September 12, 2005
A photo-article in the Providence Journal of September 1, 2005 discusses continuing plans to convert the former Bomes-owned Art Cinema (formerly Liberty Theatre) to a neighborhood “community space where arts and culture are displayed and celebrated.”
The building, opened in 1921 and closed since 1975, is currently owned by the Providence Redevelopment Agency, which takes ownership of abandoned properties.
The consensus among area residents is to turn the building into the “Liberty Theater Cultural Center, a facility that could serve as a multi-cultural arts and education resource for the South Side and the entire city.” Under the plan, the center would have space for live theater and dance, musical performances, film and culturally diverse performing arts.
The article reports that plans would likely include gutting the interior and replacing electrical, plumbing, heating and air and sprinkler systems, according to an assessment by the Urban Design Group. Cost estimates range from $2.5 million to $3.5 million.
BERKELEY, CA — Just when it will happen remains a question, but the closed UC Theatre is being sought after as the home of a jazz club.
Gloria Mendoza and Michael Govan, until recently operators of Kimball East, a prominent jazz club, have submitted an application for approval with the City of Berkeley for a plan to reconfigure the theater, replacing the row seats with fixed U-shaped booths seating 596 people. Additional movable tables and chairs could increase the capacity to 900.
But there are a few things to be settled before the revitalizations can commence.
More details available from this report by Richard Brenneman in the Berkeley Daily Planet.
September 6, 2005
WANYNESVILLE, NC — The Asheville Citizen Times has reported that the long closed Strand Theatre in Waynesville, NC has been purchased by Joey Massie who plans to renovate and reopen the old theater which closed in 1981.
Highland Forest, a land developer, has signed a lease to use the front space to promote its projects. The funds paid for the lease will allow Massie to refurbish the marquee, facade and lobby area. The citizens of Waynesville are thrilled to see this old theater be renovated because it has been an eye sore and has been deteriorating since it closed.
August 19, 2005
WELLINGTON, TX — Deep in the heart of West Texas, big and bright doesn’t describe just the stars anymore.
On Aug. 5, Historic Wellington, Inc. in the Panhandle town of Wellington, Texas had residents dancing in the streets under the neon glow of the newly restored facade of the Ritz Theatre.
Restoration of the 1928 mission-style theater began in 2003 with the removal of tons of debris from the ruined interior and the reconstruction of a new roof.
Local preservationists couldn’t wait until the project was finished before seeing the neon lights glow again. In 2004, Historic Wellington hired Wellborn Sign Co. of Amarillo, Texas to restore the blade sign and marquee. The sign was relit that same year, but it wasn’t until Aug. 5 of this year that the marquee and sign were lit together for the first time at an annual street dance in front of the theater.
Historic Wellington now has funding to complete the entire building restoration, thanks to support from a local family foundation, and final plans are being drawn now. The group credits the Southwest Office of the National Trust for Historic Preservation for jumpstarting the project with an intervention grant in 2002.
When the reconstruction is complete, Historic Wellington hopes to offer live performances as well as classic and first-run films at the Ritz.
July 25, 2005
RESEDA, CA — The Community Redevelopment Agency of Reseda has approved plans to negotiate for the restoration of the 57-year-old Reseda Theater. The CRA bought the theater in 2004 as part of a revitalization plan and hopes to turn it into a facility for live performances.
According to the LA Daily News, the group hopes to restore the neon lights, marquee and terrazzo entryway as part of bringing the theater back to life.
June 27, 2005
GREENPORT, NY — Long Island’s Greenport Village Cinema will re-open the week of June 25th. Major renovations have been going on since February.
Renovations include a cafe, new concession stand and box office. The restrooms have also been upgraded. Work was done on the heating and air conditioning system. New carpet and tile were installed. Work was also done in the projection booths including new automations and lighting controls. The theaters themselves will be renovated after the summer.
June 7, 2005
CRANSTON, RI — The Park Theater, a vintage movie and vaudeville house in downtown Cranston, RI, is in the first stages of a major renovation and expansion. The end result is expected to produce a 1200 seat theater on the footprint of the original theater. An adjoining two story restaurant, conference center and cyber cafe will replace several other now demolished businesses to complete the block long development.
It is expected that the theater will eventually present as many as 100 concerts and theatrical productions annually. The concerts will include a variety of entertainment offerings of a pop, soft rock, country, oldies, jazz, blues and comedy nature. Theatrical presentations will be primarily multi-day and multi-week musical, comedy and drama-based stage shows with scaled down casts but well known lead performers.
May 20, 2005
PITTSFIELD, IL – Grande Venues, headquartered in Wheaton, Illinois, signed a unique consulting agreement with the City of Pittsfield, Illinois to perform a “Modified Arts Assessment and Feasibility Study” for the region. The contract begins immediately to determine if the public will support the Zoe Theatre located downtown Pittsfield.
The theatre has been shuttered for many years. Bill McCartney of the Economic Development Office said that “this is a a good way for us to determine whether the community will support a theatre. Before we spend funds, let’s see if the project will fly.” GVI begins their work immediately. Paul Warshauer, Mike Novelli and their staff will interview the public, members in the arts and education community, city officials, business leaders, and “angels.”
May 6, 2005
Jim Rankin sent us details about a vintage fire curtain that’s available:
Date: Wed, 4 May 2005 20:57:57 EDT
From: (President, Theatre Historical Society, www.historictheatres.org)
Subject: Anyone need a vintage FIRE CURTAIN?
The ULTIMATE collectors item! Tisha Sheldon, one of our friends at the League of Historic American Theatres, has asked if we could send this information on to our NEWSFLASH members.
Please feel free to pass this on to your personal forward list as well. An opportunity like this does NOT come along every day!
Contact Mr. Artillo directly if you are interested.
We are currently converting the “Grand Theatre” in Bristol PA into residential condominiums and would like to see the original curtain preserved if possible rather that destroyed. If any of your members are interested feel free to have them contact me with any questions.
I have attached the best photos I could get due to the construction [Yahoo Groups hosts the Society’s NewsFlash, and Yahoo will not permit photos to be included. Apparently, the photos showed a curtain painted with a scenic of some kind, but you will have to call the man listed below for such details].
Chuck Artillio Keystone Redevelopment Group
420 Mill St. Bristol PA 19007;
April 25, 2005
I’m a masters student in urban planning and we are doing a project or rennovation in urban environments.
I would like to renovate an old theater into a either a jazz club type setting or another musical-type use.
Does anyone know of any projects or have any ideas for a transformation?
Thanks for your help.