December 21, 2005
OLYMPIA, WA — In 1997, Harlequin Productions embarked on an impossible dream.
With the generous help of our audience and friends, we resurrected the State Theater to create one of the artistic jewels of our community.
To commemorate that achievement, the lobby ceiling was adorned with a new mural: “Rising Phoenix”. With the opening of the State Theater, the bar was raised. Harlequin Productions met the challenge, delivering high-quality, adventurous theater in a beautiful, intimate setting and serving as a powerful economic driver for Olympia’s downtown.
Despite superb ticket sales, the combined fiscal pressures of a sluggish economy and the drain of the State Theater mortgage undermined the finances of the company from ‘01 – '03.
In March, 2004, faced with imminent closure, Harlequin Productions asked the community to determine whether the company was “to be, or not to be.” An overwhelmingly positive response eliminated the crisis and all short-term debt. To ensure the future fiscal health of the company, we must now perform maintenance and upgrades on our home and retire the mortgage.
For more information, visit this website.
October 6, 2005
WINTER GARDEN, FL — Crews began restoration work October 5 on the 1935 Garden Theatre. The movie house, closed since 1963, will become a performing arts facility and part-time movie house for the community.
The interior of this house was set in a Spanish garden, with “Romeo and Juliet” balconies, greenery, lots of Spanish tile and a twinkling star ceiling. It was used as a warehouse for over 60 years. Plans are to match the original style as closely as possible, while extending the stage forward to give sufficient space for live performances. It will seat about 300, and the theatre is scheduled to open in late 2006.
October 5, 2005
MYRTLE BEACH, SC — More than 20 local movers and shakers, including Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce President Brad Dean, Myrtle Beach City Manager Tom Leath, and WEZV general manager Matt Sedota, will auction off pastel paintings they created to benefit the Rivoli Theatre restoration project Thursday.
7 p.m. Thursday, October 6, 2005
Piane Lakes International Country Club
5603 Woodside Avenue
Myrtle Beach, SC
$75 (includes open bar and hors d'ouvres)
(843) 267-5845 or (843) 448-4896
September 12, 2005
A photo-article in the Providence Journal of September 1, 2005 discusses continuing plans to convert the former Bomes-owned Art Cinema (formerly Liberty Theatre) to a neighborhood “community space where arts and culture are displayed and celebrated.”
The building, opened in 1921 and closed since 1975, is currently owned by the Providence Redevelopment Agency, which takes ownership of abandoned properties.
The consensus among area residents is to turn the building into the “Liberty Theater Cultural Center, a facility that could serve as a multi-cultural arts and education resource for the South Side and the entire city.” Under the plan, the center would have space for live theater and dance, musical performances, film and culturally diverse performing arts.
The article reports that plans would likely include gutting the interior and replacing electrical, plumbing, heating and air and sprinkler systems, according to an assessment by the Urban Design Group. Cost estimates range from $2.5 million to $3.5 million.
BERKELEY, CA — Just when it will happen remains a question, but the closed UC Theatre is being sought after as the home of a jazz club.
Gloria Mendoza and Michael Govan, until recently operators of Kimball East, a prominent jazz club, have submitted an application for approval with the City of Berkeley for a plan to reconfigure the theater, replacing the row seats with fixed U-shaped booths seating 596 people. Additional movable tables and chairs could increase the capacity to 900.
But there are a few things to be settled before the revitalizations can commence.
More details available from this report by Richard Brenneman in the Berkeley Daily Planet.
September 6, 2005
WANYNESVILLE, NC — The Asheville Citizen Times has reported that the long closed Strand Theatre in Waynesville, NC has been purchased by Joey Massie who plans to renovate and reopen the old theater which closed in 1981.
Highland Forest, a land developer, has signed a lease to use the front space to promote its projects. The funds paid for the lease will allow Massie to refurbish the marquee, facade and lobby area. The citizens of Waynesville are thrilled to see this old theater be renovated because it has been an eye sore and has been deteriorating since it closed.
August 19, 2005
WELLINGTON, TX — Deep in the heart of West Texas, big and bright doesn’t describe just the stars anymore.
On Aug. 5, Historic Wellington, Inc. in the Panhandle town of Wellington, Texas had residents dancing in the streets under the neon glow of the newly restored facade of the Ritz Theatre.
Restoration of the 1928 mission-style theater began in 2003 with the removal of tons of debris from the ruined interior and the reconstruction of a new roof.
Local preservationists couldn’t wait until the project was finished before seeing the neon lights glow again. In 2004, Historic Wellington hired Wellborn Sign Co. of Amarillo, Texas to restore the blade sign and marquee. The sign was relit that same year, but it wasn’t until Aug. 5 of this year that the marquee and sign were lit together for the first time at an annual street dance in front of the theater.
Historic Wellington now has funding to complete the entire building restoration, thanks to support from a local family foundation, and final plans are being drawn now. The group credits the Southwest Office of the National Trust for Historic Preservation for jumpstarting the project with an intervention grant in 2002.
When the reconstruction is complete, Historic Wellington hopes to offer live performances as well as classic and first-run films at the Ritz.
July 25, 2005
RESEDA, CA — The Community Redevelopment Agency of Reseda has approved plans to negotiate for the restoration of the 57-year-old Reseda Theater. The CRA bought the theater in 2004 as part of a revitalization plan and hopes to turn it into a facility for live performances.
According to the LA Daily News, the group hopes to restore the neon lights, marquee and terrazzo entryway as part of bringing the theater back to life.
June 27, 2005
GREENPORT, NY — Long Island’s Greenport Village Cinema will re-open the week of June 25th. Major renovations have been going on since February.
Renovations include a cafe, new concession stand and box office. The restrooms have also been upgraded. Work was done on the heating and air conditioning system. New carpet and tile were installed. Work was also done in the projection booths including new automations and lighting controls. The theaters themselves will be renovated after the summer.
June 7, 2005
CRANSTON, RI — The Park Theater, a vintage movie and vaudeville house in downtown Cranston, RI, is in the first stages of a major renovation and expansion. The end result is expected to produce a 1200 seat theater on the footprint of the original theater. An adjoining two story restaurant, conference center and cyber cafe will replace several other now demolished businesses to complete the block long development.
It is expected that the theater will eventually present as many as 100 concerts and theatrical productions annually. The concerts will include a variety of entertainment offerings of a pop, soft rock, country, oldies, jazz, blues and comedy nature. Theatrical presentations will be primarily multi-day and multi-week musical, comedy and drama-based stage shows with scaled down casts but well known lead performers.