Preservation Alert

  • November 10, 2003

    CHAS III Theater Sold to Non-Profit Group

    JENKINTOWN, PA — According to an article in Friday’s Philadelphia Inquirer, a nonprofit group is set to purchase the Chas III theater in hopes to revitalize the city’s downtown area. The theater, which will be rechristened as the Hiway Theatre, will primarily show arthouse fare, with a mix of classic, independent, and foreign films.

  • October 27, 2003

    Avalon Theatre in Danger?

    MILWAUKEE, WI — according to this report in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Craig Ellsworth, the current owner of the Avalon Theatre, has revealed plans to convert the historic theater into office space should his company fail to find a tenant interesting in reviving the Avalon.

  • October 23, 2003

    Odeon Cinema in St Austell, England to be Demolished

    ST. AUSTELL, ENGLAND — A plan to redevelop the town center of St Austell, in Cornwall, would include the demolition of the 1936 Art Deco Odeon Cinema, which would be replaced by a new four-screen cinema, according to a report in the Western Morning News. Though conservationists are campaigning to save the Odeon, both developers and the conservation organization, English Heritage, seem to agree that since a remodeling from the 70s, there isn’t enough left of the original design to warrant saving the Odeon. One conservation consultant said that the cinema now looks more like “an industrial shed.”

  • October 21, 2003

    Ioka Sale Falls Through, Future Uncertain

    EXETER, NH — According to this article in today’s Exeter News, the sale of the Ioka Theater has fallen through. The current owner of theater, Jim Blanco, had planned to sell the theater to a group that planned to transform the theater into the Seacoast Brewery and Restaurant.

  • May 27, 2003

    Last D-150 Theater Closes

    LITTLE ROCK, AR — According to an email sent in by local resident, Steve Yoder, the UA 150 closed abruptly last night. The United Artists Cinema 150 was the last of the Dimension 150 theaters which once dotted the country from New York to Seattle. In recent years, the Seattle, Washington and Syosset, New York D-150 theaters were also shuttered and then later demolished.

    After being a local icon in the Little Rock area for 35 years, tonight this classic 703 seating capacity cinema showed it’s final show. I sat with my wife and two children watching X-Men 2, remembering having sat there as a 7 year old child watching Sean Connery’s, “Diamond’s Are Forever”, thinking that unfortunately some things aren’t forever.

    In 1968 the theater opened it’s doors with classic movie “The Odd Couple”. One of it’s early highlights was when it hosted the world premiere of John Wayne’s, “True Grit”. From the information I could gather, Regal Entertainment, had made a business decision to close it and put the property up for sale. This closing followed the opening of an ultra-modern 10 screen stadium seating theater.

    For more information, read the Baxter Bulletin article.

    This may be the last chance to save this unique widescreen theater. Any interested parties out there???

  • May 1, 2003

    Preservation Alerts

    Just in time to spoil your weekend, we have a plethora of bad news to share. Here are a few of the newest preservation alerts:

    Waikiki Theaters Set For Conversion, Demolition
    HONOLULU, HI — Read the KHNL-TV story

    Old Lynbrook Theater May Also Be Converted or Demolished
    LYNBROOK, NY — Read the Herald Community

    More News Regarding the Gaiety’s Failed Attempts at Designation
    BOSTON, MA — Read the Preservation Magazine article

    1920 Century Theatre Torn Down To Make Way For Another Drug Store
    AUDUBON, NJ — Read the Haddon Herald

    We promise to spend the weekend finding some good news.

    Have a good weekend and please support your neighborhood theater, lest it become another one of these headlines.

  • March 17, 2003

    Aero Theatre May Close

    SANTA MONICA, CA — The following email was sent out by Chris Allen of the Aero:

    The Aero has just received a 30-day notice to vacate the property. As far as we know right now, this means that as of Sunday, April 13, 2003, the Aero Theatre will have to close its doors.

    We have been informally told that the American Cinematheque will be coming in to operate the theatre, but we do not know what they plan to do with the Aero or when they plan on taking over.

    This sounds like an exciting prospect for the Aero, but there are many questions that we have asked that have not been answered by the property manager or by American Cinematheque.

    Therefore, we are turning to you, the friends of the Aero Theatre, to help us insure the future well-being of the Aero Theatre.

    For the full text of the email, visit the Aero Theatre website.

    Thanks to Jason Axe for the update.

  • February 11, 2003

    Villa Sold; May Be Demolished

    SALT LAKE CITY, UT — This shocking and sad news is just in from Grant Smith, our dedicated Utah theaters expert and volunteer:

    The Villa Theatre in Salt Lake City, Utah will close after showings on February 18th, according to a news story on KSL last night. The theater has been sold and the new owner will not continue to operate the building as a theater. No one knows at this point who the buyer is or what fate awaits the building, but the news story indicated that the theater might be demolished.

    Watch/Read the KSL story

    For more information on the closing of the Villa, please visit Grant Smith’s incredible website.

    Grant is interviewed extensively in the KSL broadcast that all but confirms the imminent demolition of this 1949 movie house, which still has one of the largest screens in America.

    As you may recall, Cinema Treasures worked with USA Today in late 2001 to publish a list of the 10 greatest classic cinemas to watch movies in. The Villa was certainly one of those. Its loss would be immeasurable.

    If you were outraged over the loss of the Indian Hills Theater, then contact the Utah Heritage Foundation and these organizations immediately, courtesy of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

    Thanks to Stephen Ruffus who also alerted us to the Villa story.

  • November 22, 2002

    Waikiki 1, 2, 3 Closes

    HONOLULU, HI — Consolidated Amusmements, which had operated the historic Waikiki 1, 2, 3 theaters, has announced their abrupt closure. According to the Honolulu Advertiser, the company has cited dwindling attendance in closing the triplex and said plans to close the theater have been discussed since 1990.

    The Waikiki 3 theater is actually the original Waikiki Theatre which opened in 1936 and was later joined by the Waikiki 1 & 2. Consolidated Amusements opened a nearby megaplex a few years ago which has been slowly killing their one-time flagship cinema, the Waikiki.

    With the busy holiday season, the company decided to close the older theater and switch its employees to the megaplex in order to avoid having to hire seasonal help.

    Along with the shuttering of the Hawaii Cinerama Theater, the passing of the Waikiki is a major blow to movie theater enthusiasts on the island. No further word is available on the fate of these three theaters.

  • October 29, 2002

    Cove Theatre Sold; Future Uncertain

    LA JOLLA, CA — Another post-war movie house may soon meet its end as the Cove Theatre, the venerable, single screen art house cinema, has been sold to HPA Properties. According to the Union Tribune, Landmark Theatres, which has operated the Cove since 1983, has until January 16th to vacate the property.

    Following that date, the owners “‘are looking at the chance of converting it to a multi-theater property or to retail use.’” Despite the news, Landmark is still hoping to negotiate with HPA to remain at the theater.

    Landmark CEO, Paul Richardson is also quoted in the article saying, “‘The Cove would be difficult to 'multiplex.’ It’s long and narrow. It doesn’t have a balcony, which in many old theaters allows room for installing extra screens. We would consider running it with more than one screen, but that has to be done well.‘”

    The 650-seat Cove opened in 1948.