Preservation Alert

  • August 15, 2012

    Old Theatres highlights most endangered

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    The next edition of Britain’s OLD THEATRES magazine (Patron Ken Dodd OBE) will include details and photographs of the country’s halls of entertainment that are under threat. Now in its fourth year, OT has become recognized as a unique publication which champions the need to preserve the country’s historic halls of entertainment so that they can be enjoyed by future generations.

    Published three times a year by theatre enthusiasts, including retired authors and journalists, it gets great reviews wherever it goes. The magazine features ‘lost’ theatres, old theatres which have been restored, stories of artists' experiences in them, together with extra information which is not normally seen in other theatre publications.

  • August 9, 2012

    Empire Theatre could close

    BLOCK ISLAND, RI — The seasonal Empire Theatre is facing closure because it can’t afford a digital projector. They’d like to fundraise but being a for-profit business in a summer town, they have an uphill battle.

    Read more in the Block Island Times.

  • August 3, 2012

    Varsity Theater fights for survival

    CANYON, TX — The outlook is grim for the 65 year old Varsity Theater but its owner still has hope. He can’t afford the jump to digital right now but he’s hoping for someway to stay in business.

    Read more at Amarillo.com.

  • July 23, 2012

    Church withdraws attempt to buy historic Portage Theater

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    CHICAGO, IL — The Chicago Tabernacle’s bid to purchase the Portage Theater has failed. Thanks to the city landmarking it and its tenants raising money to potentially buy it, the church’s controversial attempt to purchase and modify the theatre has been withdrawn.

    Read more in the Sun Times.

    (Thanks to KenRoe for providing the photo.)

  • July 17, 2012

    Whiteladies Picture House developments

    Despite a recommendation to grant the current planning application to turn Whiteladies Picture House (the former ABC Clifton) into a gym and five apartments, Bristol City Council have deferred their decision at the recent committee meeting on 30 June until after a site visit is conducted later in July, with the next committee meeting scheduled for 25 July. Two counselors voted in support of the planning application, one voted against and one abstained.

    Meanwhile two disparate (desperate?) groups are fighting to save the cinema: Keep Cinema Local campaign together with a commercial leisure property developer, Ozseeker on the one hand, and on the other hand, Whiteladies Pictures House ltd who are campaigning to reopen the cinema as a mixed use theatre, cinema, arts complex, who have been recently been approached by a top secret national cinema chain.

  • July 13, 2012

    Volunteers raise funds to save historic Wheaton Grand Theater

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    WHEATON, IL — A group of volunteers has launched a crowd funding campaign through IndieGoGo to purchase and restore Wheaton Grand Theater, with the intention of reopening it as a performing arts center. IndieGoGo is a crowdsourcing platform that helps projects come to life. However, projects must meet their predetermined funding goal before any money changes hands.

    The volunteer group intends to bring an audience of more than 8,500 people a month to the new Wheaton Grand. It aims to focus mainly on music while incorporating a variety of performing arts, including dance recitals and magic shows.

  • July 11, 2012

    Loyal patrons help launch fund drive to relocate,expand, and upgrade Kalamazoo area theater

    KALAMAZOO, MI — A “Save Our Cinema” campaign is growing to find a new home for the Gull Road Cinema 5. Locals recently found out that a new Menards will be built in place of the existing strip mall where the theatre is located.

    Read more in MLive.

  • June 27, 2012

    Movies to return to the Rivoli

    SOUTH FALLSBURG, NY — The Sullivan County Dramatic Workshop, owners of the historic 1923 Rivoli Theater on Main Street in South Fallsburg, has announced that first-run movies will return to the theater beginning on Friday, June 29th!

    “We’re thrilled to augment our exciting schedule of live plays and musicals with a movie program”, said workshop Board Member Jackie Perito. “We’re going to run movies all summer at times when we do not have a live event going on at the theater”.

  • June 14, 2012

    Portage fate to be determined

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    CHICAGO, IL — The future of the Portage Theater is to be determined this Friday June 15th at a final zoning board meeting at 9AM. It will decide whether or not to allow the Chicago Tabernacle Church to purchase the theater for their new worship space. The church has not entertained suggestions for alternate locations in the area, including the former Belpark Theater.

    The Portage Park Neighborhood Association is busing 50 residents to the Loop meeting to protest the church’s purchase. Ald. John Arena and many local business owners contend that the church taking over the theater will make drawing new businesses to the Six Corners neighborhood very difficult, especially bars and restaurants, which could not serve liquor near a church. Film critic Roger Ebert has also weighed in on the side of the Portage Theater, saying, “Chicago has countless churches, but not enough theaters like the very special Portage. Help save it.”

    Read more in the Huffington Post.

  • May 14, 2012

    Group sets sights on National Register listing for shuttered Pittsfield theater

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    PITTSFIELD, IL — The Zoe Preservation Society is trying to raise funds for a study to figure out what it will take to make the theatre operational again. They aim to bring the Zoe Theatre back as a cinema and get it on the National Register of Historic Places.

    Read the full story in the Quincy Herald-Whig.

    (Thanks to Norman Plant for providing the photo.)