• April 22, 2010

    Lansdowne Theatre in suburban Philadelphia on path to restoration

    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

    Efforts to restore Sioux Falls' State Theater boosted by $200,000 grant

    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, fa¬ćade 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’s Loews Kings to be restored

    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

    Regal Stowmarket being restored after arson attack.

    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.

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  • November 12, 2009

    Stalled restoration of Saenger Theater in N.O. to lift off in January

    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 .

  • October 22, 2009

    Arkansas students lead effort to restore, re-open theater

    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

    Effort launched to restore theater in Hernando

    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

    Non-profits aid ongoing restoration of Warner Grand

    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.

  • February 16, 2009

    Beacon Theatre reopens after $16 million restoration

    NEW YORK, NY — New York’s Beacon Theatre reopened after a $16 million restoration.

    It had long been thought that a sparkly, 10-inch-wide, cut-crystal ball — the principal ornament at the tip of the 900-pound chandelier in the rotunda of the former movie palace — was attached with a sturdy bronze fixture.

    But when the chandelier was lowered to be cleaned, rewired and repaired, the real support for the crystal orb was revealed: a vintage 6-inch-tall coffee tin.

    Read more in the New York Times.

  • January 16, 2009

    Plans to restore the Saenger Theater

    NEW ORLEANS, LA — The Saenger Theater was heavily damaged by hurricane Katrina in 2005 and has remained shuttered since then with only enough work to keep it stable.

    Plans to return the theatre to its original 1927 state have been announced by city officials with a hoped for opening date of 2011. As part of its agreement with the Canal Street Development Corp., the Saenger Theatre Parntership group will oversee efforts to renovate the theater. David Anderson, one of the partners said the restoration will keep an eye toward the theater’s original decor, “including gold-leaf accents, life-size statues and lavish chandeliers. Most of that has been lost because of the storm damage. There is a huge amount of time and money that is going to into the authentic restoration of the interior.”

    An article on the restoration can be found at