• August 18, 2008

    Former Fine Arts Theaters to be renovated

    CHICAGO, IL — According to this article from the Chicago Tribune the Fine Arts Theaters (also known as the Studebaker and the Playhouse Theaters) are going to be restored by the current owner and returned to use as smaller theatrical venues. They were used as cinemas in the 1980’s and 1990’s, but both have a long history as legitimate theaters.

    The colorful owner of the historic Studebaker Theatre inside the Fine Arts Building on South Michigan Avenue has recently hired Chicago’s most prominent theater architect and says he plans to quickly restore and reopen the landmark performance venue “without using a penny from the city.”

    It’s unclear whether the restoration and renovation will be sufficiently extensive for the theater to attract major shows and function as the Broadway-style house that downtown Chicago so badly needs and is cost-prohibitive to build.

    Great news for Chicago and certainly a boost for the Loop area. Read the full article in the Chicago Tribune.

  • July 30, 2008

    Old movie houses survive thanks to loyal volunteers

    OROVILLE, CA — As mentioned earlier, these California theaters prove that if the community is behind them, they can be brought back to former glory.
    The State in Oroville recently reopened with the State in Red Bluff a work in progress.

    It was a monumental year for two North State theaters—aside from Oroville’s theater, the State Theatre in Red Bluff recently celebrated 100 years since its beginnings as the Red Bluff Opera House.

    The theaters are experiencing a revival, thanks to the dedicated work of people who are passionate about restoring these buildings to something close to their former glory.

    Read more in the News Review.

  • July 28, 2008

    Wilshire Theatre renovations

    BEVERLY HILLS, CA — The Wilshire Theatre is undergoing an exciting renovation. Phase I is already underway. They have shut down for the summer and will reopen for the BMI Urban Awards on September 4, 2008.

    The photograph is of the proscenium’s repaint

    More details to come…

    (Photo courtesy of the Wilshire Theatre.)

  • July 25, 2008

    State Theate expansion may begin soon

    CULPEPER, VA — After being announced almost two years ago, the expansion plans for the State Theatre might finally come to fruition. Following that, it would become a mixed-use entertainment venue.

    In the planning, design and fundraising phases for several years, rehab of the 70-year-old movie house on Main Street is about to get physical.

    The State Theatre Foundation comes before the Town Architectural Review Board today for approval to begin the estimated $10 million rehab.

    “We are getting very close,” said Chris Hamilton, chairman of the foundation’s building committee. “We are actually in negotiations with our contractor and when that is complete it won’t be long” before construction begins, he said.

    Read the full story in the Culpeper Star-Exponent.

  • July 23, 2008

    Work continues on Magic City

    MURDO, SD — Following the initial report, a local youth group continues to work on restoring the Magic City Theater.

    Walking into the gloomy, hollow shell of the Magic City Theater, it is hard to imagine a big screen and rows of theater seats filled with movie fans contentedly munching popcorn.

    “It’s hard to visualize,” said Carson Moore, 16, admitting that the transformation won’t happen overnight.

    Carson is a member of a group of local teens and adults for whom that vision is alive. Every time they roll up their shirt sleeves to tackle another project in the theater, they inch closer to their goal of restoring something the town lost when the theater closed decades ago.

    Read the full story in the Rapid City Journal.

  • July 16, 2008

    Former Harper Woods movie theater gets new life

    HARPER WOODS, MI — The Wayne County Community College is renovating the Beacon East Cinemas for student use.

    Workers are turning the former Beacon East Cinemas in Harper Woods into a center of learning.

    The Detroit News reports Monday that Wayne County Community College is turning the shuttered 1970s movie theater into University Square. The facility will be shared with four-year schools that want to offer courses locally.

    The full story is in the Associated Press.

  • July 14, 2008

    Owosso finally receives $1 million grant

    OWOSSO, MI — After nearly a year of waiting, the city of Owosso finally received its $1 million grant from the Michigan State Housing Authority’s Vibrant Small Cities Initiative. Part of this grant will be used to rebuild the Lebowsky Center’s theater walls facing Main and Park Streets which had to be partially demolished after the fire which gutted the theater.

    The Owosso Community Players still plan on having the theater completely enclosed again by the end of the year.

    More details at The Argus-Press.

  • July 8, 2008

    AAA Magazine article focuses on Midwest theaters

    The AAA “Traveler” magazine for July/August 2008 features a retrospective of several Midwestern theaters and the efforts to preserve them especially as performing arts centers. The story includes several pictures and focuses especially on the Fox in St. Louis, MO, the Missouri in Columbia, MO, the Illinois in Centralia, IL, the Granada in Emporia, KS, and the Victory in Evansville, IN. A number of other theaters are briefly mentioned as well.

    The full article can be read at Our AAA (after typing in a local zip code like 63101).

  • July 7, 2008

    On Line LIVE Theatre Renovation website

    For those who are interested in theater renovation, the following link will provide a continuous view of the Count Basie Theatre auditorium during the renovation process. Hope you enjoy the unique experience.

  • June 27, 2008

    Rialto to be refurbished

    LOS ANGELES, CA — A theater many thought was past the point of no return is set to open up again. The Rialto Theatre in downtown Los Angeles is getting some major investment so it can eventually reopen as a live music venue with a restaurant.

    Following the fates of many historic properties affected by the ongoing Bringing Back Broadway initiative, the currently defunct Rialto Theater has found a suitor to boost its low profile on the strip.

    (Thanks to teamperks for providing the photo.)

    According to an announcement made yesterday, Hollywood-based Longest Marquee LLC has signed a 25-year lease on the structure with plans to spend $6 million on renovations to reopen it as a restaurant/bar/live music venue.

    Read more at angelenic.