Preservation Alert

  • 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.

  • August 26, 2008

    Fresh plan for Regent Cinema proposed in Multiplex deal

    BRISBANE, QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA — Locals are battling it out with the government to preserve as many parts intact of the historic Regent Theatre.

    Brisbane’s prized Regent Cinema is likely to be radically transformed under a deal between developer Multiplex and the State Government.

    Multiplex, which was behind the criticised North Bank project, had planned a 38-storey office block at the Queen Street Mall site while still retaining the heritage-listed aspects of the Regent, the city’s only red carpet movie venue, until a public outcry forced the State Government to step in and put severe restrictions on the redevelopment.

  • August 15, 2008

    Kenosha closes the curtain on historic theater

    KENOSHA, WI — More news on the sad future of the Roosevelt Theatre.

    Kenosha is tearing down one of its historic movie houses over the objections of the building’s owners.

    Kathryn Hanneman and John Gee, owners of the Roosevelt Theatre since 2000, pleaded with city officials to spare the building. They want to turn the movie house into a studio for shooting commercials and television pilots. But after eight years, they’ve made no progress.

    Worse, say city officials, the owners let the building deteriorate to a condition beyond repair.

    Read the full story at the Daily Reporter(reg. reqr’d)

  • Ventnor and Beach theatres both threatened with demolition

    VENTNOR CITY, NJ — The Ventnor Twin Theatre has a champion in local resident Marsha Galespie who, along with a group of local residents, doesn’t want to see the last remaining theatre on Absecon Island replaced with 24 condos. Challenges to The Ventnor have included a city that would like to redevelop the area, an economy that still relies in part on a summer influx of vacationers and a $1.75 million dollar asking price by the current owners. These aren’t the best of circumstances to launch a rescue.

    The Ventnor Twin Theatre was opened in 1938 as The Ventnor Theatre after a fire destroyed the original 1921 structure. The art deco theatre was twinned in the 1960s or 1970s with a remodel that included a drop ceiling masking the original and blue and silver draping of the walls. The theatre was closed after a 1998 city inspection declared the structure on the verge of collapse. Then owners brought the theatre to code and it re-opened in 2000 but survived only until 2004 when it was shuttered.

  • August 12, 2008

    Poll: Save/demolish the Roosevelt Theatre?

    KENOSHA, WI — Vote once at WLIP to save the Roosevelt Theatre. You don’t need to register or sign in.

  • August 8, 2008

    Roosevelt Theatre owners vow to fight demolition.

    KENOSHA, WI — With the city voting the other day to remove asbestos and demolish the Roosevelt Theatre, a legal tug of war is ensuing with the owners as they fight over the future of the building.

    The City Council voted 14-1 Monday to approve contracts for removing asbestos and demolishing the theater, 2908 Roosevelt Road. Those actions could start in two weeks, and demolition could begin in about six weeks.

    Jon Gee, a co-owner of the theater, said he expected to bring some legal action against the city regarding the decision.

    “They’re going to hear from me; they’re going to hear from me for a long time,” Gee said on Tuesday. “It ain’t over ‘til it’s over.”

    Read the full story in the Kenosha News Online.

  • August 1, 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 NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission to act swiftly. Posting a comment would be extremely helpful. The link is as follows:

    Also, please join Friends of The Ridgewood Theatre at for history, photos, & status updates. Please forward this appeal to as many contacts as possible. Cinema Treasures fans worldwide, unite for a worthy cause! Thank you for your time!

  • June 23, 2008

    Roosevelt in need of buyer

    KENOSHA, WI — The Roosevelt Theatre could go dark for good if no legitimate sale offers come forward very soon.

    Mitch Engen, the city’s property division maintenance supervisor, said the city could finalize contracts for asbestos abatement and demolition for the Roosevelt Theatre, 2908 Roosevelt Road, within the next week.

    “We’re working on the contracts right now,” Engen said. “We sent it out for bid and we’ve had proposals for abatement and, separately, to take the building down. Nothing has been approved but they’re out there and we’re dotting the ‘i’s and crossing the ’t’s.”