• January 14, 2008

    Garden Theatre reopening February 1st

    WINTER GARDEN, FL — The Garden Theatre, 160 West Plant Street, will open again after an absence of 44 years, beginning February 1, with the Jester Theater Company presenting “The Musical of Musicals.” The former movie house closed in 1963.

    On the evening of February 29, the Gala Event—“Curtain Up” will be held. This will feature a wine reception party, and Disney executive chefs will create some culinary masterpieces for your enjoyment. The patrons will later move inside the theatre via red carpet and searchlights for the performance. The first half of the show will focus on the history of the Garden, and paint the picture of how this restoration was accomplished. The performances will include music, dance, a locally produced film, the Garden Community Choir, puppetry and theater. The grand finale will feature the wonderful vocal talent of Davis Gaines, who played the phantom in “The Phantom of the Opera” on Broadway for over 2000 performances. There will be a “Meet Davis Gaines” dessert/coffee reception after the show.

    Tickets to this event are $229 each, a salute to the 2/29 leap year date. This, obviously, is a fund raiser for the new performing arts center. You can call 407-877-GRDN to make reservations for the gala and other performances. Visa and MasterCard are accepted.

  • January 9, 2008

    Balboa Theatre returns to its former splendor

    SAN DIEGO, CA — The 1924 Balboa Theatre in San Diego reopens this week after being closed for 22 years. However, it will mostly be a preforming arts center.

    That moment finally arrives this week, when the historic 1924 theater opens its doors for the first time in 22 years. After Mayor Sanders delivers his State of the City address there Thursday, the Balboa hosts three days of free public performances and open houses starting Friday.

    So a house built in the Roaring ‘20s to cater to the public’s taste for vaudeville acts and silent movies begins a new life as a showcase for (among many other things) music, thanks to its renowned acoustics.

    Read more at the Union-Tribune.

  • January 4, 2008

    Watseka Theatre restored and reopened New Years eve

    WATSEKA, IL — With much fanfare, the Watseka Theatre reopened earlier this week with big goals for the future. This ambitious plan was only first mentioned here just over six months ago.

    On New Year’s Eve, when the restored Watseka Theatre will reopen to the public after nine years, guests won’t get popcorn and a movie.

    Instead they will get a look at what a former Cissna Park music teacher has been daydreaming about for 30 years — a hub for art and culture.

    That former teacher, Chuck Gomez, and Debra Liddell, a dentist, will reopen The Watseka Theatre not as a movie house, but as a performing arts center available to rent. Liddell and Gomez will ring in 2008 by presenting four musical acts, dinner and much more at a $100-a-ticket gala.

    The complete story along with two pictures of the interior can be found at the Daily Journal.

  • January 3, 2008

    Northland 5 returns

    WORHTINGTON, MN — Christmas came in a big way for the residents of Worthington with their only local theater reopening, the Northland Cinema 5.

    Residents of Worthington, Minn., got the gift of movies for Christmas as new owners reopened the town’s only cinema Tuesday night.

    More than 100 people were in line when Todd Frager unlocked the front door of the Northland Cinema 5 at 6:30 p.m., the first time the door had been opened since the theater closed in early November after previous owners filed for bankruptcy and lost their lease at the Northland Mall.

    Worthington Mayor Alan Oberloh showed up, as did 239 other patrons who, until Tuesday, had to drive to Iowa catch a flick.

    Read the full story in the Star Tribune.

  • December 21, 2007

    Lights flicker out at Zephyrhills' theater

    ZEPHYRHILLS, FL — After almost 60 years, the Home Theatre is closing its doors, but may not be gone for good.

    When it opened in 1948, it was billed as one of the most modern movie theaters in the South, with comfortable seats, a wide stage and a glass-enclosed “crying room” for cranky babies.

    It was a big deal for small-town Zephyrhills. On opening day, ladies in evening gowns passed out carnations and cigars to the customers.

    Times changed, however. Suburban megaplexes, with multiple screens, corporate advertising budgets and giant parking lots offered stiff competition. The Home Theatre, with its two screens and tiny bathrooms, became an anachronism. It stopped pulling in the crowds.

    Now, the lettering on the downtown landmark’s darkened marquee reads, “For Rent.”

    Read more at the Tampa Tribune.

  • December 12, 2007

    More Magic for Bogalusa residents

    BOGALUSA, LA — The only theatre in town, the Magic Cinema is open again. It’s a five screener initially built in 1970.

    Despite no advertising, “I still had close to 200 people,” said Kimberly Chatellier of Bogalusa, who is operating the theater with her husband, Chad.

    Chatellier said she will try to get five movies in for this weekend at the five-screen theater that was built in the 1970s.

    People were excited to go to the movies last weekend, Chatellier said. The theater had been closed since September, when the previous operator chose to leave the business.

    Read more in the Daily News.

  • December 3, 2007

    Fully restored Balboa Theatre reopens January 31, 2008

    SAN DIEGO, CA — Finally, the Balboa Theatre is returning next month.

    After more than 2 years of restoration and $26.5 million, the curtain is almost ready to rise again at the Balboa Theatre in Horton Plaza. The old vaudeville venue, which originally opened in 1924, has been restored to its original glory. The theater was gutted and seismically retrofitted to modern standards. Then, a team of architects, historians, artists and craftsmen refurbished the interior, restoring the original color scheme and replacing broken fixtures with recreations of the originals.

    The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places because of the ornate interior decoration, project manager Gary Bosse said. Workers have taken special care to remain faithful to the original design in all of the public spaces, he said.

    A full article along with a video and 47 pictures of the interior and exterior restoration can be found at the web site.

  • November 30, 2007

    ImaginAsian Center to open next month

    LOS ANGELES, CA — The ImaginAsian Center is set to open on December 7th on the site of the old Linda Lea.

    Read more in L.A. Downtown News.

    Some images from inside courtesy of blogdowntown

  • November 28, 2007

    Sherburn theatre reopens

    SHERBURN, MN — After half of year in darkness, the only theater in Sherburn returns.

    The small town of Sherburn gets its movie theater back next week.

    The town’s only movie theater was built in 1942 and had to shut down this spring because its projector could no longer show modern movies.

    But the people of Sherburn missed their movies. They raised $33,000, enough to pay for a new projector, surround sound, and a new screen.

    Read more at WKBT.

  • Warner Quad makes a comeback

    RIDGEWOOD, NJ — Some new improvements are intact with the reopening of the Warner Quad

    Workers scurried on Tuesday to clean the construction dust from the refurbished Warner Quad theater to get ready for today’s reopening.

    “There has been a slight decline in people walking up and down the avenue, so we’re looking forward to it reopening,” said Gus Lainis of the Daily Treat restaurant across the street from the 1930s-era theater in the heart of the business district on East Ridgewood Avenue.

    Read the full article on North