May 25, 2016
From The Citizen: It may not look like much is going on from the outside, but preparation work to restore the Colonial Theatre has been proceeding smoothly for the past several months.
Justin Slattery, the executive director of the Belknap Economic Development Council, spoke before a gathering of about 75 at the Taylor Community on Tuesday, and told the group he’s been very pleased with efforts made so far to get the facility ready for a major renovation next year.
“It really is a jewel for the city,” Slattery said. “This building’s historic significance is incredible.”
Slattery showed slides of work performed this spring to remove steel partitioning put in during the 1980s to turn the Colonial into a multi-plex movie house.
“They were very careful to cut those steel beams into small pieces so they could be removed safely without damaging any of the artwork inside the theater,” Slattery said.
He described for the audience his amazement when he saw some of the artwork inside the building once the partitioning was removed.
“I can’t believe how good a shape the pictures and art is in,” Slattery said. “It’s especially true when this has been sitting there for many years.”
The building’s roof is in good shape, and plans will soon be worked on about how to best renovate apartments above the theater.
“We’re looking at turning them into condos or apartments for young professionals that want to be downtown,” Slattery said.
The three buildings that comprise the renovation project amount to about 38,000 square feet, with the theater taking up 20,000 square feet of space.
Built in 1914 and hailed for its distinct fresco architecture and unique design qualities, the Colonial Theatre was once at the forefront of 20th century culture in Laconia, hosting traveling vaudeville shows and special events, such as the world premiere of the film “Return to Peyton Place” in 1961.
May 24, 2016
From the Newton Daily News: For years, the Shuler Theater in this once-booming New Mexico mining town sat empty in a desolate downtown. It had long passed its heyday as a hot spot for Italian immigrants and Hispanic workers who visited to take in a traveling show or a newly released movie.
But today the 101-year-old Raton venue again is attracting audiences from as far as Trinidad, Colorado just across the state line for variety shows and will soon be ready to screen any Star Wars movie. That change comes as New Mexico is joining other states in pushing an initiative to revitalize downtown districts in isolated, small towns by rehabilitating aging, historic theaters.
An economic development program, similar to efforts in Iowa and Illinois, seeks save the often-forgotten facilities like the Shuler Theater with help on refurbishing buildings and grants for new digital projection and sound equipment. With state funding, cities can develop new business plans and retool theaters’ dusty interiors so they can become main attractions in rural areas, New Mexico Economic Development Department Secretary Jon Barela said.
“These theaters are part of our history,” said Barela, who went to a small theater in Las Cruces as a child. “They are beautiful architectural gems and they are anchors of the community.”
Since January 2013, the state has set aside around $100,000 each for eight theaters, Barela said.
Like refurbished small theaters in other states, New Mexico officials believe reviving theaters in ranching towns and small cities near American Indian reservations will help create jobs in struggling downtown districts and spark excitement in entertainment deserts. Some, such as El Morro Theatre in Gallup, New Mexico, are located along the iconic Route 66 next to the Navajo Nation while others, such as the Lyceum Theater in Clovis, sit just across the New Mexico-Texas state line.
May 14, 2016
From Brooklynvegan.com: Back in January 2015, it was announced that Brooklyn’s Paramount Theatre on Flatbush would begin hosting music again for the first time in 50 years. (Not to be confused with nearby Paramount Theaters, like the ones in Asbury Park, Long Island or Westchester.) More details on that have now emerged.
As Billboard reports, the team behind Barclays Center and the renovation of the Nassau Veterans Coliseum has signed a long-term lease with LIU Brooklyn to renovate and operate the Long Island University Brooklyn Paramount Theatre. Renovatons will begin in 2017, overseen by Paramount Events Center (PEC), and the doors are slated to open in 2019.
May 12, 2016
From The Hour:
Better sound, lighting and theater rigging have driven Wall Street Theater Co. to rethink its renovation of the historic theater at 71 Wall St.
Developer Frank Farricker said the organization rethought the design of the interior of the building after abatement work was completed last year.
“We went through our design process and got through everything and when we started doing the work we found a lot of things that a potential user of the facility could find lacking,” Farricker said. The redesign “is a little bit more (Americans With Disabilities Act) compliant. It has a much more robust and professional theater setup, both for the rigging and the lighting design, and the sound design is a lot more powerful.”
April 20, 2016
York Theatre Royal will reopen its doors following a £6million redevelopment by architects De Matos Ryan. The 270 year old theatre will launch with the world stage premiere of Evelyn Waugh’s classic novel Brideshead Revisited, adapted by Bryony Lavery and directed by Damian Cruden.
April 18, 2016
Building on what has been a successful year of fundraising for the nonprofit Tampa Theatre, the majestic movie palace is the proud recipient of a half-million dollar gift from the family of Theatre Board Member Anne Arthur Pittman, including her husband, Drew Pittman; her father and stepmother, Tom and Dixie Arthur; her mother and stepfather, Bretta Arthur Sullivan and The Honorable Don Sullivan; and her sister and brother-in-law, Tready and Thayer Smith.
April 7, 2016
Great news from our friends in Hoopeston, IL! The Lorraine Theatre has tentative plans to open this year. Preparations are now in progress to begin work in the auditorium. The heat has been turned on to start work for the first phase of the auditorium renovation, according to Save the Lorraine Foundation Vice President Alex Houmes.
April 1, 2016
Great news from our friends in Beverly, Massachusetts and Boston NPR: “Once there were more than 20,000 grand movie palaces in the United States. Think the Coolidge Corner Theatre in Brookline, the Somerville Theatre, the Strand Theatre in Dorchester.
Today, though, the National Trust for Historic Preservation estimates only about 250 survive. The Cabot Theatre in Beverly is one of them.
Not too long ago it seemed to be on the verge of joining the list of lost classic movie houses. But the community here banded together to save the Cabot for 21st century audiences.
March 31, 2016
The restoration of Playhouse Square’s Ohio Theatre lobby is almost complete, with the space returned to its original grandeur. The May completion will mark the final project on the Playhouse Square theater renovations list.
March 22, 2016
The long-awaited renovation likely to begin soon on centerpiece of Duluth’s arts district. Duluth has wondered when, or if, the NorShor Theatre, which has served as a vaudeville house, movie theater and strip club, would ever undergo a planned renovation to transform it into a performing arts center.
The ambitious project dates back to 2010, when the Duluth Economic Development Authority (DEDA) paid $2.3 million to acquire the property. “It was a strip club and it was run down,” says David Montgomery, chief administrative officer for the city of Duluth. “It was really a blight” in downtown Duluth, he says.