June 6, 2008
This 69-year old movie theater is one of the last bastions of motion picture elegance, especially in this neck of the woods. This is no generic multiplex, but a true movie house. Its single screen is sized just short of a football field, and shows the pictures larger than life, which is how movies are meant to be seen, if you ask me.
The lobby is small and round, holding onto its faded elegance with due dignity. Past the concession stand lies the screening room: tall, wide, and comfortable. It’s as though you’ve come to sit in the great hall of a king’s palace. You would never expect it from the street, but when you take your choice of the 900 seats, it feels special.
What makes the Senator great, though, is not just the building. Buildings fade and crumble, after all. No, what makes the Senator great, what makes it an experience, is its character.
June 3, 2008
MURDO, SD — The Murdo Theater might reopen thanks to a dedicated community.
Kevin Moore, director of the Turner Youth Foundation in Jones County, said the group has been collecting money for three years to fix up the closed movie house. He said $36,000 has been raised for the effort, and volunteers hope to get about $86,000 to complete the project.
Moore says the theater, which was built in the early 1940s, was open for about three decades.
Since it closed, Murdo residents have driven about 55 miles to Pierre to see movies. More recently, they also have gone to Philip, which reopened its theater three years ago.
Read the full story in the Rapid City Journal.
June 2, 2008
CARBONDALE, IL — A partnership has been formed between two arts groups in Carbondale seeking to transform the former Varsity Theatre into a center for the arts. Carbondale Community Arts and The Stage Co. have joined up to bring the former movie house, closed by Kerasotes Theatres in 2003, back to life as the Varsity Center for the Arts.
The entire renovation project is supposed to cost about $3 million according to Jack Langowski, board chairman of the Stage Co. One auditorium and the lobby are expected to open by this fall, in time for The Stage’s 27th season’s kick-off. Another 300-to-400-seat theater, a gallery and intermission space should be completed by 2012, as funds become available.
The city of Carbondale has been trying to decide the best use for the building since November 2007, when Kerasotes announced it was donating the theater building to the city for community use.
Read more on this story in the article in The Southern.
May 31, 2008
PHILADELPHIA, PA: The following was sent in from Friends of the Boyd:
The Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia nominated the Boyd Theatre on May 28, 2008 for designation by the Philadelphia Historical Commission. Philadelphia’s Mayor Michael Nutter announced on May 29, 2008, his support for the nomination and pledged to work to preserve the building. Click here to read the Mayor’s statement.
The Historical Commission notified Boyd Theatre owner Live Nation and scheduled a hearing before its Designation Committee for July 16, 2008. Friends of the Boyd president Howard Haas asserted the Boyd Theatre long ago should have been designated. “It has a beautiful art deco exterior with many original decorative elements intact. It’s about time it was recognized as a landmark.” Inga Saffron reported the story in the May 30, 2008 issue of the Philadelphia Inquirer and it also aired that day on KYW Radio.
May 30, 2008
Here’s an update on the Varsity Theatre in Martin Tennessee, which I covered in my blog, Marathon Pundit:
My Mississippi Manifest Destiny—The Varsity Theatre in Martin, Tennessee
(The photo I took myself, two weeks ago)
ST. LOUIS, MO — The Riverfront Times, the city’s alternative weekly newspaper, posted on Wednesday a photo slide show of several closed movie houses in the St. Louis area and two in Illinois. Most recently closed in the group is the Hi-Pointe Theatre in St. Louis, which is undergoing renovations and new management. The art-house theater’s marquee reads, “Gone Fishin' / See You Soon.” Moviegoers here are anxiously awaiting the opening of the theater, which had fallen into disrepair in recent years.
Photo slide show link
May 29, 2008
The Los Angeles Times has published a “best of” article profiling several L.A. area theatres.
We’re lucky. As blockbuster moviegoing season gets into full swing this Memorial Day weekend, we live in a place where it’s just as easy to see that new, hot indie as it is to see that old, familiar Indy (think crystal skulls). We get to do so in any one of dozens of unique theaters. And the price? Not so bad, considering the alternatives.
In Chicago, for example, the Village Roadshow Gold Class Cinema chain is slated to open a theater later this year that will charge an estimated $35 per ticket. That gets you reserved recliners in a 40-seat theater, food service brought to your seat, special parking and the latest in projection and sound innovations.
But a little intrepid researching around Southern California has revealed all those amenities and then some. Try signature cocktails. Leather couches. Refreshments from around the globe. Granted, they may not all be found at the same theater, but on the other hand, our admission prices top out at $15 — at the El Capitan, of all places.
View the rest of the article here.
May 28, 2008
BRONX, NY — Has anybody heard which theater chain will operate on the site of the Kingsbridge Armory on Jerome Avenue?? Related Companies won the site development proposal from NYC and they have announced a theater as part of a mixed use development plan for the armory.
Months back there it was announced that National Amusements would build on Broadway in the Marble Hill section in the West 200 block area near the new Target store. That project was being developed by Bernard Rosenshein of nearby Westchester County, NY as reported in the Bronx Review Press. Not sure if that project is still active.
SECAUCUS, NJ — Heard that the Kerasotes chain is about to sign a lease to build somwhere in Secaucus. No further details. Anybody know a bit more???
May 24, 2008
Here’s a five-minute video from the History Channel about America’s Eleven Most Endangered Historic Places (which includes the Boyd Theatre), “an annual list that highlights important examples of the nation’s architectural, cultural and natural heritage that are at risk for destruction or irreparable damage.”
May 23, 2008
PHILADELPHIA, PA — Yesterday’s rally to save the Boyd Theatre, recently named one of “America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places” by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, received extensive coverage by the local press.
Thanks to Howard Haas for the links!