Preservation Alert

  • February 8, 2011

    City Council rejects plea to declare Beach 4 historic

    CAPE MAY, NJ — The latest news regarding the Beach 4 is not good news for those working to save the theater from demolition. The City Council refused to confirm the determination of the Historic Preservation Commission that the cinema has historic character. The ball is now apparently back in the court of the Zoning Board, which will not meet again until the end of March. The fate of the sixty-one-year-old theater has been in controversy since at least 2007.

    The appeal came from Clay Street resident Jeanne Powick and Congress Street resident Barbara Skinner, who want council to declare the Beach Theatre “a key contributing building,” which in historic preservation terms means it would have some protections against the wrecking ball. Powick argued that historic properties boost tourism and property values.

    “An historic property is at very high risk right now,” Powick said.

    There is more in the Press of Atlantic City.

  • January 5, 2011

    Olympia Theatre in foreclosure

    PALMETTO, FL — The Olympia Theatre which opened in 1916 as the first movie theater on the West Coast of Florida is in foreclosure and will be auctioned off in February 2011.

    Manatee Circuit Court Judge Edward Nicholas awarded a Sarasota County private lender a $419,913.63 foreclosure judgment against Olympia owners Joel and Cindy Jarvis on Dec. 13.

    According to court records, the Jarvises borrowed $280,000 from Gordon D. Hester on May 28, 2008, and were unable to pay back the loan and $55,655.93 in interest that had accrued through Dec. 10.


  • November 18, 2010

    Historic Ridgewood Theatre needs saviour ASAP

    QUEENS, NY — Please help in any way you can: Friends of the Ridgewood Theatre in Ridgewood, NY is seeking a historically-minded performing arts group &/or film operator ASAP, or its rare Adamesque interior by Thomas Lamb will be gone forever and Queens and Brooklyn will be robbed of a true theater of great potential for emerging artists and NYC patrons. Opened in 1916, this is Queens' earliest theater, which experienced the evolution of vaudeville and film. The outside is landmarked, but that is not enough. Please spread the word, and with potential leads.

    These are some photos.

    Also, join the Facebook Group for Friends of The Ridgewood Theatre, & encourage your friends to join by clicking on “invite people to join link.” This gem’s future is up to US!

    • Michael Perlman
      Friends of The Ridgewood Theatre, Chair
      Four Borough Neighborhood Preservation Alliance, Queens VP
  • August 17, 2010

    Classic art deco theater in jeopardy

    HOOPESTON, IL — Dangerously empty lately, the Lorraine Theatre has had a hard time making a profit.

    “The overall attendance for 2010 versus 2009 is down almost 20 percent. The killer was July,” said owner Josh Caudle. “July 2010 attendance was down nearly 70 percent versus July 2009.”

    Attendance is the key that represents ticket sales and revenues to the movie studios.

    “So far in 2010,” he said, “the Lorraine has played 14 films where the tickets sales didn’t recoup the cost to the studios for providing us the films. They are therefore unwilling to continue to give us films.”

    Read more in the Commercial News.

  • August 3, 2010

    Ridglea Theater in danger

    FORT WORTH, TX — The beautiful Ridglea Theater is in peril now. The local news has broadcast that the current owners want to demolish it to make way for retail sales. The locals are trying to figure out how to save it. It was reported that the group “Historic Ft Worth” are now giving tours of the theater for this purpose. These folks really need help to save this treasure!!

    The Ridglea Theatre is still more-or-less where we left it last time – the threat of demolition hanging over it, with Bank of America looking at demolishing almost the entire structure to build a drive-through bank branch. Councilman Zimmerman still refuses to try to get the building designated historic (and when even Chuck Silcox said it should be designated and the current councilman won’t, that’s not a good sign), and preservation groups including Historic Fort Worth are still arguing for the complex’s significance.

    Read more in the Pegasus News.

  • July 30, 2010

    Save the Palm Beach Paramount

    PALM BEACH, FL — This grand old theatre is fighting for its life. Due to safety regulations, the town is planning on demolishing it. But there is a group trying to safe it by having it declared a Palm Beach Landmark. Here is what they are planning:

    Monday, August 2, 5:00 pm
    Paramount Church Fellowship Hall
    139 North County Road, Palm Beach

  • 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.