Preservation Alert

  • April 12, 2004

    The Castle Cinema Slated To Close?

    PROVIDENCE, RI — The following email was sent in by Gregg Anderson and is courtesy of the Castle Cinema Cafe:

    “After 80 years in operation, The Castle Cinema, one of the last remaining independently owned and operated movie houses left in Rhode Island, is in jeopardy of closing its doors forever.

    Starting next week, The Castle will reduce operating hours to Friday, Saturday, and Sunday only. This is a further reduction from a schedule that already has it closed on Mondays. Final performances and closing of the theater will take place on Saturday, April 24, 2004.

  • Raymond Theatre Hearing TONIGHT!

    PASADENA, CA — The following email was sent in by Gina Zamparelli:

    “We need your support at the Raymond Theatre Conceptual Design Review Hearing TONIGHT, Monday, April 12, 2004.

    The owners of the historic Raymond Theatre (formerly Perkin’s Palace) located in Pasadena, California have filed for Design Review of their proposed project. They will be requesting the City of Pasadena Design Commission give approval to gut the Historic Raymond Theatre and convert it to an apartment, retail, shopping complex.

  • April 5, 2004

    More Cloudy News for Huntington’s Keith Albee

    HUNTINGTON, WV — During a town meeting, several townspeople expressed their concerns that the federally funded Pullman Square development with its 16 screen movie theatre would have an adverse impact on the 1928 Thomas Lamb Keith-Albee theater, according to a report in the Herald Dispatch.

    The Transit Authority which will receive rent money from the new theatre seemed glib. Vicki Shaffer, President of the Transit Authority, admitted the Keith had not been properly considered under federal historic preservation laws. “The devil is in the details,” she admitted. Keith lovers should be working the emails and phone lines to the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Advisory Council for Historic Preservation. The Herald Dispatch finally ran a story about the Keith’s “cloudy” future.

  • March 29, 2004

    Sacramento’s Tower Theatre at Risk?

    SACRAMENTO, CA — The City of Sacramento is giving a corporation millions of dollars to construct a multiplex in downtown, which may force the Tower Theatre, Crest Theatre, and other Sacramento theaters out of business.

    You can find a lengthy cover story about the multiplex project in the current issue of the SN&R (Sacramento News & Reviews) paper, which is distributed throughout the Sacramento area free of charge. The story is also available on the SN&R website.

  • March 24, 2004

    Garden Theater in Charleston in Danger

    CHARLESTON, SC — The Garden Theater, located at 371 King Street, is in immediate danger of being lost.

    Designed by architect, C.K. Howell, the Garden opened in 1918. Silent films gave way to sound in 1929 when the Garden began a policy of showing only films made in the Vitaphone process.

  • March 23, 2004

    Help Save the Bengies!

    BALTIMORE, MD — Gregg Anderson alerted us to the fact that Baltimore’s Bengies Drive-In Theatre has an important zoning hearing on Thursday. If you live near the Baltimore area, please consider attending the meeting to show your support for the theater!

    From the Bengies newsletter:

    “Dear Great Patrons of the Bengies Drive-In Theatre,

    In order to save the Bengies Drive-In Theatre, I must act upon my agreement to purchase the property it sits upon. I must take the zoning of the property and change it from residential to commercial, so that I can set other things into place to generate enough income to support the mortgage.

    I have put this request in to Baltimore county, Maryland, and the first of 2 PUBLIC hearings is set for this coming THURSDAY, March 25. It is a public hearing that will be HELD AT 7PM at PARKVILLE HIGH School. [THERE WILL BE A SECOND PUBLIC HEARING LATER THIS SUMMER] Both hearings are VERY important to our cause.

  • March 11, 2004

    Danforth Music Hall Now Closed?

    TORONTO, CANADA — Yet another historic cinema in Toronto is closed. The Danforth Music Hall, which started life as Allen’s Danforth Theatre in 1920, has been closed since the third week of February.

    Since 1998 the Music Hall has been a member of the Festival Cinemas chain, showing second run films mostly with the occasional concert or play thrown into the schedule. It is the last operational theatre built the Allen’s chain. All its sister theatres have been either demolished or converted into other uses.

  • March 4, 2004

    Harrogate Royal Hall

    NORTH YORKSHIRE , ENGLAND — Harrogate Council met on Wednesday to discuss the future of the troubled Royal Hall, according to a report in the Harrogate Today.

    The concrete in the balcony is crumbling in this Grade 2* listed building designed by pre-eminent UK theater architect Frank Matcham. Repair costs have been estimated at £11 million (including full restoration of this beautiful hall) and the Heritage lottery fund has awarded £6 million towards the cost – but Harrogate say they cannot afford the balance.

    It was used as a cinema on a regular basis up until the 1930s.

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  • March 3, 2004

    Notting Hill’s Coronet Saved?

    LONDON, ENGLAND — According to a spokesperson for Colliers CRE, the organization handling the sale of the 105 year-old Coronet Cinema, “New plans involve improving the building and maintaining the cinema”, but the spokesperson could not elaborate further.

    The existence of the Notting Hill movie palace, featured in the Julia Roberts-Hugh Grant film “Notting Hill”, was rumored to be in danger.

    Read the full report on the ITV website.

  • March 1, 2004

    Sister of Flushing’s Keith Needs Federal “Offset” Funding to Keep the Curtain Rising

    HUNTINGTON, WV — Huntington’s Keith-Albee could meet the wrecker’s ball due to federal and state subsidizing of a competing 14-screen stadium multiplex one block away.

    The Transit Authority, which is administering the federal portion of the project, claims it has complied with all historic and environmental laws. However, the TTA director claims that the Keith is not on the Federal Register.