August 4, 2010
TRAVERSE CITY, MI — Controversial filmmaker Michael Moore hopes to use the profits from his film “Capitalism: A Love Story” as part of an effort to reopen and restore classic movie theaters. The intent would be to provide seed money, tap into other sources, and provide technical support to cities that have a closed theater as well as providing similar support to towns without a theater.
Moore said theaters that receive project grants would have to become nonprofit theaters. Owners and operators would come here to learn about the State’s volunteer-based model.
He’s spoken to officials in Flint and his hometown of Davison about the project, and was in Manistee on Saturday to scout a long-shuttered downtown movie theater.
The idea excites those who live in towns with theater infrastructure but without the resources to make them vibrant.
The full story is in the Traverse City Record-Eagle.
June 21, 2010
BRYN MAWR, PA — The effort to transform the Bryn Mawr Theater into the Bryn Mawr Fim Institute will be significantly advanced by the award of $2.5 million in the form of a grant from Pennsylvania’s Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program. The theater, born in 1926 as the Seville, will eventually house three modern screening rooms though its classic facade and marquee will remain intact. There is more detail and pictures here.
Meanwhile, in Mt. Lebanon, PA the Denis Theatre Foundation recently received two grants totaling in excess of a quarter of a million dollars which will bring the Foundation very near its goal of acquiring the Denis Theatre built in 1937. The two-phase grand plan is rehabilitate the building with modern systems and an elevator and then operate the theater as a triplex. The story is here at Pittsburgh Live.com.
April 22, 2010
LANDSDOWNE BOROUGH, PA — The historic 1927 Landsdowne Theatre is on the road to restoration. Closed for over two decades, fundraising efforts have now begun after volunteers helped clean the theater and return it to a minimally usable condition. Designed by William H. Lee in a Spanish Mission/Spanish Baroque style, it was once a part of the Stanley-Warner chain.
Schultz eventually envisions the theater as a showplace for movies, theater, stage acts and concerts.
But the miracle behind the restoration is the support from the community and the borough as well as the county and businesses. “The people have really stepped up!”
The effort has seen some 200 people volunteering their time to get down and dirty to clean the theater since October.
There is more here, with a video, in the Daily Times.
February 18, 2010
SIOUX FALLS, SD — The ongoing drive to restore and reopen the State Theatre has made major progress as the result of a matching grant made by the Interior Department’s Save America’s Treasures program. The grant is worth up to $200,000 in matching funds. A capital campaign is being launched to raise additional funds. The theater’s Board of Directors hopes to reopen the theater for movies in 2011.
That could account for about 40 percent of the theater’s $5.7 million restoration budget, Stacy Newcomb Weiland, president of the State Theatre board of directors, said Tuesday.
That includes finished work such as roof replacement, faade restoration, marquee repair, asbestos removal and plumbing and electrical work. Long-range goals include restoring the balcony and repairing the original organ.
Read more here in the Argus Leader.
February 5, 2010
BROOKLYN, NY—After years of false starts and rumors, it seems the Loews Kings is finally being rescued. The building is to be restored by Houston-based ACE Theatrical Group, for possible 2014 opening.
A developer has signed an agreement, made a down payment on a $70 million renovation of the Kings and plans to turn it back into a functioning entertainment venue, this time presenting live performances, city officials said Tuesday.
ACE, which has worked on similar restoration projects throughout the country including the Boston Opera House, will soon begin a review and design process expected to take a couple of years. Preliminary plans call for the space to open as soon as 2014, Mr. Pinsky said. The city has committed $50 million to the project, with another $15 million coming in the form of tax credits and $5 million from the developer, which would also be responsible for any extra spending, said Mr. Pinsky.
Read full article in the New York Times.
December 18, 2009
STOWMARKET, SUFFOLK, ENGLAND — Following an arson attack of the Regal on September 7th, 2009 the building was quickly secured against further damage whilst insurance payouts were agreed and then specialist asbestos removal in the damaged area was completed.
The damage was confined to the stage and screen end of the cinema and will cost around GBP 300,000 to repair, but this is almost entirely covered by the insurance policy and by December 2009 the work is progressing.
November 12, 2009
NEW ORLEANS, LA — Advertising for bids to begin restoration work on the Saenger Theater in the Big Easy which was ravaged by Hurricane Katrina’s flood waters will begin in January. A recent article indicates that the plans will not simply restore the theater to its pre-Katrina appearance, but will result in the theater’s looking more like it did when it opened in 1927 by removing later additions such as the escalator, restoring the auditorium’s original color scheme, and using period hardware. The article includes diagrams and a picture of the damaged interior.
Out of the darkness that has prevailed since Hurricane Katrina, the bulbs of the Saenger’s giant marquee are expected to blink on to mark the coming return of the landmark playhouse that for years anchored the performing arts district along the city’s signature commercial boulevard.
The $38.8 million reconstruction of performance, patron and office space through an innovative alliance of the Canal Street Development Corp., an arm of City Hall, and the property’s longtime private owner-managers, Saenger Theatre Partnership of Houston, was announced to great fanfare in January. Until now, though, most progress has transpired on architects' drawing boards and in negotiations with financiers.
More at NOLA.com .
October 22, 2009
HELENA-WEST HELENA, AK — A group of students at Central High School have decided to put their energies towards restoring and re-opening the town’s former twin cinema, including doing at least some of the actual renovation work themselves with local business support. Their teacher made the proposal to the area Quorum Court (the county government board) recently, which agreed to study
the extent to which the county could lend its backing.
Fox reported that the first seven months rent on the building would be waived.
“These kids are ready to begin work on the theater and have had several businesses say they will help with donations or materials,” stated Fox.
According to Fox, most of the building’s wiring would have to be replaced, as would many seats and restroom facilities. The project would include a lot of other major renovations since the building has been vacant for the past 15 years.
More details in the Daily World.
August 31, 2009
HERNANDO, MS — Memories and stories about the former Von (later called the Bon) Theater are being sought as a part of a recently launched drive to raise funds for the theater’s restoration.
“We’re still in the discussion stage,” attorney Billy Myers said. “What we’re doing right now is getting information together about what other towns are doing. Quite a good number of towns have renovated their old movie houses and turned them into local community theaters and places for the arts. Our goal is to restore it to its original architectural significance. Obviously, there are a myriad of uses for it, and a community theater is one of those.”
Before that can happen, funding has to be obtained. Documentation of the building’s past has to be provided.
Read the full story in the Clarion-Ledger.
July 22, 2009
SAN PEDRO, CA — The continuing restoration of the Warner Grand Theater in San Pedro is being aided by two non-profit groups and films showings to raise funds to aid the effort.
The old theater already has received some help. In 1996, after a private owner threatened to turn the Warner Grand into a swap meet, the city of Los Angeles bought the theater and upgraded the building – adding air conditioning, features that comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, and improvements to the electrical system.
Further upgrades have included installing a new movie screen and a new projection and sound system, as well as replacing the theater’s 1,500 seats with replicas of the originals.
Read more in the Daily Breeze.