• March 23, 2010

    Lebowsky rebuilding plan progresses and the rebuilt theater will be a “green” building

    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

    Consultants Tour the Long Vacant Victory Theatre

    An interior view of the Victory Theatre in Holyoke, Massachusetts from

    The Victory Theatre in Holyoke
  • Reopening of Ridgewood Theatre anticipated for later this year

    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

  • March 3, 2010

    Theater in Rock Springs to be renovated

    ROCK SPRINGS, WY — Opened in 1949 as the West Theatre, and later known as the Rock and Star Theatre Two, this theater will be renovated and have its original name restored.

    This article in Main Street Rock Springs has more detail, and includes links to descriptions and sketches of the upgraded facility.

  • February 26, 2010

    Construction work on former Appalachian Theater reveals artifacts

    BOONE, NC — Workers transforming the former Carmike Appalachian 2, which opened in 1938 as the Appalachian, have uncovered a number of artifacts and curiosities from the theater’s past. The intent of the work, currently on hold, is to convert the theater into a multi-use venue.

    “When we were tearing out underneath the balcony, we found a booking sheet,” McNiel said.

    In the area where they used to house film reels, he found what looked like a rolled up carpet.

    “It was a giant beautiful color lithograph,” he said, for the 1956 movie, The Eddy Duchin Story.
    Three-D glasses and an old glass inkwell were among the finds, as were old syrup jugs from when sodas were hand-mixed.

    There is more in the Mountain Times.

  • February 22, 2010

    Lebowsky Center rebuilding update and wrestling fundraiser

    OWOSSO, MI — As a follow up to the news that the walls and roof of the fire-gutted Lebowsky Center will be rebuilt this year, there is a video report which shows the interior of the theater today as well as plans for the rebuilding from WJRT.

    Meanwhile, local actor and wresting promoter Jayme Palaszeski who had acting roles at Lebowsky Center performances in the past organized a wrestling match held February 13 called “Broken Hearts: A Benefit to Aid in the Rebuilding of the Lebowsky Center” at the American Legion, 201 E. Mason St. in Owosso. More details in the Argus-Press.

  • February 15, 2010

    How a search for a lecture hall led to the rescue of Cleveland’s Playhouse Square theaters

    CLEVELAND, OH — One of the nation’s most successful theater restoration projects had a very simple beginning: the search of a Cleveland Board of Education worker looking for a place that could be used as a temporary lecture hall. Borrowing the keys to the closed, soon-to-be demolished State Theater on Euclid Avenue, Ray Shepardson unwittingly began the effort that would culminate in the rescue and restoration of the State, Ohio, Palace, Allen, and Hanna theaters over the next forty years, as well as changing the direction of his life forever.

    It had been stripped of its Greek, Roman and Baroque filigrees in preparation for its demolition. But Shepardson, a former Mercedes salesman with no experience in theater or historic preservation, was impressed.

    “I was in awe,” Shepardson, now 66, said from Wheaton, Ill., where he has been trying for five years to restore another historic theater.

    Read the story in the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

  • February 10, 2010

    Renovated Boston Paramount set to reopen in March

    BOSTON, MA — College officials won’t say how many millions it cost, but the Paramount Theater in Boston will be back in use soon. Emerson College has converted the 1932 Rapp & Rapp Paramount into a modern performing arts center that will anchor a revitalized Washington Street. Although slimmed down to about one-third of its original seating capacity, the main auditorium is very respectful of the original Art Deco design.

    Emerson College spent two years and an undisclosed sum renovating the Paramount and the adjoining Arcade Building at 555 Washington St. into a state-of-the-art performance center.

    (While Emerson would not talk dollars, the Boston Redevelopment Authority estimated in 2006 the project would cost about $77 million.)

    “It means a lot to our city,” said Mayor Thomas M. Menino, who held his fifth-term inaugural party there Jan. 4.

    There’s much more, including a slide show, in the Boston Herald.

  • February 3, 2010

    Lebowsky Center contractor seeking bids to enclose the theater

    OWOSSO, MI — The contractor in charge of rebuilding the fire-gutted Lebowsky Center began seeking bids to rebuild the walls and roof of the theater. Bids are due by February 5 with the bids likely to be awarded by February 15. Bazzani Associates expect the project to be completed by May 1. Restoration of the theater’s interior is not expected to begin until next year.

    The Committee has received $165,000 in gifts or pledges so far to renovate the building destroyed by a fire Feb. 13, 2007, Peterson said.

    Construction is expected to begin soon after the winning bid is announced.

    Peterson said she was notified the project’s steel order could be delayed by more than 12 weeks. However, Bazzani said he still expects the project to be finished no later than May 1.

    More details can be found in the Argus-Press.

  • January 29, 2010

    Efforts intensified to renovate, reopen Denis Theater

    MT. LEBANON, PA — Formed in 2008, the Denis Theater Foundation was formed to save the Denis Theater which opened in 1937 and closed in 2004 as a quad. The foundation hopes to raise $2.5 million to acquire the heater, and then reopen it in phases.

    The foundation’s project to resurrect the Denis, which opened in 1938 and closed in disrepair in 2004, started in the spring of 2008. Shortly after the fundraising project began, the economy took a dive, and efforts at raising money ground to a halt, Ms. Kemerer said.

    But the dream was not dead.

    “A movie theater is a really important driving element of a main street area, and main street movie theaters are a dying breed,” Ms. Kemerer said. “If we don’t save the one we have, there will never be a movie theater again in Uptown Mt. Lebanon.

    Read more in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.