November 7, 2007
AUSTIN, TX — The historic Ritz Theater has reopened and is showing films again, much to the delight of the Austin populous. It’s operating under the full name “Alamo Drafthouse At The Ritz”, as it’s part of the Alamo Drafthouse chain now that originated in Austin, a company recognized nation-wide as one of the best things to happen to moviegoing in decades
Read more here on why the Drafthouse rocks.
For a full set of the re-opening photos and redesign images, a photoset is online at Flickr.
November 2, 2007
Does anyone happen to know what happened to the RKO Century Paramus Theaters on Rt.4 in Paramus, N.J? I used to love catching a glimpse of this theater and it’s marquee from my bus window on the way into N.Y.C.– I don’t see the building anymore. Thanks,
October 30, 2007
COSHAM, ENGLAND, UK — The 1934 classic three screen Carlton Cinema (Classic/ABC) in the High Street of Cosham in Hampshire, England is to close on Thursday 1st November 2007.
The final special screening will be “The Majestic” at 7:30pm in screen one. It will mark the end of a era for moviegoing for the local people of Cosham.
With it being the end for the Carlton, only one (small) traditional cinema for the County of Hampshire will remain open.
It is also reported the Odeon Cinema in Portsmouth will also close on the same day or in the near future.
October 22, 2007
ORLANDO, FL — The Park 11 recently closed its doors after years as a discount house and 43 years of lots of changes.
It was final call last night (Thursday) at the Park 11 cinema, the ancient multiplex that has been a part of Orlando-area movie going for 43 years. The Park, the place Walt Disney told Orlando what he was about to build on the outskirts of town, something that would change the city forever, will be partly-knocked down and become a Lifestyle Family Fitness Center (gym) sometime next year, acording to Arik Basso, manager of the property for Mainstreet Management.
Built as a stand-alone theater, a two-screener, in 1964, the Park became a triple, then jumped to 11 screens in 1991, eventually becoming the discount house it has been for years.
Read more in the Orlando Sentinel.
October 19, 2007
The Bethesda Theatre joins this group of preserved deco landmarks with some of the same compromises. On Thursday, the 1938 movie palace reopened as a venue for live dramatic performances with “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change.” The title of the musical revue well summarizes the attitude toward reviving the old cinema on the part of Smith Payes of Bethesda and the Bozzuto Group of Greenbelt.
After skirmishes with local preservation groups, the developers embraced Montgomery County’s requirement of finding a new cultural use for the building and enlisted Nederlander Worldwide Entertainment to operate it as a theater for lighter off-Broadway fare. They resuscitated the worn-out structure by hiring Oehrlein & Associates Architects of the District to meticulously restore its interior, down to 32 original paint colors.
Read the full story in the Washington Times.
October 10, 2007
BEAUFORT, SC — The Lady’s Island Cinema will cease its film showing operations but stay open to serve other purposes.
The owners of Lady’s Island Cinema shut its doors as a public movie theater last month, hoping to seize an opportunity to rent the property for other uses.
Trask Development’s L. Paul Trask Jr., manager of the building at 100 Sea Island Parkway, said Wednesday the decision to close the 11-year-old, family-owned business stemmed from a desire to make the location “available to other groups for meetings and so forth,” and was not due to any financial hardships at the theater.
Trask pointed out that two area churches — The Parish Church of St. Helena, an Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina congregation, and the Waters Edge United Methodist Congregation — will continue existing leases to use the facility.
Read more in the Island Packet.
October 5, 2007
BALTIMORE, MD — A new multiplex in Baltimore will suddenly add to Baltimore’s theater count while providing a new venue for arthouse fare. One can only hope this won’t affect the performance of some of the city’s older cinemas.
The number of movie screens within Baltimore is set to practically double, with the planned Nov. 2 opening of a seven-screen theater in Harbor East, the burgeoning neighborhood between the Inner Harbor and Fells Point.
The 1,300-seat facility, to be operated by Los Angeles-based Landmark Theatres, will be part of a 35,000-square-foot commercial and residential complex at Aliceanna and President streets. Its opening will increase the number of theater screens within the city’s borders to 15, including five at the Charles, two at the Rotunda Cinematheque and the single-screen Senator.
Read the full story at the Baltimore Sun.
October 4, 2007
WELLINGTON, TEXAS — This small Texas town has successfully turned back the hands of time with the restoration of the beautiful Ritz Theatre on the downtown square. On Oct. 13, Wellington is throwing open the doors to its hometown pride for all to see as the Amarillo Little Theatre presents, “Sweet Dreams, Peggy Sue” live on the Ritz stage at 8 p.m.
Tickets are now on sale every evening in the lobby at the Wellington Ritz Theatre from 6:30 until 7 p.m. Tickets also can be purchased by mail at Wellington Ritz Theatre, P. O. Box 202, Wellington, TX 79095.
Following the opening night event, a week of clasic movies is planned to celebrate the Ritz’s cinematic heritage that dates back to April 1929 when the Ritz showed the first talkies in town through the magic of Vitaphone and Movietone singing and talking pictures.
October 2, 2007
SAN DIEGO, CA — The end is near for the Balboa Theatre renovations.
The historic Balboa Theatre is just a few months away from a grand reopening. The vaudeville-era 1,300-seat live performance theater in the heart of downtown San Diego is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
After numerous unsuccessful efforts over the past 18 years to renovate and reopen the Balboa Theatre, the Centre City Development Corporation (CCDC), the public, nonprofit corporation created by the City of San Diego to oversee downtown’s redevelopment, is nearing completion of the $26 million restoration project to return the venue to its original glory. The restoration is being completed in collaboration with the award-winning architectural firm of Westlake Reed Leskosky of Phoenix, Arizona. Scheduled for early 2008, the grand opening festivities will include a Roaring Twenties-themed gala, public tours and more.
“Like the Balboa, Downtown San Diego has undergone a great transformation. Preservation of this magnificent building is extremely important for the future character of the city,” said CCDC President Nancy Graham. “The Balboa Theatre is a testament to San Diego’s thriving arts and cultural community and CCDC is committed to restoring and returning this treasured icon, in its original grand style, to all who live, work and visit here.”
September 12, 2007
NEW YORK, NY — The Playpen may have had more theater incarnations than any cinema in town, but apparently that’s not enough to keep it going. The changing trends of Times Square will almost certainly soon demolish the building.
The homogenization of the Times Square area (yes, The Times has contributed to the phenomenon with its new headquarters opposite the Port Authority Bus Terminal) has claimed another quirky victim: the Playpen, a former cinema that closed recently after 90-odd years.
Very odd years.
What Eighth Avenue will lose with its disappearance is more than an adults-only emporium with suggestive neon come-ons — “Live Girls,” “Preview Booths,” “Leather & Lace.” It will lose the last home of the Funny Store, an almost vaudevillian novelty shop. It will lose one of the most distinctive facades of any surviving theater from the early 20th century, a kind of heroic Palladian composition. And will lose a three-dimensional history lesson in the evolution of Times Square.
The rest along with the history of the structure over its changing years is in the New York Times.