• June 27, 2008

    Rialto to be refurbished

    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 theatre to be brought back

    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

    Tucson indy cinemas

    TUCSON, AZ — Instead of focusing on the typical multiplexes, an article highlights the alternative cinema choices in Tucson like the Loft Cinema and Fox Theatre.

    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.)

  • King Cat revitalized

    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 city council issues escrow grant for Lebowsky rebuilding

    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

    Palace Theatre gets new lease on life

    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

    Palace Theater Restoration

    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.

  • April 30, 2008

    Plans to reopen Denis

    MT. LEBANON, PA — The Denis Quad is planning to open for movies following upcoming renovations.

    Turns out you can’t keep a good theater down. Or dark.

    Plans were announced yesterday to raise $3 million to renovate the 71-year-old Denis Theatre in the heart of Mt. Lebanon’s business district. It has been closed for nearly four years and sat vacant along Washington Road, where passersby hoped for a rebirth but peered in the doors and saw mounds of trash.

    Read more in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

  • April 18, 2008

    Reseda revival

    RESEDA, CA — The long shuttered Reseda Theatre is being converted into a live venue for local acts.

    CIM Group, a company that operates the Hollywood & Highland complex in Hollywood that includes the Kodak Theatre, has entered into an agreement with the Community Redevelopment Agency of Los Angeles to renovate the 60-year-old structure and transform it into a venue showcasing community-oriented entertainment.

    The $8.7-million project should be completed this fall, said Shaul Kuba, principal and founder of CIM Group, based in Los Angeles. “The intent is to have a Latino band playing there one day, a Persian band the next day, and the day after that, a little rock band can come in and play,” Kuba said. “The venue will be there for all different sorts of events.”

    Get the full story in the Los Angeles Times.

  • April 11, 2008

    Abandoned theater converted into a haunted house

    CLARKSVILLE, IN — The Greentree Theater was a landmark theater in the Clarksville area for many years starting in the 1960s. After numerous owners and names, the old theater went through many changes including a shift from two large theater houses to four.

    In 2003, the theater unexpectedly closed to the public and has been vacant and weather battered ever since. This year the theater is being converted into a haunted attraction called Psychomania – The Theater of Terror. The majority of what was there is being left as is.

    There is a link to the local newspaper story here.