Openings

  • June 28, 2005

    Burnham Plaza Theatre To Close

    CHICAGO, IL — Time has run out on the Burnham Plaza Theatre , located in Chicago’s South Loop area at 826 S Wabash. According to an article by Haydn Bush in the 6/15/2005 edition of the CHICAGO JOURNAL, the theater will close in August 2005 and be converted to medical offices. The article states that the landlords of the Burnham Plaza blame an inneficient design and a changing real estate market.

    The theater was built in 1987 by Cineplex Odeon in the burgeoning South Loop Area. Yet for some reason, it has never been a success, despite being the only theater in the area since 2000. In the eighteen years it’s been open, it has been operated by Cineplex Odeon, Loews Cineplex, Meridien, and finally Village Theatres.

    Although Village did try to make the place viable, and cleaned it up somewhat, they did not advertise the theater in the paper.

  • June 9, 2005

    NY Times Looks At Beekman Closing

    There is an article about the impending Beekman closing in the June 6th edition of the NY Times.

    “It’s very sad,” said Beth Simpson Crimmins, a spokeswoman for Clearview Cinemas, which operates the Beekman, on Second Avenue near 66th Street. “It’s a very strong theater for us, but unfortunately the landlord has exercised a lease option to take back the property.”

    Definitely worth a read!

  • June 6, 2005

    Amboy Cinemas Closes Temporarily

    The Amboy Multiplex Cinemas, the movie theatre known by many Garden State Parkway commuters as the multiplex near the highway, is temporarily closed (I think) due to flooring problems.

    The theater, in existence since the late 1970’s, is owned by the same company, National Amusements, who owns the Hazlet, All-Jersey (Newark), and the newer Edgewater Multiplex Cinemas.

  • June 3, 2005

    Riverside Theatre Goes Dark, Briefly?

    MILWAUKEE, WI — This Journal news item revealing the demise of the operators of the RIVERSIDE may not be pleasant to read, but at least we might possibly have hope that the venerable Riverside Theatre might still be with us for some time to come.

    Now, who would have thought that a tax-supported and much larger facility (the 2004 MILWAUKEE THEATER, which is not a cinema, hence not listed here on CT) would take away a large amount of the buiness that our local theatres had survived upon? Yeah, who??? ;)

    Well, maybe, just maybe there is a bright side to all this IF the new management will be more sympathetic to letting Dairyland Theatre Organ Society back in to bring their own Wurlitzer pipe organ (one of the few still playing in its own home) alive again for the public. We can only hope.

  • May 31, 2005

    Ohmann Theatre Reopens Following Restoration

    LYONS, NY — The Opening date for the Ohmann Theatre is July 6.

    The 90 year old theatre will be as special as the opening day in 1915. The colors and wood work have been restored, the original design of the curtains has been reproduced and plays, concerts and, of course, movies are being scheduled.

    A well known director of theatrical productions will head up the staff. The name to be announced soon.

  • May 23, 2005

    Cecchi Gori Fine Arts Theatre Closed

    BEVERLY HILLS, CA — Last Wednesday night, May 18th, was the last night of operation for the Cecchi Gori Fine Arts Theatre.

    Arthouse chain Landmark has been booking the theater since the mid-‘90’s. No word has been issued if this is a decision made by Landmark or by the Cecchi Gori family who own the building, and no further information is available as to what will happen to the theater.

  • April 28, 2005

    Village 4 Theatre Closes Its Doors

    ANN ARBOR, MI — The Village 4 Theatre closed its doors this past Sunday, April 24th, 2005. All passes and gift books will be honered at the newly opened (October 2004) Village 7 Theatre, located inside Briarwood Mall also in Ann Arbor. For more information, visit the Village Theatre website.

  • April 19, 2005

    Another Drive-In Drives Off Into The Sunset

    CHURCHVILLE, MD — From a high of 47 in 1958 to a total of one today — that is the current state of the drive-in theater in Maryland following the announcement of the closure of the 53 year-old Bel Air Drive-In. According to the Baltimore Sun, patronage had fallen off dramatically and its operators could no longer afford the rent.

    To read (and see) more about the end of the Bel Air, visit WBAL-TV, Channel 11 Baltimore’s website. For a forum about drive-ins and a survey about your own drive-in patronage (or lack thereof), visit our weekly poll.

    For more information on drive-ins, check out Kipp and Jennifer Sherer’s wonderful website, drive-ins.com. [Editor’s note: I’ve been using it for years to visit drive-ins around the country.] Like our friends at CinemaTour and other sites, drive-ins.com is part of a growing community of like-minded enthusiasts, preservationists and fans. For more drive-in related websites, visit our drive-in theater links.

    As the Bel-Air goes dark, perhaps forever, it offers another reminder of how quickly decades of memories can be extinguished. Here today, gone tomorrow. It’s another reason to pay homage to your favorite theaters with your good wishes and your attendance.

    (Thank you to Edward Lopez who alerted us to this story.)

  • March 18, 2005

    Flatbush Pavilion to Become Swimming Pool

    BROOKLYN, NY — The Flatbush Pavilion, which closed in May 2004, is going to become a swimming pool, according to a health club employee I spoke with. (Read this Daily Heights article for more information.)

    There was some hope that the Pavilion—which opened in 1912 as the Bunny Theatre and at one time was repurposed as a mini-golf course—might find new life. But my source said the health club that bought the theater plans to build a swimming pool in the space.

  • February 25, 2005

    El Rey Theater to Close, Faces Destruction

    CHICO, CA – Eric Hart, the new owner of Chico’s El Rey Theater, has disclosed plans to convert the century-old building to an office, retail and parking complex. The building will be gutted and the interior completely reconstructed.

    This historic house opened in 1905 as the Majestic Theater. Operating first as a vaudeville house, it soon began showing movies, becoming Chico’s first cinema. In 1925, it was remodeled by the architectural firm of Stark and Flanders, and was renamed the National Theater. Closed briefly in 1939 for another remodeling, it re-opened as the American Theater. The final re-naming came in 1946, when the building was reconstructed after being gutted by a fire. In recent decades, the El Rey has been operated as a first-run house by United Artists and Regal Cinemas. It is one of the last large single-screen houses in Northern California.

    Hart, who owns and has partly renovated the nearby Senator Theater, said that he would like to save the El Rey as a theater, but that the financial prospects for a large single screen cinema in this market were too poor. (Two older multiplex cinemas in Chico have recently closed, leaving the town with only Cinemark’s 14 screen Tinseltown complex and the small art film-oriented Pageant Theater downtown.)

    Each of the following articles includes a photograph of the El Rey:
    Chico News and Review article of January 27
    Chico News and Review article of February 17