July 14, 2008
OWOSSO, MI — After nearly a year of waiting, the city of Owosso finally received its $1 million grant from the Michigan State Housing Authority’s Vibrant Small Cities Initiative. Part of this grant will be used to rebuild the Lebowsky Center’s theater walls facing Main and Park Streets which had to be partially demolished after the fire which gutted the theater.
The Owosso Community Players still plan on having the theater completely enclosed again by the end of the year.
More details at The Argus-Press.
July 8, 2008
The AAA “Traveler” magazine for July/August 2008 features a retrospective of several Midwestern theaters and the efforts to preserve them especially as performing arts centers. The story includes several pictures and focuses especially on the Fox in St. Louis, MO, the Missouri in Columbia, MO, the Illinois in Centralia, IL, the Granada in Emporia, KS, and the Victory in Evansville, IN. A number of other theaters are briefly mentioned as well.
The full article can be read at Our AAA (after typing in a local zip code like 63101).
July 7, 2008
June 27, 2008
LOS ANGELES, CA — A theater many thought was past the point of no return is set to open up again. The Rialto Theatre in downtown Los Angeles is getting some major investment so it can eventually reopen as a live music venue with a restaurant.
Following the fates of many historic properties affected by the ongoing Bringing Back Broadway initiative, the currently defunct Rialto Theater has found a suitor to boost its low profile on the strip.
(Thanks to teamperks for providing the photo.)
According to an announcement made yesterday, Hollywood-based Longest Marquee LLC has signed a 25-year lease on the structure with plans to spend $6 million on renovations to reopen it as a restaurant/bar/live music venue.
Read more at angelenic.
LYNCHBURG, VA — As it approcahes its 80th birthday, the Academy of Music, is on the slate to be ambitiously renovated with some new additions.
Lynchburg’s Academy of Music closed in 1958, with more than a century of history locked up inside. But Thursday morning that all changed. A ground breaking will turn the lights back on at Lynchburg’s historic theater. For the city, it means looking to the future.
“As far as I’m concerned, this is our Civic Center. Between this and the hotel across the street and other lodging opportunities in and around downtown, this is where a lot of different events can take place,” said City Manager Kimball Payne.
People lined up for tours, to take a peak inside, where famous vaudeville performers once took the stage.
Get the full story at WSLS.
June 20, 2008
If you’re looking for a way to fight the punishing temperatures that inevitably strike Tucson whenever the summer months roll around, there’s no better way than the movie theater, that well-known darling of the air conditioning industry and foe of advocates for comfortable seating.
The summer’s blockbusters, as usual, aren’t too promising. Fortunately, Tucson is blessed with a flurry of alternative movie choices, and they haven’t let us down this summer.
Read the full story in the Arizona Daily Wildcat.
(Thanks to housechick for providing the photo.)
SEATTLE, WA — The King Cat Theatre that has had many uses over the years is being brought back again as a venue for a variety of activities.
Now, the old theater is revived — but the King Cat in 2008 is encompassing a lot of its past variety, too. As an all-purpose venue, it’s fit for business meetings, concerts, film festivals and also available for rent.
“I want it to be a place to gather for all sorts of entertainment for Seattle,” said new owner Arif Amaani. “Everybody will have something to see.”
Read the full story in the Seattle Times.
OWOSSO, MI — The Owosso city council has issued a $350,000 grant in escrow to the Owosso Community Players to help in rebuilding the fire-damaged Lebowsky Center. The project is still in the bidding process and the OCP is still seeking donations to help in the rebuilding process. They are hoping to begin construction in late summer for phase one involving rebuiling the walls and a new roof by late fall.
For further info, read the article in the Argus-Press. The OCP web site has compiled a list of news articles about the Lebowsky Center including news stories from Cinema Treasures along with YouTube videos.
May 20, 2008
DANBURY, CT — The Palace Theatre, once a 2000-seat, vintage 1929 downtown venue on Main Street long listed on Cinema Treasures as “abandoned” and with an “uncertain future,” has apparently come back to life. Thanks to the efforts of owner Joe DaSilva, the theater is being renovated.
It will host part of the Connecticut Film Festival on May 20-25 in a portion of the auditorium, which was divided into a triplex in the 1980s. According to DaSilva, once funding is in place for further renovation and repairs, the orchestra and balcony will be reconstituted to the original 2000-seat configuration, and the Palace will be used for live theater, concerts and film.
Cinema Treasures contributor “shoeshoe14” who has posted numerous updates on this site, has written about the Palace for Fairfield Weekly, and there will be coverage on WFSB-TV 3 (Hartford) and in the Hartford Courant as well.
May 16, 2008
CHILDRESS, TX — The Palace Theater was built in 1925 by partners F.M. Phipps and G.S. Layton, one of six theaters to eventually be operated by the partnership and their extended families. The cinematic dynasty in this small west Texas town began when Phipps and an earlier partner puchased the LaGrande Opera House in 1911 and built the Monogram Theater. 1988 saw the end of over three-quarters century of Hollywood on the silver screen in Childress when nephews of Mrs. Phipps closed the Palace doors. The Palace rose from the ashes of two fires, in 1934 and again in 1935. Gene Autry and other cowboy stars performed on her stage, as well as did children of the community, participating in decades of the “Birthday Club” on Saturday mornings.
Childress Theatre Company, a 501©3 corporation, has launched the Palace Restoration Project with plans to restore the Palace to her original Art Deco glory. Costs are estimated to be approximately $2 million. When completed, the Palace, with new sound, projection and lighting systems, will show classic films as well as films for children on Saturday mornings as the “Birthday Club” is revived. She will serve as a cultural center in downtown Childress for citizens of the community and the surrounding area with facilities for live dramatic and musical productions.