• October 23, 2006

    Lake Mills to have new theater

    LAKE MILLS, IA — With no movie theater within miles, residents are banding together to construct a new theater that will also be used for performing arts.

    In Lake Mills, construction of a theater may begin in a few weeks. It will resemble the 1937 art deco building it is replacing. The goal is to have the theater open for the July Jubilee celebration July 13-15.

    The Mills Theatre closed in the spring of 2001. Since then, residents have had to drive to Forest City, Mason City and beyond for movies, with high gas prices adding to the price of a ticket.

    For more, read the Globe Gazette.

  • October 18, 2006

    Biograph reopens

    CHICAGO, IL — Not showing films but as a venue for the Victory Gardens Theater, the Biograph is open again.

    It was at the Biograph Theatre that bank robber John Dillinger was gunned down by FBI agents July 22, 1934, after taking in the movie “Manhattan Melodrama” and being betrayed by the “Lady in Red.”

    The Biograph is one of Chicago’s last remaining landmarks from its gun-slinging past; Al Capone’s Lexington Hotel hangout and the warehouse site of the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre have been demolished.

    Over the weekend, the Biograph held its coming-out party as a newly rehabbed venue for Victory Gardens Theater live shows, and theater leaders echoed Mayor Richard Daley in playing down its bloody past.

    To read more, visit the Seattle Times.

    (Thanks to Eric Olson for providing the photo.)

  • October 16, 2006

    Mall’s movie blackout to end

    YORKTOWN HEIGHTS, NY — After reporting the theater’s closing two months ago, small Florida-based chain Trademark Cinemas is coming in to reopen the Jefferson Valley cinema.

    Two months after Regal Entertainment Group closed its eight-screen multiplex, the movies are coming back to the Jefferson Valley Mall.

    Mall officials have confirmed an announcement by Trademark Cinemas of Lake Mary, Fla., that the fledgling theater chain will make Jefferson Valley its second location. The news was first reported on Trademark’s Web site, though rumors of the theater’s return have swirled for days.

    To read more on this story, go to The Journal News.

  • October 5, 2006

    Fair Theater now open

    PLAINVIEW, TX — The Fair Theater has been and is now open for business.

    To read more, visit the Fair Theater Webpage.

  • October 2, 2006

    Woolton Cinema, Liverpool (UK). Closes after 75 years

    WOOLTON VILLAGE, ENGLAND — This single screen cinema, situated in Woolton Village closed on 03/09/2006. The untimely closure of the cinema was due to the death of its owner, Mr David Wood. Mr Wood’s widow felt she could no longer operate the cinema and a decision was made to close the doors.

    A group formed by members of the local community is campaigning to raise enough funds to reopen the cinema. There is a website which has more infomation and links to members of the campaign: Woolton Picture House Homepage.

  • September 29, 2006

    Village Theatre’s days are numbered

    VALPARAISO, IN — After a hard-fought battle to keep it open for a bit longer, it looks like the Village Theatre will soon shut its doors.

    Village Entertainment CEO Ron Rooding hoped the movie theater could remain open until January, but Porter Superior Court Judge William Alexa ruled Tuesday that the theater has 15 business days to cease all operations.

    The north-side theater located in the former County Seat Plaza can file for an extension of 15 additional days for good reason, Alexa said. After that, Porter County police will be called to change the locks.

    For the full story, visit The Post-Tribune.

  • September 19, 2006

    Hollywood Theater in Pittsburgh, PA to reopen

    PITTSBURGH, PA — The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s September 14, 2006 edition reports that the Hollywood Theater in the city’s Dormont neighborhood will reopen sometime this fall after an extensive remodeling.

    Bradley Center has agreed to lease the theater for 10 years with options to renew and, after renovations, wants to open it by Thanksgiving. But center officials said that contractors' work might not be finished until the holiday season in December.

    Mayor Thomas Lloyd announced at last week’s council meeting that Bradley has applied for a building permit to start renovations. No money details were released.

    For the full story, visit The Post Gazette.

  • September 15, 2006

    Long run over for Esquire Theater

    CHICAGO, IL — According to the Chicago Tribune, the Esquire Theater in Chicago is closing and may be demolished as soon as next year. One possible proposal is mixed retail and hotel.

    The last movies will show at the Esquire Theater on the Gold Coast Thursday, after which its owner will start raising the curtain on a possible retail-hotel complex that would replace the theater once its 1930s-era building is demolished.

    The residential and retail developer acquired the Oak Street property four years ago. Most recently, AMC Entertainment Inc. has been managing the theater, often showing films that already have run at downtown megaplexes.

    Shapack expects to begin demolishing the Esquire in about 14 months and start construction on a mixed-use complex likely to include retail, restaurants and, perhaps, a hotel or condominiums.

    For more, see the article in the Sept 14, 2006 edition by Susan Diesenhouse.

    (Thanks to Adam Martin at Cinematour for providing the photo.)

  • September 14, 2006

    Drive-in theater plan cruises

    WAPELLO, IA — Plans are being executed for a new drive-in, north of Grandview, Iowa.

    Property owners Greg and Shilah Lindle are the parents of Kelly Daniels. The Daniels are proposing to use about 5 of the 15 acres to construct an outdoor drive-in movie theater called Cruise-in Drive-in with enough space for up to 300 vehicles. They requested a 15-acre rezoning to avoid claims of spot zoning, which is illegal.

    Bob Simmering of HWS Engineering of Muscatine said plans call for a 50- by 35-foot screen on the west end with an entrance on the east end of the 5-acre location. Near the center would be a concession stand/projection booth/arcade, Simmering said. There would be a 1,500-gallon sewage system.

    For more, read the Muscatine Journal.

  • Closed theaters — resources for SERIOUS researchers

    Within the Turner Classic Movies (TCM) “Vault” is a short film titled “The Case Against the 20% Federal Admissions Tax on Motion Picture Theatres”. I recorded it sometime within the last decade and want others to be informed of its existence. It was produced circa 1952 (references “since 1946” and “within the past six years”) about 4500 theaters had closed (“one out of every four in the country”). Serious researches ought access the source files both in the Los Angeles archives of the AMA and the archived historical papers of the various State Representatives (Congress) who submitted data for the report.