Preservation Alert

  • June 16, 2005

    McHenry Outdoor Theatre Going Dark?

    McHENRY, IL — The McHenry Outdoor Theatre, which has been entertaining McHenry County residents since 1955, and is one of only three operating drive-ins in Chicagoland, may be having its last season this year, according to the Chicago Tribune. The still very popular theater located between the village of Lakemoor and the city of McHenry is surrounded by ever-encroaching development, and for a couple years now, there has been the rumor of the McHenry Outdoor’s demise.

    The theater’s manager, Danielle Munnich, does acknowledge that the owner of the McHenry, Tom Rhyan, doesn’t have a buyer but is in fact considering selling the property. “So far no one has made the right offer.” says Munnich. Just last week, Gary Castaldo, a DJ on STAR-105 FM, made news by having himself chained to a tree on the drive-in property to raise awareness of the drive-in’s potential closure, saying he’d remain there until he got 5,000 signatures on his petition to save the theater (which he did in six hours).

  • June 10, 2005

    DuPage Theatre Demolition Alert

    Dear Theatre Supporters,

    In case you haven’t already heard, the Lombard village board voted 4-2 in favor of demolishing the DuPage Theatre. This was a shocking turn of events, given the positive direction our new development plan was taking.

    The plan would fully restore the theatre, add retail and residential space to the theatre property, and be funded through grants, private donations and TIF dollars. And, it enjoyed an outpouring of community support demonstrated by 1000 lawn signs displayed over the course of 2 weeks.

  • June 6, 2005

    Lombard OKs DuPage Theatre Demolition

    LOMBARD, IL — The Lombard Village Board voted June 2nd to approve the demolition of the 1928 DuPage Theatre in downtown Lombard, according to this report from the Daily Herald.

    Dozens of theater supporters filled the board chambers, including Kevin Fitzpatrick, who called the vote “a gut-punch” to preservationists. Fitzpatrick continued, “We remain committed to this. We’re going to reevaluate our options. There’s always a legal option. There’s always the chance the board can reconsider.”

    Another supporter, Penelope Arnold, said, “They just don’t get it. The theater is what makes us different, what makes Lombard unique. It’s a shame. It’s a great loss to our community.”

  • March 29, 2005

    Boston’s Gaiety Theatre: Important Hearing Today

    BOSTON, MA — The following press release was sent by the Gaiety Theatre Friends:

    “The Boston Zoning Board of Appeal (ZBA) will hold a hearing onĀ appeals challenging the issuance of a demolition permit for Boston’s historic Gaiety Theatre.

    Two Boston City Councilors, Felix Arroyo and Chuck Turner, and the Asian American Resource Workshop are the appellants.

    The hearing will be held on Tuesday, March 29, at noon, in Boston City Hall Room 801.

    The public and press are invited to witness and/or participate in this hearing. Please plan to come and demonstrate your support. While spoken testimony will be limited, everyone who attends will learn about the issues and receive photos of the theatre. All interested parties should submit written comments to the ZBA, at the hearing or in advance by fax 617-635-2918.

  • March 10, 2005

    Curtain Falls On San Francisco’s Coronet Theatre

    SAN FRANCISCO, CA — I just found out today (as I work in the film and advertising business) the following memo has been sent:

    Please be advised the final day of operation for the UA Coronet 1 will be Thursday, March 17.

    If you have any questions, please let me know.

    Barbara Ellis
    Regal Entertainment Group
    Advertising Coordinator

  • February 16, 2005

    New Victoria / Odeon Edinburgh – Demolition Threat

    EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND — Plans have just been lodged with Edinburgh City Council for a scheme that involves the demolition of the B-listed New Victoria / Odeon cinema. The plans can be viewed online here in detail: http://citydev-portal.edinburgh.gov.uk/WAM/showCaseFile.do?appType=DC&appNumber=05/00327/LBC.

    In summary though, only the facade is to be retained, and that is to be extended by an extra glass floor above current roof level. The auditorium is to be totally swept away.

  • February 15, 2005

    URGENT — Waikiki Theatre Demolition

    WAIKIKI, HI — Hot off the press, the Pacific Business News reports that Greg Swendelson, VP of Robertson Properties, has announced that the Waikiki Theatre will be demolished in the next few weeks. Replacing the historic Art Deco theatre will be a Footlocker.

    Construction of the Footlocker is to begin in Spring 2005.

    Marc Warner

  • February 4, 2005

    Coronet Theatre Will Close On Feb 10th

    SAN FRANCISCO, CA — Earlier this week, the staff of the Coronet was told that the theater would be closing its'doors forever on Feb 10, 2005. The Coronet, which opened in 1949, has been operated by United Artists since some time in the late 1980’s or early 90’s.

    According to the San Francisco Examiner, in 2000, the owners of the building sold it to The Goldman Institute On Aging, who plan to tear it down and construct a senior citizens center on the site. The 1,200-seat Coronet is one of the last single-screen 70mm movie houses (with good sound and projectionst) to actually to run 70mm prints on a regular basis. There are one or two other single screen SF movie houses with 70mm capibility- -but they haven’t run 70mm in years.

    JimC/San Francisco

  • January 28, 2005

    SF’s Harding Theater Endangered!

    SAN FRANCISCO, CA — Condo developers have obtained permits to demolish San Francisco’s historic Harding Theater.

    Neighborhood merchants are lobbying to save the theater and adapt it for reuse. They will meet with the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, February 1, 2005, at City Hall, Room 244, One Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place (Polk Street between Grove and McAllister Streets), San Francisco, 3:30 pm. (415) 568-3306.

    For more info, check out this website.

  • January 6, 2005

    Cinema 1, 2, 3 Also Set To Close

    NEW YORK, NY — Following on the heels of the announcement of the Beekman’s closure, New York Post Film Critic Lou Lumenick reports that the Cinema 1, 2, 3 will be gutted this spring and converted into retail space.

    Meanwhile, the theater’s owners have already placed a stucco facade over its signature blue tiles “apparently” to prevent the building from being placed on the landmark list — something akin to the “work” done on the Sutton Theater before its closure.