Preservation Alert

  • February 1, 2007

    Controversial Dreamland renovations prevent summer opening

    NANTUCKET, MA — To add condos and dining space, the Dreamland Theatre is embarking on an extensive renovation that might compromise historic elements of the structure.

    The historic Dreamland movie theater will have to be dismantled down to its bare timbers in order for its long-delayed renovation and expansion to move forward, architects told the Historic District Commission Tuesday night.

    If such a project is approved, there is no way the 175-year-old movie house will be open in time for the summer season, despite a condition of its Planning Board special permit that requires movies to be shown from June 15-Sept. 15 while work is underway, town officials said this week.

    “The building is going to be stripped down to its skeleton,” said Timothy Fitzroy, an associate with Brockton, Mass.-based BKA Architects, Inc., which was recently hired by Dreamland owner Haim Zahavi to take over work on the controversial project that also kept the building shuttered and dark last summer.

    For more, go to the Inquirer and Mirror.

  • January 23, 2007

    Highland Theater may be lost

    AKRON, OH — Citizens are banding together to save the Highland Theater. They are trying to setup a nonprofit group to lead its revival and prevent its razing.

    Highland Square activists want to save Akron’s Highland Theater, perhaps to turn it into a community-based center for theater, films and music.

    About 25 neighborhood residents rallied Tuesday night after learning that the movie theater might be razed.

    Residents said they were unsure what was going to happen to the theater: Rumors are the space might be turned into city parking or perhaps be used to rebuild nearby Portage Path Elementary School.

    To read more, go to the Beacon Journal.

  • January 16, 2007

    Pearl River movie theater deal may be more complicated

    PEARL RIVER, NY — With multiple interests now involved, the fight for the future of the Pearl River Theater is heating up.

    Plans to resurrect the old Pearl River Movie Theater have become more complicated now that the building’s owner wants to turn it into commercial space.

    Edmund Lane, principal of Skyview Plaza Development Corp., had proposed building 12 condominiums at the Central Avenue building, but he was prevented from doing so because he needed a zone change for senior housing.

  • Montreal’s Le Spectrum is to close (Alouette)

    Last call at The Spectrum
    Short article at CTV Montreal

    A Montreal entertainment landmark that has hosted superstars such as U2, The Police and Peter Gabriel is on its last legs. The Spectrum club on Ste. Catherine street will be demolished to make way for an office tower. Relocation plans fell through.

    The developer says negotiations to relocate the Spectrum to another part of the lot fell through. If the city gives the go-ahead, the Spectrum and several businesses next door will be demolished by summertime.

    For a story in French on this, go toCyber Presse.

    Also, see Drive-in’s pictures for this theatre.

  • January 11, 2007

    Youngstown State Theater’s fate at town meeting

    YOUNGSTOWN, OH — After many attempts for preservation and renovation, it looks like the oldest standing theater in Youngstown, Ohio will possibly be purchased and renovated for future use. Jaime Hughes and partners of Youngstown are holding a meeting January 12, 2007 at 7:00 PM at the Cedar’s Lounge in downtown Youngstown to discuss the future progress and work at the State.

    Anyone interested in the State’s situation should attend this meeting to be informed of information and offer suggestions. The directors of the project hope to open the theater as a non-profit organization to hold events for local performing art productions. Anyone wanting more information should visit the Downtown Youngstown website or the State Supporters' Myspace page.

  • January 1, 2007

    Bel-Air Drive-In to be demolished for a shopping center

    CICERO, IL — Plans are in motion to build a couple big box stores on the site of the former Bel-Air Drive-In.

    Cicero trustees have approved plans for a Wal-Mart store and a Lowe’s Home Improvement store to be built near 31st Street and Cicero Avenue, at the site of a former drive-in movie theater, the Bel-Air, said a spokesman for the developer, Monroe Investment Partners of Chicago.

    Prior to the Bel-Air drive-in, the property was used as a landfill and a quarry. The 217,000-square-foot Wal-Mart and the 150,000-square-foot Lowe’s stores are expected to open at the end of 2007 or in early 2008.

    To read more on this story, go to the Sun Times.

  • December 22, 2006

    Saving The Madison Theatre in East Atlanta Village

    ATLANTA, GA — I am very close to starting a fundraising/renovation project to reopen The Madison Theatre. Currently, I am working on getting her on the National Registry and Landmark status locally. Both of these designations would allow us to raise funds and receive grants/tax incentives to get the project completed.

    Anyone who has any historical knowledge, ideas, know-how to help get this done, .

    Thanks and keep your fingers crossed.

  • December 21, 2006

    Boothbay peninsula theater in danger

    BOOTHBAY HARBOR, ME — A committee met this past week to discuss the future of the Harbor Theatre. If a resolution is not reached, the theater could close at the end of the year.

    About 90 movie lovers gathered at The Harbor Theatre last Wednesday night. Not to see a movie, but to show their support and to find out what could be done to keep the peninsula’s only movie theater open.

    Bob Devine opened the meeting by introducing Jason Sheckley, owner of The Harbor Theatre, and the members of the new Friends of The Harbor Theatre group. The Friends group formed to explore options for keeping The Harbor Theatre open after Sheckley announced that the theater would have to close on December 31. Members include Bob Devine, Tad Bartlett, Peggy Powis, Howie Barter, Tom Tavenner, Larry Brown, Buzz Morley and Paula Arsenault.

    For more, go to the Boothbay Register.

  • December 19, 2006

    Anchorage’s 4th Avenue Theatre saved

    ANCHORAGE, AK — Thanks to a creative four-part funding agreement reached this week, Anchorage’s 1947 treasure, the 4th Avenue Theatre has been taken off the chopping block.

    The deal, involving the Rasmuson Foundation, the Wells Fargo Community Development Corp., the building’s owner Robert Gottstein, and the City of Anchorage, will create a new corporation to purchase the theater, and bring $1.75 million in renovation funding. The theater will be used as an extension of the Egan Convention Center, overseen by the Anchorage Convention and Visitors Bureau.

    To read more on this story, go to theAnchorage Daily News.

  • December 5, 2006

    Beach Theatre in danger

    CAPE MAY, NJ — The Jersey Shore has lost almost all of its historic theatres over the last 20 years. Specifically ALL of Atlantic City’s historic theatres as well as Wildwood’s historic theatres have been demolished.

    Now, Cape May’s historic Beach Theatre owners, the Frank Family, are applying (again) for a demolition permit for the theatre before Cape May’s Historic Preservation Commission on 12/11/06 at 7pm in City Hall. The theatre was built by the visionary William C. Hunt who built many theatres in the Jersey Shore.

    Letters objecting to this demolition can be directed to: Mayor Jerry Inderwies, 643 Washington St., Cape May NJ 08204 with copies sent to: Skip Loughlin, Chair, Historic Preservation Commission, at the same address, with copies as well to me: Barbara Skinner: 30 Congress St., Cape May, NJ 08204, Tel: 609-884-3951.