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.”
March 27, 2006
Preservationists fear the opening of a Glendale multiplex could force the historic Ridgewood Theatre to close its doors for good – about a decade shy of its 100th birthday.
The Ridgewood, designed by architect Thomas Lamb and first opened in December 1916, is believed to be one of the oldest continuously operated theaters in the country, having never closed for renovations during its 89-year run.
But residents think the upcoming opening of a Regal Cinemas multiplex in the Shops at Atlas Park, an office/retail complex on Cooper Ave. between 80th and 83rd Sts., will bring too much competition for the Ridgewood.
March 16, 2006
HAYS, KS — The Fox Theatre, 1202 Main Street in Hays, Kansas, will be auctioned on Tuesday March 28th, according to the sale bill currently on line at www.purplewave.com. The auction bill include terms of sale, as well as a wealth of photographs of the theatre.
The Fox in Hays has been closed for some time and at one point was owned by Dickinson Theatre of Mission, Kansas which also operates the Mall Cinema 8. This was orginally a National General house, and later operated by the Mann Corporation and finally Dickinson, it was nicely twined but the downtown location, with very limited parking was always and issue.
Even by today’s standards the theatre is very contemporary looking. It is truly unfortunate to see this theatre fall to this fate. Hopefully someone will find a creative use and be even more fortunate to make it work.
March 3, 2006
LOS ANGELES, CA — The UCLA Daily Bruin is reporting that the much beloved Mann National Theatre may close in July:
“Though the lights of the Mann Village and Bruin movie theaters will continue to vibrantly flash on the corner of Broxton and Weyburn avenues, the static lights of the Mann National Theatre may soon go dim. Come this July, Westwood may be one theater short, as Mann Theatres will not renew its lease for the National Theatre, located on Lindbrook Drive.”
February 9, 2006
FOREST HILLS, NY — The Committee To Save The Trylon Theater (local residents, preservation groups, historical societies) has been trying to encourage the Landmarks Preservation Commission to landmark the Art Deco/Moderne 1939 World’s Fair-inspired Trylon Theater at 98-81 Queens Blvd, Forest Hills, NY.
Landmarks Preservation Commission Chairman Tierney had intentions of granting a hearing for the Trylon Theater as early as 2003. However, Councilwoman Katz’s inactivity and initial opposition to its possible landmarking, prolonged Mr. Tierney’s decision, since the LPC usually does not act without sufficient political support. Councilwoman Katz now claims she values its historical significance and favors landmark status.
February 8, 2006
PASADENA, CA — The following was sent in by Gina Zamparelli:
“Friends of the Raymond Theatre is a non-profit organization who has worked for 17 years to preserve Pasadena’s historic Raymond Theatre. After 5 years of hearings, The City of Pasadena recently granted permits to allow redevelopment of the Raymond Theatre to a mixed/use housing project.
There are currently three lawsuits pending on the current plans to redevelop the Raymond Theatre. Friends of the Raymond Theatre are working to raise funds, to ask the courts for a stay to stop demolition. We kindly ask your help. Our current need it to raise $10,000 before the end of February. People from all over the US have kindly donated.
If you would like to help us preserve The Raymond Theatre, a donation of any amount would be greatly appreciated. All donations are tax deductible. Donations can be made by mail or PayPal: www.PayPal.com (e-mail account ).
February 7, 2006
YEADON, PA — The Borough Council of Yeadon has voted 6-1 in favor of razing the 1937 Yeadon Theatre, an Art Moderne movie house which is one of the last John Eberson-designed theaters in the Philadelphia area, according to a story in the Daily Times. A fire on January 8th caused extensive damage to the theater, which was already in poor shape in 2003 when demolition of the Yeadon was halted at the last moment (after a wrecking ball already knocked down the rear wall of the theater).
It was hoped that the facade and lobby of the theater would be salvaged, but according to Borough President Vivian Ford, only a few elements will be saved, including the theater’s name from the marquee, exit signs, and bricks. “Environmentally, it’s not safe,” says Ford, “There’s mold and rodents. It’s an accident waiting to happen. If there’s nothing salvageable, I don’t think we should keep it. For the good of our community, I’d rather see it go.”
Architect Margaret Westfield, a preservation specialist, reported to the Borough that “all significant interior fixtures and finishes” that made the landmark worth saving were ruined in the arson fire in January. Westfield says, “The tangible fabric that illustrated architect John Eberson’s Art Moderne vision for the theater’s interior was completely lost”.
February 1, 2006
YEADON, PA — Howard Haas has sent in the following note (and links):
“The Yeadon Theater, built in 1937 in Yeadon, PA, last surviving John Eberson-designed theater in the Philadelphia area and one of the last Art Moderne theaters in the area, may be demolished. The town council may vote February 2nd to demolish without meeting with a movie operator interested in reopening the theater.”
Philadelphia Inquirer story: http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/news/local/13759690.htm
Link to 2003 photos: http://www.robbender.com/gallery/yeadon
January 24, 2006
While the theater’s exterior has been an official landmark since 1989, the interior does not have the same protections. (You can see a few shots of the interior here.)
Mr. Bialek has been authorized by the Landmarks Preservation Commission to demolish the interior of the Metro, whose exterior was declared a landmark in 1989. He said he is considering leasing the space to a dinner theater, a restaurant or a store, or perhaps reopening it as a multiplex.
This is indeed a sad day for moviegoers in Manhattan. The megaplexes continue to eat away at the city’s remaining single and twin screen moviehouses.
(Thanks to Howard Haas for sending this in!)