• July 23, 2010

    The Lebowsky Center has a roof again

    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’s Museum of Moving Image getting multi-million dollar makeover

    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’s Pitman Theater undergoing renovation

    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.

    A full article about the renovation is in theGadsen Times and citizens share their memories of the Pitman here.

  • July 12, 2010

    Regal Champlain Center theater closing for upgrades

    PLATTSBURGH, NY — The Regal Champlain Center 8 will close on July 12, and is scheduled to reopen in the fall. Stadium seating and digital projection will be installed. The theater originally opened in 1987.

    The brief story is at WPTZ.

  • June 25, 2010

    Britain’s oldest cinema prepares for a glorious sequel

    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

    Restoration of marquee to be first step in reopening Zoe Theater

    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

    Lebowsky Center rebuilding is underway

    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

    Local efforts launched to save Massac Theatre

    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 Community Players kick off the Lebowsky Center rebuilding project.

    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

    Levoy Theatre financing package complete

    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.