June 18, 2010
OWOSSO, MI — While in Owosso, I stopped at the Lebowsky Center and took a few pictures. Before construction began, the utility companies removed the lines which were in the way of construction. As you can see from the corner shot, Park Street was closed alongside the theater to allow for construction equipment.
Installation of new steel was already underway and repairs to the stage house were already underway. Work on the storefronts on either side of the marquee was also underway as the doors and windows were removed. A sample wall was built alongside the existing wall along Park Street to show how similar the bricks will look.
June 9, 2010
METROPOLIS, IL — Closed for decades, the Massac Theatre is now the target of restoration efforts by a group of local citizens. Its art deco interior is severely deteriorated due to a damaged roof, and it is estimated that at least $2 million will be needed to restore the theater, originally opened in 1938.
Currently, the fate of the theater hangs in the balance. Save the Massac and the city of Metropolis recently partnered to pay for a restoration feasibility study. According to that report, a full restoration would cost approximately two million dollars. That estimate makes Metropolis Mayor Billy McDaniel pull up short.
“All cities now are facing the same dilemma. Y'know, we’re fighting to keep our costs and things down, just to keep the jobs that we’ve got. I don’t believe we can justify putting money into a situation like that it is.”
McDaniel says the city has already put over 72-thousand dollars into the Massac Theater. He can see the building from his office window, and worries about how long it can remain in limbo.
Read the full story in WKMS.
May 18, 2010
OWOSSO, MI — On Wednesday, the Owosso Community Players, owners of the fire-gutted Lebowsky Center kicked off the theater’s rebuilding inside its ruins. It was gutted by an arsonist on February 14, 2007.
About four dozen OCP members attended the ceremony. Phase I involving rebuilding the walls and roof is almost underway and awaits the delivery of steel which should begin by May 24. The theater is expected to be completely enclosed again by September.
May 13, 2010
The Levoy Theatre Preservation Society (LTPS) has announced that the financing package for the historic theater in Millville, NJ is complete and funds have become available for its reconstruction.
Work will commence within two weeks with a completion expected in approximately 10-months, creating a fully operational, state-of-the-art performing and screen arts center.
The Levoy Theatre, listed on the National and New Jersey Registers of Historic Places, was originally built in 1908 and closed in 1974.
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.