October 14, 2016
From The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Imagine sipping a hand-crafted cocktail with the iconic Fox marquee glimmering behind you as you overlook the hustle and bustle of Atlanta’s Peachtree Street. Come fall 2017, it won’t just be a dream.
The Fabulous Fox Theatre’s renovation of a 10,000-square-foot event space into the new Marquee Club lounge and rooftop marks its most significant expansion and its biggest financial undertaking since the popular theater opened in 1929.
Patrons will have access to the club’s five bars: one on the main level of the club, one on the mezzanine level and three on the rooftop.
With a server-to-guest ratio of 10-to-one, line-busting technology and intermission pre-ordering, members will be able to enjoy their shows with ease.
The club will also offer hors d’oeuvres, self-serve desserts and coffee. Additional amenities include private restrooms, coat check and a dedicated lobby elevator for club patrons.
The intricate Moorish grillwork and color palette of muted gold and earth tones throughout the club were chosen with the historic building in mind, Adina Erwin, Fox Theatre’s vice president and chief operating officer, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “The Fox was our muse,” she said.
A hint of blue brings in the element of the sky and the Fox star can be found on both the carpeting and on the club’s main level ceiling.
October 11, 2016
From The Santa Barbara Independent: Each winter when the Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) takes over downtown, our seaside town’s movie houses hum with a whir of films, panel discussions, and celebrity events. It’s good fun and great fare, but it doesn’t end when the festival packs up –– SBIFF is a year-round experience offering educational programs, Wave mini-festivals, and weekly showcase films at their recently acquired Riviera Theatre.
In an effort to enhance its roster of offerings, SBIFF has begun a fundraising effort, deemed the Capital Campaign, which will allow it “to expand [its] current slate of education programs, preserve an important historic landmark, enhance the communal theater experience, and create a cultural hub for all things film,” according to a recent press release. More than $2 million has been raised so far, with the goal of $5 million by March 2017.
A face-lift for the Riviera is scheduled to begin January 2017 with a spring completion date. In addition to theater restoration, a new balcony lounge will be built that will serve as a space for SBIFF gatherings and receptions come the 2018 festival. Other planned changes include a classroom, world-class sound and projecting systems, a loop system for the hearing impaired, and improved heating and air conditioning.
With the Riviera Theatre as its base, the SBIFF now has the opportunity to expand its already existing educational programs — such as its youth programs, AppleBox Family Films and Mike’s Field Trip to the Movies — as well as create new offerings. “Our capital campaign and expansions to the Riviera Theatre mark an important new chapter in our festival’s history,” said festival executive director Roger Durling. “These renovations and improvements will allow us to serve Santa Barbara in new and exciting ways and will bring us closer together as a community.”
For more information and to contribute to the campaign, see sbiff.org/riviera.
October 10, 2016
From The Los Angeles Times: The Balboa Theater, a longtime community fixture on the Balboa Peninsula, would be sold to a Costa Mesa developer for $1 million under a proposal the Newport Beach City Council will consider Tuesday night.
The council voted in April to enter a nine-month exclusive negotiating agreement to work with Lab Holding LLC, the company behind The Lab and The Camp in Costa Mesa, on a proposal to rejuvenate the 88-year-old theater building, which has been vacant for years.
The agreement was intended to give the city and Lab Holding time to finalize a plan and negotiate a sale of the city-owned property to Lab, which proposes to update the Balboa Boulevard venue and maintain it as a theater.
Lab Holding is proposing to restore the theater’s original architecture, including the marquee, which likely would reflect the 1920s wrought-iron style. The venue is proposed to have a cafe that would open to the street, a small stage for live music and a second stage for private events. The live-music stage would have an indoor pub but no seating. The theater likely would not show films, according to preliminary plans.
“We are excited by the opportunity to resurrect this community amenity for Balboa Village,” Lab Holding founder Shaheen Sadeghi wrote in his proposal to the city.
October 5, 2016
From MyTwinTiers.com: The long wait has finally come to an end for members of the Sayre community. Their local theater received its new marquee after raising nearly 200,000 dollars from the community.
“We’ve had many many different donations from lumber companies and hardware stores and all over,” Board Member of the Bradford County Regional Arts Council, Jeff Paul said. “I mean, it’s just a very big thank you to everybody to get us to where we are today.”
What began as an old opera house built during world war one, has evolved into a hot spot for movie enthusiasts.
“We see about $300,000 of revenue from the movies with the concession included,” Executive Director of the Bradford County Regional Arts Council, Elaine Poost said. “I would say around about 70,000 people see a movie each year here at the Sayre.”
“It is a hot spot,” Paul said. “It’s incredible. When I look at the numbers every month of how many people come here to the Sayre Theater and watch movies or the different shows that we have, it’s important because we are right across from the hospital and many times people will be visiting and they may come over just to watch a movie in between time.”
The Arts Council also feels that its new marquee and other future renovations could bring more people to the area.
“I’m hoping that it’ll bring more and more people in,” Paul said. “I mean, we do really well, I’m impressed at the attendance all the time but, I’m hoping that with all of this being done, that maybe we will bring in some people from other communities will show up.”
Even though the new marquee is a step in the right direction for the theater, there is still a lot of renovating work to be done.
“We had actually had it in the queue, re pointing of the building but, when this reared its little head we said ‘ok you can go first,’” Poost said. “So, now we are going to have this beautiful marquee but we still have $200,000 to raise for re pointing an old, historic building.”
The Bradford County Regional Arts Council will hold a grand lighting ceremony on Saturday, October 29th, from 6p.m. – 7:30p.m.
September 29, 2016
From Film Journal: Metropolitan Theatres announces renovation plans for the Isis Theatre located at 406 E. Hopkins Ave. in Aspen, Colorado. Named after the Egyptian goddess, the theatre was last renovated in the late 1990s, expanding the existing structure to allow for increased movie screens, state-of-the-art sound systems, soundproofing and stadium seating.
Recent renovations concentrated on the completed construction of a craft beer and wine bar now in operation. Upgraded luxury reserved seating, new flooring, digital menu displays, and an expanded menu are all components of the overall renovation plans. In celebration of the new offerings, the Isis will run a promotion for the month of October offering a free popcorn with a purchase of wine or beer. The offer is valid for one transaction per guest, per movie.
Phase one of the remodel established a new theatre bar located on the downstairs level. The bar offers a varied selection of both wine and craft beer, including two options from the local Aspen Brewing Company. Phase two includes installation of luxury seating with plush rockers and spacious recliners, as well as new carpeting and tile. Reserved seating will also roll out in phase two for all auditoriums. Completion of phase two is targeted for mid-December. The Isis remains open during the remodel as portions of the facility are converted.
Dale Davison, senior VP of operations and development, stated, “The renovations that we have completed and set in motion at Aspen’s Isis will provide a more comfortable and enhanced entertaining moviegoing experience. The theatre’s expanded menu and bar addition, along with the luxury seating forthcoming, create an ideal atmosphere for enjoying movies in a more luxurious fashion.”
The original 1892 H. Webber Building received Historic Landmark designation in 1995.
September 21, 2016
From the Press of Atlantic City: In the years since the city took over the Gateway Playhouse, work on renovating the heart of the 116-year-old Bay Avenue landmark has hit a dramatic, and extended, pause.
The building’s interior still looked Friday just about like it did since at least 2010, basically torn down to bare studs without a seat or a stage in sight.
But work is finally ready to start back up after the city, which bought the building in late 2006, awarded a contract to a Vineland company to finish the inside of the theater. Capri Construction is scheduled to start work in early October, although Somers Point’s city administrator, Wes Swain, said Friday that the company could get moving on the project as soon as this month. The target date for finishing the job is April, Swain added.
That would be a pleasant plot development to Mayor Jack Glasser, who has dealt with delays and drama at the Gateway almost since he was elected in 2007. The mayor sees a redone theater improving Somers Point’s economic life almost as much as it does the area’s cultural life.
“In the summer, we have our beach concerts right across the street, and look how many people come to those,” he said of the Friday music series that, on big nights, can fill most of a block of Bay Avenue with beach chairs and blankets full of music lovers.
The renovations are being funded largely by two state grants, including $400,000 from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority and $102,000 from the New Jersey Historic Trust.
Jim Dalfonso heads the Theater Collaborative of South Jersey, a nonprofit group that’s worked for years to raise money to restore the Gateway. He said the group has research showing that even a “light season” at the 240-seat theater should bring 16,000 customers to Bay Avenue, one of the city’s business hubs.
“Those folks are going to want to go out and eat. Parents are going to want to go shopping while their kids are in (rehearsals),” Dalfonso said, plus the renovation plans include meeting rooms in the theater that will be available for use when there aren’t performances going on. The theater’s supporters expect those accommodations to be a draw, too.
“People from all over our area seem to think that Somers Point is a place that’s easy to go to. Folks will come up from Cape May, people will come over from Margate” and other places, he said. “This building’s audience base has historically drawn from a wide area.”
Dalfonso, a music major who sells ceiling materials in his day job, knows the outside of the Gateway looks much better than it did when the city bought the onetime movie theater about 10 years ago.
“The siding was put up three or four years ago,” a new Gateway marquee was added along Bay Avenue in the fall of 2013 and a new roof protects the inside, he said. “We got the exterior of the building done, and then the city applied for the grants and we had to halt construction on the rest of the building.”
And since then, he added, “Absolutely nothing has been done.”
But the city has been pursuing the money needed to do the work, and making sure it has enough to do the job right.
September 20, 2016
From marinij.com: A plan unveiled for Sausalito’s shuttered movie house is good news for city film fans — two theaters are part of the new design, as is a restaurant and upstairs office space for the Caledonia Street building.
Operations at the old CineArts Marin in the city’s downtown wound down in January after Texas-based Cinemark Holdings Inc. informed the building’s owners in late 2015 it will not renew its lease, citing poor attendance.
Sausalito Mayor Jill Hoffman formed a committee made up of residents, local business owners and city staff to work with the property owner to find ways to keep a theater at the location. The work appears to have paid off.
Now the design is going through the city process. The Historical Landmarks Board signed off on changes to the 14,000-square-foot building that was constructed in 1909. Next up is the Planning Commission on Oct. 5.
The new plan includes a restaurant and two theaters on the first floor. There had been three screens before.
One of the theaters would be set up to accommodate live performances and lectures, Bruce Huff, property manager, told the City Council Tuesday.
The larger theater would have about 75 seats and the smaller theater roughly 50. The seats would be plush, reclining and have more space for patrons. The movie theater rooms would show first-run and art films.
Offices would go in a second floor that had been used mostly for storage. Glass walls would be used around part of the restaurant and the building would be veiled in timbers, conjuring up images of the city’s waterfront and ships.
“It’s a design that adds to vibrancy and life of Caledonia Street,” Huff told the council as part of an informational hearing. He added that parking was available within a short walk of the building.
A theater and a restaurant operator have been identified by the building’s owners, but will not be named until the building work gets city approvals.
“We are right in the middle of this process,” said James To, the building’s owner. “We understand there is still a long way to go. We are looking forward to any feedback from the community, council members and the Planning Commission have for us.”
The original style of the building was Mission Revival. The building was constructed as the Tamalpais Pavilion with the ground floor serving as a garage to the hall above, according to the Historical Landmarks Board.
The structure may also have functioned initially as a livery stable with openings for a hay loft uncovered at the rear of the structure on the second floor. It was an automobile repair shop with a ramp from the first floor to the second floor allowing for car parking, according to the Historical Landmarks Board’s history.
September 19, 2016
From the Idaho Press-Tribune:
The interior of the historic Pix Theatre in downtown Nampa is stripped bare and empty, save for some old promotional materials, construction equipment and a few piles of dirt.
Debbie Lasher-Hardy, a local real estate professional who bought the 70-year-old Pix in February for an undisclosed sum, appears to see it like an artist would a blank canvas with a history.
“It’s dear to my heart,” Lasher-Hardy said. “It was a theater that I group up with and attended.”
She realized she wanted to buy the Pix two years ago, she said.
“Every time that I would drive by and see that nothing had happened yet, I felt that it was my mission to make this thing happen,” Lasher-Hardy said. “And I know a lot of people in this community — worked with a lot — and I’m just going to reach out to them and ask them to come in and help, basically.”
Lasher-Hardy came on the scene on the heels of the nonprofit foundation that struggled for years to revive the downtown building.
The Pix Theatre Foundation was raising the $1.5 million necessary to revive the Pix when the roof collapsed in 2003. The roof was replaced in 2006, and from there the board members struggled to break even with fundraising costs, insurance, taxes and other expenses.
By December 2014, the foundation board members said the project needed new leadership and indicated a desire to sell the theater.
“We’re tired,” Pix Theatre Foundation President Debra Lindner said prior to stepping down. “We’ve done everything. We’ve been the committee heads. We’ve done the fundraising. We’ve gone down with a shovel and shoveled dirt. And we’ve wanted to. We’re not sorry about it, but people can only do so much for so long. We just need a boost. If the community speaks and wants this theater to be complete, now is the time for people to come forward and help it happen.”
Lasher-Hardy said some of the former board members are interested in being involved again, and she is considering what role they will play as she puts together her leadership team. On her list of members for the Pix Anew board is Steve Perotti, her pastor at First Christian Church in Nampa and a self-professed fan of the theater arts.
“There’s a huge opportunity for us as a community to make this happen again,” Perotti said.
As Lasher-Hardy showed the Idaho Press-Tribune around the dark and dusty Pix earlier this week, she talked about her plans for the future.
The new owner is optimistic about the public’s ability to band together to fix the Pix.
“My idea for fundraising is more to reach out to the community with all of their expertise, their professionalism on whatever they can give and would like to give,” Lasher-Hardy said.
September 16, 2016
From the Triad Business Journal: The former Addam’s University Bookstore that borders UNCG has been sold to the university.
The building is at 326 S. Tate St. It was built in 1938 and is a cornerstone of the eclectic Tate Street business district.
September 12, 2016
From The Fresno Bee: The Hanford Fox Theatre, one of the jewels of the central San Joaquin Valley, is shining brighter than ever following a two-year restoration that cost nearly $4 million.
The rehab took place under the watchful eye of Dan Humason, a believer in historic preservation and owner of the building that he says “owns me.”
With the theater open again, the stage that hosted BB King, Red Skelton, Bob Hope, the Smothers Brothers, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, George Strait, Willie Nelson, Alison Krauss and Brooks and Dunn is ready for live performances.
The Fox opened as a movie palace and vaudeville stage in 1929 and grew into a Hanford institution where big-name entertainers perform and local organizations hold private events.
Next door to the Fox is Lush wine bar owned by Lindsey Oliveira, who grew up in Hanford and fondly remembers watching movies and shows there.
Her business has benefited from Hanford Fox foot traffic, she said.