September 25, 2006
GRAND RAPIDS, MI — The Grand Rapids Civic Theatre had its gala reopening on September 20th after a $10 million renovation of the 103-year-old theater. It was renamed the Meijer Majestic Theatre restoring its original name as well as honoring benefactors, Fred and Lena Meijer.
More info is available at The Grand Rapids Press.
September 22, 2006
HUNTINGTON, WV — BACK LIKE IT WAS…AWESOME.
Last weekend 50-60 volunteers teamed up to assist in returning Huntington’s Keith-Albee to its original one auditorium format.
50-60 volunteers showed up to paticipate and more came on Tuesday. Volunteers are readying the vintage theatre for the Dec 12 world premiere of “We Are Marshall,” in which the Keith Albee makes its feature film debut.
Click on Huntington News for more info. A photo gallery is included but you have to go to the main page.
September 19, 2006
PHILADELPHIA, PA — Here’s some more news regarding Live Nation pulling the plug on restoring the Boyd Theatre. As mentioned in the interview posted the other week, the Boyd looks to be in trouble again.
Live Nation, the national media company that promised to reincarnate the sumptuous but shuttered Boyd movie palace as a first-class venue for big, traveling Broadway shows, has withdrawn its construction crews and is reconsidering the project, a company spokesman confirmed yesterday.
Live Nation apparently decided to shut down the project because construction costs on the Chestnut Street theater have risen at an alarming pace, said Duane Bumb, deputy director of the city’s Commerce Department.
For more, visit the Philadelphia Inquirer.
September 11, 2006
HUNTINGTON PARK, CA — For the purpose of preparing a preliminary feasibility study for the Warner Theater in Huntington Park, we are searching for the original architectural plans.
In order to properly evaluate things like exiting issues, accurate dimensions of the building are needed. However, we do not have access to the building, which is why the original design plans would be of great help in coming up with potential future uses for the building.
Supposedly, there is an archive that keeps the drawings of B. Marcus Priteca, the theater’s architect, but I have not been able to locate it.
Does anybody know where I can find those plans?
Historic Consultants, Inc.
September 8, 2006
MERCED, CA — The Merced Theatre is in the midst of a detailed restoration. With the goal of eventually restoring the theater to its original single-screen glory and making it yet again the center of Merced, they are well on their way.
Currently, the roof is being replaced and the tower is getting a structural upgrade. Additionally, they are working to reactivate the ground floor store fronts and attract new tenants. All this should be done in time for their Diamond Jubilee Gala on October 21st. Tickets for this event are sold out right now but you can call 209-722-3266 as the event approaches to see if anything opens up.
They also hold a film series in one of the existing theaters inside of the current quad. “Top Hat” will be shown on September 23 and 24th followed by “West Side Story” and “Doctor Zhivago” later in the season.
To rent the theater, volunteer for the film series, make a donation, or any other inquiries, call 209-722-3266 or write to:
Merced Theatre Foundation
P.O. Box 716
Merced, CA 95341
September 6, 2006
SAN BERNARDINO, CA — This historic San Bernardino theater that hosted the final performance of Will Rodgers before his untimely death is experiencing a new life in a multi-million dollar restoration for performances and conferences with compliant seismic retrofits and expanded catering potential, expanded grid and building rennovation.
The theatre, one of the original Fox chain, now owned by the city of San Bernardino, is host to touring Broadway companies (Mama Mia, Miss Saigon, etc) and the local symphony orchestra under the baton of Carlo Ponti.
August 14, 2006
WINTER GARDEN, FL — The Winter Garden Heritage Foundation has revealed the interior plan for its Garden Theatre renovation. Based upon the design of the 1935 movie theater, the computer realization was done by Phil Baker of the theater’s building committee.
At present, the facade and marquee are being completed. A December 2007 opening is anticipated. Grants have been received from private foundations and the state of Florida, Orange County and the City of Winter Garden. In addition, local citizens have made many contributions.
PITTSFIELD, MA — Town officials are counting on the reopening of the Colonial Theatre to revitalize the Berkshire community.
For decades, the Colonial Theatre symbolized Pittsfield’s glamorous but forgotten past, a silent sentinel that people drove by on South Street without really noticing.
In recent years, the Colonial symbolized a paralyzing divisiveness born of political posturing and the suspicion that any effort to better the city was some kind of attempt by an ill-defined elite to fleece the working man.
For more, read the full story in the Berkshire Eagle.
July 21, 2006
PENSACOLA, FL — In March 2006, the citizens of Pensacola and Escambia County voted to extend the local option sales tax for a renovation and expansion of the Pensacola Saenger Theatre. The City of Pensacola will contribute $6 million to the project and Escambia County will contribute $2 million with the remaining $1 million coming from fundraisers and private donations.
Included in the renovation:
The entire main floor will be re-seated
Balcony seats will be refurbished
New air conditioning for the theater will be installed
New lobby space will be added
Additional restrooms will be added
New refreshment stands
New meeting roooms
New additional entrance
June 22, 2006
CHICAGO, IL — According to this report in the Chicago Tribune, the original marquee of the Biograph Theater has been discovered concealed underneath the existing marquee as apart of the theater’s conversion into a venue for live theater.
It is one of the most notorious marquees in the world, a sheet-metal backdrop to the slaying of Chicago’s Public Enemy No. 1 during an era that put the city on the map as a haven for gang crime.
Upon leaving Chicago’s Biograph Theater on July 22, 1934, bank robber John Dillinger attempted one last escape from the feds after the infamous “lady in red” tipped them off. He was gunned down as he tried to slip through a nearby alley.
On Wednesday, historians attempted to unseal the marquee of the Biograph Theater, which has been encased in what appears to be two marquees at the same location for more than a half century, they say. The marquee is being replaced as part of a $11.3 million renovation by Victory Gardens Theater, which acquired the shuttered Biograph two years ago.