Preservation Alert

  • July 10, 2009

    Looking for help with Clarendon Cinema

    ASHFORD, SURREY, ENGLAND — Hi, I want to save the Clarendon Cinema on Clarendon Road in Ashford, Middlesex.

    It’s now been empty for about a year, after the last tenant left. It was being used for Aircraft spare part storage.

    It is thought that it is going to demolished for flats. It’s worth saving as a house at least.

    Is there any way of having it saved? I have seen old pictures of it in it’s heyday and it looked fantastic.

    Euan McLintock

  • July 7, 2009

    July 8 Appear to support the Boyd Theatre

    PHILADELPHIA, PA — At this sidewalk gathering tomorrow, show support for the restoration and reopening of the Boyd Theatre, hear a short report by Friends of the Boyd president Howard B. Haas on the status of Philadelphia’s sole surviving premiere movie palace, and “meet and greet” Theatre Historical Society of America (THSA) members in Philadelphia.

    THSA is the only organization in the U.S. which exclusively records, preserves and celebrates the rich architectural, cultural and social history of America’s theatres. The prestigious organization selected Philadelphia for their annual pilgrimage to historic theaters.

    FREE event, no registration needed.

    4:15 PM on the sidewalk in front of the Boyd Theatre, 1908 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102.

    (Thanks to Friends of the Boyd for providing the photo.)

  • July 3, 2009

    Preservationists win partial victory in battle to save Metro Theater

    SAN FRANCISCO, CA — According to this article, the developer who wants to repurpose the Metro Theater on Union Street has agreed to preserve at least some of the historic interior:

    The deadlock between historic preservationists and developers who want to renovate the old Metro movie theater on Union Street loosened Monday when both sides agreed to compromise.

    The Board of Supervisors Land Use and Economic Development Committee supported landmark status for the exterior of the 1924 theater, and the developer extended a commitment to preserve some of the historic features inside, including a series of Heinsbergen murals, Ionic columns, grills and urns on the stage.

    Read the full story in the San Francisco Chronicle.

  • June 26, 2009

    RFP for Hollywood Theater

    MINNEAPOLIS, MN — The City of Minneapolis issued a Request for Proposals for redevelopment of the Hollywood Theater.

    The City’s redevelopment goals for the site include renovation of the existing structure to accommodate a viable commercial use while preserving the character-defining features of the building and the option for future use as a theater.

    This RFP will consider a wide range of commercial uses of the theater building. Proposals that involve a theater or entertainment reuse will be considered, but so will proposals with other commercial uses such as office and/or retail. Any proposals with a non-theater use must address how they will preserve the option for reuse as a theater in the future, if such an option arises. Residential uses are not allowed at the site.

    Read more at theOfficial City Site.

  • 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, 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.


  • 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.