July 1, 2008
BROOKLYN, NY — Using this website, one writer takes a closer look at the present state of Brooklyn cinema.
While Brooklynites may be familiar with their borough’s theatrical heritage, from BAM to the neighborhood multiplex, movie theaters of the past may reveal even more about our cultural roots. Brooklyn secreted a warren of intriguing movie theaters with equally interesting names.
From the days of Brooklyn’s Vitagraph Studios, Brooklynites became hooked on cinema. To document this allegiance to movies, I discovered a website, “Cinema Treasures,” which lists the history of theaters worldwide. Brooklyn stands among the most popular locations with a history of old theaters in the world. Many, if not most, of these small theaters have vanished in the dust of progress just as many images of those early movies no longer exist.
Read the full story in the Brooklyn Eagle.
June 30, 2008
HEMPSTEAD, TX — The Hempstead Theater located at 740 12th Street is alive and well. The picture posted by “Lost Memories” is actually an old theater, long torn down, that was located at Austin Street and Hwy 6 in Hempstead.
The old theater was owned by Jessie Powell who rented the building to Jimmy and Dorris Needham, who operated the theater until 1979 when they built the present theater at 740 12th Street. Jessie Powell was the son-in-law of Rigby Owens who owned a chain of theaters in East Texas and Louisiana. The Needhams operated the 12th Street theater until 2008 when my wife and I Tina and David Fehrenbach purchased it on April 30th, 2008 and opened as new owners on May 1st with “Iron Man”. The theater is a one screen and has a capacity of 210. Hempstead has had an operating theater since the 1930’s I believe.
June 24, 2008
In India, some classic theaters still standing are fighting back at the multiplexes by investing dollars in bringing their amenities up to date.
These halls are gearing up to give a tough fight to the multiplexes. They have invested a lot in providing modern amenities in their halls.
Huge investments are also made on spruce up the ambience marked by these halls to give viewers a better movie experience. The owner of a famous cinema hall in the city has spent over Rs 50 lakh on restructuring the interiors of his movie theatre.
“The viewers are very particular these days. It is also because of the varied choices, ranging from numerable cinema halls to multiplexes, they have. A viewer will only opt for a movie hall where he gets the best of comfort,” said senior manager of an eminent cinema hall in Lucknow.
Read more at Business Standard.
June 23, 2008
This MLive article looks at some of the remaining drive-ins in Genesee County, Michigan.
Few places unleash summer like Michigan’s drive-in theaters.
Offering an entire evening’s entertainment without guzzling gas, drive-ins are a steal among summer entertainment options.
“It’s a bargain,” said Burton businessman Steve Welch, who remembers bounding into his family’s Rambler station wagon on summer weekends. “You get two movies instead of one.”
June 19, 2008
MASSILLON, OH — In order to compete with the new cineplex in town, the Lions Lincoln Theatre is now showing only classic movies. They are starting July 4th 2008 with “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”.
It looks to be an exciting schedule with “Singin in the Rain”, “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “Universal Monster” double features in October. Their website will be updated shortly.
June 18, 2008
Hi, my name is Larry. I own two vaudeville theaters in Butler, PA. The Lyric Theatre, opened in 1908, now houses the main bar and dining areas of my restaurant: The Brick House. You can view it as it looks now at my website. Sorry, the stage and other elements were long gone by the time I arrived to weld my hammer and paint brush.
But, I have a secret. Along side the Lyric Theater was The Capitol Theater. And it’s still there!!! It sits on the second floor in “the land that time forgot”. That’s what I call it anyway. Closed in the early 1950’s, it was saved by The Eat ‘n Park Corp. – A Pittsburgh area chain restaurant. They built a downtown Butler location in the early 70’s on the first floor of the Capitol Theater building, carefully preserving the theater above.
The Capitol is in disrepair but I am currently seeking funding to restore it to its original splendor. There are even dressing rooms where the vaudeville actors must have changed! So while I respect that you have the Butler Theatre listed (I can send you pics) I have the last remaining vaudeville theater in the area. More in the near future.
June 16, 2008
WICHITA, KS — The owner of the Old Town Theatre is looking for help from the city in order for the theatre to keep going.
Bill Warren is asking the Wichita City Council for a $6 million low-interest loan and a reduction of parking fees in order to keep his Old Town theater open.
According to an analysis by the city’s staff, “The Old Town Theatre is a popular destination in Old Town and serves as a major attraction to bring patrons to the Old Town area. However, its relatively small size, compared to norms in the movie theater industry, has created negative economies of scale that have resulted in significant financial losses during the theater’s first five years of operation.”
Read the full story in the Wichita Business Journal.
In this chronicle, MLive.com discusses the state of southwest Michigan drive-in theaters.
This is the first in a three-part series looking at Southwest Michigan’s drive-in theaters. This summer marks the 75th anniversary of the opening of the nation’s first drive-in theater in Camden, N.J. It’s also the 70th anniversary of the first Michigan drive-in theater, the Eastside Drive-In Theater in Harper Woods, which opened May 26, 1938, and closed in 1977. Today, there are nearly 400 theaters across the country and 10 permanent theaters in the state.
June 9, 2008
NOVATO, CA — The Novato Theatre has a party interested in reviving it but could it possibly be successful. This article discusses the current situation of this and other Northern California theaters.
Will Tallen and Keshen hand over the theater’s operations to a nonprofit organization, such as the one that runs the Rafael Theater in San Rafael?
Would Tallen and Keshen install tables and sell beer, wine and food so that moviegoers could have drinks and dinner?
How can Tallen and Keshen make a profit after buying the theater from the city and completing needed renovations, such as making the old building comply with Americans with Disabilities Act?
Read the full article in the Novato Advance.
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.