• March 19, 2008

    Old Berri cinema to become Theatre TELUS

    MONTREAL, QUEBEC, CANADA — After the Spectrum closed, the cultural landscape of mid-sized concert venues got that much smaller.

    But now a new concert hall is born out of a new ten year partnership between cell phone provider Telus and Groupe Laberge, owners of the popular Quebec City showbar Dagobert.

    Rumours have been circulating for awhile that they were going to buy up and fix up the old Berri cineplex on St. Denis Street near Ste-Catherine Street.

  • March 18, 2008

    Re-renovation planned for Detroit’s Fisher Theatre

    DETROIT, MI — A $3.5 million update is in the works for Nederlander’s Fisher Theater, as reported in a Detroit News article late last year.

    The Fisher opened in 1928 as an ornate movie palace in the unusual Mayan Revival style, but even its 1961 remodeling for theatrical performances was historic: it was the last architectural commission credited to the firm of Rapp and Rapp.

    The article points out that the current renovation plan is tentative, and doesn’t offer details about how the auditorium might change other than by gaining 300 seats. The Nederlander site doesn’t offer any information at all.

  • March 17, 2008

    Northwood theater renovation continues

    Progress is coming along in the renovation of the Northwood Theater.

    The smell of popcorn and fresh wood shavings combined to welcome residents checking the renovation of a historic building that will some day house a movie theater.

    On Wednesday, walking on a plywood floor and between yet-to-be-drywalled frames, citizens got a sense of how the theater will look once the J.B. Thompson building is restored.

    For more, go to the Globe Gazette.

  • March 14, 2008

    Owosso won’t give Lebowsky project a break in building fees

    OWOSSO, MI — Saying that it would cause a bad precedent, the Owosso city council voted 6-1 against waiving permit and plan review fees for the $7 million Lebowsky Center rebuilding project.

    Over the life of the project, the fees could range from $20,000 to $25,000. As for an update on the rebuilding, architects are still drafting plans for the project. The bidding process will begin after the plans are completed.

    Further info from the Argus-Press.

  • March 7, 2008

    Art Theatre to come back even greater

    LONG BEACH, CA — The Art Theatre has been sold to local developers that will shut it down for half a year to restore some of its historic Art Deco feel.

    Now playing at the Art Theatre, the marquee for the current movie reads “4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days,” but for Howard Linn, it’s all about the two days.

    Linn, who has owned and operated the venerable movie theater on Fourth Street for 35 years, has sold the venue.

    On Thursday, the Art Theatre will close until July as the 84-year-old facility undergoes more than $1 million in renovations, courtesy of the theater’s new owners.

    Read more in the Long Beach Press Telegram.

  • February 12, 2008

    Fox Oakland hoping for October return

    OAKLAND, CA — After many years of work, this might be the year when the Fox Oakland reopens its doors.

    Call it what you will, but the curtain is set to rise on the old-time movie palace — once the largest theater on the West Coast — 38 years after the last images flickered across its screen.

    Oct. 26 is the target date to rekindle some of the old-time glamour and magic, 80 years nearly to the day after the picture palace opened its doors.

    In this reincarnation, the Fox will be filled with live entertainers instead of talking pictures.

    Read the full article in the Oakland Tribune.

  • February 7, 2008

    Lebowsky Center may not need to change owners to use grant money for rebuilding.

    OWOSSO, MI — A $380,000 grant, part of the Michigan Small Cities Initiative awarded to downtown Owosso, to help in rebuilding the Lebowsky Center originally was supposed to be made if the city or the Downtown Development Authority owned the theater instead of the Owosso Community Players. But the city requested and was granted a waiver so the OCP can continue to own the theater which was gutted and partially demolished after a fire last year. The grant will be used to help rebuild the walls and roof of the theater and construction is expected to begin in the spring.

    Additional details from the Argus-Press.

  • February 1, 2008

    LA’s Broadway to get $36.5 million revitalization makeover

    LOS ANGELES, CA — City officials had a press conference Monday to formally announce a major push to revitalize Broadway in downtown Los Angeles.

    The $36.5 million “Bringing Back Broadway” plan announced Monday envisions the street as a bustling neighborhood of entertainment venues, small shops and residential units behind restored facades of intricate stone work and looming statuary.

    “Our vision is to bring back Broadway to its heyday,” said City Councilman Jose Huizar, whose district includes the area. “It’s a shame that we allowed it to get to its current state, that we neglected it so much.”

    Huizar and other supporters see Broadway as the thread that could stitch together other major development projects undertaken as downtown’s residential population swelled from about 18,700 in 1998 to more than 28,900 in 2006.

    Read more in the San Jose Mercury News or the official release.

  • Capitol Theater loses its marquee

    OLYMPIA, WA — On Monday, Jan. 28, demolition began on the marquee of the Capitol Theater.

    The structure was added to the building in 1940, but it hadn’t been lit-up since the early 1990s. While the marquee itself was OK, the awning was beyond repair.

    Tearing the structure off the building revealed four stained glass windows. The round windows depict four of the nine Muses of Greek mythology. They were crafted by Northwest artist Ray Nyson, The Olympian newspaper reports.

  • January 28, 2008

    Oroville State Theater renovations

    OROVILLE, CA — The historic 1928 State Theater in Oroville is undergoing a ¾ million dollar upgrade. This project includes a completely new heating/air conditioning system replacing the old system. The old system consisted of the 1928 installation with additions in the 1940s, 1950s, and 1980s. The new systems are very flexible to meet varying needs of the theater now functioning as a performing arts center. The new installation also removes all the intrusions and additions in the original pipe organ chamber. This prepares the chamber for a future return of a theater organ.

    In addition to the heating/air conditioning system, the theater is receiving a complete set of new curtains, including the main, additions to the fly system (the system was rebuilt 5 years ago), 14 additional stage lights, and a real follow spot (finally we can retire the temporary home-built one). In addition, both 35mm projectors have received new lighting and sound optics and have been repaired so that traditional reel-to-reel films can be shown (some historic film lenders do not allow platter system projection).