Tapia, and a production technician, Joshua Williams, came out about 7 a.m. to put up plywood to keep any more water from getting into the building if it rained before they could get the windows replaced.
Our hearts go out to everyone in New Orleans and other affected areas. If you haven’t made a donation, please consider doing so.
August 26, 2005
In South Yonkers, New York, there’s a movie house just waiting for someone to come along and renovate it. Everyone seems to agree that this facility, if restored and resusitated as a movie house can help in the revitalization of the South Yonkers area.
The movie house, originally built as a twin theater in 1926, seats 460 downstairs and about the same number in the upper level. The property is privately-owned and it is located in a retail corridor in transition. Special economic development benefits from the city and State are available.
The local non-profit group seeking to develop this movie house can also serve as an important resource, as it represents all property owners and merchants in the corridor. There’s an information packet available for any developers or operators wanting to know more. Call 914-438-4721 or e-mail
August 23, 2005
CHICAGO, IL — The following email was sent by “UptownAdviser”:
“HOW YOU CAN HELP (worth reading!)
Donations and memberships are needed at this time
Help share the cost of publicity, communications and events Further the Friends mission
The concept and function of “Friends of the Uptown” has been an active force in maintaining and promoting the UPTOWN THEATRE, Chicago, since the mid-to-late 1970s. That’s when volunteers began petitioning the ownership at the time (Plitt Theatres) to find additional rental income for the building, including special events and rock concerts. Volunteers also provided after-hours cleaning and maintenance that kept the UPTOWN from complete ruin. When the building closed in 1981, volunteer work continued.
August 9, 2005
This is my first post and I really didn’t know where to put it, so I just picked news. I live in a very small (pop under 3,000) town in East Ohio called Woodsfield. When I was younger, I knew that we had two theaters in town and after some snooping around, I learned that there was three active at the same time. That in itself is hard for me to believe.
The first was opened by the Shannon Brothers of Sistersville, WVa. on March the 19th, 1930. It was located at 138 South Main Street here in Woodsfield. The first film ever shown in town was called “Desert Song”. The place closed in the early ‘40’s. Then in October of '38, Glen and Mena Flieman opened the Monroe Theater at ao2 North Main Street. It was open till the '70’s. And in 1939, Jesse Shannon opened the New Life Theater. It was open till the '70’s and then Re-opened in the '80’s by Ellis Smithburger who changed the name to Swissland Cinema. The last picture was shown in the mid '80’s. It’s now a church.
The main reason I am writing this is to get any help on how to save and re-open an old theater. The Monroe Theater still stands today. I can remember it being used as an auction house and then as an antique mall. Now it stands there empty. This town needs something to be excited about again. I think a theater could be just what it needs.
I would like to know how I might get the ball rolling or at least getting people to care about the theater again.