• September 28, 2010

    Balaban and Katz return

    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

    Left in the Dark: Portraits of San Francisco Movie Theatres

    Book Release and Events:
    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 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

    Theaters to be required to post calorie counts

    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

    Success at the 10th Annual Downtown Forest Hills Walking Tour

    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

    Summer BO down 6% from last year

    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

    Brooklyn Theatre Index

    The Brooklyn Theatre Index
    Volume I
    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

    Cecil Whitmire – Led restoration of the Alabama Theatre passes on

    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

    AMC plans to file $450 million IPO this year

    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.

  • August 10, 2010

    Petitions call for movie theater

    ROANOKE, VA — A young man is trying to get a local theater built the hard way by collecting signatures to submit to Carmike Cinemas.

    A young Roanoke man has petitions across Randolph County in hopes of getting a movie theatre to come back to Roanoke.

    Michael Fielder, 22, said he spoke with a representative of Carmike Cinemas who advised him to get signatures, get the city’s approval and call them back. The representative did not say how many signatures were needed, so Fielder set his goal at 2,000.

    Read the full story in the Randolph Leader.

  • August 6, 2010

    Foreign forces transform Hollywood films

    This article in theWall Street Journal discusses how global tastes are essential when deciding on which films to produce these days.

    When director Adam McKay pitched a sequel to his 2004 hit movie “Anchorman,” he thought it would be a no-brainer for Hollywood.

    The $20 million comedy, starring Steve Carell and Will Ferrell, grossed more than $90 million at the box office. But only $5 million of that came from ticket sales abroad. Viacom Inc.’s Paramount Pictures nixed the sequel this spring, fearing the comedy’s uniquely American brand of humor wouldn’t play abroad.