• October 16, 2007

    Lebowsky Center rebuilding update

    OWOSSO, MI — While work continues to prepare the Lebowsky Center for rebuilding, Owosso Police have a ‘person of interest’ in their ongoing arson investigation of that theater. But they are not yet ready to make an arrest. The Owosso Community Players which own the theater are working on a master plan for the theater. They said crews hope to get the new framework up by winter. While they can’t promise they will get a roof up by winter, it is certainly their goal.

    While the OCP did get some insurance money, they are $100,000 short of their goal to pay for new walls and a new roof. The OCP has made significant progress in cleaning up the Lebowsky and surrounding buildings and are moving supplies back to the Hoddy Building which is behind the theater. Repairs to the portion of the Chemical Bank building donated to the OCP are almost finished and the two law offices on the second floor of that building plan to move back in shortly. That building will be called “the annex” and the OCP plans to have dinner theater and other events in that building.

  • October 12, 2007

    Strand Theatre finally making a comeback

    HOHENWALD, TN — The 1940 Strand Theatre on Main Street is being restored and it will reopen in November 2007 primarily as a performing arts theater. The Strand moved from this location in 1948 to the Park Avenue location, where the theatre burned in 1963.

    This building was converted to retail space. Most of the theatre-related interior items had been moved to the last location; however, when the dropped ceiling was removed, the original theater spaces, including decorative beams, were revealed. A projection booth wall and projector exhaust vent are also still visible. The front entry alcove has been reconstructed and the screen wall rebuilt.

    Fund raising is underway to recreate the front marquee. The theater is in need of period 1939-1948 movie theater items, curtains and interior marquees. We have also not been able to locate any history on the Strand name. There were Strand theaters across the country. Was the Strand a chain name? Did it have a logo?

  • October 11, 2007

    Modern Theatre revamped as dorm

    BOSTON, MA — The Modern Theatre will soon be renovated to house students on top of the theater portion. The long vacant building’s auditorium will have work done to it so it can be used as a performance space.

    The Modern Theatre on Washington Street, where movies with sound were first shown in Boston, is going to become student housing for Suffolk University.

    The Boston Redevelopment Authority yesterday approved Suffolk’s plan for a $35 million renovation that will preserve the Modern’s distinctive High Victorian and Gothic facade with its arching entrance, while erecting a modern 12-story tower with 180 to 200 beds above.

    “We’re excited about restoring a little bit of Boston’s history to the Midtown Cultural District, as well as providing much-needed dorm space,” said John A. Nucci, Suffolk’s vice president for government and community affairs. “The building has been sitting idle and an eyesore for many years.”

    Read more in the Boston Globe.

  • October 10, 2007

    New owners plan to renovate Lewis Theatre

    LEWISBURG, WV — With new owners, the Lewis Theatre has some exciting things in the works including renovations and adaptive reuse for live theatre.

    With first-run classics such as “Gone with the Wind” and “The Wizard of Oz” as part of its storied history, new life is being breathed into the 68-year-old Lewis Theatre through a fresh set of owners with plans to renovate the Art Deco building for live theater, dance and other performing arts.

    The 10,000-square-foot building, originally commissioned by the Yarid family, was recently purchased by Ann Davis and Lin Preston, both of Lewisburg, and Larry Levine of Hinton. The building had previously been owned by Barbara and Ed Spurlock of Maxwelton since 1990.

    The trio calls itself ALL Arts and plans to scale down the current 500-seat theater to about 175 seats to make way for workshop space, a live theater stage and education classes, said Levine, an investment manager by trade. The dance group known as the Trillium Performing Arts Collective, a staple in Lewisburg arts for the last 26 years, has already committed to a long-term lease in the building, he said.

    Read the full story in the Register-Herald.

  • September 21, 2007

    Garden Theatre featured on PBS

    WINTER GARDEN, FL — Click on the link to see “The Artist Connection” from WMFE-TV in Orlando, the local PBS station. The third segment is devoted to the restoration of the Garden Theatre, slated to open in January, 2008.


  • September 19, 2007

    New owners for the 95 year old Texas Theatre

    McGREGOR, TX — The Studio Pros Inc. is very proud to announce their purchase of the 1912 Texas Theatre on June 7th 2007 from the Smith family (original owners). Over the next 12 to 18 months, the Texas will be undergoing extensive ground up restorations allowing The Studio Pros to relocate their offices inside the building. As well, we’ll be completely refurbishing all of the theatre’s live & 35mm capabilities and adding an extensive array of newer media technologies to complement the old.

    For more information and continual updates on the progress of restoration of the Texas Theatre please check the official web site.

    We also wish to thank CT for all of their dedicated efforts with theatre history. Over the past 4 years this web site has offered priceless information and insight to us and is one of the top 3 influences in our decision to take on the challenges of restoring and preserving the Texas theatre’s history. We feel very proud and blessed to be a part of this. Once again we thank all of the folks at CT and all of its dedicated contributors. Please rest assured we will be doing our part in promoting this site to all of our theatre goers as well as trying to financially support this site.

    Very Sincerely
    Trey Concilio

  • September 18, 2007

    Lebowsky Center volunteer cleanup held September 8.

    OWOSSO, MI — A construction cleanup work bee was held by volunteers at the Lebowsky Center on Saturday, September 8. The cleanup was held to prepare for the rebuilding of the fire damaged and partially demolished theater.

    The Owosso Community Players newsletter dated August 2007 gives an update of the rebuilding progress which also gives details about the recent donation of the adjacent building.

    The Argus-Press reports on the work as well.

  • September 10, 2007

    Historic Granada Theatre gets new life

    THE DALLES, OR — Dormant no more, construction will begin next May on the Granada Theatre so it can be used for concerts and meetings.

    1 of the first movie theaters west of the Mississippi River to show talking pictures has been silenced for almost five years.

    But the historic Granada theater in The Dalles — which dates to 1929 and is on the National Register of Historic Place — is getting a second chance.

    A tourism company has bought the building to use as a venue for seminars and acoustic concerts, as well as a tasting room for local wineries.

    You can read the full article at KTVZ.

  • September 7, 2007

    Bryn Mawr lives on

    BRYN MAWR, PA — Inspiring story of one woman’s project of turning an endangered theater into a local film institute.

    Like so many art-house pioneers — those perpetually optimistic souls who devote their lives to the restoration and preservation of institutions and cherish the notion that cinema should go beyond the big-budget sequel — Juliet Goodfriend said she never imagined that she would one day found and lead a film institute. In many ways, it was a mission that chose her.

    Seven years ago, Ms. Goodfriend was sitting on the Board of Trustees at Bryn Mawr College, located just west of Philadelphia, when she began hearing rumors that the local downtown movie theater was about to be sold to a developer who wanted to turn it into a fitness center. She was immediately mortified by the prospect of losing this Bryn Mawr landmark, an old-time movie palace that served nearly 30,000 students and even more year-round residents as an anchor in the downtown business district.

    For more, read the New York Sun.

  • August 31, 2007

    Kansas City’s Screenland owner buys Armour Theater

    The wheels are in motion for the Armour Theater to reopen and show films.

    Local cinema owner Butch Rigby plans to buy and renovate the Armour Theatre Building in North Kansas City, which also has been known as the Paradise Theatre and the Northland Opry.

    Under an agreement approved by the North Kansas City Council, Rigby will buy the single-screen theater at 408 Armour Road and adjacent two-story properties, which are part of the theater building, for $600,000.

    Rigby, operator of the Screenland Crossroads Theatre at 17th and Washington streets and owner of the Screenland Granada in Kansas City, Kan., said Wednesday that he would restore the building, which the city has owned since 2005.

    Read the full story in the Kansas City Star.