• 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).

  • January 21, 2008

    Capitol Theater makes push as concert venue

    DAVENPORT, IA — The Capitol Theater, a 1920’s Rapp and Rapp house will re-open on Feburary 28 with a concert by progressive rock and jam band Umphrey’s McGee. A $3 million dollar renovation will also be included in the plans.

    Most popular musicians play to houses that hold 500 to 1,500 patrons, said Bozarth, former executive director of the River Music Experience and now a partner in N-Vents. Bozarth hopes to bring those acts to the Quad-Cities, announcing Thursday that N-Vents will lease and renovate the historic Capitol Theatre and book entertainment there.

    “I’ve had people ask me why, in a community of 400,000, there is no action here,” Bozarth said. “The acts that are playing Chicago in houses of 500 to 1,500 don’t play here. And the reason for that is that we don’t have a venue of that size.”



  • December 28, 2007

    New and improved Wilma

    MISSOULA, MT — Following the mention a few months a go, Instead of being gone forever, the Wilma Theater is coming back after renovations and an all new restaurant next door.

    For months, the rumors have run wild about the fate of the Wilma Theater: No more movies. Business offices replacing the funky Red Light/Green Room spaces (once known to locals as the even-more-funky Chapel of the Dove). An Olive Garden restaurant in the basement.

    Fortunately for those who love the old high-rise at the center of downtown Missoula, none of those rumors are true.

    Wishcamper and his partner, Justin Metcalf, have been busy renovating the theater, replacing the massive stage curtain, upgrading the projection booth, installing new draperies and tapestries, cleaning the seats and floors, and significantly upgrading the backstage dressing rooms and upstairs bathrooms. They’re also adding two new restrooms on the first floor of the theater, which will finally bring it into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

    Read the full story in the Missoulian.

  • December 20, 2007

    Yost Theater comeback

    SANTA ANA, CA — The Yost Theater (first called The Auditorium), built in 1912 and closed in 1985 is trying to make a comeback and has partnered with Centro Cultural de Mexico to bring new life to the theater as a venue for music and shows.

    After it sat nearly dormant for two decades, a developer is bringing the Yost back to life, hoping it will boost declining sales at shops he rents out in Santa Ana’s downtown, one of the largest Latino shopping districts in Southern California.

    After a recent Mexican folkloric concert drew more than 600 people to the theater on Spurgeon Street, the owner decided to renovate it and has offered local groups use of the theater for free.

    Read the full story in the Los Angeles Times.

  • Rhode Opera House in Kenosha now has heat!

    KENOSHA, WI — As of 2 weeks ago the new heating system at the Rhode Opera House (aka Gateway Theater) in Kenosha was turned on and now the entire theater enjoys comfortable temps.

    Thanks go to the City of Kenosha for the money that made this possible.

  • December 19, 2007

    1927 Istanbul cinema renovated to be Opera House it was meant to be

    Built for opera and theater in 1927, an Istanbul theater was a cinema until its recent restoration to reopen as an Opera House.

    The historical Sureyya building, newly renamed the Kadıkoy Municipality Sureyya Opera House, has opened to embrace the world of art once more.

    The leader of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) Deniz Baykal attended Friday' opening ceremony. The building, designed by parliamentarian Sureyya Ilmen Pasa to serve as an opera house and theater, was constructed from 1924 until 1927. It is the oldest opera house on the Anatolian side of the city and the sixth in Istanbul.

    Read the full story in the Turkish Daily News and more in CBC News.

  • December 14, 2007

    Shores Theatre long delayed renovation may get go ahead

    ST. CLAIR SHORES, MI — The Shores Theatre opened in 1935. It was built in the Deco style and maintained operation until it closed in November 2006. Somewhere along the way the theatre was duplexed. The current redesign was conceived after a plan to demolish the theatre completely and build an eight screen complex was shot down.

    Nearby businesses in downtown St. Clair filed lawsuits in November of 2006 which continue to delay the expansion. The businesses claim the expansion will leave only five parking spaces instead of the current twenty four. They fear this will result in theatre attendees parking in spaces for the neighboring businesses.

    The current plan will gut the theatre in order to change the twined theatre seating from 440 to five screens with 508 seats. The local historical society has pledged to save the theatre’s existing marquee but photos of the theatre’s exterior from 1936 until the present, including an artists rendering of the front of the redesigned front, look more like a malgamation of parts of both the original and the current marquees. These photos along with an artist’s concept can be seen at the Water Winter Wonderland website near the bottom of the page. The website also has pictures and information on several indoor theatres in the area. Sadly most are now gone.

    An article on the present state of the renovation can be found at the C & G Newspapers website along with a photo of the theatre’s less than impressive current exterior.