• 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.

  • September 13, 2006

    Victorville Theater to open in fall

    VICTORVILLE, CA — After some delays that left residents frustrated for convenient entertainment, Cinemark’s new multiplex in Victorville is scheduled to open in the next few months.

    Stadium seating, surround sound and 16 screens are all coming to the Mall of Victor Valley this fall — but 18 extra stalls for the women’s restroom might just steal the show.

    After demolishing the old mall movie theater in 2005, Cinemark is able to add things like more women’s restrooms to the new theater — and in the process, it has also nearly doubled the square footage, from 35,000 to 65,000 square feet.

    To read more, visit The Victorville Daily Press.

  • September 5, 2006

    Queen Mary to show Rocky Horror

    While visiting the beautiful RMS Queen Mary this week, I learned that they plan to screen “Rocky Horror Picture Show” on a regular basis.

    This has been playing at the venerable Art Theatre on 4th Street in Long Beach. I’m also told that the Art will be closing its movie programs and will reopen as a night club. I do hope they will restore the original Chinese decorations on the walls. The seats were a bit hard, but I enjoyed supporting the Art -such nice people!

    -Simon Overton

  • September 4, 2006

    Capitol Theatre returns

    CHAMBERSBURG, PA — The Capitol Theatre will reopen in the next few months providing a much needed addition to the city’s cultural landscape. They will be showing independent, revival, and spanish-language films.

    The Capitol Theatre has been a fixture in downtown Chambersburg since 1927. Many residents of Franklin County saw their first movie there.

    In the early days of movies, Chambersburg had two theaters — the Rosedale and the Capitol. After the Rosedale closed, the Capitol was all alone until the 1970s, when a movie theater opened across from Southgate Shopping Center. Eventually, the Capitol stopped showing films and the theater at Southgate was torn down, leaving Chambersburg Mall as the only site for movies in the greater Chambersburg area.

    For more, read the full story in Public Opinion.

  • August 30, 2006

    Capawock to reopen in November

    VINEYARD HAVEN, MA — Despite rumors saying otherwise, the Capawock Theatre’s owners still aim to reopen the theater in a few months.

    A sign posted last week over the Capawock Theatre’s entrance on Main Street in Vineyard Haven reads, “Reopening November 1st or earlier.”

    Despite costly and time-consuming setbacks in renovating the vintage 1912 movie theater building, the prospect of operating a business that loses money, a mounting campaign of public criticism, and veiled threats of eminent domain, the Hall family set a date to reopen the movie theater after its screens have been dark for almost two years.

    The full story is availablein the Martha’s Vineyard Times.

  • August 28, 2006

    TCU razing former movie theater

    FORT WORTH, TX — The Frog Theatre is closing and set to be demolished for a campus bookstore.

    Texas Christian University, having ordered the demolition of the old TCU Theater on South University Drive, is preparing to remake the northeast corner of the busy intersection with a campus bookstore as the centerpiece.

    TCU officials aren’t ready to announce what the bookstore will look like or what its footprint will be, but the acquisition of the former movie theater in late July and its razing this week significantly opened up the corner of Berry Street and University Drive.

    For more, read the full story at The Star-Telegram.

  • Showcase Cinema 14 East Hartford, CT To Close

    HARTFORD, CT — Citing low attendance, Showcase Cinema owner National Amusements has decided to close its East Hartford Connecticut 14 screen house.

    Built in the early 70’s with 4 screens, the theater was expanded and renovated through the years to the present 14 screens.

  • August 27, 2006

    Last week for Odeon York, England.

    YORK, ENGLAND — The 69 year old Odeon Cinema, in York, has entered its final week of showing films. The fantastic grade II listed Art Deco monument is the last of the city’s original picture houses and undoubtedly one of the best examples of its type in the country.

    As part of the famous Odeon circuit of cinema built up by Oscar Deutsch (1893-1941), the York Odeon is one of two that had to be specially designed and executed because of the historic surroundings in which they were situated. The other was/is at Chester but York’s is regarded as the better of the two, with its moderne streamlined outline and excellent brick detailing.

    Threats of closure came about in 2003 when the Odeon company were refused permission to carry out an insensitive re-branding scheme which would have removed the last original name sign of its type in the whole of the UK and the carving up of the building largest auditorium into bland smaller units.