Preservation Alert

  • December 1, 2003

    Von Lee Cinema to Reopen as a Restaurant/Bar?

    BLOOMINGTON, IN — According to a report in the Indiana Daily Student, a hearing will be held this coming Wednesday to determine the fate of the Von Lee Cinema. At question is whether or not the theater’s current owner should be granted a liquor license, which is required for the theater to become a restaurant and bar. Opponents of the plan — namely, the “Save The Von Lee” organization — argue that the Von Lee should remain a cinema.

  • November 24, 2003

    Pleasant Hill Officials Say Dome Is Out With The Old

    PLEASANT HILL, CA — Plans for a new retail/entertainment complex may mean the end of Pleasant Hill’s beloved dome theater. Now operated as an art house under Century Theatres' CineArts banner, the dome opened in 1967 and is a treasured local landmark. As Contra Costa Times reporter Corey Lyons reports, Century plans to replace the classic dome with a new “two-story theater with six screens, an escalator and lobbies that offer expansive views of the area.”

  • November 12, 2003

    More Info on the Avenal Theatre Fire

    AVENAL, CA — The Fresno Bee has more information about the fallout from Saturday’s fire at the Avenal Theatre. According to the article, the fire damaged and/or destroyed a total of eight businesses in the downtown Avenal area, totalling at least $1 million in damage. [uPDATE: another report from local TV station indicates that Avenal city leaders have voted to rebuild the theater.]

  • 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 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.