Preservation Alert

  • 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.

  • December 22, 2008

    The Senator Theatre in transition

    BALTIMORE, MD — A community meeting was held last evening about transition plans to turn the Baltimore Senator Theatre’s operations to non-profit. California-based Venuetech and local Mayfair Consulting were on hand to give a presentation, describe possibilities, challenges and ask for community input. Volunteers are now being asked to offer any services that may be helpful in moving forward with the transition.

    This now appears to be the only way to ensure that the theatre’s doors remain open!

    Local TV news:
    Local newspaper:
    Baltimore Sun

  • December 17, 2008

    NuWilshire still an eyesore…

    SANTA MONICA, CA — Well, the NuWilshire Theatre has not changed since its closing in November 2007. The theatre just sits there, with no lights, no updates, no nothing. It is just one of the many eyesores in Santa Monica. It’s hard to believe a theatre which has been open since the 1930s is now all of a sudden gone. I remember working there from May to November last year. It was such a wonderful, cozy little theatre. And I remember the owner of the complex (such a #$%#!) said he wanted to turn it into a Lucky Brand jeans store or something of the sort right after the closing of the theatre. But now, the theatre has just been there, vacant for officially a year now.

    The city of Santa Monica said that they were going to update the front of the building, and declare it a City Landmark, but nothing has been done to it, and I doubt anything will be done to it. This was one of the greatest little art deco indie flick theaters ever in Santa Monica, and I can only hope that we, here at Cinema Treasures, can do what we can to help preserve it. Who knows, it may be a theatre again! Thanks for reading!

    Nick Illes (ex-employee of the NuWilshire Theatre)

  • October 15, 2008

    Petition to save the Historic Ridgewood Theatre!

    QUEENS, NY — Friends of The Ridgewood Theatre, established by Michael Perlman of the Queens Preservation Council board of directors, is spearheading a campaign to preserve and reopen the 1916 Ridgewood Theater (55-27 Myrtle Ave, Ridgewood, Queens, NY), designed by America’s foremost theater architect Thomas Lamb.

    We are seeking a historically-sensitive tenant/buyer who sees the potential for creative adaptive reuse. In addition, we are hoping to encourage the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission to designate the highly intact terra cotta & Indiana limestone facade, and theater lobby, as a NYC Individual Landmark & Interior Landmark, respectively. Please take a few moments to sign an online petition, urging the LPC to act swiftly. This petition is open to all theater enthusiasts, so please forward the link to your family, friends, & colleagues. Posting a comment would be extremely helpful:


  • September 19, 2008

    New development plan announced for Brisbane Regent

    BRISBANE, QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA — The Brisbane Regent Theatre, a cultural and heritage icon in Brisbane, Australia is in danger of being altered into a corporate enclave with little public access, after 80 yeas of continuous service as a picture palace and cinema complex.

    The magnificent gothic foyer and grand entrance lobby from 1929 remain intact and are heritage protected. The later rebuilt cinemas behind are not, even though they contain heritage-style original plaster decorations and artifacts.

    On September 10, 2008 the Queensland government announced that the Regent cinema complex will be redeveloped into one 300-seat multiuse cinema and two tiny 60 seat cinemas, a loss of around 1000 seats from what is currently there. These will open only on weekends and public holidays.

  • September 18, 2008

    Endangered: UA Brandon Cinema

    FOREST HILLS, NY — Potentially the last UA twin theater, the UA Brandon Cinema, also known as the Continental Theatre (70-20 Austin St) is slated to close according to Sholom & Zuckerbrot Realty LLC: Listing and Picture

    Do we really need to sacrifice a theater for a typical retail establishment? Is the Midway Theatre next? Don’t let this theater join the ranks of the Trylon Theater, Forest Hills Theatre, & Elmwood Theatre, just to name a few!

  • September 2, 2008

    Struggle to save the Harding Theatre nears its fourth year

    SAN FRANCISCO, CA — The Harding Theatre is one of San Francisco’s few remaining neighborhood theatres to have survived demolition. It opened in 1926 and remained in operation as a theatre until 1970. It briefly became a soft porn venue, hosted musical groups and finally served as a church for several years.

    The San Francisco board of supervisors, who have a consistently dismal record on the protection of historic buildings, approved its demolition in January 2005. Since then various groups and organizations have successfully challenged all development plans that would demolish or altar the theatre.