May 9, 2011
VIRGINIA BEACH, VA — Closed since 2008, the Surf-n-Sand Movies 8 will be renovated and become the seven-screen Beach Movie Grill. In addition to burgers and fries, more upscale entreés will be available including some seafood offerings. The theater is expected to open on May 20 and was once a Regal operation.
Virginia Beach brothers Donald Pollard Jr. and John Pollard, both with national experience in retail real estate, joined with two out-of-town partners in the movie theater business to form Beach Movie Bistro Inc. The Pollards' parents owned the long-gone Surf ‘n’ Sand Motel, which stood on the site that became the movie theater.
There is more in the PilotOnline.
KANOPOLIS, KS — Closed since 2006, the Kanopolis Drive-in will be back in business as of May 6. Now operated by by Josh and Amanda Webb, the drive-in can accommodate 160 cars. There are still even a few post speakers available though most patrons will hear the soundtrack through their car radios tuned to an FM frequency. Currently the drive-in is running 35mm, but the Webbs expect that a conversion to digital will inevitably occur.
He said his goal is to upgrade to digital or laser projection, but that’s going to mean saving money and possibly taking out financing for the project.
“It’s gonna be awesome when it opens up,” Amanda Webb said. “It’ll bring people together. We need their patronage for it to work.”
The story appeared in The Republic.
May 6, 2011
DETROIT, MI — The Detroit Senate Theater, current home to the unique 4/34 Wurlitzer Organ from Detroit’s Fisher Theater, reopens Sunday May 15, 2011 at 3 PM with a show featuring Jelani Eddington playing a wide variety of popular music.
6424 Michigan Ave
Detroit, MI 48210
Tickets: $12.00 / $8.00 ages 12 and under
Many exciting things happening at the Senate. Volunteers have been hard at work painting, cleaning, refreshing, and much more. The Wurlitzer is sounding better than ever after recently being professionally releathered (including the electro-pneumatic relay !)
Many recent pictures and updates at http://www.facebook.com/DTOSonFB
May 2, 2011
AUSTIN, TX — The Violet Crown, a new quad art cinema, opened on April 29 on Austin’s Second Street. The new cinema features a full bar and cafe, and will soon present a series of Criterion classics as part of its art and independent film programming. The theater’s name is a reference to an old nickname of the city of Austin. The theater’s owner, Bill Banowsky, is a former Landmark Theatres executive and former owner of the Magnolia Pictures distribution company.
This article about the theater, from the Austinist, features an interview with Banowsky and an architect’s sketch of the cinema.
April 29, 2011
ROCKY MOUNT, NC — The Booker-T. (aka Savoy) has been restored and will reopen this coming weekend, 4/29-30/11. It is part of a community revitalization project called the “Douglas Block.” Another theater, the Manhattan, has also been left standing but this theater has been repurposed for retail. Both of these theaters were African-American theaters during segregation and to my knowledge, the Booker-T is the only African-American theater in North Carolina to have been restored and to be used for an entertainment venue.
We are heading up there for the dedication and celebration and will share photos and more history when we return.
If anyone has more info on these historic theaters, please let me know. There are so few of them left.
April 25, 2011
SHARPSBURG, GA — Michigan-based Neighborhood Cinema Group (NCG) will open its newest theater on April 22 at the Fischer Crossings development off of Highway 54. The all-digital theater has stadium seating, and one screening room is equipped with a large format screen. The theater is the company’s first operation in Georgia.
There is more at TheCitizen.com.
April 22, 2011
BROOKLYN, NY — A twin cinema called the Nitehawk will now be open in time for Memorial Day in the Williamsburg neighborhood in Brooklyn. Located within a new apartment house, the Nitehawk will have two intimate screening rooms and a ground floor restaurant and cocktail service.
“The model is based on theaters he’s been to in Texas where you can order food and drinks,” said architect Jonathan Taylor, of Caliper Studios, who designed the space. “He was looking for a project that would allow him to tailor the cinema. At that point, they were vanilla boxes.”
The 92- and 68-seat theaters will feature tiered seating with the restaurant on the ground floor — and there’s even a small screening room for private parties.
There is more, with a drawing of the new theater, in the Brooklyn Paper.
April 20, 2011
WICHITA, KS — The Northrock 14, owned by Overland Park, KS based Dickinson Theatres is slated to become an office building later this year. The theatre is currently still in operation. Ironically, the older Northrock 6 which is in the parking lot of the 14-plex was also renovated into an office building several years ago by the same company. Northrock 14 was built in 1997 and is a near identical sister theatre to the Starworld 20 Theatre in Tulsa, OK.
Occidental CEO Gary Oborny says potential tenants have expressed “serious interest” in 40,000 to 50,000 square feet of the renovated Northrock 14. He declined to identify those prospects but says they are a mix of local and out-of-state companies.
The largest of them could take 25,000 to 30,000 square feet, he says.
“I think by the end of the year we’d like to move on it,” he says of construction.
Read the full story in the Wichita Business Journal.
April 11, 2011
NEW YORK, NY — The art and independent film scene in New York will get a boost when two new intimate screening rooms open in June at Lincoln Center under the aegis of the Film Society of Lincoln Center, the sponsor of the New York Film Festival. Collectively, the two-auditorium complex on the south side of West 65th Street will be known as the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center. In addition to the screening roms, there will also be a cafe and a small auditorium for lectures and educational events.
The two new theaters in the complex, which will open officially on June 17, are meant to be intimate settings, with 150 and 90 seats. But the complex, known as the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, in honor of the filmmaker and designer who is a board member of the society, will also include an indoor cafe and an auditorium — with a 152-inch plasma screen and a capacity for 75 people — for lectures and other educational programs.
“This is the first construction of a new art theater north of 14th Street in decades,” said Rose Kuo, executive director of the film society. “We hope that what we are creating is a cultural destination, something that grows our community, that is welcoming and offers not only great films but the opportunity to gather and have a meal or a glass of wine.”
There is more in the New York Times.
April 7, 2011
BELLINGHAM, WA — The non-profit Pickford Film Center celebrated the opening of its new twin-auditorium theater on Bay Street on April 7. The environmentally-sensitive cinema is capable of both 35mm and digital projection; the Center focuses on presenting art, independent, and avant-garde films. The Center’s current home on Cornwall Avenue will close at least temporarily, but may become a digital projection cinema under a different name.
The arts organization began renovating the building in 2007, continuing to raise money for the project as the work progressed.
Renovations included a seismic upgrade and adding 5,000 square feet of usable space to the basement for future expansion, including a film school.
There is more in The Bellingham Herald.