November 29, 2007
LOMPOC, CA — The 1927 Lompoc Theater (population approx. 40,000) kicks off its official restoration project in January or February with a completion target of 12 to 18 months and a cost of approximately $9.2 million dollars.
The theater shut its doors in the 1980s after a steady decline in attendance that had begun in the 1970s. Luckily the family who owned the theatre held onto the property, renting out second-floor offices. When the Lompoc Housing and Community Development Corp. first considered restoration in 2002, the initial concern was the building’s physical viability. Fortunately Earl Calvert who originallly built the theater put the same care into the building as he did the business. Reinforced poured concrete supports made major seismic retrofitting unnecessary. Unlike some theaters, it had never been remodeled into a multiplex or swap meet.
One question facing preservationists was whether to go with the 1927 original or a 1957 remodel, which at 50 years old is also considered historic. In the end it will be a mix, said Ehrlich, noting that preservation officers were delighted by a mirror at the popcorn stand painted with dancing clowns bearing refreshments.
November 21, 2007
OAKLAND, CA — What began as a minimal renovation to reopen the Fox Oakland that was permanently closed in 1984 has launched into a near full restoration effort that when completed, will cost close to $68 million.
At a sneak peek on Thursday night, in which more than 100 people were treated to an insider’s tour of the restoration, the Fox Theater revealed how its intriguing decor once captivated Oakland Calif. audiences. Developer Phil Tagami said the restoration project of the Fox Theater has already raised $63 million, but needs another $5 million for the finishing touches.
When first opened, the Fox Oakland boasted it was the largest theater on the west coast. Among its many decorative touches are two huge Hindu deity statues, one on either side of the proscenium, sitting cross legged, each holding a bowl in their lap. During the heyday of the Fox Theater, bursts of steam were shot up through bowls in the Hindu deities laps, giving the illusion of smoke rising from the bowls as the house lights dimmed and the curtain opened.
November 5, 2007
SEGUIN, TX — The Seguin Conservation Society poised to begin restoration of the Spanish-Colonial, atmospheric Texas Theatre. Original construction began on The Texas in 1929, and it opened in 1931. W. Scott Dunne was the architect and news articles from the grand opening say the interior was designed by King Studios of Dallas.
We are seeking information on other theaters that were decorated by King Studios. Any leads would be appreciated.
November 1, 2007
PITTSBURGH, PA — This article from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette briefly mentions the Roxian Theater being restored.
October 16, 2007
HANOVER, PA – The Hanover Theater has been sold to Historic Hanover Theater, LLC, a group that will be restoring it and operating it as a Performing Arts Theater. Built in 1928 as a Vaudeville and silent movie house by MGM, the theater was originally named the State Theater.
In the late 30’s or early 40’s sound projectors were added and the theater was used as a movie theater up until December of 1986 when it was closed and sold to new owners who planned on converting the building into an antiques mall. The conversion was never completed and the theater has been used as a warehouse for 21 years. The anticipated opening date of the restored Hanover Theater is December of 2008.
For additional information, please visit the theater’s website.
September 11, 2007
DUNFERMLINE, FIFE, SCOTLAND — The Alhambra has been bought by developers who intend restoring this astonishingly well preserved Cinema Theatre back to its former glory as a live theatre.
Read more at the Dunfermline Press.
There also is a new website for this theatre with some photos of the interior here.
August 24, 2007
Both theaters are currently undergoing restorations as part of the new $3 billion Power & Light entertainment district being constructed in the convention hotel area of Kansas City’s downtown loop. More than $60 million will be spent refurbishing the two venues. The Power & Light District retail shops and restaurants are scheduled to begin opening in January, 2008.
The Power & Light District is a 9-square block redevelopment in the south loop of the downtown business district. It takes its name from the former Kansas City Power & Light Building, a landmark art deco skyscraper that was Missouri’s tallest building for decades.
July 24, 2007
WELLINGTON, TX — A five-year restoration effort to save the Ritz Theatre is almost complete. Historic Wellington, Inc., a local preservation group, obtained nearly $2.5 million in private funds to rebuild the 1928 mission-revival building in this small Panhandle town.
The facility is now operated by Wellington Ritz Theatre, Inc. and will be open for movie showings by mid August. The Ritz also will play host to a concert series, and will be one of two satellites of the $30 million Globe-News Center for Performing Arts in Amarillo, Texas, about 100 miles distant.
The theater was featured recently in the Amarillo Globe-News
July 20, 2007
PORTLAND, OR — According to this article in the Salem, Oregon Statesman-Journal, the Hollywood Theatre, once both a vaudeville and a Cinerama house, will be rehabilitated thanks to grants awarded to its current owner, Film Action Oregon.
Hollywood Theatre’s interior architectural history has been under cover for years. But as Film Action Oregon begins a comprehensive preservation plan for the theater, what’s behind the curtains moves into the spotlight.
The organization, which has owned the theater since 1997, just grabbed a $36,500 commitment from the Kinsman Foundation.
The money, along with a $10,000 grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation and a $3,500 grant from the Architecture Foundation of Oregon, will be used for seismic assessment and an architectural study of the building’s interior.
You can read the full story at the Statesman Journal.
May 24, 2007
CICERO, IL — The Olympic Theatre is currently being restored to its original splendor.
Additionally, it will have state of the art audio and lighting. It will be used for a playhouse, concert hall and for special cinema showings.
Please share your knowledge of the theatre’s history.
I will post photos shortly.
If anyone has any fond memories of this classical theatre please post them or to share your memories or to inquire about the Olympic’s status and offerings.