Preservation Alert

  • April 7, 2009

    Baltimore city’s “Strategy Group” decides non-profit will not work

    BALTIMORE, MD — The group, formerly known as the ‘steering committee’, formed at the request of the mayor have finally made their recommendations.

    The Senator could not survive as a non-profit organization without an annual government subsidy. The alternatives:

    • Option 1: Baltimore City purchase the theatre by foreclosing on their loan, paying off 1st Mariner and then finding a management organization to run the theatre (either via sale or long-term lease, thereby recouping some of their outlay), still as a 1st run movie house.

    • Option 2: Allow 1st Mariner’s foreclosure to proceed and plan to “work closely” with whomever wins the bid. However, even they admit that they’d have limited say with this option.

    More on: Friends of the Senator.

  • March 25, 2009

    Save the State from being demolished!

    OWATONNA, MN — Located in downtown Owatonna, Minnesota, the State Theater is an Art Deco building that opened as a movie theater in 1935. The interior included a 35' high ceiling, four distinct arches, Art Deco sconces, 1000 seats, plush curtains and a vaudeville stage. Retail space exists on both sides of the main entry. The building was “modernized” through two separate renovations during the 1970’s and 1980’s, dividing the auditorium into three screens. The theater closed in 1996 and has been vacant since.

    Owatonna’s Main Street program was unsuccessful in finding an investor to bring the State back to life.

    The city of Owatonna’s Economic Development Authority recently gave its blessing to a proposal that may level the State Theater in downtown Owatonna.

  • Save the Odeon

    DONCASTER, SOUTH YORKSHIRE, ENGLAND — The fight is on to save the endangered Odeon Doncaster.

    Owners Lazarus Properties want to demolish the town-centre art-deco landmark and replace it with a £13million complex containing shops, eateries, a gym, a casino and offices. The Doncaster-based developer has now submitted a planning application for the 75,000 sq ft development.

    Lazarus said the scheme was vital for the future of the town centre and would act as a benchmark for future developments in Doncaster.

    However, a campaign group, Friends of Doncaster Odeon, is hoping that English Heritage will decide to grant listed building status to stop its demolition.

    Read the full story at the Doncaster Free Press.

  • March 23, 2009

    Anchorage’s 4th Avenue Theatre endangered again

    ANCHORAGE, AK — The 4th Avenue Theatre in Anchorage, an Art Moderne gem,is once again at threat.

    Alaskans are very close to losing the historic 4th Avenue Theatre in downtown Anchorage. Anchorage residents grew up attending movies at the 4th Avenue Theatre. The 4th Avenue Theatre will always hold a special place in many Alaskans hearts. Demolition or inappropriate redevelopment of Anchorage’s only historic theatre is unacceptable.

    A recent decision by the buildings current owner has effectively stalled the Municipality of Anchorage’s plans to restore and redevelop the theatre with the assistance of the Anchorage Downtown Partnership. In February 2007, a local architect was selected to conduct investigations necessary to prepare design and construction documents to restore the auditorium and public spaces of the 4th Avenue Theatre. The theater owner’s decision not to transfer ownership to the Anchorage Downtown Partnership has stalled the project.

    Interior photos and the rest of the story are at AIA.

  • March 20, 2009

    The Senator Community Trust announces MISSION DEBT FREE

    BALTIMORE, MD — Dear Friends of The Senator Theatre:

    The Senator Community Trust has asked us to forward this message on to you:

    As we are sure you have heard by now, The Historic Senator Theatre is going to auction unless we, the greater Baltimore community, take immediate action to ensure the community has a stake in its future. The goal is attainable.

    Please join our MISSION DEBT FREE now! The effort to convert The Senator Theatre to a debt-free multipurpose arts and entertainment facility is within reach.

  • March 18, 2009

    Please Help: Historic Ridgewood Theatre Landmark Hearing on March 24th! (Attend & testify or submit support letter)‏

    RIDGEWOOD, QUEENS, NY — Queens' historic Ridgewood Theatre (55-27 Myrtle Ave, Ridgewood, NY) closed its doors one year ago without warning, but patrons & preservationists are now elated that the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission will hold a Public Hearing, which will determine its eligibility as a NYC Individual Landmark. The hearing is set for Tues, March 24, 2009 from 11:25 AM – 12:00 PM at the Municipal Building, 1 Centre St, 9th Floor North, NY, NY 10007, and public testimony will be taken:

    HOW YOU CAN HELP: Please attend and provide testimony at the March 24th Public Hearing. Based on the facts below, reference the Ridgewood Theatre’s architectural, cultural, historical significance, request Individual Landmark status, and include any personal sentiment toward the theater, and the need for more Queens landmarks and theater landmarks. Your testimony can be brief. Also, please forward this posting to other contacts, so we can achieve a landmark victory. Power to the people!

  • March 3, 2009

    Announcing The Senator Community Trust, LLC

    BALTIMORE, MD — Locals are consolidating their efforts to move the Senator Theatre into its next phase.

    A group of local community and business leaders announced today that they have organized to realize the goal of community-based non-profit ownership and preservation of the historic Senator Theatre.

    Recognizing the need for the community to take the leadership in implementation of the vision to establish The Senator as the premiere community-based entertainment and educational venue in the area, the group has formed The Senator Community Trust LLC, which is now in the process of seeking non-profit status.

    The entire press release can be read here.

  • January 22, 2009

    Online petition for Ridgewood

    RIDGEWOOD, QUEENS, NY — To CinemaTreasures Staff:

    Patrons, theater enthusiasts, & preservationists were dismayed when Thomas Lamb’s 1916 gem, the Ridgewood Theatre (55-27 Myrtle Ave, Ridgewood, Queens, NY) suddenly shuttered in March 2008. It was credited for being the longest continuously-operated first-run neighborhood theater in NY & potentially countrywide. It is a representation of the long-demolished first movie palace in the world, the Strand Theatre in Times Sq. The Ridgewood Theatre also saw the advent of Vaudeville, silent films, photoplays, the 1st 100% all-talking picture (Lights of New York, 1928), & Technicolor.

    A Request For Evaluation has been submitted to the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission immediately after, urging the LPC to calendar the ornate terra cotta facade & some interior spaces for a public hearing, which would determine the site’s eligibility as a NYC Individual Landmark & Interior Landmark, respectively. A letter campaign & online petition drive has also been conducted, to increase the likelihood of obtaining landmark status. As of Jan 2009, the LPC has released a statement to the media stating they may soon calendar the theater, which is an important first step towards landmarking. However, this is the time when increased advocacy needs to be applied to the LPC.

  • January 7, 2009

    Save the Historic Prince Theatre

    Hello! I am Miles Ramsey. I love real old movie theaters. I fell in love with the Prince Theater. I wanted to know what happened to it and why was it allowed to fall apart. This is what I founded out!

    The Prince Theater is located on Main Street in the City of Pahokee, Florida. Several years ago it was reopened for a short time by a local filmmaker Gary Davis. It served the community by providing the youth with a place to go on the weekends and stay out of trouble as well as provide the community with culture events such as the Xpress Film Fest, A USO Musical Show, The Gold Coast Chamber Orchestra, A Night of Jazz, Mr A’s Magic Show, Reel Old Movies, Town Hall Meetings, The Rec Dept’s Community Play, Latin Night and many other events…

  • December 30, 2008

    Beach Theatre closer to end

    CAPE MAY, NJ — With future plans now in motion for the theatre site, the Beach Theatre’s days are numbered.

    The city’s last movie theater is one scene closer to The End.

    The Cape May Planning Board late Tuesday night granted preliminary site plan approval for Frank Investments Inc. to convert the Beach Theatre into six housing units.

    The company still needs state environmental permits before it can build.

    Frank Investments, which runs a chain of cinemas, including ones in Rio Grande and Stone Harbor, previously received approval to demolish Cape May’s 58-year-old movie house.

    Read the full story in the Press of Atlantic City.