Preservation Alert

  • September 4, 2007

    Residents fight for Whiteside

    CORVALLIS, OR — With a decision expected soon, residents are banding together to prevent a retail complex going up on the site of the Whiteside Theatre.

    A group of Corvallis residents is asking the state to put a stop to plans to turn a historic downtown movie theater into a retail complex.

    The Whiteside Theater is listed on the city’s register of historic places. It dates to the 1920s.

    A group of investors from Portland have an option to buy the building. They are planning to put shops on the ground floor, and a restaurant upstairs.

    Read more at KTVZ.

  • September 3, 2007

    Threat to Kilburn Gaumont State……Kilburn, London, England

    KILBURN, LONDON, ENGLAND — The Kilburn State building has, it is believed, just possibly been sold (28 August 2007) by RankMecca PLC to a Bahrain based investment vehicle whose first intentions were rumoured to be a housing development. Despite repeated requests, RankMecca’s head of property, one Tony Robinson, has declined to provide any details of who has bought the building and organ.

    The building and Wurlitzer organ has grade II* listed status from English Heritage, has a planning designation for entertainment and that is being reconfirmed in the new Local Development Framework which makes precisely no mention of housing on this site. There is just about zero chance of Brent Council agreeing to any change in planning designation and I would imagine the same response from English Heritage. The question has to be asked what the intentions are of the new owners and when they will identify themselves?

    There is a question mark over the organ, notwithstanding the listed status applying to the organ as well. The Chief Engineer employed by RankMecca has been made redundant and there are no longer any technical staff at the State to keep it on a care and maintenance basis. Unless there is regular maintenance to the leather bellows of the pipes, these will start to dry and will then crack, rendering them useless.

  • August 21, 2007

    Palace in need

    HUDDERSFIELD, UK — Help us save the Palace Theatre. A great big Art Deco gem messed about with over the years, but still one of the last purpose built variety theates to be built outside London. Look at the page write to the local council and make a noise!

  • August 14, 2007

    Hastings 8 in danger

    PASADENA, CA — I just visited the Pacific Hastings 8 theatre on 8/11/07, and found out from the employees working there that this theatre will be closing on 8/31/07 and demolished.

    Contributed by Brenda Brubaker

  • July 4, 2007

    Roosevelt update

    KENOSHA, WI — The City has ordered a raze-or-repair order for the Roosevelt Theatre. I don’t think the building is that bad, as I was in it in the Spring. The proscenium arch is gone but the rest of the interior structure looks presentable. The building has two usable store fronts and large upstairs apartment. For more, call me at (262) 652-3034.

  • June 28, 2007

    Fight for Park Theatre

    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.

    I love this little one screen theatre and now it’s gone. The Cerrito Theatre was saved, the Lark in Larkspur, CA is being saved, but what about the Park Theatre?

  • June 26, 2007

    National Westwood in danger…again

    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

    The Lorenzo Theatre finally on the way to salvation

    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

    El Rey can still be saved!

    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

    Former Odeon Hartlepool to be finally demolished?

    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.)