October 12, 2010
Sam Coston, retired Warner Brothers Manager, Coston Enterprises Executive, World War II Marine, Mason, long time south side Chicago resident, died suddenly while traveling with his wife, Demetra, in Europe. Sam was 87, and he was the nephew of theatre pioneer James E. (Jimmy) Coston. Sam was also the Operations Manager for Plitt Theatres in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. His son Nick is an advertising executive and filmmaker, and his eldest son, Jim, is an attorney and transportation specialist in Chicago. Funeral arrangements will be announce in The Chicago Tribune later this week.
October 6, 2010
Cinema Treasures has lost a friend. Dave “Norelco” Grau passed away recently in Nashville, Tennessee. Dave grew up in the theater business, helping out at his father’s small drive-in near Hummelstown PA, the Midway. Dave’s younger years were spent working the booths at very nearly every theater in Harrisburg, PA and South Central Pennsylvania; large and small, first-run and neighborhood, indoor and outdoor.
He later manned the booths at theaters in the Pittsburgh area. The observations of this former projectionist were informative, sometimes pithy, often amusing, and always illuminating. Dave Grau’s obituary appeared in the Harrisburg Patriot-News on Sunday, October 10th, and can be found at here and searching by last name.
Take a moment to sign the guest book. I’m sure his family would appreciate the thoughts of Dave’s many Cinema Treasures friends.
READ MORE FOR UPDATE
September 28, 2010
David Balaban grandson of one of the original owners of Balaban and Katz (David Balaban) has reopened Balaban and Katz as Balaban and Katz Theatres LLC.
The new organization be involved in historic preservation, offer reproductions of original B and K materials such as Balaban and Katz Magazines. It is also producing traveling silent movie shows at public libraries beginning this fall. Balaban says, we will attempt to recreate the feeling of going to a Balaban and Katz theatres in the 1920’s. Jesse crawford organ music will play during intermission on wind up victrolas. We may even have ushers in tuxedos we will have to see. The first two libraries to sign on to The Balaban and Katz shows are the Belleville New Jersey Library ( three shows in November) and the Bloomfield New Jersey Library ( three shows in January). The new company also operates a news site here.
For more information please email .
September 22, 2010
Book Release and Events:
LEFT IN THE DARK: PORTRAITS OF SAN FRANCISCO MOVIE THEATRES
Photographs by R.A. McBride
Edited by Julie Lindow
Literary essays by: Rebecca Solnit, Katherine Petrin, Melinda Stone, Eddie Muller, Liz Keim, D. Scot Miller, Gary Meyer with Laura Horak, Elisabeth Houseman with Joshua Grannell, Sergio de la Mora, Chi-hui Yang, and Sam Sharkey.
Available now at www.leftinthedark.info http://www.leftinthedark.info/ for $39.95. The book will be available for purchase at bookstores in September 2010. Published by Charta Art Books, distributed by D.A.P. (Distributed Art Publishers). 10 x 8 cardstock cover, 59 photographs, 168 pages, 11 chapters
September 20, 2010
NEW YORK, NY – As if the prices at the snack bar are not enough to scare you these days, the FDA is finalizing new requirements that would require chains of more than twenty theaters to post the caloric content of the food and snacks they serve.
The expansion stems from provisions in the health-care overhaul enacted in March. The government wants calorie listings posted to make it easier for consumers to select healthier options, and the restaurant industry backed the move so it could avoid a patchwork of local ordinances that are developing.
So far, the expansion of the calorie counts beyond restaurants has drawn praise from nutrition advocates but push-back from industries that say the original legislation was never intended to hit them.
There is more in the Wall Street Journal.
September 17, 2010
QUEENS, NY — The walking tour held two weeks ago in Forest Hills was the best-attended yet. Check out the Rego-Forest Preservation Council Blog.
The 10th Annual Downtown Forest Hills Walking Tour was held on a pleasantly sunny and warm Sunday afternoon of September 5, 2010, and was a historic record-breaker, adding a chapter in the success of previous walking tours led by Historian Jeff Gottlieb. Members of Central Queens Historical Association and Rego-Forest Preservation Council, inclusive of neighborhood residents, were in attendance. The 2 hr 45 min tour began on the corner of Austin St and Continental Ave, made its way east on Austin St to Ascan Ave, while viewing the blocks between Austin St and Queens Blvd, and turning in on Ascan Ave. On Queens Blvd, the tour headed west, pointing out historic sites along the south and north sides, and made its way to 70th Ave, and then stopped at MacDonald Park, a cornerstone of the neighborhood. Then the tour turned in on 70th Ave and proceeded west on Austin St, back to its origins at Continental Ave.
September 15, 2010
According to ABC News audiences are not going to the movies as much as last summer, due to rising ticket prices and a shorter summer.
Exhibitors charged an average $7.88 for summer movie tickets, up 4.5% from $7.54 last summer, NATO said. That compares with an almost 6% ticket-price jump between summer 2008 and last year, when the spread of premium pricing in 3D venues fueled a more dramatic inflation in moviegoing costs.
Hollywood marks its summer from the first full weekend in May through Labor Day, annually scheduling one of the season’s biggest pictures to bow on the first Friday. This year, Paramount — which tops seasonal market-share rankings with 19% and $775.5 million through Sunday — opened the $312 million, Marvel Studios-produced grosser “Iron Man 2” on May 7.
September 10, 2010
The Brooklyn Theatre Index
Adams Street to Lorimer Street
From 19th Century playhouses to the opulence of the 1920s movie palace and the multiplexes of today, The Brooklyn Theatre Index acts as a resource guide to the borough’s performance spaces.
After three years of research the first volume of the Index has finally been published. It begins with Gothic Hall on Adams Street and ends with a “moving picture show” at Lorimer and Meserole Streets. Over 500 pages of information detailing Brooklyn’s theatrical past.
Theatre Talks LLC
More info here.
August 24, 2010
BIRMINGHAM, AL — It’s with sadness that I’m noting the passing of Cecil Whitmire.
Cecil was a central figure in the successful restoration of The Alabama Theatre (“The Showplace of the South”) and was organizing the efforts to restore The Lyric Theatre nearby. He was one of the founders of Birmingham Landmarks Inc. which holds ownership of both theatres.
Cecil’s memorial service will be held at The Alabama Theatre.
“He was clearly the true believer in the potential of downtown,” said Michael Calvert, president of Operation New Birmingham. “He proved that if you give people a reason to come downtown, they will.”
Mr. Whitmire began a three-decade love affair with the Alabama in 1976, when he moved to Birmingham from Knoxville to manage a hardware company. The Alabama was still a movie theater, and Mr. Whitmire would play the Mighty Wurlitzer pipe organ before shows, entertaining audiences with classic tunes, nearly always including “Stars Fell on Alabama.”
Read the full story in the Birmingham News.
August 20, 2010
For the third time in its history, AMC Entertainment will file a $450 million IPO under the ticker symbol “AMC” on an unrelated stock exchange. This comes as revenue for the company has been boosted by rising prices for 3-D and IMAX (and IMAX digital) films as well as concessions.
This is the second attempt at an IPO for Kansas City, Missouri-based AMC. The company first filed for a $500 million IPO in September 2007 but pulled the deal in October 2008 saying it had decided not to proceed with the offering, but did not give a reason.
AMC’s revenue grew 6.7 percent to $2.42 billion in the year ended April 1. The company swung to a $79.91 million profit from a $149.05 million loss a year earlier, according to the new prospectus.
Read more at Reuters.