Preservation Alert

  • December 14, 2007

    Theater preservation advice

    From: Joseph Trapasso

    I am a young and impoverished real estate agent, with a background in the performing arts. I have done due diligence and discovery on a theater in my town slated to be knocked down for condos, now back on the market. I could sell it in a heartbeat to any moron looking to open a night club, but the best use for this lot is restoration for the sake of the community and the preservation of an important film and music heritage.

    Millions needed.

    My dream is that it becomes a Performing Arts Center with a focus on community involvement. Over 23,000 sq ft. Space for Retail and Concessions. Absolutely Dreamy…The architect is H. Krapp

  • December 13, 2007

    1938 Art Deco Movie Theater in need

    RICHMOND, VA — The current owner of the East End Theater in Richmond, VA’s historic Church Hill neighborhood is looking to sell what is left after she gutted the building. She planned to transform the East End Theater into her home but unfortuately left the building blighted and vacant where it serves as a reminder of the once thriving neighborhood theater.

    Church Hill residents hope there is someone interested in purchasing and restoring this Art Deco theater with historic tax credits and/or other incentives for restoration projects. To learn more about our neighborhood and the East End Theater, visit

    For information on the land and building value, address, owner, etc. go to the City of Richmond’s property search link and enter the following map reference number to see the land and building assessments, property dimentions, address, etc.: E0000337009

  • December 12, 2007

    The (Mann) National Theatre loses final battle for historic landmark status

    LOS ANGELES, CA — The National Theatre, once the Mann National Theatre, opened March 27th, 1970 in the Westwood section of Los Angeles. It was one of the last single giant screens to be built and remained in operation until it’s final closure on October 2007.

    After an exhaustive study, tours, and two hearings, the City’s Cultural Heritage Commission denied Historic Monument status for it at their Nov 28th meeting. Demolition on the not so historic theater should begin in January and the new LEED-certified glass box with parking on top structure (retail building) should be built shortly thereafter."

    The theatre’s lobby substituted for that of the Northpoint Theatre, in San Francisco, in the recent film “Zodiac”. The Northpoint, another large screen theatre built in 1967 closed in 1997. The shell of the theatre remains but was gutted after it closed.

    A lengthy discussion on the theatre and the pros and cons of declaring it an historic landmark can be found here, at the Cinema Treasures at the National page.

    A brief article on the Mann National theatre can be found at the Curbed Los Angeles web site.

  • November 30, 2007

    The Quo Vadis Preservation Foundation needs your help

    WESTLAND, MI — Why save the Quo Vadis Entertainment Center? This is a great question to ask and a better place to start.

    Well… to get all the negative out of the way, first of all, its an old, run down building. It needs work, obviously. But people tend to ignore the history it has in favor of “its old, tear it down, build a generic drug store”. No, drug stores and condos aren’t what Westland needs. Michigan’s economy is bad enough, we need something to bring revenue into the city.

    The old Quo Vadis Entertainment Center (herein refered to as QV) stands empty, much like many other buildings, such as the BP station on Wayne and Warren, the Denny’s and Sams Club on Central City Pkwy. There are many potential uses for this old building, it could be turned into a meeting place for teens, an arcade, a theatre, or even used as a movie theater again. We’ve seen one local theatre (George Burns Theatre) meet a dreadful end as a Walgreens (which closed less than 2 years afterwards and sits vacant, mind you) and condos.

  • November 8, 2007

    Cumberland residents launch effort to save the Isle Theatre

    CUMBERLAND, WI — The people of Cumberland have started an initiative to restore and reopen the Isle Theatre. It has been closed for 10 years and demolition of the theatre is threatened.

    After 10 years of being out of business and the possibility of tearing down the building, people in Cumberland are trying to save their theatre, with the hope of keeping it alive for generations to come.

    Judy and chris… The Isle movie theatre has been a part of Cumberland since the 1920’s. It ran out of funds and closed 10 years ago…With ideas of the building being torn down, some people here are trying to bring it back.

    The entire story, including a picture of the facade, on Cumberland’s beginning efforts to save the theatre can be found at WEAU.

  • November 6, 2007

    Toronto Allenby Theatre – Coming down soon?

    TORONTO, ON, CANADA — Don’t be shocked to see this building come down soon. Currently vacant, the heritage designation only covers the facade, not the sides, back or roof, so it looks like ESSO is going to get their way and be able to put up a nice new gas station. All they have to do is keep the facade up and the first few feet.

    Read more about it in this Notice of Motion to save the theatre(pdf).

  • November 1, 2007

    Tinseltown Westchase in Houston to be replaced by an office building

    HOUSTON, TX — This story came from the Houston Business Journal(paid sub reqr’d). These theaters are designed with Art Deco fins, which have always reminded me of the Pan Pacific Theatre in Los Angeles, near where I grew up. I will miss these theaters.

  • October 30, 2007


    LOS ANGELES, CA — The following was sent in by Cinema Sightlines:

    “The National Theatre in Westwood is one of the 3 last big-screen, large capacity individual movie theatres still standing in greater Los Angeles. This theatre is a rare example of late 60s-early 70s modern architecture, with some historical significance regarding the motion picture events that have taken place there. Known for superior picture and sound presentation, The National Theatre has been a favorite movie showplace in Los Angeles for over 37 years.

    The property owner, Simms Development corp, has definite plans to demolish this irreplaceable theatre, to build condominiums and probably some commercial space.

    A group called Friends of the National Theatre is applying to the LA Cultural Heritage Commission to grant the building Historical-Cultural Monument status, which could delay demolition while the case is fully reviewed.

    The National application is the final item on the agenda of a meeting scheduled for Thursday, November 1 at 10am in Room 101 of City Hall.

  • October 12, 2007

    Unstable facade on historic Ohio Theatre!

    TOLEDO, OH — After architectural evaluation, the front sidewalk is now fenced off in front of the Ohio Theatre. A reinforcement bar was installed a year ago and the facade is now deemed unsafe.

    The theatre was built in 1921 and serves as a performing arts center and home to the Toledo Area Theatre Organ Society. Federal and State help is sought for restoration of this landmark. A major effort is underway to save this theatre.

  • September 26, 2007

    Petition To Save NYC’s Playpen Theater, Oldest Vaudeville House

    I would appreciate it if you can sign an online petition to save what is more than likely NYC’s oldest vaudeville Theater, the Playpen on 8th Avenue between 43rd & 44th Streets, which was known as the Ideal Theatre in 1916. The clock is ticking, and the Committee To Save The Playpen Theater amongst other preservationists, need all the help we can get to spare this intact Beaux Art gem. Demolition permits are pending, and we’re trying to convince developer Daniel Tishman to donate it to a non-profit. Please sign the online petition, post a brief comment, & forward the following to as many contacts as possible. Your assistance is invaluable!

    Playpen Petition

    For more information: Save the Playpen