August 31, 2007
FULLERTON, CA — I am writing to share some good news in our efforts to reopen the Fox Fullerton Theatre. The Fullerton Historic Theatre Foundation has been selected to receive a nearly $2 million grant from the California Cultural and Historical Endowment (CCHE). The Foundation’s grant to restore the Fox Fullerton Theatre was the second highest in a highly competitive process where 194 projects totaling $213 million were submitted statewide, for just under $43 million in available funds.
This was the third and final round to distribute funds made available by Proposition 40, which was passed by California voters in 2004 and included $250 million in funding for cultural and historic preservation. We have applied each year and this is the first time our application has been successful.
We have extended the pre-sale offering of the book “The Incredible History of The Academy Theater” for $40. Please go to www.academybook.org and place your order today. If you would like to order 10 or more books, there is a 10% discount.
Also available a beautiful framed recent color photo of the Academy Tower illuminated at night. This beautiful photo is available here for only $20. Order this limited edition print online today.
Any questions please call 310-357-5462
August 28, 2007
OWOSSO, MI — While the fire-damaged Lebowsky Center is undergoing asbestos abatement in preparation for the partially demolished theater’s rebuilding, its owner is receiving a generous donation.
The Owosso Community Players will receive a donation of the adjacent portion of the Chemical Bank Building from Chemical Bank. The adjacent building had housed the bank’s loan department and two law offices before the fire. The loan department has been relocated elsewhere in the bank building and the former loan department space is considered surplus according to the bank.
August 24, 2007
DARLINGTON, UK — The future of the 1938 Odeon Cinema in Darlington, County Durham, UK, could be uncertain following an announcement that Vue cinemas have secured a 20 year lease to operate a new multiplex, due to open in autumn 2010, less than half a mile away from the Northgate building. The Odeon contains 3 screens, one in the former circle and two smaller screens in the rear stalls.
An article from the Northern Echo has more information.
August 23, 2007
TRAVERSE CITY, MI — I’ve been a part of Phase One of the renovation of the State Theater to get it ready for the Traverse City Film Festival July 31, through Aug. 5, 2007. A permanent 42 ft. long by 22 ft. high Screen was installed on the 45 by 24 ft wall that was built in the middle of the stage that, hasn’t had a permanent screen for quite a few years. A sound system where Boston Light and Sound came in and soundproofed the walls and installed one of the best sound systems in the business.
To top it off, we had 2 state of the art film projectors installed and the roof was replaced after years of neglect. This was all done in less then a month leading up to the film festival. Phase 2 is soon to get started where all the seats will be replaced with seats that will enhance your movie watching experience. The ceiling will be fixed and painted and the marquee will have new glass pains and a coat of paint, keeping with the decor of the 1949 area.
I’m so grateful I got to be a part of this, going down and opening up so the const. Guys would get an early start and stayed till late at night, as the Asst. Project coordinator. We here in Traverse City are looking forward to having it open year round starting in Nov.
August 16, 2007
While in need of some goofy “Monty Python And The Holy Grail” British humor, I paid a visit to the Bay Theatre, Seal Beach, Ca., last Sunday. I was sorry to see the Wurlitzer organ had been recently removed and gone to a church. I am glad the final concert was to a turn-away, sell-out crowd.
However, the program presentation was far from being professional; There was no walk-in music, a bare screen with white floods on it, the leader “count-down” was screened plus projection revealed both sides and upper screen with fuzzy edges and a foot of picture bled onto the lower masking.
And they wonder why the attendance is down?
August 7, 2007
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA — When the 4/36 formerly of the San Francisco Paramount Theatre (nee Granada) was installed in the refurbished Regent Theatre Melbourne in 1996, hopes were high that we would be able to hear this beautiful instrument on many occasions. However, with the theatre’s many live commitments, this has not been possible.
But as part of the Melbourne International Film Festival, they presented the 1925 Lon Chaney silent classic, Phantom of the Opera last Saturday with local renowned organist David Johnston to accompany the movie. David’s expertise with this form of organ presentation made for an exiting event, and hopefully, management will organize another ‘event’ like this soon !
From Ian W.
August 6, 2007
News from Georgia College & State University
August 2, 2007
MILLEDGEVILLE, GA — Georgia College & State University today announced it is proposing to reopen the historic Campus Theatre on Hancock Street in downtown Milledgeville, adapting the buildings interior into a black box performance theatre and retail book store. The theatre, which is a prominent part of the city’s downtown area, was built in 1935 and closed in 1983.
For several years, I have been looking for opportunities that benefit both Georgia College and the community — and reuse of the Campus Theatre as a performance theatre and bookstore is a great fit for both, said Georgia College President Dorothy Leland. Bringing this beautiful building to life once again will not only reutilize unoccupied space, but also play a significant role in the continued redevelopment of downtown Milledgeville.
August 3, 2007
OAKLAND, CA — With the reopening of the the long closed Fox Theatre next year, many eyes are turned toward the future of the aging Paramount Theatre. In a controversy sure to be envied by many of us, what’s a city to do with two refurbished, large-scale movie palaces?
Still, the Paramount’s future may not be so secure. The aging building is in dire need of a new roof, an exterior paint job, and hazardous materials removal — repairs estimated around $1 million. And there’s discussion about increasing the depth of the stage to accommodate more Broadway-type shows, plays, and musicals. “Our bottom line being near the break-even level, only a few things have to happen and we could see losses again,” says board president Tom Hart.
One thing sure to happen is the opening of the Fox Theater in late 2008. The $58 million renovation of the long-slumbering venue, also a city-owned facility, is raising concerns about competition between the two facilities. The Fox’s maximum capacity of more than 3,000 people will be on par with the Paramount’s 3,040. The non-union Fox will be operated by a successful concert promoter, Another Planet Entertainment.
Read the full story at the East Bay Express.
August 1, 2007
BRISTOL, TN — Thanks to whoever asked about this. I’m House Organist on the Mighty Wurlitzer Theatre Pipe Organ at the Paramount Center for the Arts—over 2,000 pipes plus 27 real instruments, drums, percussions, harps, bells, etc mounted in the chambers — all played from the console. I play concerts, accompany silent comedy films, do sing-alongs, plus private dinners, celebrations, and most anything requested.
You can see the organ and Paramount by searching “House Organist Rex Ward” to bring it all up. We’re in the city of the Bristol International Speedway and the “Birthplace of Country Music” -may God help us all. Theatre Bristol is next door—local performing troupes who do great performances — often in the Paramount Center.
I saw a post asking “what about” the place, so I thought I’d explain things. We do an annual Christmas pilgrimage with it ending at the Paramount for a rousing Christmas community show with the organ and others. A few times a year we normally get in some concerts, silent movies, sing alongs, “star look-a-like contest”, under the seat prizes and a few “water throwing” skits, etc etc. Yeah…corny but great fun with good turn out.