August 13, 2008
NATCHEZ, MS — This story broke last week about work on the Ritz Theatre in downtown.
Newly installed thin strips of neon lights run up the top of the building and new sheet metal has been put on the marquee.
The work, which should be completed by fall, is a collaborative effort between the Historic Natchez Foundation and two local companies.
Read the full story in the Natchez Democrat.
August 12, 2008
PHILADELPHIA, PA — Before preliminary renovations ceased, Clear Channel and successor owner Live Nation beautifully restored a section of the auditorium of the historic Boyd Theatre.
This work was done after a Paint Study was done to determine the original 1928 Art Deco design. These photos depict some of the work that was designed to restore the Boyd Theatre to its original Art Deco splendor. Fully restored, the Boyd would be one of the most dazzling theaters in the US.
Friends of the Boyd continue to volunteer to get the project back on track, with a new owner and restoration funding.
(Photo courtesy of Rob Bender of Friends of the Boyd.)
July 22, 2008
MILLEDGEVILLE, GA — The Campus Theatre opened in 1935. It was designed in the popular Art Deco style of the day. The theatre closed 1983 and ownership of the theatre changed hands several times over the years. Talks of reopening the theatre never materialized. In 2006 plans to convert the theatre into a “mixed use” building were discussed. In February 2008 then current owner Randall Hattaway sold the theatre to the Georgia College & State University for approximately $800,000.  Plans were approved]([url=/news/16868_0_1_0_C/) in May of 2008 for a “conversion” of the theater which began in June.
The finalized plans restore the exterior of the theatre, including the marquee and box office, to its original design. The lobby, a portion of the first floor and added basement space will be converted to a book store. The current auditorium will be replaced with a literal black box that will contain a theatre for mixed use presentations. The balcony will be converted into office space along with the current offices already located on the second floor.
June 26, 2008
MOMENCE, IL — The Momence Theatre just east of Kankakee, IL, continues its restoration work. Currently we are making major repairs to secure the roof and get the building closed in for the interior work. Recently an engineering firm was brought in to give an analysis of the building’s condition and it turned out to be better than expected. We now have a plan of attack to move the four center posts holding the auditorium room in place.
The town of Momence, which is an Illinois Main Street community, continues its work to bring all of the wonderful historic buildings back into business. Their facade grant program has been a major help to us with tuckpointing.
June 9, 2008
This extraordinary structure, built as a vaudeville house in 1907 and opened on 6 January 1908, enjoys the finest acoustics of any theatre in British Columbia. Closed since 1990, it is now the subject of a major restoration project headed by developer Marc Williams and the non-profit Pantages Theatre Arts Society.
This restoration will recreate the look and ambience of a century-old treasure. It will offer the most modern technologies available in light and sound, in broadcasting and webcasting, in lobbies and galleries, and in multi-use purposes—all within a unique and meticulously restored house, in Canada’s poorest, but culturally richest neighbourhood.
May 21, 2008
SAN DIEGO, CA — The recently completed Balboa Theatre restoration is winning awards for the meticulous work done to bring it back to its former glory.
The Centre City Development Corporation (CCDC) is being honored with a 2008 People in Preservation, “A Star is Reborn” Award, on behalf of Save Our Heritage Organization (SOHO), as well as a Historic Preservation Award for Architectural Restoration from the City of San Diego Historic Resources Board for the historic restoration of the Balboa Theatre. The vaudeville-era 1,300-seat live performance theater in the heart of downtown San Diego reopened in January and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The project is being recognized for the great attention to detail in restoration of artwork, the color scheme, the 600 light vertical marquee sign and more. Both award ceremonies will be held in May, which is National Preservation Month. The Historic Preservation Award Ceremony is on May 22 and the SOHO Awards Ceremony is on May 30.
Read more at the Centre City Development Corporation.
April 1, 2008
NORTH TONAWANDA, NY — One of the most unique and extraordinary theatre organs in the world, the Riviera Theatre Mighty Wurlitzer, a style 235 built in 1926, has just been restored after four weeks of work.
Originally installed in 1926 at the debut of the Riviera Theatre in North Tonawanda, New York by the world-famous Wurlizer Organ company which headquarted only blocks away from the theatre, this specific Wurlitzer — equipped with (literally) all the bells and whistles that made it perfect to accompany silent motion pictures — is believed to be the quintessential, archtetypical demonstration organ used by the manufacturer to woo their buyers. The Wurlitzer Company in Tonawanda built about 2,300 organs. Of these, fewer than 30 are complete in their original locations: The Riviera’s Wurlitzer is one of that select group.
December 14, 2007
RIVERSIDE, CA — The Fox Riverside Theatre began it’s $30 million dollar restoration last Wednesday with the demolition of the rear wall to extend the intact stage another 27 feet for future theater productions. Ongoing work includes earthquake-proofing, rebuilding the orchestra pit and lobby, adding restrooms, a bar, cafe area, and backstage dressing rooms.
Robert Wise, the city’s project manager, said the theare will be rehabilitated to its original design but will be enlarged in some areas and have other modifications. Architect Richard McCann, who has restored about 30 historic theatres, including The Wilshire in Los Angeles and the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle was hired to restore the theatre. This will be the first time in decades that much of the original interior artwork of the theatre has been exposed.
December 13, 2007
COLUMBIA, MO — For those interested in the actual mechanics of theatre restoration the Columbia Tribune website Columbia Tribune has an extensive article on the complete restoration of the Missouri Theatre including three excellent video documentaries that take you inside the theatre at is lovingly returned to its original pre-depression rococo style splendor.
The 1200 seat theatre opened October 5, 1928 and continued in operation until the 1980s. After owners, Commonwealth Amusement Corporation of Kansas City, threatened to completely gut the auditorium and replace it with a three screen complex citizens of Columbia rallied to save the theatre. Their efforts were successful and the theatre continued to function as a single screen venue until 1988 when the Missouri Symphony Society purchased it.
Although some work was done to maintain the theatre’s integrity it was showing signs of its age. The heating, electric, plumbing and backstage were primitive by today’s standards. Wallpaper installed in the 1950s was water stained and outdated and the terrazzo floors in the lobby were covered by worn carpeting.
December 11, 2007
WICHITA, KS — The Orpheum Theatre, designed by noted theatre architect John Eberson, debuted its latest restoration efforts over the weekend. The public was invited to see the newly restored vestibule and box office completed at a cost of $700,000. It was the first atmospheric theatre built in the United States when it opened on September 4, 1922.
Originally a vaudeville house the theatre converted to films in the 1930s. It closed in the 1970s and remained vacant for 20 years. A restoration project was created in 1993 after the theatre narrowly escaped a conversion to condominiums and commercial space. So far $3.5 million has been spent on renovations said Mary Eves, president of the Orpheum. A total of $13 million is still needed to complete the project.
The theatre reopened in 2000 and is currently being used for both live entertainment and an ongoing film series.