• May 2, 2011

    Violet Crown art cinema opening in Austin

    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

    Booker-T reopens today

    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

    Latest NCG theater opens in Georgia

    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

  • April 22, 2011

    Nitehawk Cinemas to bring dine & view to Williamsburg

    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’s Northrock 14 to become office building

    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

    Two new screens will open at New York’s Lincoln Center

    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

    Pickford Film Center opens new facility

    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.

  • March 24, 2011

    Texas Theatre re-opens in Seguin

    SEGUIN, TX — After 13 years of fundraising and two million dollars of restoration, the Stephen and Mary Birch Texas Theatre opened its doors for public viewing on Sunday, March 6, 2011. The restoration of the 1929 theater has recreated the domed, star-studded ceiling, gilded lanterns and romantic murals in the 350-seat main auditorium of the theatre. Expansion into an adjacent building has created new restroom, rehearsal and reception areas.

    Nearly 200 funders, corporations and private supporters from all over the region have sponsored elements in the elaborate atmospheric movie palace. A cornerstone gift from the Stephen and Mary Birch Foundation brought in one million dollars. The San Antonio Area Foundation sponsored the stage and the San Antonio Conservation Society sponsored the restoration of the box office exterior.

    Raising funds for the restoration and expansion of this historic landmark has taken 13 years since the Seguin Conservation Society purchased the theatre in 1996. Now re-opened, the group expects an annual attendance of 24,600 for performances such as live music, folkloric dances, community recitals, university stage productions, film festivals, and dinner theater shows, all to be accommodated in the 350-seat facility.

  • March 23, 2011

    Renovated Oxon Hill theater to open in April

    OXON HILL, MD — The former AMC Rivertowne 12 Cinemas will reopen on April 1 after a thorough renovation by Chicago-based Spotlight Amusements which currently operates the Eastpointe Movie 10 in Baltimore.

    Rivertowne Cinemas 12 is owned by Chicago-based Spotlight Amusements, which also owns Eastpoint Movies 10 in Baltimore. Ron Rooding, Spotlight’s director of operations, said the theater will seat about 3,000 people with individual screening room capacities ranging from 150 to 600. At least three of the theaters will feature stadium-style seating and 3-D capabilities, Rooding said.

    The Rivertowne theater will employ a staff of up to 50, with about 90 percent of those employees local residents, Johnson said.

    There is more at

  • March 15, 2011

    New art theatre to open in April in downtown Austin

    AUSTIN, TX — A new quad art cinema is scheduled to on April 29 in downtown Austin’s Second Street district. The Violet Crown’s four all-digital intimate screening rooms will all have stadium seating with fold-out table trays for patrons who can purchase food, drinks, and cocktails from the service offered in the theater’s lounge.

    The Violet Crown, on the second floor of the AMLI on 2nd apartment building, will specialize in art, independent, documentary and international films.

    Banowsky says that will differentiate it from the Alamo Ritz on East Sixth Street, which shows both mainstream and independent films. Austin’s only other theater featuring art and independent films is the Regal Arbor Cinema in Northwest Austin.

    There is more in this story from the Austin Statesman.