• November 24, 2008

    Encore performances now playing at a theater near you

    WASHINGTON, DC — Not only was the Tivoli Theater saved, but its rebirth also helped revitalize a neighborhood. This piece looks at other theaters as well and their place in their respective communities.

    Pat Myer and her husband were newlyweds when they started fighting to save the Tivoli Theater. When the Columbia Heights theater finally reopened in 2005, the couple had long since celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary.

    “It was a long commitment,” says Myer, describing her work to save the nearly 85-year-old historic theater. “It consumed us for a long time. It would be nothing for me to spend 20 or 30 hours a week working on Tivoli issues.”

    A long-fought battle indeed, but she says the result was well worth it. Today Columbia Heights has transformed — restaurants, boutiques and even a Target now stand in an area once plagued by gang violence — thanks in no small part to the restored Tivoli Theater and the efforts of Myer and her “Save the Tivoli” group.

    Read the full story in the Washington Business Journal.

  • November 20, 2008

    La Grange board members worried about $1 million payment

    LA GRANGE, IL — Not everyone was happy in La Grange when the Village President broke a tied vote to provide $1 million for the renovation of theLa Grange Theatre.

    One of the town’s board members said she’s had sleepless nights since the vote to give the four-screen theater the money. However the president thinks it will serve as an entertainment magnet to draw people to nearby shops and restaurants

    Technically, the village is purchasing an easement on the facade to preserve it in perpetuity. If the theater ceases to operate, the owners are required to buy back the easement.

    The owners have already invested $350,000 and has promised another $650,000 to finish the renovations in 12 to 18 months starting in 2009. The local business association has pledged $50,000 to help replace the marquee.

    Read more in Suburban Life.

  • November 17, 2008

    Fundraising for Pennsylvania theater going slow

    MT. LEBANON, PA — Fundraising to renovate the Denis Theatre is going slower than expected. $238,000 has been raised, but its non-profit board had hoped to raise $1 million by the end of the year.

    The Denis Theatre Foundation received its first six-figure gift of $100,000 last Oct. 29th, but it seems unlikely to make this year’s goal.

    An estimated $3 million will be needed for an extensive renovation to reopen the 1938 theater closed in 2004. The theater went non-profit earlier this year.

    Read more in The Almanac.

    (Thanks to macwagen for providing the photo.)

  • Uptown Theater received $5.5 million renovation

    GRAND PRAIRIE, TX – The Uptown Theater re-opened last weekend with live music, tours, a party, and a screening of “The Wizard of Oz” after a $5.5 million facelift paid for by the city.

    The theater opened in 1950 and was family run until 1969 when it was leased as everything from a concert hall to a church.

    The family sold it to the city in 2005 which began restoring it in 2007. With an expanded stage and a new orchestra pit, the theater will be used as a cultural center and home to the Grand Prairie Arts Council, which has been without a home for 30 years.

  • November 14, 2008

    Flooded Wisconsin theater still closed

    REEDSBURG, WI — The city is concerned that the renovation of the flood-damaged Star Cinema is going much slower than expected.

    The Kerasotes theater chain took over the theater from the Star Cinema chain last February 1st. On June 9th, the Baraboo River overflowed its banks after storms dumped more than seven inches of rain.

  • Lufkin to begin renovation of Pines Theater

    LUFKIN, TX — The city has set aside $500,000 for the initial renovation of the historic Pines Theater as part of a plan to bring the downtown area back to life.

    Last July, the city bought the 1925 theater, which was being used as a church, for $112,860.

    The $500,000 will be used to secure the structure by installing a new roof, upgrading the wiring and lighting, hanging new doors and windows, redoing the marque, and stripping off material from previous renovations. The entire project will cost $1.4 million and could take years to fund completely.

  • November 12, 2008

    $1 Million Approved For LaGrange Theater Restoration

    LA GRANGE, IL — The Village of La Grange has approved $1 million for the restoration of the La Grange Theater. The 83 year-old movie house is owned by David Rizner and John Rot, who are also using $650,000 of their own money towards the restoration. The funds will cover new plumbing and electrical systems, as well as other much-needed repairs. The La Grange Business Association has pledged another $50,000 which will help with replacing the current theater marquee with a replica of the original.

  • November 10, 2008

    Construction finally begins at gutted Lebowsky Center

    OWOSSO, MI — Construction has finally begun at the fire damaged and partially demolished Lebowsky Center beginning with repairs to the four story stage house.

    Details can be found in the Argus-Press.

  • October 13, 2008

    World’s first IMAX-Dome theater being renovated

    SAN DIEGO, CA — The world’s first IMAX-Dome theater is undergoing a complete renovation and will reopen completely remodelled in December.

    The theater in Balboa Park at the Fleet Science Center will boast a new screen, sound system, seating and carpeting. The cost of the project is estimated at $20 million. This is the first renovation since it was built in 1973.

    IMAX-Dome is a rebranding of the original OmniMax format developed by the IMAX Corporation. The system uses a “fisheye” lens to project images on the inside of a planetarium-like domed theater. The format was specifically developed for the Fleet Science Center which wanted a large-format film system to use in its planetarium.

  • September 30, 2008

    Controversy swirls around plans to reopen Jumbo Theatre

    PHILADELPHIA, PA — Neigbhorhood residents are concerned about plans to restore and reopen Philadelphia’s Jumbo Theatre.

    “The community hasn’t been given enough say in all of this,” the legislator said later. “They’ve got some serious concerns that need addressing.”

    Among those concerns, residents say, are issues of parking, noise, capacity and late-night drunkenness.

    “The venue could become a virtual nightclub, with people staying and drinking after the shows and then spilling out at 2 a.m. when they’re drunk and rowdy,” said Manny Citron, director of the neighborhood advisory committee of the New Kensington Community Development Corp.

    Read the full article in the Philadelphia Daily News.