February 13, 2017
From Missoulian.com: The Roxy Theater is planning a 1930s makeover for its 80th birthday this year.
The nonprofit community cinema will renovate its facade to reflect the original art deco design, complete with a period-era neon sign, a ticket booth right on Higgins Avenue, and a new paint job.
The exterior improvements will better reflect the nonstop activity in the theater, said Ingrid Lovitt-Abramson, the Roxy’s operations and development director.
Last week, the state announced a $67,605 tourism infrastructure grant for the historic renovation work. In addition to the matching grant, the Roxy has been fundraising privately for the work, which will cost around $200,000.
The state tourism funds came through the Montana Department of Commerce, the Office of Tourism and Business Development Tourism Grant Program. They target projects that can improve the economy through tourism.
They’re aiming to turn on the bright-red neon sign by late September to mark the theater’s anniversary.
It was originally a second-run theater with a single screen, featuring movies that had already played downtown at the Wilma Theatre.
For the facade, they’re working with Fernando Duarte Design, who has helped renovate art deco theaters around the West Coast, such as the Hollywood Theatre in Portland, Oregon.
He did historical research here in Missoula, both at the Mansfield Archives at the University of Montana, on microfiche at the Missoula Public Library, and consulted with UM art history professor Rafael Chacon, author of a book on Missoula architect A.J. Gibson.
There are no color photographs from the Roxy’s earliest days, but Steinberg said there was a limited palette of colors in use.
The handsome sign, meanwhile, will boast the “Roxy” name with rows of neon.
“It’s a classic neon, as opposed to what passes for neon these days,” Steinberg said. The double doors will have diagonal brass handles, just like the old theater did.
From The Exponent Telegram: Talk to any Princeton natives and they will quickly relay stories of going to the former Lavon Theater, often standing in line all the way down the sidewalk, eagerly waiting to pay less than $1 to see the current hit movie.
The Lavon Theater, which started out as the Royal Theater in 1911 and changed hands in 1954 to become the Lavon, is rich in history. And organizers of the Princeton Renaissance Project are renovating the building with plans to preserve such history by incorporating some “old with the new,” according to Mercer County Commissioner Greg Puckett, who is spearheading the project.
The theater restoration has been underway since 2013 when the building was first purchased, Puckett said. Volunteers and experts have removed walls, and the final steps will include installing a new roof and skylights, along with electrical work and the finishing touches of refurbishing many of the original chairs.
February 10, 2017
Lewisburg, PA – The Campus Theatre’s mission of historic preservation & vision for cultural captivation
From The Bucknellian: Every member of the Lewisburg community is sure to encounter the historic Campus Theatre at some point, as its iconic neon green lettering and old-school marquee on Market Street make it hard to miss. The theatre’s central location, nestled in the heart of Lewisburg, and old-fashioned Art Deco themed decoration and architecture make it an ideal location to bring film lovers together. Many people do not realize that the Campus Theatre is one of the oldest renovated theaters around. Some of the other notable famous historic theaters include the Ziegfeld in Manhattan, which closed in January 2016, and the Somerville Theatre in Somerville, Mass. The Campus Theatre opened in January 1941, about 11 months before the historic attack on Pearl Harbor. The Stiefel brothers emigrated to the United States from Russia, and built the theatre shortly thereafter. The brothers were large proponents of community involvement; hence, it was no surprise that the theater became quite an integral part of the Lewisburg area. Although the Stiefel brothers constructed 24 other theaters modeled with a similar Art Deco style, the Campus Theatre in Lewisburg is one of only five others still in operation. Although recently renovated by Hartmann Fine Arts Conservation Services, Inc., few changes have been made regarding the intricate paintings that embellish the interior of the theater’s walls and high-ceilings, as well as the original structural-architectural designs from the theater’s conception.
February 9, 2017
From the Kansas City Business Journal: The new owners of Shawnee’s Aztec Theatre — one of the oldest movie theaters in Kansas — plan to bring it back to life, the Shawnee Dispatch reports.
It last saw life as a movie house in 1975, according to Cinema Treasures.
From The Greeneville Sun: A downtown landmark will soon get a bit of a facelift.
Work to repair the Capitol Theatre’s marquee is likely to get underway soon, along with other planned upgrades to the theater’s facade.
Earlier this week, the Historic Zoning Commission approved plans for the South Main Street landmark that include repairs to the marquee and its lights, enclosure of the existing ticket booth and installation of granite and tile on the lower portion of the building’s facade.
February 3, 2017
From bendbulletin.com: For a glimpse of the future of downtown Redmond’s entertainment options just look back to the 1930s.
That’s what Ted Eady’s doing. Eady, who owns several properties in downtown Redmond, has historic designs for the slender, two-story brick building on 349 SW Sixth St.: Return it to its former theatrical glory.
Over the past year, Eady and his son, Evan, have been working to restore the movie theater, which opened in the 1930s, he said. Currently the building is an under-construction maze of century-old brick, exposed insulation and creaky wooden stairs.
“We call this the mineshaft,” said Evan Eady, 26, descending into the ancient basement.
The duo have a vision of something more complete.
“We’re in this auditorium right now,” said Ted Eady, 58, leaning over a set of blueprints. “This is the pub area on the other side of the wall. We’re going to have 17 seats in the pub and 40 seats in each of the two auditoriums, with stadium seating for the back two rows.”
The Eadys have decided to call the theater Odem Theater Pub after the building’s former owner — historic Redmond planner, civil servant and theater mogul Milton Odem. It is scheduled for a summer opening. And even though there’s still some work to do — soundproofing, sheet rock, roofing, electrical — the Eadys are confident.
“I suspect I’m a bit manic,” Ted Eady said. “I’m not a manic depressive because I don’t get too bummed out, but I’m definitely a glass half full kind of guy.”
The renovations will try to keep a bit of the former Odem flavor, Eady said, pointing to a 90-year-old wooden stage that will be a part of a bar in a few months. Leaning against the wood were four letters — O D E M — that he found in the basement of the building.
“We don’t know what the original sign from the ’30s looked like because we haven’t found any pictures of it, but finding these in the basement spelling what they spell in an art deco style that was popular in the ’30s — I’m beginning to suspect this was part of it,” he said, adding that he’s going to try to restore the old marquee sign that’s on the front of the building.
And while the building itself might pay tribute to the past, the theater’s future programming and food offerings have a more modern feel. Eady said that he’s drawing on theater chains that are popular these days for inspiration — Alamo Drafthouse and Portland’s Living Room Theaters chain, for instance. He envisions a place where people can come and have dinner and drinks while watching original programming and films you won’t typically find at corporate cinema chains.
“We want to show films that will be in contention for best picture, not necessarily the newest Marvel superhero movies,” he said. “We’ll show art house films, for sure, but we’ll show anything that we think is good that we can get our hands on.”
Adding in the fact that he also owns the vacant lot next to the building and has plans to turn that into an open-air music venue with expanded pub seating, and the future of entertainment in Redmond sounds like it could have potential.
“Redmond’s not as cool as Bend, I don’t know if you’ve heard,” Eady said. “So, we would like to do something they don’t have in Bend. It’s such a small place and so elaborate, and it has the history. It was a movie theater for a long time in the community, so it just seems right.”
From the Lexington Herald-Leader: After having suffered from deferred maintenance for several years, the historic theater in Winchester is getting a touch-up.
The Leeds Center for the Arts is closed for the next couple of months while the historic theater gets renovations that include new plaster and paint. The work started in December.
Tracey Miller, president of Winchester Council for the Arts, a non-profit organization formed in 1986 to save the theater after it temporarily closed because of lack of attendance and cost of upkeep, said a leaky roof, crumbling walls and water damage were some of the major problems with the approximately 400-seat theater.
The roof has been repaired, and now new toilets, paint, a curtain and carpet are on the list to spruce up or replace.
A $100,000 anonymous private donation and a $50,000 donation from the Clark County Community Foundation made the renovations possible.
“Winchester is a very generous community,” Miller said.
The deadline for completion of renovations is April 15, when the Kentucky native and cellist Ben Sollee is scheduled to perform.
The theater, at 37 North Main Street, has had more than 18,000 visitors over the past two years, Miller said. He called it a “true theater” for the community, hosting theatrical productions, community gatherings and other performances.
January 25, 2017
From WCYB.com: Jonesborough won a $50,000 state grant to help boost tourism, and Tennessee’s oldest town is using the money to help restore a historic downtown theatre to its former glory.
Built in the early 1900’s the Jackson Theatre has been a huge part of the town for more than a century. The tourism grant is going to help renovate and refurbish this iconic building, and the hope is that the theater will bring more people into the town and help boost the economy.
“We’re bringing back a touch history so future generations can go back and say this is what is was and this is what it is again,” said Shawn Hale.
It’s been used as a silent movie theatre, an office space, and even a furniture store. Now the building will be transformed into a 300 seat theatre.
The town started working on it last year and it could cost up to $2 million to repair, and that’s why the tourism department said this grant is so important.
“We’ll be able to incorporate more plays, or musicals, more musical acts, more performances,” said Cameo Waters, Jonesborough Tourism Director. “It’s just so great to be able to expand and bring activities into Jonesborough.”
It’s also a big opportunity for the Repertory Theatre Company which will be using The Jackson. Actor and theatre company member, Shawn Hale, said they’re working out of a theatre space now that’s too small, they even had to put the men’s dressing rooms in the attic.
“We’ve done wondrous things here but to have space that’s going to be available to us,” said Hale. “That we have the dressing rooms, we have a dance studio, we have a working space so we can build our sets and our props.”
The actors said they can’t wait for The Jackson Theatre’s opening night.
Right now the town is working on the structure and framework of the building. It’s a long road ahead, but they say this money is going make a big difference to help bring this historic theatre back to life.
January 13, 2017
From the Stamford Advocate: Rather than settling in to a front-row seat, Randy Thomas found a perch in the mezzanine to catch the show going on at the Palace Theatre earlier this week. As he looked out across the expanse to a wooden platform more than 50 feet above the stage, he watched as workers in hard hats and safety vests moved carefully to restore and replace plaster where ceiling meets walls. Drills whirred, buckets were lowered and the work continued apace. “There is some really intricate work up there,” said Thomas, the theater’s director of production and facilities since 2006. He’s not as old as the plaster – which went up when the theater was built 90 years ago – but he’s been working here since 1991. “They don’t build them like this anymore. It would be way too expensive.” The Palace opened its doors on Atlantic Street on June 2, 1927. Designed by Thomas Lamb, a leader in his fieldwhose works include the Palace Theater in Waterbury, the performance venue rose from the wreckage of the Grand Opera House following a devastating fire in 1904. The site was purchased in the mid-1920s by Stamford residents Mary C. Vuono and her husband Charles and in its early days featured vaudeville acts. It then became a movie house, and, later, a stage for repertory work by the Hartman Theater company. Most recently, it has been host to musicians, comedians, dancers and other live acts on tour.
From Fox4KC.com: A historic movie theater in Mission is being given new life.
The new owners of the Mission Theatre at 5909 Johnson Drive in Mission, Kan., are Kip and Kris Unruh. They have gutted the inside of the building to transform this former theater into a wedding event space.
The building first opened in 1938 by Glen Wood Dickinson, founder of the Dickinson Theatre chain. It was the first all-concrete movie theater in the area meant to withstand fires, tornadoes and other natural disasters. But over the years, the theater fell into disrepair.
The new owners loved the location and spent many months renovating it.
“It just had so much potential,” Kris Unruh said. “It was just waiting for somebody to come in and get a new life.”
They believe this is a unique place to hold weddings and receptions.
“Venues are something Kansas City needs more of,” Unruh said. “We married our own daughters and realized that there is a demand for venues. You have to sometimes wait 18 months to rent a place.”
They are now booking weddings, receptions and corporate events.