August 26, 2008
LOS ANGELES, CA — The 82 year-old Westlake Theatre in Los Angeles' MacArthur Park has been operating as a swap meet for the past 16 years. Now there are plans to renovate the theatre and turn it back into an entertainment center featuring both films and live performances. However, a lot of the locals aren’t happy about those plans.
Earlier this year, a city redevelopment agency bought the neglected theater, drawn by its charming potential and historic appeal. Plans are underway to turn it into an entertainment hub offering a mix of film and music shows, along with programs and classes for the community. Affordable housing would be built next door.
Some neighbors such as Sandra Romero, an activist and co-founder of nearby Mama’s Hot Tamales Cafe, see an opportunity to give more to residents and entice outsiders to visit the area. She pictures the theater as a place for youths to learn, artists to flourish and families to safely enjoy the district, as she used to do with her grandmother in the late 1950s.
Read the full story in the L.A. Times.
(Thanks to ballookey for providing the photo.)
August 22, 2008
CARSON, IA — Still up and running, the Dreamland Theatre has been run by a local business club and they manage to be successful.
The Dreamland Theatre is considered the first or second oldest theater in Iowa. It opened in Carson during the 1920s.
After being privately owned, the Carson Business Club took it over in 1954.
“We kept everything the same,” said Joyce McClain, member of the business club. “We only updated the system.”
Read more in the Non Pareil Online.
August 18, 2008
COSHOCTON, OH — With new nearby competition hurting the Hollywood Studios Theatres business, the owner decided to shut it down for a few weeks to rework their model.
He said the reason for the closing was a “reorganization” of his theater businesses.
“You get to the point where you need to reorganize, so you shut down, reorganize, reopen and hopefully get back on your feet,” he said.
Siegel said that grosses were down 15 percent this year from the year before and that last year’s grosses were down 15 percent from the year before that.
Read more in the Coshocton Tribune.
August 14, 2008
KENOSHA, WI — While the future of the Roosevelt Theatre might be the primary concern, other Kenosha theaters are working to make ends meet as well.
“Kenosha cannot support four theaters” was a common refrain as the city debated the fate of the Roosevelt Theatre. That particular question became somewhat moot after the City Council approved contracts to tear down the 80-year-old theater at 2908 Roosevelt Road on Monday.
But three other city theaters are still working out the scripts for their future. And each theater has a different ending in mind.
Read the full story in the Kenosha News.
August 12, 2008
CEDAR RAPIDS, IA — Damage to the ornate Paramount Theatre from flood waters that enveloped downtown Cedar Rapids June 11, 2008 was revealed to the media this week. Water rose as high as nine feet inside the theatre at the height of the flooding and destroyed or seriously damaged much of the lower portion of the auditorium. Plaster from the flood line down has been completely removed leaving bare terra cotta brick work which must also be removed. The stage has been stripped down to its concrete base and all main floor seating has been removed.
The theatre underwent a $7.8 million restoration to return it to its former glory in 2003-2004. After completion of the demolition of the damaged portions of the interiior an assessment will be made of the total costs to restore the theatre.
An article, along with six photos of the interior damage can be found at the Gazetteonline.com. The photos can be accessed by clicking “Photos: Paramount Tour” at the beginning of the article.
August 11, 2008
PALO ALTO, CA — The Stanford Theater and their classic film programs are featured in The Stanford Daily newspaper on August 7th. The article has a history of the theater and the reason that David Packard decided to buy it for his non-profit foundation.
Besides hoping to expose people to the Golden Age of movies, the Stanford Theater Foundation hopes to educate its guests about the art of early films.
“We want to make people aware of the need to preserve the old films,” explained Mortensen. “It’s not a permanent art form.”
The founder of the Stanford Theatre Foundation, Packard, agrees. In 1988, he told The New York Times, “Gradually, people are going to realize that these films are that important. When the classical scholars look back on the 20th century 1,000 years from now, what are they going to find valuable?” The movies of the Golden Age.
Read the story at the Stanford Daily .
(Thanks to catbagan for providing the photo.)
BOONE, IA — The Boone Theatre is under new management and the new owners are ready to revamp it a bit.
While Boone’s sole movie theater may not appear too different on the outside, there have been some changes happening behind the curtains, namely the new owner of the theater.
Big Time Cinema, a growing company based out of Grimes, recently purchased the theater, and has added it to their growing family of cinemas.
Read more at the Mid Iowa News.
August 8, 2008
(1) This morning, the Philadelphia Historical Commission unanimously voted to add the Boyd Theatre to the PHILADELPHIA REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES!
An overflow, standing room crowd of about 70 people attended. When asked to stand if they supported the nomination, they all stood! THANKS to many supporters who appeared.
WINDSOR, ONTARIO, CANADA — A regional senior justice ruled in favour of the city of Windsor concerning the bankrupt Capitol Theatre. The city paid $1.8 million to help save the theatre from demolition and the judge ruled that it was a mortgage and not a grant.
The theatre was occasionally opened for events until the supervision of the theatre’s bankruptcy trustee. Even if the trustee does not appeal the ruling, there are other legal issues to be resolved before the theatre’s future is finally determined.
Additional info from the Windsor Star.
August 5, 2008
CHICAGO, IL — With the deal on the Uptown all but done, one of the new owners, Jerry Mickelson of UTA II and JAM Productions speaks out to the Uptown family.
It’s only been one day (now going on two) since the foreclosure sale occurred. You should know there was only one bidder who showed up on July 29 to purchase the Uptown Theatre and that was UTA II, a company whose members include but are not limited to Arny Granat and myself. While initially being surprised that we were the lone bidders, we fully understand why others did not show up. The fact of the matter is that the Uptown Theatre is a daunting project that faces many challenges for it to re-open. Not only will this be a very expensive project, it will take an incredible amount of time and effort to put the pieces of this intricate puzzle together in order to ensure the Uptown Theatre’s future.
We don’t have all the answers today about how all of this will come together but we do know a couple of things; (1) the Uptown Theatre now has owners who truly care about saving and preserving this architectural gem; and (2) we will reach out to all of you at the proper time to have you hopefully join with us in our effort. The Uptown Theatre would not still be here today if it wasn’t for you and Alderman Smith and probably won’t be here in the future without you and the Alderman.
Read the full letter at Uptown Chicago History.