August 12, 2004
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND — The final credits will roll at Manchester’s famous Odeon Cinema next month.
The historic 74-year-old Oxford Street picture house, which began life as the Paramount Theatre, has been unable to compete with modern cinema complexes, and a recent review determined the seven-screen cinema is no longer “commercially viable”.
As a spokesman for the Odeon put it: “We can confirm the closure of the cinema on Oxford Street, which will officially shut its doors for the last time on Thursday, September 2. Until that time, the cinema will remain open for business as usual.
For more information, read this report from the Manchester Online.
July 20, 2004
CHICAGO, IL — The Biograph Theatre, long a Chicago movie-going landmark, will close to moviegoers in September of this year, after being sold to the Tony-award winning Victory Gardens Theatre. (More info details in this report from the Chicago Tribune.)
While its interior will be gutted, the facade will be preserved. The theater company plans two theater spaces, one will be a 299-seat main stage and the other will be a more intimate 130-seat studio theater.
While this may be a good outcome for the Biograph, it represents the loss of yet another neighborhood theater in Chicago Without a car, it becomes evermore difficult to catch a show in the city.
July 16, 2004
BERKELEY, CA — Theatergoers of Berkeley, CA and the East Bay recently suffered the end of an era of repertory cinema when the Fine Arts Cinema was officially declared dead.
Patrick Kennedy, owner and developer of the apartment and commercial complex being completed on the cinema’s former site, said that the last operator, Keith Arnold, had informed him that he had given up on reopening in the building bearing its name because he had been unable to raise the $800,000 to $1.2 million necessary to outfit the unfinished space offered by Kennedy.
July 13, 2004
AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS — The first and oldest art house theater in The Netherlands, “De Uitkijk”, is about to close. The tiny theater on the Prinsengracht 452 has been running since 1929, but now faces a final shut-down after a couple of years of loss.
Currently there aren’t any cinema chains or owners looking into saving the site, nor does the local government seem to care. The Filmmuseum has shown interest (since it’s roots lie in the theater), but have no money at all. The current owner is still looking for financial aid to keep the theater open.
From press release:
“Picturehouse Cinemas, operators of London’s favourite neighbourhood cinemas (Living London Awards as voted by LBC 97.3FM listeners ), announce the opening of their 19th venue The Olympia Cinema, located within the Olympia Exhibition complex in Kensington.
The cinema opens to the public on Friday July 23rd, and for the opening weekend all tickets to all films will be just Â£1 and there are also free previews of summer blockbusters, details of how to get tickets are available from the website www.picturehouses.co.uk.
July 11, 2004
Minneapolis, MN — Bill Irvine, the owner of the Parkway Theater, has closed the doors after 29 years in operation, according to an article in the Pulse of the Twin Cities. Citing rising property taxes and the ongoing struggle of independent theaters as the reason for the closing, there is now a ‘For Sale’ sign on the building.
June 29, 2004
BOSTON, MA — The renovated and restored Keith’s Theatre will reopen officially on July 16th, but the former movie palace has already presented an “informal concert” earlier this week. The Boston Globe, Boston Herald and Preservation Magazine report on this exciting news in the following articles:
- “Another opening, another show”
- “Where the silver screen was truly golden”
- “The magnificent performances sang”
- “Celebrating the reopening of the Opera House”
- “A front-row seat to an art form’s rise and fall”
- “Evening showcases Opera House, and city’s favorites”
June 25, 2004
O'FALLON, MO — A new 14 Screen will be part of a new $40 Million Shopping Center in O'Fallon. It is part of one of the many sites that developers have staked out along Highway 40 in St. Charles County for retail development. The Center will be called Caledonia. (The new theater complex also is part of the recent spree of cinemas being built in the St. Louis area.)
This will be the Indiana-based Great Escape Theatres' first theater in the St. Louis Market. With the explosive growth of the WingHaven area in St. Charles County, this was an ideal opportunity for Great Escape. A new theater will be highly welcomed by the O'Fallon residents since they currently have to drive all the way to Mid-Rivers Mall (to the Wehrenberg theaters) in St. Peter’s.
June 16, 2004
CHARLESTON, SC — Thank you to the Friends of the Garden Theater for your efforts to save the Garden as a theater. Thanks to Cinema Treasures for providing a place to post notices and news. Thanks to the many fine folks who responded to our posts.
The scheduled meeting for June 17, 2004, has been cancelled due to recent developments. Yesterday, we were told by workmen at the theater that the curtain, seats, and rigging have been donated to an opera company in Pennsylvania and the floor is soon to be leveled from the stage to the rear wall of the auditorium so that the space can be leased to a retail store.
June 7, 2004
SALT LAKE CITY, UT — Westates Theatres closed the Trolley Corners Cinema after its final showings on June 3, 2004. The triplex theater will be gutted and replaced by a 24-hour fitness health club.
Trolley Corners opened December 23, 1977 and was the last of Salt Lake’s 70mm theaters. Theater #1 featured stadium seating, 770 seats, and an 8-channel SDDS digital sound system. The large, curved screen was covered with curtains. Murals of “Star Wars” and “Sound of Music” adorned the lobby walls. The projection booth held two projectors.