Preservation Alert

  • March 7, 2008

    Historic Vegas theatre in danger

    LAS VEGAS, NV — After being placed on the State Register of Historic Places and even receiving government money for renovations, the owner of the Huntridge is looking to tear it down.

    The rub is that the Huntridge is listed on both state and national registers of historic buildings. Eli Mizrachi bought the Huntridge in 2002 under a contract that required the building to be preserved until 2017. The state has paid $1.6 million in recent years to help with renovations and maintenance.

    Mizrachi, reportedly eager to build a high-rise office building on the spot, is offering to give the state its money back in exchange for being allowed to tear down the building — a Las Vegas icon that was designed by S. Charles Lee, one of the 20th century’s most notable designers of motion picture theaters.

    The full story is in the Las Vegas Sun.

  • February 28, 2008

    State Cinema, Grays – New Preservation Website

    GRAYS, ESSEX, ENGLAND — A new website has been set up, to help drum up support for the rescue of the State Cinema in Grays. This site contains a massive amount of pictures of this cinema, which is one of very few art deco cinemas single-screen cinemas left in the UK.

    State Cinema Preservation

  • February 22, 2008

    Effort to save old theater is long, uphill battle

    FULLERTON, CA — Years into to the fight to save the Fox Fullerton, the theatre is still in need.

    More than three years after Fullerton residents raised $3.5 million to save the Fox Theatre from the wrecking ball, the 82-year-old structure remains in peril.

    Despite the efforts of preservationists, the one-time vaudeville theater and movie house stands in contrast to the urban hipness that has swept downtown Fullerton, now brimming with upscale restaurants, jazz clubs and a lively street scene.

    Approximately $9 million in grants, interest-free loans and community donations have been earmarked for restoring the landmark building, but the non-profit group that took over the project remains $17 million short of its goal.

    Get the full story in the Arizona Republic.

  • February 18, 2008

    Threats to future of Philadelphia’s Boyd and Royal theaters

    PHILADELPHIA, PA — The dire threats to the future of Philadelphia’s Boyd Theatre and the Royal Theatre on South Street are featured in this article in the Philadelphia Citypaper.

    The Boyd on the 1900 block of Chestnut is again up for sale, according to its owner, Live Nation. (The 2,400-seat theater is the city’s sole remaining movie palace and has been closed since 2002.) And over on the 1500 block of South Street, the Royal Theater also faces an uncertain future, say its owners, Universal Companies. (Closed since 1970, the theater was once the city’s pre-eminent theatrical, movie and music venue for African-Americans.)

    Live Nation spokesman John Vlautin acknowledged the Boyd “is currently on the market,” but declined comment on potential deals. “We are keeping all of our options open,” he says. That worries Howard Haas, a Center City attorney who founded Friends of the Boyd when the building’s demolition looked imminent in 2002. The group drew attention to its potential loss and steered it toward Live Nation (then the entertainment division of Clear Channel) in 2005.

  • February 15, 2008

    Teens lose their bid to save Quo Vadis

    WESTLAND, MI — Don Gurka and Zachery Gizicki led a charge to save the Quo Vadis Entertainment Center. Exploring all avenues to save the theatre, the teenagers put up quite a fight.

    When they look at the old Quo Vadis movie theater in Westland, teenagers Don Gurka and Zachery Gizicki don’t see a dilapidated old building that needs demolishing to make room for progress.

    They circulated petitions at school and at Westland Shopping Center, collecting more than 200 signatures from supporters.

    They formed the Quo Vadis Preservation Foundation and started a Web site,, that drew thousands of hits from people near and far away.

    Read the full story in Hometown Life.

  • Curtains for Brisbane Regent?

    BIRSBANE, QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA — Following ongoing rumours about the fate of the Brisbane Regent, it was announced in Wedne'sday’s Courier Mail.

    The Regent (1593) will close, retaining the heritage listed grand lobby and foyer which will then become the back entrance to a new office tower.

    In the late 70’s…..the Save The Regent campaign fought hard to preserve the entire theatre, often referred to as one of Australia’s finest. After closing in 1978, the main auditorium was converted to four new cinemas with one containing saved plasterwork/ornaments and features from the original theatre).

  • February 4, 2008

    Landmark designation hearing for San Francisco’s Metro Theatre

    SAN FRANCISCO, CA — San Francisco’s Metro Theatre showcases both 1924 Spanish Colonial design and Art Deco remodel, yet has been closed since 2006. The San Francisco Landmarks Board will consider landmark status for the Metro Theater on Wednesday, February 6 at 12:30 pm in Room 400, City Hall. The Metro item is #14 of a 14-item agenda so it will be later in the afternoon. If you can attend, please do so. If not, consider emailing the Board. Click here for more info and you can view Landmark Nomination Photos and read the Landmark Nomination Report.

    The nomination incorporated renovation photos that Ken Roe and I linked to Cinema Treasures, which shows the great importance that this website serves, and how important it is to publicly share theater photos (historic, renovation, and current).

  • January 29, 2008

    Scotland’s former Odeon Edinburgh to become boutique hotel

    EDINBURGH, LOTHIAN, SCOTLAND — According to this article in the Scotsman the shuttered Odeon Edinburgh, once the site for gala premieres, will be substantially demolished to build a boutique hotel. Certain parts of the building will be preserved such as the facade and foyer. Attempts to preserve it as a cinema by notables, including Sir Sean Connery, were unsuccessful.

    However, as radical plans unveiled last night revealed, films will continue to be screened at Edinburgh’s former Odeon cinema when the building is revamped as a hotel complex.

    The main auditorium at the movie theatre, in the city’s southside, will be demolished under the plans drawn up by developer Duddingston House Properties.

    But the 20 million construction will feature an 80-capacity lecture theatre equipped with projection equipment and an outdoor courtyard where films will be shown on a giant glass screen.

  • January 21, 2008

    NuWilshire theatre facade designated as city landmark!!!

    SANTA MONICA, CA — The NuWilshire Theatre facade has now been named a Landmark! According to the Santa Monica Daily Press, the Landmarks Commission “voted unanimously on Monday (January 14, 2007) night to designate the NuWilshire Theatre at 1314 Wilshire Blvd. as a historic piece of Santa Monica’s past.”

    So, this means that the exterior of the theatre will be restored, while unfortunately the interior will be whatever the owner wants to make of it. The owner, Soundview Investment Partners (some partners alright) is now unable to make whatever changes they wished to make at the exterior of the building, but only to the interior. According to the article, “…but the landmarks designation will restrict what the developer will be able to do with the facade of the theatre.”

    This is a great relief to the people of Santa Monica, who have loved this theatre for a long time. In addition to that, it will be one of the last art-deco style facades in Santa Monica.

  • December 24, 2007

    Wayne Theatre in danger

    WAYNE, MI – The historic 1927 vaudeville-era theatre known as the Wayne Theatre will soon join the historic Jamison Block next door as an overgrown lot according to an article in the Wayne Eagle.

    Barring the arrival of a last minute investor or a sudden influx of funds, the Historic Wayne Theater will be torn down in the spring.

    At a hearing of the Dangerous Buildings Appeals board on Monday, the board confirmed the original decision of the dangerous building officer, according to Peter McInerney, community development director for the City of Wayne.

    The Historic Theater board, which holds the title to the property, has 30 days to file an appeal in Circuit Court, he said. If not, the city will solicit bids to demolish the structure.

    Unless the amount is donated to white box the theater, it will be demolished. The non-profit that owns the theater is still actively trying to raise the needed funds.