May 3, 2010
TROY, NY — Some new plans being released could save the interior of the Proctor’s Theatre.
Columbia Development, an Albany company, is preparing to redevelop the Fourth Street site, including two adjacent office buildings. The company’s original plan, which was backed by the city, called for restoring the Proctor’s facade while demolishing the grand theater for the construction of new office space.
But the Troy Proctor’s Foundation says Columbia has told the group it will not raze the theater, and the community organization is now shifting its focus from campaigning to prevent the demolition to raising money for a restoration.
Read more in the Albany Times-Union.
April 15, 2010
OWOSSO, MI — The Owosso Community Players have finalized bids for Phase I of the rebuilding of the Lebowsky Center which is the rebuilding of the walls and roof of the fire-gutted theater. Construction is expected to begin in a couple of weeks with the planned completion date of September 1. Phase II which involves interior work is not expected to begin until next year.
The first phase of construction is slated to be finished by Sept. 1, a deadline imposed by the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, which provided a $350,000 Vibrant Small Cities Initiative grant for the rebuild effort.
The total cost for the first phase of construction is expected to end up about $700,000, with a loan obtained by the OCP covering the remaining costs not paid by the MSHDA grant.
More details are in the Argus Press.
March 26, 2010
RED BANK, NJ — In 2010, the Count Basie Theatre will once again undergo a major renovation, this time to the exterior of the building, and is launching the “Let’s Face It” campaign to fund the work.
Although scaffolding will cover the front of the building, the shows will go on.
An all-new, historical looking facade will replace the faded and structurally impaired pink brick front. A refurbished theatre marquee with energy efficient lighting, and new energy efficient windows will be included in the project. Over the next few weeks, scaffolding will be erected along the front and sides of the building, but unlike the 2008 renovation, the Basie will remain open for business during the entire time the work is being done. The entrances and sidewalks will be accessible to the public and will be protected by the safety scaffolding.
March 23, 2010
OWOSSO, MI — The Owosso City Council approved a brownfield redevelopment plan for the Lebowsky Center on March 15, the same day bids became due for the rebuilding of the theater’s walls and roof. The brownfield plan was due to the fire-gutted theater’s declaration by the city accessor as functionally obsolete. This made the theater eligible for tax credits and other state assistance for the Owosso Community Players to rebuild the theater. Details from the Argus Press.
Meanwhile Bazzani Associates, the general contractor for the rebuilding, has committed itself to making the rebuilt Lebowsky Center an LEED certified “green” building. Details on this angle from the Grand Rapids Environmental News Examiner.
March 12, 2010
RIDGEWOOD, QUEENS, NY — The hopes of preservationists for the return of the Ridgewood as an operating cinema may be realized in the second half of 2010. Having succeeded in getting landmark status declared for the theater’s exterior, the Friends of the Ridgewood Theatre, Inc. is hoping to to the same for the interior. The theater’s owner is reported to be committed to preserving interior details.
Perlman said he views the Ridgewood Theatre landmark project as “a case study in terms of teamwork.” The coalition included members of the Queens Preservation Council, of which Perlman is director, Rego-Forest Preservation Council, 4 Boro Preservation Alliance Corp, and Central Queens Historical Association, among others.
“Community and cultural groups were shocked by the [theater’s] sudden closure,” he said. “I was proud to see such a diverse coalition of supporters.”
There is more at BushwickBK.com.
March 3, 2010
ROCK SPRINGS, WY — Opened in 1949 as the West Theatre, and later known as the Rock and Star Theatre Two, this theater will be renovated and have its original name restored.
This article in Main Street Rock Springs has more detail, and includes links to descriptions and sketches of the upgraded facility.
February 26, 2010
BOONE, NC — Workers transforming the former Carmike Appalachian 2, which opened in 1938 as the Appalachian, have uncovered a number of artifacts and curiosities from the theater’s past. The intent of the work, currently on hold, is to convert the theater into a multi-use venue.
“When we were tearing out underneath the balcony, we found a booking sheet,” McNiel said.
In the area where they used to house film reels, he found what looked like a rolled up carpet.
“It was a giant beautiful color lithograph,” he said, for the 1956 movie, The Eddy Duchin Story.
Three-D glasses and an old glass inkwell were among the finds, as were old syrup jugs from when sodas were hand-mixed.
There is more in the Mountain Times.
February 22, 2010
OWOSSO, MI — As a follow up to the news that the walls and roof of the fire-gutted Lebowsky Center will be rebuilt this year, there is a video report which shows the interior of the theater today as well as plans for the rebuilding from WJRT.
Meanwhile, local actor and wresting promoter Jayme Palaszeski who had acting roles at Lebowsky Center performances in the past organized a wrestling match held February 13 called “Broken Hearts: A Benefit to Aid in the Rebuilding of the Lebowsky Center” at the American Legion, 201 E. Mason St. in Owosso. More details in the Argus-Press.
February 15, 2010
CLEVELAND, OH — One of the nation’s most successful theater restoration projects had a very simple beginning: the search of a Cleveland Board of Education worker looking for a place that could be used as a temporary lecture hall. Borrowing the keys to the closed, soon-to-be demolished State Theater on Euclid Avenue, Ray Shepardson unwittingly began the effort that would culminate in the rescue and restoration of the State, Ohio, Palace, Allen, and Hanna theaters over the next forty years, as well as changing the direction of his life forever.
It had been stripped of its Greek, Roman and Baroque filigrees in preparation for its demolition. But Shepardson, a former Mercedes salesman with no experience in theater or historic preservation, was impressed.
“I was in awe,” Shepardson, now 66, said from Wheaton, Ill., where he has been trying for five years to restore another historic theater.
Read the story in the Cleveland Plain Dealer.