July 27, 2006
HOUSTON, TX — Two theaters in Houston are in danger of demolition!!! Weingarten Realty, has made public plans to demolish parts of the River Oaks shopping center, including the the 1939 River Oaks Theater, to make room for new retail and a high-rise residential building.
Houston has notoriously weak preservation laws. If Weingarten is successful, it could also demolish the Art Deco-style Alabama Theater center at Shepherd and Alabama, which now houses a Bookstop and other retail stores.
These buildings are fine examples of Art Deco design and are among a handful of such buildings in the city. The River Oaks center could begin as early as 2007, based on what tenants have been notified.
Please sign the following Petition to save these theaters.
July 19, 2006
According to a report in today’s Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago’s famed Esquire theater may be threatened for replacement by retail stores. The theater has faced similar threats several times before under earlier ownership, but this time it may be for real- especially with Alderman Burton Natarus' support and the increased competition from the nearby River East 21, now both operated by AMC. The theaters are increasingly dated and poorly maintained, and the 1989 alterations that removed the spectacular 1,400 seat art deco auditorium and added the six small screens also altered the lobby, although it retains much of its original charm. Chicagoist offers an editorial.
July 14, 2006
OSCEOLA, IA — The Lyric Theater is set to close on July 20.
When Superman Returns ends its two-week run at the Lyric Theater, the projector and screen will go dark — at least for now.
Lyric owners Roger and Sheila Kentner and J.B. Hamilton announced this week they would close the theater after Superman’s last showing on July 20.
The decision was difficult for the owners. Since the trio bought the defunct theater five years ago, they – with the help of many community volunteers – put a lot of sweat, labor and dedication into the operation.
More details in this Sentinel-Tribune report.
June 8, 2006
Franklin Cinema building owner Mark Bloom says rising building values and increased property taxes could keep theater owners Joe Bankemper and David Temple from renegotiating their contract on the Main Street movie house when it expires in December.
“As of December, Franklin Cinema will probably be no more,” Bloom said. “I have talked to the cinema operators, and they do not feel it’s economically feasible to move forward in operating based on escalating rents.”
Bankemper and Temple say they’d like to continue operating the 70-year-old, two-screen theater, but can’t pay any more in rent.
Also, Cinema Treasures was contacted for this story… and Ross has a nice quote at the end, reminding people why it’s important to save theaters like the Franklin.
May 15, 2006
I found this interesting event on the Pennsylvania Downtown Center website…
PDC is spearheading the creation of a network of independent theaters (Pennsylvania Association of Independent and Neighborhood Theatres) for the purpose of creating a more level playing field. PDC recognizes the challenges faced by smaller, independent film and live theaters and with the creation of this network, we hope to create leverage that places PA’s independent theaters in the league of larger, corporation owned theaters, as well as provide a support system among theater owners.
PDC will be hosting a summit to bring people together to discuss some of these issues and to provide a forum of networking. This will be held May 15 and 16, at the Comfort Suites in Carlisle. Items on the agenda include who we are and what the theatre network hopes to accomplish, managers' presentations (theatre owners' introductions of themselves and their theatres), educational sessions on feasibility studies, and funding, a facilitated discussion about cooperative marketing, vendors, and productions, and a presentation of the fall theatre promotion.
We have reserved a block of rooms at the Comfort Suites. Meals will be on your own, but we will plan a group dinner at a local restaurant for Monday night for those who wish to attend. We expect cost to be about $20 per person. We intend on finishing the Summit around noon on Tuesday.
Please have this returned to us by May 1, 2006. We will allow later registrations, but printed materials may not be available to those who register after this date, or at the door.
For more information about this, please contact Kristen Janowski at
This may be a little late, but it looks like it is good theater news in Pennsylvania.
May 11, 2006
TAMPA, FL — Tampa newspapers and local television stations are having a frenzy with rumors of Sunrise Cinemas at Old Hyde Park closing its doors.
Wasserman Vornado Strategic Real Estate Fund LLC is buying most of the Old Hyde Park Shopping Mall and turning it in to condominiums. Just what the world needs… more condos.
The rumors are getting a little over blown, but needless to say it is still a concern. The area has been contacting Old Hyde Park in efforts to stop them from selling the theater and shops. The theater means a lot to people in the area. Some say they purchased homes with the added thought that they could walk to see a film.
The theater is an asset to Old Hyde Park. Sunrise presents not only independent and foreign films, but also first run films as well. With The Wine Exchange (a little beverage cafe) next door and the patio setting area being in front of the box office, the theater does very well and would not be closing if not for being purchased for condominiums.
If you live in the Tampa area or are a patron of the theater or shops, please contact either Old Hyde Park Mall Management Wasserman Vornado Strategic Real Estate Fund LLC to urge them to rethink their plans.
May 10, 2006
PASADENA, CA — After a 19-year preservation battle to save the historic Raymond Theatre. Bulldozers are now on the theatre grounds and poised to start gutting the theatre for housing.
The Raymond Theatre opened in 1921 and was one of the finest theatres on the West Coast, it has presented vaudeville, movies and in it’s last incarnation it was known as one of LA’s top concert venues, Perkin’s Palace.
Friends of the Raymond Theatre have secured major operators, concert promoters and the ability to use historic tax credits for renovation.
A buyer (or someone to lease) the theatre is needed immediately!
Please contact us at:
April 24, 2006
CHICAGO, IL — Recently, a “FOR RENT” sign went up on the Village Art Theatre.
Now it appears that another Near North Side (Of Chicago) theatre may soon close. I was in the 3 Penny Cinema tonight. I went to see NEIL YOUNG HEART OF GOLD. After the show, I was talking to the owner. He said he will probably have to close down the theatre soon. He is having trouble meeting the outrageously high City of Chicago amusement taxes.
This is one of the few independently owned cinemas remaining in the City of Chicago. It features a great selection of movies, low prices, reasonable concessions, and even beer and wine! I urge every Cinema Treasures reader and contributor in the Chicagoland Area to get off his/her sofa and patronize this neat little theatre at least once before it closes!
April 3, 2006
YORK, ENGLAND — After over 2 years of uncertainty, the owners of the 1937 art deco Odeon York, have confirmed that the building is to close in August this year.
This is despite a rigorous campaign by local residents, which produced a petition of over 13,000 signatures in just over 9 weeks, and celebrity support by Dame Judi Dench, who was born and raised in the city.
Since it was announced that the cinema was being assessed for ‘economic viability’ the condition of the interior has been allowed to deteriorate, which carpets held together with tape, roped off seating, disgusting toilet facilities and naked light bulbs hanging from light fittings.
Investment in the property has been lacking for a number of years and they seem to have deliberately run it into the ground.
March 31, 2006
FOREST HILLS, NY — The Landmarks Preservation Commission has decided that the 66 year-old Trylon Theatre does not meet its designation criteria, according to this story in today’s New York Daily News.
In a letter to City Councilwoman Melinda Katz, Chairman Robert Tierney said, “[The Trylon] will not be recommended to the full commission for further consideration as an individual landmark”. Since last summer, the former movie house has been in the process of being converted into the Education Center for Russian Jewry, serving the area’s Bukharian Jewish populace.
Michael Perlman, founder of the Committee to Save the Trylon Theatre, maintains that as one of the few remaining structures built in homage to the World’s Fair of 1939-40, the theater does have architectural and cultural significance. Perlman said of the commission, “They don’t give a damn about the opinions of the people who inhabit their communities. They are the ones who know their communities best.”