Preservation Alert

  • September 13, 2006

    Marquis Theatre could be razed

    EASTON, PA — Plans are starting to take shape for the Marquis Theatre to be razed for condos.

    Ashley Development received preliminary approval Wednesday for its second major Downtown condominium project.

    Bethlehem-based Ashley proposes razing the former Marquis movie theater at 175 S. Third St. to make way for the nine-story Majestic building.

    The project would include 100 two-bedroom condominiums and 43 one-bedroom condos atop roughly 7,000 square feet of retail space fronting South Third Street.

    For more, visit the Express-Times.

  • September 12, 2006

    Blair Theater in danger

    HOLLIDAYSBURG, PA — The Blair Theater is in danger of being sold and demolished for office space.

    The old Blair Cinema on Allegheny Street may have a new owner soon.

    Samuel Britz, a certified public accountant of Britz & Associates, said he has teamed up with a group of investors and already made a deposit on the building.

    The group will purchase it with a contingency that a parking variance can be obtained from the borough’s zoning board.

    To read more, visit the Altoona Mirror.

  • August 24, 2006

    Fate uncertain for Beverly Drive-In

    HATTIESBURG, MS — After extensive damage due to Hurricane Katrina, the future of the Beverly Drive-In is unclear.

    The owners of the 58-year-old Beverly Drive-In are undecided on its fate after Hurricane Katrina abruptly put an end to one of the Pine Belt’s most recognized landmarks.

    “One of my current jobs for this is to get it appraised or to see how much the land is worth if it was demolished,” said Suzette Hargroder of Hattiesburg, who owns the theater with her sister, Beverly Cutrer of Louisiana. “We’re not willing to put any money into it. It doesn’t make financial sense.”

    For more, read the full story in the Hattiesburg American.

  • August 17, 2006

    Miramar Theater still in need

    Friends of the Miramar Theater:


    Thank you all for your comments so far..

    The fight for the Miramar theater and its saving is an iconic struggle that is not only about this specific building of local historical value…It is in fact a symbol of what we all on here strive to accomplish in our own ways…and that is to spotlight that if you forget where you came from you are doomed to not know where your going!


  • July 27, 2006

    Houston Theaters in Danger

    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

    Chicago’s Esquire Theater May Soon Fall

    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

    Lyric Theater to Close Permanently?

    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 to close?

    According to today’s issue of the Tennesean, the historic Franklin Cinema may close by end of the year.

    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

    PA Theater Summit

    I found this interesting event on the Pennsylvania Downtown Center website…

    Theater Summit

    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.

    Registration Form

    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

    Rumored Sunset at Old Hyde Park Theater

    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.