August 5, 2010
MCKEES ROCKS, PA — Andrew Hieber first had a vision for the reuse of the 1928 Roxian Theater in 2004, hoping to turn it into a concert venue, but the project proved far more complex than he first thought. After several delays and rethinkings of the project, work has now begun to turn the former movie theater into what may be the centerpiece of a revitalized entertainment area on Chartiers Avenue.
The plan is to open a side wall to create space for ticket booths and a new entrance, refurbish the main floor with a new bar area and removable seats, raise the stage for safety and better sightlines and replace the 285 balcony seats with 225 seats sized for modern rear ends. The building is also getting an elevator, new wiring, plumbing and ventilation systems, new bathrooms and new light and sound systems.
In all, the cavernous space — five floors on a 27,000-square-foot footprint — will be able to hold 1,500 for a concert, but also will be able to function café-style for banquets, receptions and smaller shows.
There is more in this article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
July 26, 2010
STANLEY, WI — New work is being done to bring the Stanley Theater back to its look during its heyday.
It is that look, with the Vitrolite glass, that Eslinger is bringing back with the current project. It’s not easy, since production of that kind of glass ceased around 1950, according to Dunn.
His business is to find the glass as old buildings are torn down around the country, retrieve the glass, and install it in restoration or other projects like the one at Stanley Theater. He is the tops in the field, worldwide, if you want Vitrolite glass.
Read more in the Chippewa Herald.
July 23, 2010
OWOSSO, MI — The rebuilding of the fire-gutted Lebowsky Center is on schedule with the planned completion of Phase I, the exterior rebuilding, set for the state-mandated date of September 1. An event is tentatively planned for October 22 to unveil “the interior of the exterior.” Details can be found in the Argus-Press.
The Owosso Community Players' Facebook page has rebuilding photos here.
July 22, 2010
ASTORIA, NY — The Museum of the Moving Image is getting a major renovation. The centerpiece of the $67 million project will be a new 264 seat theater that will give visitors the sensation of being inside a floating spaceship. Closed since 2008, the museum is expected to reopen in January, 2011 with several inaugural events, including the showing of twenty newly restored and rediscovered films, silent films, and several retrospectives of distinguished filmmakers.
The museum’s inaugural screenings will include a slate of 20 newly restored rediscovered films, an avant-garde series, a showing of 1928’s “L'Argent,” a silent cinema festival and retrospectives of French director Alain Resnais, documentarian D.A. Pennebaker, Italian maestro Vittorio De Sica and American maverick Arthur Penn.
“A movie can be an artistic experience of the highest order, a life-changing experience, but only in the right format,” said David Schwartz, the museum’s curator. “The Moving Image is about to become one of the finest venues in the world for viewing films.”
The is more detail inYour Nabe.
July 14, 2010
GADSDEN, AL — The 1947 Pitman Theater is being renovated by the city for use as a multi-purpose events center. The last film was shown in 1983 and the city acquired it in 1986, but it was then allowed to deteriorate. The first steps toward reuse were taken in 2008, but fire code violations and lack of working air-conditioning has limited usage. The auditorium has been essentially gutted out, but its distinguished facade and marquee still grace Broad Street.
In January, the Gadsden City Council approved a resolution for Whitaker & Rawson Inc. of Birmingham to provide design plans for the HVAC replacement.
A grant of $169,000 was awarded to the city from the Department of Energy to help with costs for the heating and air conditioning replacements at the Pitman and the Ritz Theatre, which also is undergoing renovations.
July 12, 2010
June 25, 2010
EAST FINCHLEY, LONDON, ENGLAND — The longest operating single screen in Britain is getting a much-needed facelift.
This month, the adorable, historic Phoenix cinema in East Finchley, now in its 100th year, has been forced to close its doors. But not in a bad way. It is finally to receive the careful restoration it has always deserved and should be open again in September.
The 13-week closure will allow for £1m of building work to refurbish its Edwardian features and all the art deco flourishes hidden inside. There will be a gala of films and events to celebrate its reopening at the end of the summer.
Read more in the Guardian.
June 24, 2010
PITTSFIELD, IL — As an initial move in the effort to eventually restore and reopen the 1951 Zoe Theater, closed since 1987, the Zoe Preservation Society has begun a membership drive and other fund-raising efforts to restore the theater’s distinctive marquee and have it in use by Christmas of this year. The long range plan is to restore the theater completely and return it to use as a cinema and as a venue for other community events.
While the theater isn’t ready for movies yet, the organization is hoping to get its marquee up and running, possibly “as a Christmas present to the community,” said Dan Long, the preservation society’s secretary.
“The Zoe marquee is the diamond on the square,” Long said. “We’re wanting to buy letters for the sign and do other work on the marquee.” Letters for the marquee could be used to send birthday, anniversary and other special greetings, Long said.
Here is the story from the Journal-Courier.
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.