Preservation Alert

  • July 30, 2010

    Hartlepool Council to decide on future of Odeon Cinema

    HARTLEPOOL, ENGLAND — Hartlepool Borough Council officials will meet on Friday 30th July, to discuss the future of the towns run-down former Odeon Cinema. The last film was shown in October 1981, since then the building has only been partially re-used as the Joe Pools American bar and Caesars Palace Nightclub, between 1994 & 1999.

    The building has been left to gradually deterioate, to the extent where the council has been forced to close off parts of the footpaths round the building due to falling masonry from the windows. The owners have failed to come up with any re-use plans and despite continued warnings, have also failed to maintain the building, which has become rife with pigeons, using open windows as access. Water ingress has also created problems, with damp patches appearing on the auditorium external walls.

    The recommended option is to enter into partnership with a private developer, other public sector bodies or a community, voluntary or charitable group.

    That would involve a legal agreement being drawn up and ownership transferred to the development partner if a sale could be agreed. The cost of recruiting a partner would come from within existing council budgets for derelict land and buildings.

    Read the full story in the Hartlepool Mail.

  • July 29, 2010

    City, preservationists at odds over fate of Morgan Hill’s Granada Theatre

    MORGAN HILL, CA — Preservationist-minded citizens are challenging the City Council which favors tearing down the 1952 Granada Theatre to build a mixed use housing and retail development. Although a business plan to renovate the theater as both a cinema and a mixed-use entertainment venue has been presented, council members feel the theater is not historically signficant and think a construction of a new cinema would be preferable. Current mayoral candidates are on opposite sides of the issue.

    But a group of citizens and local businesses say saving and renovating the Granada as a local entertainment center is key to the revitalization effort, and are making a last attempt after 18 months of battles through a petition drive to put the future of the theater on the November ballot.

    “We think we’ve put out a fairly compelling business model,” said Stephen Beard and Pamala Meador of the Save the Granada Foundation. “But we’ve been blocked every step of the way.”

    The story is in the Contra Costa Times.

  • July 13, 2010

    New development to demolish theaters

    SAN FRANCISCO, CA — The CityPlace retail center has been approved to give a jolt to the Mid-Market district but to be built, the St. Francis Theatre will be destroyed and possibly also the Pantages.

    Construction plans call for the developer to raze three boarded-up buildings, including the old St. Francis Theater, and replace them with a five-level, 90-foot-high, glass-fronted building. The two-level underground garage will be accessible from Stevenson Street, behind the development.

    “We want to put something on that block of Market Street that would activate the street,” Rhoades said. “We want to attract tenants who will sell more affordable goods, electronics, sporting goods and other things not generally found downtown.”

    Read more in the San Francisco Chronicle.

  • July 6, 2010

    Miami’s Gusman Center threatened with closure

    MIAMI, FL – The Gusman Center for the Performing Arts (Olympia Theatre, 1926) may face closure, due to budget cutbacks addressing the city’s estimated $100 million deficit.

    Miami Mayor Tom├ís Regalado proposed elimination of the city’s $478,000 contribution to the Gusman’s $1.4 million annual operating budget. The Friends of Gusman, along with county and state funding, have traditionally provided the rest.

    Regalado’s move comes despite the Gusman’s recent $8 million makeover, an uptick in the downtown population, and such popular attractions as the Miami Film Festival and a recent “Twilight” fan event.

  • June 29, 2010

    Grass roots effort begun to save the Queen Theater in Honolulu

    HONOLULU, HI — A growing and determined group of local preservationists have banded together to help save the 1936 Queen Theater. The deteriorating theater has been closed for decades, ending its movie exhibition days as an adult theater. The group is working first to get the theater designated as a landmark, and convince the owner that the building can be made viable once again.

    Lately, a few concerned citizens have organized themselves around this shared sentiment. Together they’re the nonprofit Friends of Queen Theater. Whether it’s a screening of a Godard film, a staging of Waiting for Godot, or a performance by a Go-Gos cover band, its members want to see the structure as an operating theater again.

    “Our mission is to restore the Queen Theater for community use into a working, multi-use venue,” says Nancy Wilcox, a McKinley High School photography teacher and founding member. “Films, live performances, concerts—-it could do practically anything and contain modern technology that’ll have no affect on its historical nature.”

    The full story is in the Honolulu Weekly.

  • June 25, 2010

    Reclaim the Regent

    BRISBANE, QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA — On Friday 18th June 2010 an application was submitted to the EPA/DERM for heritage listing of the original 1920s Elizabeth Street facade of the Regent Theatre Brisbane (aka Hoyts Entertainment Centre; Qld Heritage Register Place ID#600140).

    Due to pending demolition of this valuable, visible and indisputably iconic piece of Brisbane’s heritage, emergency listing is required preceding permanent protection.

    I find it appalling that the heritage value of this original and outstanding portion of the original theatre has not been formally recognized to date, despite careful description of it within the building description on the Queensland Heritage Register, and the National Trust’s adamant acknowledgment of the entire building’s historical value that resulted in as much preservation as possible in the late 1970s.

  • June 3, 2010

    Cricket Theatre added to Alabama Places in Peril

    COLLINSVILLE, AL — The Cricket Theatre is one of 11 listings in the 2010 Places in Peril list sponsored by the Alabama Trust for Historic Preservation and the Alabama Historical Commission. This 1946 theatre was the center of entertainment in Collinsville prior to its closing in 1964. The Collinsville Historical Association has recently acquired the but a partially collapsed roof is challenging their efforts to restore the theatre.

  • May 27, 2010

    June 3 Deadline: Letters needed to save the Fairfax Theatre

    LOS ANGELES, CA — The Art Deco Society of Los Angeles is asking for help to raise awareness for the Fairfax Theatre and its importance in the community before an upcoming vote that will greatly influence its future:

    On June 3, 2010, the Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission will be holding a hearing to determine the future of The Fairfax Theater. Now is the time to voice your concern and support for the Fairfax Theater.

    Since 1930, the Fairfax Theater has been an integral part of the Fairfax district. The theater has served as a cinema, a legitimate playhouse, and an important locale for various religious and civic events. In the 80 years of operation, many residents of the community saw their first movie here and for others, even their first date and quite a few others, their first job.

  • May 24, 2010

    Facebook group forms to help save Cinedome 70

    RIVERDALE, UT — Over 2,400 people have joined a Facebook group established to help save the Cinedome 70, a twin-domed theater closed since 2001 and threatened with demolition for a car dealership. It is similar in design to domed theaters built in Sacramento and around the San Francisco Bay area that are rapidly disappearing.

    “It would be much better served in the community as a place for art and culture, rather than just another car lot.”

    Glines said Riverdale already has an abundance of car dealerships, but what it is lacking is uniqueness.

    “I think putting a dealership here would be directly going against the wishes of the people,” he said.

    Read the full story in the Standard-Examiner.

  • May 19, 2010

    Prospects for saving the Beach 4 looking dim

    CAPE MAY, NJ — The ongoing effort to save the Beach 4 may have reached a point where further efforts may be futile. The not-for-profit foundation that ran the theater up until 2009 under a lease from Frank Investments is broke, and the city is demanding repayment of a loan that may leave individual contributors liable.

    Foundation president Steve Jackson said this week that if the city demands payment, it would bankrupt the Beach Theatre Foundation, ending any chance of saving the theater, and put the 35 Cape May residents who signed off on the loan on the hook for thousands of dollars each.

    “I cannot see how that is in the best interest of the city,” Jackson said, adding later, “If they demand it right now, it does no one any good. We don’t have the money to pay it back. It just puts the foundation out of business, and destroys any chance of that building being saved.”

    Read the whole story in the Shore News Today.