July 12, 2017
From the Winston-Salem Journal: For a generation of people in Walnut Cove, memories of spending a quarter to see a Saturday matinee at the Palmetto Theater on Main Street come alive in Technicolor.
The theater itself? It’s dusty and dilapidated and, because of renovations over the years, barely recognizable as a 1940s-era movie house.
A small group of long-time residents wants to bring the shine back to the Palmetto and in the process, inject some life into a struggling downtown that has been hit hard by shifting shopping patterns and a slow decline in the town’s population.
“The building was in bad shape, and we were sad to see some of these old buildings fall down,” said Durward Bennett, one of seven investors in the project.
April 13, 2017
From the Oakland Press: When patrons attended vaudeville shows at what is now the Birmingham 8 movie theater in the 1920s, it’s unlikely they imagined that in the future, audiences would put their feet up and relax while they watched a movie.
The historic theater in downtown Birmingham is joining the chain movie houses by adding reclining seats, which are being installed in phases. The theater’s owners hope to secure a liquor license from the state by the summer, also following the lead of many of the area corporate theaters that serve beer and cocktails, such as MJR and Emagine.
April 4, 2017
From tpr.org: As early as next year, the City of San Antonio could begin a major renovation of the historic Alameda Theater located downtown.
The Alameda, built in 1949, was once the largest theater for Spanish-language performing arts in the United States. It has been mostly vacant for several decades but was purchased by the city in 1994. City plans call for reopening the Alameda as a Latino-focused performing arts venue.
Assistant City Manager Lori Houston told council members that the renovation includes construction of a large stage and up to 1,500 seats.
“The way performances are done today is a little bit different, so we’ve talked about doing a thrust stage where audiences can have a more intimate setting when they’re watching a performance. The theater has great bones. We really need to focus on that finish out to include also improving the stage, doing better seating, and also restoring the art amenities that are already in there.”
March 24, 2017
From the Star-Telegram:
The last outpost of downtown Fort Worth’s movie house “Show Row” may yet make a comeback.
But the new owners of the Hollywood Theater, closed 40 years, are not yet ready to say much about plans to lease the space for potential restoration to its 1930s showbiz glory.
Another hint of the Hollywood’s possible return appeared this week, when the unsigned social media account Urban Fort Worth posted photos of the theater’s dusty remnants.
The theater is next door to the Historic Electric Building Apartments on West Seventh Street. The lobby and facade were converted to retail space in 1979, and the lower floor was paved for apartment parking.
But the top half of the theater remains: two upper balconies, the upper concourse and most of the decorated screen.
The new Houston-based owner, Tradewind Properties, is advertising the space for lease. Property manager Amber Frisbie said Thursday that the idea is “very preliminary” and Tradewind President James Rastello isn’t ready to discuss it.
March 21, 2017
From Wicked Local Yarmouth: The Cape Cinema in Dennis Village has a big, loyal following of patrons who come often to the movies, the live showings of the Metropolitan Opera, the National theater, and Bolshoi Ballet, as well as concerts and community events. They also love the nostalgic ambience of the historical 1930 building, the old movie posters, the popcorn popping in the lobby, and the dancing figures on the Rockwell Kent ceiling mural, but when it comes to sitting down for the show – oh, those chairs.
The faded red armchairs with starched white covers may look appealing at first, but underneath, the original upholstered seats from 1930 are splitting and held together with big strips of duct tape. The wood in the chair backs is splitting as well, making them uncomfortable for many patrons.
From CBS St. Louis: The renovation of a more than 100-year-old theater in western Illinois is getting rave reviews.
The Register-Mail reports improvements to the Orpheum Theatre in Galesburg have so far included a new sound system, stage curtains and a repaired roof.
Executive Director Kevin Maynard says he expects the rest of the repairs funded by a nearly $1 million capital campaign to be completed by next year, barring unexpected delays.
The vaudeville theater first opened in 1916.
Last year the Orpheum raised $920,000 through a capital campaign, exceeding its $850,000 goal. As of this week about $400,000 has been spent.
Maynard says many people are coming in and seeing the changes. He says they’re saying the renovations are “breathing new life into the building.”
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.
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.