September 9, 2004
PITTSBURGH, PA — Borden Vaughan Development has taken the Hollywood Theatre, located in the Dormont Shopping District of Pittsburgh, and the Grenada Theater, located in Beaver Falls, off the market and are awaiting inspections and feasibility studies prior to their purchase.
Plans are in the works to put the two theaters on the National Registry of Historic Places, and convert them to a restaurant/bar movie format. Traditional seating will be phased out and replaced with couches, tables, and home theater seating. Concessions will also be unconventional with ideas including a coffee bar, a gelato shop, and gourmet pizza.
September 6, 2004
FLINT, MI — Necessary and long-delayed repairs to the Capitol Theatre building have begun with the removal of loose bricks on the east exterior wall of the auditorium to be replaced by new brickwork.
The water damage now being repaired is due to runoff of rain water from the auditorium’s roof over time. Other repairs planned include fixing the theater’s vertical sign which is original to the theater but was altered in the 1957 remodeling of the theater.
This project was planned for several months and was earlier reported in a March 29 story in Cinema Treasures.
August 25, 2004
August 19, 2004
DECATUR, IL — The first half of a $3.5 million State of Illinois “Illinois First” grant earmarked for the renovation of downtown Decatur’s historic Lincoln Square Theatre has arrived.
The Board of the Lincoln Square Theatre has been waiting since 2002 to receive the funding from the State of Illinois. Carla Brinkoetter, president of the board of directors of Lincoln Square Theatre, Inc,, said the theatre will have 24 months to spend the grant funds, with another $1.75 million promised once the first half of the grantis spent.
LONDON, ENGLAND — The historic Gate Cinema in London’s trendy Notting Hill is currently undergoing an extensive refurbishment.
Externally, it will have a new canopy, marquee and vertical blade sign. Internally, it will have a totally new lobby in stainless steel and oak (nothing of the original lobby exists following a rebuild after WWII when the ornate exterior suffered extensive bomb damage).
The Grade II listed auditorium is a extravagantly ornate wedding cake confection of Edwardian plasterwork with a heavily coffered ceiling.
August 13, 2004
PHILADELPHIA, PA — The Devon Theater will be restored and renovated into a 500-seat performing arts center, according to an article in the Northeast Times.
The newspaper reports that the Mayfair Community Development Corporation will reopen the renamed Devon Theater of Performing Arts to “showcase a wide range of entertainment – live theater, opera, orchestra and ballet performances, children’s shows, dance and music recitals, comedy cabarets, holiday plays – and even an occasional movie.”
August 9, 2004
PRYOR, OK — My name is Gene Oliver and I am the owner of the Allred Theater in Pryor, Oklahoma. The theater was opened in 1917 by J. F. Allred and my father bought it in 1963.
It has continuosly operated as a movie theater and never been dark. Nor has it operated as any other business. My interest is in the possibility that it may be the oldest continously operating movie theater in the nation. If not, possibly the oldest small town theater in continuous operation.
I would appreciate some help with this research.
August 2, 2004
WELLINGTON, TX — Wes Reeves sent us a new pic of the Ritz Theatre’s latest restoration…
“Hi – a few months ago you ran a photo of the facade of the Ritz Theatre in Wellington, Texas just as were about to start roof repairs.
I’m sending another shot that shows a completely different picture. Windows have been replaced, some paint has been slapped on and the old blade sign has been returned complete with new neon.
July 26, 2004
I purchase and restore old theaters. If you know of any theaters that are closed down and are for sell, please contact me as I am always buying theaters to restore and re-open. If you would like to see your old home town movie theater re-opened, please drop me a line. I also am always purchasing theater equipment. If you have any projectors, platters, popcorn machines, or any other theater equipment, please contact me.