Preservation Alert

  • 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.

  • 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).