November 1, 2007
CHICAGO, IL — According to an article in the Chicago Tribune, movies are making a return to Block 37, the long-vacant block of the Loop bordered by State, Washington, Dearborn, and Randolph Streets. Almost two decades after the last movie palace on the block, the United Artists, along with almost everything else on the site was razed, Muvico Entertainment LLC has signed a letter of intent to open an 800 seat, seven screen movie complex at 108 N. State Street. The Fort Lauderdale-based Muvico recently opened its first movie theater in the Chicagoland area, in the suburb of Rosemont.
The theater is now the second retail tenant announced for the 108 N. State project, along with David Barton Gym. The block will also include, among other things, the new studios of CBS' Chicago affilate, a residential tower, a hotel tower, and a transit station for the “L”, providing express service to the two major Chicago airports.
October 31, 2007
SAN CLEMENTE, CA — The Miramar Theatre has been purchased by an auto dealer, Marc Spizzirri. It was built in 1937 and has been vacant for over a decade. The previous owner of the theatre had planned to build a 40,000 square foot complex of shops and residences but ran into resistance from local residents who wanted the theatre preserved.
Auto dealer Marc Spizzirri has indicated he plans to demolish the rear of the theatre which once housed a bowling alley while keeping the remainder of the theatre closer to its old design.
A complete article on the purchase can be read in the Orange County Business Journal.(reg rquired)
Let’s hope “closer to its old design” means restoration.
LACONIA, NH — Even with its 500 person capacity, people are still rallying to convert the Gardens Theater into a performance space.
The Gardens Theater should be brought back to life as a performing arts center, even though its 500-person seating capacity may be small for some uses.
That was the consensus on Monday during a public hearing on whether the city should authorize the Laconia Area Community Land Trust to apply for a $12,000 federal grant to do a feasibility study for the theater.
The study would include an appraisal and also identify what might be involved in rehabilitating the theater, located on the second floor of the Pemaco Building on Main Street and most recently used by the Christ Life Center, an independent, non-denominational church, that is moving to Lakeport.
You can read more in the Citizen.
October 26, 2007
LOS ANGELES, CA — In the next chapter in its greatly shifting life, the Silent Movie Theatre will become a revival house, curated by the team behind the popular westside movie store, Cinefile.
Coupled with a small cafe and aggressively idiosyncratic programming, the Silent hopes to lure hard-core film buffs as well as the casual moviegoer who might be tempted as much by the camaraderie as the content. To give you an idea of just how eclectic the slate will be: The November and December lineups include nearly 100 films ranging from Michael Haneke’s early TV movies to such schlocky ‘80s flicks as “Ninja III: The Domination” to some new wave films from Czechoslovakia. As before, silent films will be screened once a week, often accompanied by the theater’s longtime organist, 96-year-old Bob Mitchell.
“I want the programming to be like a mix tape,” says Hadrian Belove, who co-programs with the theater’s co-owners, brothers Sammy and Dan Harkham, a.k.a. Cinefamily. “Like when you’re trying to impress someone you have a crush on, you throw in a couple of things they know, but you also surprise them with things they’ve never heard.”
Read the full story in the Los Angeles Times
AMBLER, PA — While no longer a single screener, the Ambler Theater is providing a premium yet classic moviegoing experience as a newly renovated triplex.
While you wait for the long-promised replacement of the murderous seats at International House or for the reemergence of big-screen film at the Prince Music Theater, a trip just 16 miles outside the city to Ambler reveals the near impossible: a discerningly programmed triplex housed in a classic old movie theater.
The process took about as long as a Kubrick movie shoot, but after nearly five years the Ambler Theater finally opened the doors of its main 270-seat auditorium earlier this month.
It was worth the wait. A recent excursion to see Ang Lee’s lugubrious snoozefest Lust, Caution revealed posh stadium seating, glorious sound and sharp, efficient projection inside the main auditorium. Featuring a giant sloped screen that moves to accommodate live events and, in its flexibility, creates the best possible sightlines, the Ambler is now, along with the Colonial Theater of Phoenixville, the best first-run moviegoing experience around.
Read the full story in the Philadelphia Weekly.
October 25, 2007
In case you didn’t know, this weekend’s wildfires could pose a serious threat to that area’s movie theaters. If you have a report of a theater that was damaged by those fires, please comment.
October 19, 2007
HOLLYWOOD, CA — The Egyptian Theatre (or what many would say what’s left of it) celebrated its 85th yesterday.
The term “Hollywood” conjures myriad images — many of them contradictory. But before Hollywood was a state of mind or a brickbat, it was a place. Not much remains of the original Hollywood now, but a few landmarks still command respect, even reverence. Among the oldest is the Egyptian Theater on Hollywood Boulevard. Less storied and glamorous than the Chinese, its younger sibling a few blocks west, it almost didn’t live to celebrate its 85th birthday this month.
Yet about a decade ago, some determined and enterprising folks decided the save the then-bedraggled Egyptian, preserving it as the oldest functioning cinema on Hollywood Boulevard. Not a commercial house, it instead serves as the locus of the American Cinematheque.
Read more in Variety.
October 18, 2007
October 12, 2007
CHICAGO, IL — Madison Square Garden Entertainment (which operates Radio City Music Hall) is buying the Chicago Theatre, the 3600 seat former movie palace. Madison Square Garden is owned by Cablevision (which also owns Clearview Cinemas including the Ziegfeld).
“Madison Square Garden has agreed in principle to purchase the Chicago Theatre,” said a statement from a spokesman for Madison Square Garden Entertainment. “However, there remain several additional details that must be worked out before the purchase can be finalized. We look forward to completing the transaction as quickly as possible and will comment further at the appropriate time.”
The 3,600-seat Chicago Theatre—known far and wide for its long history of live entertainment and its famed marquee—is currently owned by Theatre Dreams Chicago, LLC, which bought the theater from the City of Chicago for $3 million in 2003. Prior to that sale, the City of Chicago had written off more than $21 million in publicly funded renovation costs at the long-troubled venue (the theater had reverted to city ownership following a previous owner’s default).
From the October 10, 2007 Chicago Tribune
Thanks to Katie Mac for passing on the news as well.
LOS ANGELES, CA — Broadway may still be years away from regaining its status as a leading entertainment destination in Los Angeles, but the Orpheum is doing quite well. More concerts and events in years will soon be gracing its stage.
About a dozen concerts, awards shows and events are scheduled for the Orpheum in October, including a recent performance by the Black Crowes and a sold-out PJ Harvey gig Oct. 15. More than 10 additional events are lined up through the end of the year, with others to come.
Part of the success was landing Bill Silva Presents as the theater’s in-house promoter. The company books venues large and small, including the Hollywood Bowl. Needleman also scored a coup when mega-promoter Goldenvoice, which is owned by Anschutz Entertainment Group, agreed to bring additional business to the venue.
You can read more in the L.A. Downtown News.