November 28, 2006
BALTIMORE, MD — The city of Baltimore is throwing more and more dollars at revitalizing old theaters; this time the Town Theatre taking centerstage.
In a development that could further the transformation of downtown Baltimore’s west side from a neglected shopping district into a vibrant arts center, Everyman Theatre, a thriving regional troupe, will move into a vacant vaudeville house across from the restored Hippodrome.
Civic leaders say the shift into the Town Theatre – to be announced today – will build on the Hippodrome’s momentum, reviving a once-grand theater district. The development comes in the midst of improvements to the west side, which has added restaurants and more than 750 apartments in the past two years, a turnaround after the shopping district’s long slide.
The Town – which once played host to such stars as Mae West and Joe E. Brown – is the final parcel in Bank of America’s Centerpoint project, a major mixed-use complex of retail and 392 apartments that wraps around the Town. Bank of America’s donation of the Town to Everyman will be made public at a celebration this afternoon of the completion of Centerpoint.
For more, go to the Baltimore Sun
November 22, 2006
ST. CLAIR SHORES, MI — The Shores Theatre in the Detroit suburb of St. Clair Shores will close for five months to allow for expansion and renovation to create a five-screen cineplex with stadium-style seating.
About two years in the making, the theater project has begun with interior demolition scheduled for later this month, said David Tolfree, operational manager for the theater. The goal, he said, is to have the project wrapped up for a May 1 grand opening with the premiere of “Spider-Man 3.”
The theater interior will be gutted to make way for five theaters with stadium seating, two concessions stands, a larger lobby and two entrances. The exterior of the facility, which was built in 1935, will feature two automated ticket kiosks and new signage.
The theater’s existing marquee will be preserved by the city’s historical society, said theater spokesman Bruce Ferguson.
For more details go to The Detroit News.
November 10, 2006
SAN PEDRO, CA — The Warner Grand Theatre, L.A.’s venerable Naby reopened this past Saturday with a stunning performance by the resident, Golden State Pops Orchestra.
This marked the first performance with the near completion of an $800,000 restoration
including the rebuilding of the original seats, complete down to a near ‘dead-on’ re-covering of the 1500 plus seats with a customed loomed fabric, replicating the original.
Also included was the complete strip of the stagehouse from its original hemp system, to a more modern “T” rail, complete with a new loading dock and a new screen system and updated film sound capabilities.
Funding for this major restoration was accomplished and continues by the community theatre support group, Grand Vision Foundation.
For info about future programs, visit The Warner Grand Official Website.
November 7, 2006
DAVENPORT, IA — The Adler Theatre has just reopened after over a year of extensive renovation to the stage so it can attract more broadway plays. Plus, it will be celebrating it’s 75th anniversary this year.
The Adler reopens this weekend after $9 million in improvements – including a deeper stage, a loading dock, additional dressing rooms, improved sound and computerized rigging systems – just in time for the 75th anniversary of the former RKO Orpheum Theatre.
The changes will allow a wider array of Broadway shows and concerts to be performed on the Adler stage.
The renovations came after the City of Davenport purchased the adjacent Mississippi Hotel so the Adler stage could be expanded.
Paul Westlake, the architect for the project, said it was the most complex of 75 theater renovations in which he has participated.
To read more about this restoration and it reopening, visit the Quad City Times.
October 26, 2006
WINTER GARDEN, FL — Here is a computer realization by Phil Baker of the completed facade of the Garden Theatre, now undergoing restoration. The Garden is an atmospheric theater, incorporating a Spanish garden theme. A theater organ has also been donated for it.
The theater is being renovated by the Winter Garden Heritage Foundation, and is expected to open in December, 2007.
(Thanks to Irv Lipscomb for providing the photo.)
September 29, 2006
GLOBE, AZ — After the devastating fire, Globe-Miami’s own Globe Theater is being rebuilt. The theater will be built over the lot of the building next store that was the Trust/Hotel building. The new Globe will be built with four screens and stadium seating. A brick face will surround the theater using some of the original bricks from the Hotel.
The marquee is being spruced up a bit; the original marquee was changed in the 1960’s-1970, but is being put back to the original design with neon lignting all around the historic sign. After the restoration of the marquee, the marquee will be place on the corner of Broad and Cedar Streets. This is an exiciting move forward for this historic small-town community.
September 25, 2006
GRAND RAPIDS, MI — The Grand Rapids Civic Theatre had its gala reopening on September 20th after a $10 million renovation of the 103-year-old theater. It was renamed the Meijer Majestic Theatre restoring its original name as well as honoring benefactors, Fred and Lena Meijer.
More info is available at The Grand Rapids Press.
September 22, 2006
HUNTINGTON, WV — BACK LIKE IT WAS…AWESOME.
Last weekend 50-60 volunteers teamed up to assist in returning Huntington’s Keith-Albee to its original one auditorium format.
50-60 volunteers showed up to paticipate and more came on Tuesday. Volunteers are readying the vintage theatre for the Dec 12 world premiere of “We Are Marshall,” in which the Keith Albee makes its feature film debut.
Click on Huntington News for more info. A photo gallery is included but you have to go to the main page.
September 19, 2006
PHILADELPHIA, PA — Here’s some more news regarding Live Nation pulling the plug on restoring the Boyd Theatre. As mentioned in the interview posted the other week, the Boyd looks to be in trouble again.
Live Nation, the national media company that promised to reincarnate the sumptuous but shuttered Boyd movie palace as a first-class venue for big, traveling Broadway shows, has withdrawn its construction crews and is reconsidering the project, a company spokesman confirmed yesterday.
Live Nation apparently decided to shut down the project because construction costs on the Chestnut Street theater have risen at an alarming pace, said Duane Bumb, deputy director of the city’s Commerce Department.
For more, visit the Philadelphia Inquirer.
September 11, 2006
HUNTINGTON PARK, CA — For the purpose of preparing a preliminary feasibility study for the Warner Theater in Huntington Park, we are searching for the original architectural plans.
In order to properly evaluate things like exiting issues, accurate dimensions of the building are needed. However, we do not have access to the building, which is why the original design plans would be of great help in coming up with potential future uses for the building.
Supposedly, there is an archive that keeps the drawings of B. Marcus Priteca, the theater’s architect, but I have not been able to locate it.
Does anybody know where I can find those plans?
Historic Consultants, Inc.