September 14, 2016
From the Los Angeles Times: The iconic Bay Theatre in Seal Beach has sat dark for the past four years, but a Fullerton-based developer with a penchant for historic buildings has recently made it his mission to purchase the venue and rehabilitate it for films, music and the arts.
With the Seal Beach City Council’s vote Monday officially designating the structure as a historic landmark, Paul Dunlap of the Dunlap Property Group is one step closer to breathing life back into the abandoned building. “I personally like preservation and historic buildings,” said Dunlap, who added that he became aware of the art house in early May through friends. “I appreciate the history of the architecture of the area; it helps people have a greater sense of the place.”
Located on Main Street and Pacific Coast Highway, the single-screen theater has been a significant gathering spot for locals since it opened in 1947. It featured independent, foreign and classic movies on 35mm film for $8 admission until it closed in 2012. The noticeably large structure stands out among the boutiques and other shops on Main Street.
From the Democrat & Chronicle: The 87-year-old marquee at the Little Theatre was taken down from the front of the historic East Avenue theater Monday. The marquee will get a renovation that addresses not only its appearance, but also its structure and electrical components, said Jim Malley, facilities manager of the theater.
“Safety was a concern,” Malley said. Zoning laws have changed since the marquee was erected around 1929, and the marquee is no longer in compliance with modern-day codes. As a result, the process will require frequent meetings with the city to get approvals. The goal is to have the marquee back up and running in October or November.
The marquee has had a series of changes and improvements throughout its history. The goal of this restoration is to incorporate the best features of the previous versions and add some new touches as well, he said.
From the Albany Herald: Lane Rosen’s not pointing a finger at anyone but himself. He knows he should have followed up on his “informal proposal.”
But when engineers called him recently seeking information about the historic downtown Albany Theatre,under the mistaken assumption that Rosen owns the building, the downtown businessman decided to speak up.
“Look, I want to make it clear that I’m not blaming anyone in this but myself,” Rosen, who unsuccessfully challenged Albany Mayor Dorothy Hubbard for her seat during the most recent municipal election, said Friday. “I sent out an informal proposal indicating my interest in rehabbing the Albany, but I didn’t really follow up. And I had a few informal discussions with (city commissioner) Roger Marietta and shared my ideas with some of the folks in Planning.
“But I didn’t go through proper channels. So I’m not pointing any fingers. But I honestly thought that by letting people know my interest in that historic building, someone would have at least reached out to see if I was serious. I really thought I’d get a call. But the only call I’ve gotten is from engineers who are apparently in the process of readying the building for demolition.”
And the D-word is not one of Rosen’s favorites.
“I have a love for history, and I have a love for old buildings,” the developer/entertainment manager said. “And I have a five-generations business tie to this community. I don’t know if the driving factor in my desire to try and save that building is familial — my great-great-grandfather built it — or if it’s historic. I guess a little of both.
September 13, 2016
From The Times Union: An ambitious $3 million project to restore the closed American Theater as a first-run movie showcase has won city support for an application for $1 million in state funds.
Bonacio Construction, Bow Tie Cinemas and the city are working together on a plan for modernizing the historic brick theater at 285-289 River St.
The theater project is seen as a catalyst for attracting more people to downtown Troy.
Bow Tie has been successful opening movie theaters in downtown Schenectady and Saratoga Springs, and bringing people from throughout the Capital Region to those cities.
“They’re confident it will do very well as a first-run theater. It’s a great reuse of that site,” said Steven Strichman, the city’s commissioner of planning and community development.
The city is touting the project for a $1 million Restore NY Communities Initiative grant. The City Council voted 9-0 at its September meeting to support the application.
Bringing back the 6,800-square-foot theater has been under consideration for several years; Bow Tie and Bonacio officials discussed it back in 2013. The American Theater has a seating capacity of 450.
The movie theater for many years operated as the Cinema Art Theater showing adult films. The city closed it on March 2, 2006, with police alleging some patrons engaged in sexual acts. The city also removed the marquee on April 13, 2006. In 2012, the city paid Jan DeGroot, the building’s owner, $30,000 to settle his lawsuit about the marquee’s removal.
“We’ve looked at a lot of different possibilities,” Larry Novik, director of business development for Bonacio, said about the building’s future. “Restoring the original use reflects the character of the building.
Bonacio invested $5.9 million to transform the neighboring Dauchey Building at 275-283 River St. from office use into apartments.
The return of a first-run theater is expected to stimulate business downtown.
“It will bring business in. It would be great. It will bring social engagement and social interaction,” said Marla Ortega, chef-owner of the Illium Cafe at 9 Broadway on Monument Square, a short walk from the theater.
Ortega said the city’s burgeoning restaurant scene would benefit from a theater bringing new customers downtown.
“They need another renaissance benefiting downtown,” said Ortega, who compared the movie theater to the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, which attracts patrons to restaurants before and after a show.
The city will hold a public hearing on the application for the $1 million grant at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 28, in the Planning Department Conference Room in City Hall, 433 River St.
The movie theater project will depend on securing the state grants and other funding, Novik and Strichman said.
From the Desert Sun: The closed Plaza Theater in downtown Palm Springs could be on its way to a full restoration, setting the stage for live performances, film screenings, lectures and other entertainment uses.
That’s the recommendation headed to the City Council from a subcommittee set up to explore how to move forward with establishing a new life for the historic city-owned theater.
“I think it’s an amazing venue. I think we’re truly fortunate to have it. And at the same time I recognize, how do we deal with it?” said City Councilman J.R. Roberts at the subcommittee meeting in mid August.
September 12, 2016
From Curbed.com: At the intersection of 13th Street and Michigan Avenue in Chicago’s South Loop there stands an art deco building with strong vertical pillars and textbook, streamlined organic ornamentation. No plaque marks the building, and the city’s online database identifies it only as an office building from the 1920s by Graven, A.S.
It’s the only reference to the work of this particular firm in the Chicago Historic Resources Survey, a 10-year effort to catalog important buildings. In a city overflowing with iconic, turn-of-the-century skyscrapers and high-rises, it doesn’t draw much attention. But it’s far from the firm’s only work, in the city or elsewhere. A 24-story office building still stands at 100 N. LaSalle Street, festooned with the same ornamentation as its cousin in the South Loop. Another stands nearby at 232 S. Wabash, noted in the survey but unattributed. They’re relics of a firm that had a brief, shining run designing palatial buildings across the country in the early 20th century.
Anker Sverre Graven was the principal of an eponymous architectural firm when it was located at 100 N. LaSalle. He had originally founded a firm with his longtime partner, Arthur Guy Mayger, in 1926, and the pair went on to design a string of fantastic theaters across the United States.
For the most part, their work stands forgotten. If not for the interest of a former colleague, a little luck, and the recent discovery of the firm’s forgotten archives, much of Graven and Mayger’s architectural work might have gone unnoticed, or unrecorded, just more building from the early 20th century by unknown architects that have been lost to time.
From the Salem News: The sale of the Larcom Theatre became official on Friday when a husband and wife from Beverly purchased the landmark venue for $645,000.
The new owners, Donald and Lisa Crowell, plan to continue the theater as a performing arts center, said former owner David Bull.
The Larcom had been on the market since March, with an original asking price of $699,900. It had been owned since 1984 by a group of performers from the former Le Grand David Magic Company, which also owned the Cabot Theatre before selling that building in 2014.
“I know I share the sentiment that we are absolutely delighted that both the Cabot and the Larcom are continuing on as they were intended as performing arts venues,” said Bull, who played Le Grand David in long-running shows at both sites.
Donald Crowell declined to comment on the sale. Bull described the Crowells as a young couple who moved to Beverly last year.
The Larcom and Cabot are vaudeville-era theaters located less than a half-mile from each other in downtown Beverly. The Larcom, at 13 Wallis St., was built in 1912, eight years before the Cabot.
September 8, 2016
From the Daily Corinthian: For Mississippi’s only remaining drive-in movie theater, the show must go on.
Even after most major film production companies halted the making of 35 mm film used by the Iuka Drive-In last December, manager Earl Curtis had the find a way to keep this drive-in open.
“Thankfully a couple of companies continued to release some of the bigger titles on 35 mm film,” said Curtis, who has leased to drive-in from Bubba Jourdan for the last 30 years. “I think we’ve only shown like five movies all summer.”
The historical landmark on West Quitman Street has been a fixture in Iuka since around 1957. Normally open from April-October, Curtis decided the drive-in could only support June-August or September this year.
“Labor Day might be our last weekend,” he recently told the Daily Corinthian.
“Suicide Squad” and “Central Intelligence” have been showing as a double feature at the drive-in for more than a month.
“I know our customers have got tired of the same couple of movies being shown this year, but we’ve been trying the best we can,” he said. “It’s better to be open and show the same thing, then to be closed for good.” Earlier this year, Curtis launched a Gofundme online account to try to raise the $50,000 needed to update the drive-in’s old 35 mm projector to a new digital projector.
A month ago he found an even better deal.
“TriState Theater Supply has a used digital projector for $10,000 and our plans are to get that one. Hopefully, we can have it upgraded by next year and back to showing first-run movies,” said an excited Curtis.
With less than $8,000 to go, Curtis said they can’t do it without the community’s continued support and donations.
“People have been pretty good to us,” he said. “So with everyone’s support, I don’t think there’ll be a problem to get to the $10,000 we need.”
(Online donations can be made at gofundme.com/keepiukagoing. For more information, visit facebook.com/iuka.drivein.)
Read more: Daily Corinthian – State s only drive in looks to upgrade
September 7, 2016
From The Tennessean: An affiliate of a Utah-based real estate investment company is the new owner of the apartments and retail space at the redeveloped historic former Melrose theater in Berry Hill.
Salt Lake City-based Cottonwood Residential paid an undisclosed price for the seven-acre property at 2600 Franklin Pike.
The purchase included the 220-unit The Melrose apartments and more than 26,000 square feet of fully leased retail and restaurant space with Sinema, The Sutler Saloon, Fenwick’s 300 and beauty salon Lunatic Fringe as tenants.
“It was an exciting project for the Parkes and the Fulchers to be able to redevelop this iconic property and restart the development of the Melrose area,” said Joe L. Parkes Jr., president of Franklin-based Parkes Development Group.
Along with Ed and Mary Fulcher of Nashville-based Fulcher Investment Properties, Parkes redeveloped the former 1940s-era movie theater and bowling alley space into the mixed-use development that Cottonwood Residential just bought.
Parkes said proceeds from the sale will help to fund the construction he and the Fulchers along with co-investor Cottonwood Residential have underway on a second phase of The Melrose development that’s expected to include 139 apartment units and 8,500 square feet of retail space.
That 1.2-acre site at the southeast corner of Franklin Pike and Kirkwood Avenue includes the former Regions Bank branch at 2610 Franklin Pike and former fabric store location at 2608 Franklin Pike. Regions Bank will move back into a portion of that new mixed-use building.
The sale of the first phase of The Melrose development comes shortly after The Sutler’s owner, restaurateur Austin Ray’s A. Ray Hospitality, took over the lease for the basement space at the historic former theater where Melrose Billiards has been the longtime tenant. Melrose Billiards will close at the end of this month with Ray planning a similar concept to replace that pool hall dive bar, which has been a fixture in Berry Hill’s Melrose area for more than 70 years.
In the Nashville area, Cottonwood Residential’s portfolio of owned and/or managed apartment complexes 1070 Main in Hendersonville and Cason Estates in Murfreesboro.
Among other Nashville area projects, Parkes was co-developer along with Oldacre McDonald of the Nashville West shopping center in West Nashville.
September 6, 2016
From the Star Tribune: Theater Latté Da has purchased the historic Ritz Theater in northeast Minneapolis. The company moved its administrative offices into the building in September 2014 and had been producing shows in the 245-seat auditorium since 2015. The terms were not announced.
“We will continue to deepen our relationship with northeast Minneapolis,” said artistic director Peter Rothstein. “The Ritz is a fantastic building and we’re thrilled to be part of its next chapter.”
The company, which specializes in reinterpreting musical classics and creating new musical theater, had entered into an exclusive negotiating arrangement last March with the Ritz Foundation, which owned the building at 345 13th Av. NE. Rothstein said the deal was finalized Monday.
Latté Da has grown from an itinerant troupe that staged cabarets in small venues to one of the prominent midsize companies in the Twin Cities. Rothstein was named the Star Tribune’s Artist of the Year in 2015. The company’s annual budget was $1.3 million in fiscal 2015, according to tax filings.
After producing shows for several years in the now-defunct Loring Playhouse, the company had been without a permanent performance space since 2006. The Ritz purchase means that for the first time in the company’s 18-year history, Latté Da will have administration, rehearsal and performance spaces in the same building.