Preservation Alert

  • June 9, 2009

    Historic Buzzards Bay Theater faces extinction

    BUZZARDS BAY, MA — A meeting tonight could decide the fate of the Buzzards Bay Theater.

    The Buzzards Bay Theater, which was a movie theater and local meeting place for the better part of the 20th century, now faces extinction. Its owners, Vincent and Noreen Michienzi, want to demolish the building and will meet with the town’s historic commission at a public hearing June 9 to discuss their plans. The commission can delay demolition for up to a year while they work with the owner to preserve whatever history they can, commission member Donald “Jerry” Ellis said.

    The historical commission “is not trying to be a stake in the road” to property owners, Ellis said. “We’re trying to preserve the historic atmosphere of the village,” as long as it fits in with the “economic well-being” of the owners.

    Read the full story in South Coast Today.

  • June 5, 2009

    Haar’s Drive-In in makes plea for community support

    DILLSBURG, PA — According to the video which appeared on WGAL.com, recent business at the Haar’s Drive-In (one of the last surviving drive-ins in Central Pennsylvania) has been adversely affected by the economy – particularly at the concession stand. WGAL Link

    The real estate itself was sold to Giant Food Stores about five years ago to keep the property from being sold to competitor Walmart with a lease back to the Haar family.

  • June 3, 2009

    Astron Cinema in danger

    ATHENS, GREECE —The Astron Cinema, located at 37 Kifisias Avenue, represents the new generation of purpose-built cinemas at the center of Athens in the 1950’s. It opened its doors on January 1957 with 1.074 seats (663 at the ground floor and 411 at the balcony). Designed in the Art Moderne style by the well-known greek architect Solon Kidoniatis, it is much acclaimed for its grandiose staircase, spacious foyer and the uncommonly elongated balcony.

    Since May 2008, its current owner (Sinegiitiko Kefalaio Chrimatistiriakon Sinalagon) closed it down and sold the lot. A handful of active neighbors tried to persuade the Ministry of Culture about its architectural merits and the need to be preserved.

    Please, sign our petition about the preservation of Astron Cinema.

    Cinemahellas Blog

    (Thanks to Peter for providing the photo.)

  • May 26, 2009

    Roxy preservation issue

    I came across the Cinema Treasures site while doing some looking around regarding the Roxy Theater at 827 Meridian St. in Nashville, TN. My wife and I own a home a couple of blocks away and are interested in the preservation of the theater and the neighborhood commercial district around it.

    The most recent owner of the theater has passed away and his family is selling the property. Do you have any insight in the best way to advocate for the preservation/restoration of the theater and storefronts?

    The theater is current in a significantly altered state with main entrances sealed, etc.

    Thanks,
    Dane

  • May 22, 2009

    Regent Theatre nearing demolition

    BRISBANE, QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA — Brisbane’s iconic picture palace, the Regent, is one step closer to being gutted and redeveloped into an office tower and lobby. The Brisbane City Council development planning unit rubber stamped the development in a hasty meeting on May 12. Opposition requests to properly re-examine the plans were quashed by a majority vote. A bland token cinema of 300 seats and two 60-seat “auditoria/meeting rooms” is planned, as well as a huge car park in what was the original cinema box. These “cinemas” will only open on weekends and questions of viability and the lifespan of these areas remain.

    But the unique 1929 plaster ceilings and decorations in the current Showcase Cinema and adjoining bar area will be demolished, as the developers feel that this is not of any significance. The heritage listed gothic foyer and entrance lobby are protected by legislation, so the developers thankfully cannot touch those.

    The showcase and bar areas are all that remain of the grand auditorium of 2500 seats and give it a continuing aesthetic quality carried over with the 1980 conversion to a cineplex of 4 smaller cinemas. It is the favoured home of the Brisbane International Film Festival and they will now have to look elsewhere.

  • May 20, 2009

    BFA Thesis Film hopes to preserve the historic Ioka Theater on Film

    “Ioka” is a short, experimental documentary about Exeter, New Hampshire’s Ioka Theater. The film is directed by Kyle S. Glowacky, a BFA Film candidate at Emerson College. Emerson College’s School of Visual & Media Arts “encourages students to pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, which is a more concentrated production curriculum culminating in a capstone project in their chosen medium."

    Glowacky was accepted into the BFA program in November of 2008 with a proposal to study motion in a place where motion had been exhibited for 93 years. Since the closing of the theater in December 2008, the film’s concept and scope has since been transformed and rearranged into variations about the projection of light, the physical space of the theater, and the myth behind its name. Glowacky hopes his film will help preserve the Ioka as a movie theater for another 93 years.

  • May 18, 2009

    Senator calls for meeting at the Senator

    BALTIMORE, MD — The media has reported in error that Baltimore City now owns the Senator Theatre.

    It has also been miss-reported that The Baltimore Development Corporation [bDC] will soon choose the new owner or operator of The Senator Theatre and determine its future entertainment programming through the RFP process.

    It is our understanding that the ownership of the landmark Senator Theatre will be determined by the outcome of an upcoming public auction, expected to take place later this summer. The successful bidder at the public auction will own The Senator. In an effort to separate fact from fiction regarding The Senator Theatre and its uncertain future, Maryland State Senator Joan Carter Conway, who represents the 43rd third legislative district, has called for a public meeting at the theatre in response to constituent concerns. The public information session will take place at The Senator Theatre on This Wednesday Evening, May 20th at 6pm
    Please help to spread the word!

  • May 11, 2009

    The Golden Gate Theatre is in danger

    EAST LOS ANGELES, CA — The Historic Golden Gate Theatre’s proposed future will be that of a “CVS Pharmacy with a drive-thru.” according to plans presented at a community meeting I attended May 6, 2009. Though it was stated that the developers would be sensitive to its historic value, reading the just released response of the LA Conservancy to the Environmental Impact Report, that doesn’t look realistic.

    The developers hope to have this project move forward this coming Wednesday by approval of their proposal by the County of Los Angeles. WE NEED TO STOP OR DELAY THIS. WE NEED TO SLOW THIS ROLL. THIS HISTORIC LANDMARK DESERVES BETTER.

    Your beautiful memories posted here attest to that. Please “step up” those of you who have posted what the Golden Gate Theatre has meant to you. It has been a family member with fond memories. Remember Her.

  • April 20, 2009

    State one step away from being demolished!

    OWATONNA, MN — The City of Owatonna will incur cost of razing State Theater!

    A proposal to demolish the State Theater took one more step forward on Tuesday, April 9, 2009.

    The theater has sat empty since 1996.

    If all goes according to plan, the current owners listed as Newco Theaters, Inc.,will donate the building and the land to the city of Owatonna. Then the city will pay for asbestos removal and city workers will demolish the building. After the theater has been razed, the city will sell the property to a buyer waiting in the wings, which plans to construct an office building in the Spring of 2010.

  • April 10, 2009

    Mekala Theatre faces demolition

    CHENNAI, INDIA — A local favorite for generations, the Mekala Theatre has closed and might be torn down.

    Movie buffs are unlikely to cheer as the curtains have finally come down at the Mekala theatre. For decades, it was a popular theatre
    for residents in Purasawalkam and Kilpauk.

    “I remember it being around even in 1958. Mekala is one of the oldest theatres,” said Film News' Anandhan. “It used to screen MGR films, and families used to throng the place. It had stopped screening films couple of years ago and was not listed as a theatre. It is sad that so many theatres are coming under the bulldozers,” he added.

    Read more at the Times of India.