June 28, 2007
LAFAYETTE, CA — Why can’t the people of Lafayette, California take an interest in the Park Theatre. It closed over a year ago and has been bought by someone who won’t let it return as a theatre.
I have written a story about it. One page. No one will publish it. It also contains a photo I took of the theatre. I tried the San Francisco Chronicle and the Contra Costa Times but with no luck.
June 26, 2007
LOS ANGELES, CA — An announcement was made during a screening of the Los Angeles Film Festival that the National Westwood Theatre is slated for demolition in six months to make way for a Banana Republic.
A petition was started by CT Members to save this treasure. Please sign it and let your voice be heard so we can save this landmark from a nearly forgotten era of movie palaces.
June 14, 2007
SAN LORENZO, CA — After long negotiations, The Lorenzo Theater Foundation, Inc. has signed a Purchase Agreement with owner Dr. Dharam Salwan, to acquire the Lorenzo Theatre.
Under the terms of the agreement, the foundation has 14 months to raise the agreed upon price of $300,000 to purchase the theatre. After purchase, The Lorenzo Theatre Foundation plans to restore the building for use as a non-profit community arts center featuring classic films and local performances.
The theatre houses Northern California’s first blacklight murals as painted by world-renowned muralist Anthony Heinsbergen. The Lorenzo Theatre is a California State Historic Resource and the first and only Historic Preservation District in Alameda County. It has also received a prestigious Art Deco Preservation Award from the Art Deco Society of California.
June 13, 2007
CHICO, CA – The El Rey Theater, long thought to be doomed to become future office space, has recently been put back up for sale.
Beautiful fairy murals, painted in 1948 in the Art Nouveau style, are still able to be restored, and the theater has great potential for restoration and a return to its former use.
We need volunteers to form a group to save this incredible treasure. This second chance may be our last! Interested parties should contact Laura Urseny at the Chico Enterprise Record, 530 891-1234.
(Thanks to Gary and Lisa for providing the picture.)
March 29, 2007
HARTLEPOOL, ENGLAND — More than 25 years after this cinema showed its last film, the final curtain may come down on the Odeon. Apart from a brief spell as Joe Pools / Caesars Palace, the Odeon has remained out of use, slowly decaying.
Now a report, commissioned by Hartlepool Borough Council has stated that there is no feasible re-use for the building or retention of its listed facade. The council is now looking at redevelopment of the site possibly for housing. A selection of photos showing the Odeon ‘then and now’ can be seen here.
If demolition goes ahead, it will leave only 1 original cinema building in the town, the former essoldo, located only a few minutes walk away. This is currently in use as Carlton Bingo.
(Thanks to James for providing the photo.)
March 15, 2007
MANCHESTER, UK — Manchester Historian Eddy Rhead has failed in his attempt to get the last picture palace in Manchester UK listed under the UK’s Historical buildings register. Developers now have the green light to pull down the historic theatre and replace it with a 14 story office block. The Odeon started life as one of a handful of Paramount Pictures opulant UK cinemas.
The full story and some then and now pictures go to theManchester Evening News
March 8, 2007
SALIDA, CO — The City of Salida, Colorado will loan as much as $125,000 for two years to the new owner of the Unique Theater to stabilize the walls of the historic landmark by March 16 and remove the damaged roof by March 23, according to an agreement ratified last night (Mar 6) by city council.
The back portion of the building, which contains the 650-seat theater, was condemned Feb. 8 when City officials and a structural engineer inspected and reported it was in, “imminent danger of collapse.” Adjacent property owners and businesses were warned and several have closed until the threat is lifted.
Meanwhile citizens interested in saving the historic building have called a second meeting for 7 p.m. tonight (Mar 6) at Victoria Tavern, another 19th Century building within the City’s downtown national historic district. If the community will help raise money, the new owner said he would wait until August 15 to exercise his option to demolish.
The City’s Historic Preservation Commission gave permission for partial demolition of the affected building following a well-attended public hearing Feb. 22.
March 6, 2007
NEWPORT, WALES, UK — The Odeon Cinema, which is officially owned by the NCLA (Newport City Live Arena) is currently being leased to Newport City Church, of which I am a member. This facility, wonderful as it is, is showing substantial decay. The roof is leaking in many areas and the building has no heating.
It would be such a shame for this wonderful building to be sold to developers to make flats, when there are other possible uses for it. Members of the local community (including myself) would like it to become a centre for community education, arts, charity and programs for kids. A building this size needs some type of funding or enterprise to be able to pay for utilities and maintainence alone, of which the church does not have.
Can someone help us preserve and possibly save this building from developers, and make it a centre the community is in much need of?
March 5, 2007
ALAMEDA, CA — With a possible megaplex in the works that would ultimately ruin the theater, Tonia De Paiva is leading a charge to save the Alameda Theatre.
Tonia De Paiva strolls by the Alameda Theater — a cyclone fence surrounding its front, a cement mixer guarding its entrance, the sounds of collapse coming from deep inside — and it breaks her heart.
Her beloved Alameda Theater, with its classic art deco interior, is being converted into one of
those fancy-schmancy megaplexes with eight screens and an adjoining garage. All her
precious memories are being bulldozed.
It makes no sense to De Paiva, who’s trying to save her historic theater — built in 1932, closed in 1979 — from ending up the way of so many other movie palaces, knocked out by Blockbuster and Netflix.
For the full story, go to the Mercury-Register.
March 2, 2007
As you know, Friends of the Boyd are very concerned because Live Nation has put the Boyd up for sale. We don’t want Center City’s last movie palace to be sold to another real estate developer who might seek to demolish it!
We’ve mentioned previously that Live Nation is also considering turning the Boyd into a House of Blues. Friends of the Boyd were happy with the restoration plans drawn up to restore the Boyd into a venue for Touring Broadway musicals, and that Live Nation was happy to accommodate our film series. However, if the theater becomes a House of Blues, Live Nation has not specified whether the Boyd’s original, historic Art Deco features would be fully restored, and if a film series would be accommodated. Friends of the Boyd have continued to offer to fundraise for the restoration.
PLEASE TELEPHONE City Hall at 215-686-1776 and ask to be connected to Mayor Street’s office.
The Mayor’s fax is 215-686-2180 if you would like to write a letter.