• September 11, 2008

    Future of Springfield in doubt

    SPRINGFIELD, VT — The Springfield Theater managed to survive a recent fire but the damage may prove too costly to repair.

    The Springfield Theater, located in downtown Springfield, Vt., was damaged by a fire that nearly destroyed an apartment building next door.

    About 100 fire fighters from 20 nearby towns helped put out the July 8 blaze.

    Herb Wisch, who co-owns the Ellis Block with his wife, Daryl, said he wants to rebuild. But that may not be possible if the project becomes too expensive.

    Read more at WPTZ.

  • September 5, 2008

    Local movie theater gets on with the shows

    SLIDELL, LA — Despite the major weather issues, theaters have managed to start opening again inlcuding the Grand 16.

    The shows must go on — at least at one local movie theater.

    The Grand Theater in Slidell was back up and running Wednesday morning, one of first local theaters to bounce back from Hurricane Gustav, offering a diversion — and merciful air-conditioning — for local movie-goers.

    Read the full story at

  • September 3, 2008

    60 years of Paris

    NEW YORK, NY — Great piece by Joe Queenan in the New York Times which captures in his own inimitable style the spirit of the Paris. It is said that many of the Paris patrons don’t see movies anywhere else. The fact is that for 60 years and fortunately still going, the Paris has brought NY the best of French and international cinema with the odd American picture thrown in – some of Woody’s 80’s pictures. Long live the Paris!

    On Sept. 13, the Paris Theater, on 58th Street just west of Fifth Avenue, will celebrate its 60th anniversary. This is a remarkable accomplishment, as the Paris does not go in much for films in which things get blown up. In a city teeming with faux vieux Irish saloons and restaurants adorned with plaques reading “A tradition since 1988,” the single-screen Paris is the real thing, a bona fide vestige of a storied past.

    The Plaza Hotel, which sits directly across the street, may no longer function exclusively as a hotel — it has added condominium units — but the Paris, with its plush seats, plush carpets, microscopic lobby, scalloped balcony and policy of showing just one film a week, remains as it long has been.

    Read the full story in the New York Times.

    (Thanks to kramchang for providing the photo.)

  • September 2, 2008

    Theater stages Obama event

    CHICAGO, IL — Presidential candidate Barack Obama loomed larger than life last night in Chicago, despite his being far away in the center of Denver’s Mile High Stadium.

    In fact, he was a hit at the old thee-ay-ter in the neighborhood. More than 1,500 people gathered in the auditorium of the historic New Regal Theatre, 1645 E. 79th St., last night, Thursday, August 28, 2008, to watch Barack Obama give his acceptance speech live on the big screen. Several media outlets covered the event from the back of the main floor as the crowd cheered and rose to its feet to show enthusiasm for the individual campaign promises Obama made.

    Ron and Regina Evans, the theater’s owners invited the public to watch the broadcast live and for free. Registration was required at

  • August 29, 2008

    The business woes and public virtue of independent cinema

    KITSAP COUNTY, WA — The Lynwood and Orchard theatres find a formula for success with innovative programming.

    By most accounts, it wasn’t a great summer for independent cinema and art houses in Kitsap County.

    Financial scrupulousness aside, mainstream blockbusters and an economic era primed for escapism flooded the media and the mega-plexes, leaving a trickle of fickle support at the county’s two independent film houses — the Lynwood Theatre on Bainbridge and the Orchard Theater in Port Orchard.

    But even with low box office numbers and reports in trade magazines of independent studios closing and bigger studios shutting down their independent arms, the sky is not falling and independent cinema is not on the brink of death. Especially not in an intimate community like Kitsap.

    Read the full story in the North Kitsap Herald.

  • August 28, 2008

    Logan Art Cinema’s future darkens

    LOGAN, UT — After changing formats, there still isn’t enough business for the Logan Art Cinema to break even.

    With ticket sales still slow after a change of format, Cache Valley’s sole art house movie theater could go dark for good.

    In July, the Logan Art Cinema opted to begin showing second-runs of mainstream films in the hope of drawing steady crowds.

    But a winning mix has been elusive, leading the venue’s owners to consider shutting down.

    Read the full story in the Herald Journal.

  • August 26, 2008

    Westlake Theatre renovation causes divide

    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

    Historic theater entertainment center of Carson

    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

    Small town theater closes down for 2 weeks to reorganize

    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

    Local theaters struggle to thrive

    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.