April 20, 2017
From the Palm Beach Daily News: The iconic “Paramount” sign crowning the façade of the historic Paramount Theatre Building has deteriorated beyond repair and is in line to be replaced with an exact duplicate. But first the Town Council must approve a variance for the replacement, which, at 156 square feet, will be far larger than the 20 square feet allowed under today’s code.
The sign is original and has adorned the building since 1926, architect Gene Pandula told the Landmarks Preservation Commission on Wednesday.
“The sign is obviously an extremely important historic element of the building,” Pandula said. It “has been one of the constants of this building, even as other changes were made over the years.”
The sign is made up of individual letters, each 30 inches tall, which are no longer lit because the wiring is in bad condition, he said.
“It does need to be replaced,” Pandula said. “It’s been turned off for a while now. It’s not in an appropriate condition to plug in.”
April 13, 2017
From the Main Line Times: After having been empty for the nearly three years following the abrupt closing of the Philadelphia Sports Club in the summer of 2014, a new business has opened up inside the former Ardmore Movie Theater.
Husband and wife team Bruce and Zofia Halpern own Tropicraft, a store that specializes in outdoor patio furniture.
From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: The gravel lot is an unremarkable expanse dotted with hundreds of short poles whose purpose might mystify many people. Even the two huge white rectangles rising on steel struts toward the sky may be something outside their experience.
Here, atop 17 acres on the west side of Belleville, sits a rare drive-in picture show, open for a 68th season as a theatrical dinosaur in the movies-on-your-phone era. But a healthy dinosaur, owner Steve Bloomer insists.
Lots of East Siders will remember the family name from the Bloomer Amusement Company, whose chain of theaters flourished through the 20th century. Its first opened in Freeburg 100 years ago. The lone survivor — outliving the company itself — is the Skyview Drive-In, at 5700 North Belt West.
It also outlived all the St. Louis region’s other drive-ins.
From the New York Post: A Hamptons nonprofit group led by artist April Gornik — the wife of painter Eric Fischl — is taking over the Sag Harbor Cinema, which was damaged by a December fire.
The Sag Harbor Partnership’s buying the theater from owner Gerald Mallow, who’s owned the theater of 38 years. Gornick’s group aims to raise funds from private donors through SagHarborPartnership.org for the renovation, and to launch the Sag Harbor Cinema Arts Center with year-round “education, outreach and programming.”
New plans include a café and the theater’s art deco facade will be rebuilt, complete with the original, salvaged sign.
A July 16 fête will honor Mallow and benefit the cinema.
April 7, 2017
From the Calaveras Enterprise: The Angels Camp Theatre opened its doors Feb. 9, 1924, as the Mother Lode Theater, with a miniature revue accompanied by a five-piece band. Since then, the theater has seen many changes, yet has always been an integral part of the community.
“It’s magical,” said Jeff Olson, the manager since 1999, of playing movies in the city. “I get to watch kids grow up and share in that magic.”
Olson believes movies are not just for entertainment; they make memories.
From The State News: This June will be the 30th anniversary of the closing of East Lansing’s last movie theater, the Campus Theatre, whose lobby once sat at the Grand River Avenue location that is now the textbook section of the Student Book Store.
Student Book Store assistant manager Mike Wylie grew up in the Lansing area, and he fondly remembered seeing movies like “Thunderball” at the Campus Theatre as a child.
“I (grew up) in a neighborhood with a lot of kids,” Wylie said. “You rode your bicycle down here and went to a movie.”
It has been nearly three decades, though, since anyone has ridden their bike to a movie on Grand River Avenue.
Until the 1980s, downtown East Lansing had two movie theaters: the Campus Theatre and The State Theatre, which hosted films and sometimes live performances. When MSU alumnus and Curious Book Shop owner Ray Walsh was at MSU in the 1960s and ‘70s, he said he saw films at both theaters.
April 4, 2017
From the Lansing State Journal: Known to most as The Michigan Theatre and Arcade, one of the grandest theaters in the state opened as The Strand Theatre in 1921 on South Washington Avenue.
Originally intended for vaudeville and live events, it was designed with a long arcade that included two levels of shops. The cost was a then-outrageous $500,000.
The theater started showing films in the 1920s. Ravaged by fire in the 1930s and partly razed in 1983, it’s now known as The Atrium Office Center. What’s left of the tiered balcony is still visible on the building’s east side.
Other Lansing theaters included The Gladmer Theatre, The Bijou Theater, The Capitol Theatre, Colonial Theater, Empress Theater, Garden Theater, Orpheum Theater, Plaza Theater, Avenue Theater and the Theatorium.
East Lansing’s State Theatre, at 215 Abbott Road, came along in 1927 and had 800 seats. The Campus Theatre, at 407 E. Grand River Ave., East Lansing was built in 1950 and seated 1,500.
March 28, 2017
From The Joplin Globe: When the 66 Drive-In Theatre — one of the few today with roots on the route — opens Friday, it will be in the care of new owners for the first time in more than three decades.
Tourists who today come from around the world to experience America’s Route 66 history are joined at the theater by locals, many of whom have early memories of the drive-ins that once dotted the region.
As a girl, Amanda Pearish-Rinehart spent weekends going to drive-in theaters with her family, and she said supporting the Carthage theater seems like the right thing to do.
Plus, it’s fun.
“I spend about half of what I spend to take them to a regular theater, and we have a much better time,” she said.
Nathan McDonald didn’t grow up around drive-in theaters, but he said they got into his bloodstream during his 10 years of working at the 66 Drive-In as a security guard.
From the Denver Business Journal: Los Angeles-based Landmark Theatres is selling its Olde Town Arvada 14 Theatre on April 2.
A spokeswoman from the company wrote in an email: “As of April 2nd the theatre will be closed. As of Thursday, April 6, the Olde Town will be in the hands of new owners. Thank you for your years of patronage.”
March 20, 2017
From WUFT.org: The Ocala Drive-In Theatre in Belleview brings the Americana experience of old drive-in theaters to a new generation.
Though the drive-in first opened in 1948, it has closed, reopened and changed hands several times since then. It’s also had many updates since it first opened, including new projectors, projector bulbs, screen paint and sound systems.
“Nostalgia. A lot of nostalgia here,” said Nancy Bigi, a cashier who currently works at the drive-in and who worked there in the ’70s and ’80s. “It brings back old memories, [for me] and the new generation,” Bigi said.
Like a drive-thru restaurant, you pay at the first window and then pull forward. The inside of the theater is a field with two screens on opposing ends with a projector booth and concession building in the center.
Typically, the drive-in shows two movies in one session for $6 per adult. A refurbished concession building offers the Ms. Pac-Man arcade game and snacks for movie-goers. The concession building also has several painted murals on each wall to enhance the retro aesthetic.
The large grassy area and a larger arcade present opportunities for fun for the whole family. When the drive-in isn’t showing movies, it hosts flea markets in its 20-acre field.