December 26, 2007
Courtesy of THSA:
Aberdeen, WA, is joining the ranks of cities with a restored theater, the D&R. The theater was derelict for many years and was in very poor conditions. On December 21, 2007, a new marquee and blade sign were tested and it was spectacular. It appears that in May, when it reopens, it will prove to be a world class venue and a masterful restoration.
John Yonich’s, the owner, current plan is to have only live performances at the D&R. He would like to buy and restore a second theater “The Aberdeen,” currently a church, for movies.
As many of you know, this is deja vue all over again for me. But, for once, I have had nothing to do with these projects except as a spectator.
If any of you have any material on or artifacts from either of these theaters, please let me know.
Please get the word out about this project and lets get some press.
December 25, 2007
CHICAGO, IL — During a Sunday night broadcast of ABC7 News at 10 p.m., a minivan crashed into a glass wall of the WLS-TV studios disrupting the live broadcast at the former location of the State-Lake Theatre. The driver was arrested and the broken glass was boarded up.
There was no structual damage to the historic State-Lake Building. Further details including video from WLS-TV.
December 21, 2007
PLEASANT HILL, CA — Yes, one at least remains, the Dome, undivided and intact, apart from the original screen. It’s the CineArts. I went to see Atonement this week and spoke with a manager. There is only one screen there, (he has been behind the present screen and there is no other, so likely the original is gone). There is only one projector in the dome and apparently no capacity to do 70mm, (I stayed through the credits and watched an employee carry a big reel, (platter size?) to another theater as they were showing it in two, and didn’t seem to have interlock between the two).
I specifically asked why the curtains weren’t used anymore. He said they weren’t automated, but they manually moved them depending on the screen size needed. If they were ‘motorized’, they don’t work anymore. (They did for Titanic, which played for weeks, but that was ten years ago.)
December 18, 2007
SPRINGFIELD, OH —
From today’s Springfield News-Sun:
One of only two surviving downtown movie theaters, the State officially is vacant again.
The other theater, the Regent, is just now beginning the slow march toward renovation with a new roof after 15 years of sitting empty.
But the State — while it needs work, too — at least has had activity going on inside.
“The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari” with a new live score will be shown in late March, 2008. I’ve been given the go-ahead to try to start a new classic film series at the State Theater.
December 14, 2007
ST. KILDA, MELBOURNE, VICTORIA — The venerable Astor Theatre opened on Friday, April 13, 1936. It is one of Australia’s last remaining single screen movie palaces still in operation. The theatre has seen very few alterations and has survived mostly intact. The interior has been repainted and a new wall to wall screen was added in 1998.
In was saved from demolation in 1967 when the owners converted it to a Greek-language theater. It was also used for occasional concerts. After a brief closure from February to September of 1982 it returned to film presentation and currently runs classic double features along with occasional blockbusters.
The theatre was recently put up on the auction block and received one bid for $2.5 million dollars, a bid which was passed on by the owners. One of Victoria'a top private grammer schools, St. Michael’s, saw an opportunity to expand its current 150 seat studio and offered $3.8 million for the theatre 20 minutes after the previous offer was declined. That offer was accepted by the owners. The theatre, conveniently located across the street from the school, will be used for school concerts and speech nights.
The great news for cineastes is that when not in use by the school it will maintain its program of classic and independant films. Additionally St. Michael’s head Simon Gipson said the school would clean and repaint inside and out, while protecting heritage-listed features. Mr Gipson said: “We are honoured to have become the custodians of a building that holds such architectural and emotional significance for St Kilda.”
An article on the purchase can be found at Theage.com website.
December 13, 2007
CHARLESTON, SC — Longtime Cinema Treasures member Michael Furlinger brings a superior moviegoing experience to Charleston with the Terrace Theater.
Exuding a mix of charisma, panache and insouciance, Michael Furlinger stands in the foyer of the Terrace Theater, with tiny twinkling lights overhead, greeting theatergoers before a concession stand that includes a bottle of Moet & Chandon Champagne.
Furlinger’s Long Island, N.Y., accent, tinged with a bit of a Brooklyn patois, can be heard clearly across the lobby as he welcomes film aficionados to the Lowcountry’s only art-house theater, and the largest in the state.
The Terrace is where genres appealing to serious film addicts are shown, and Furlinger says he isn’t afraid to show controversial celluloid fare not usually screened in multiplex chains. Since Furlinger bought the theater five months ago, he has continued the tradition of foreign-language films, such as “La Vie En Rose” about French singer Edith Piaf and the global-warming documentary “Eleventh Hour.”
Read the full article in the Post and Courier.
December 12, 2007
SPRINGFIELD, OH — C. Howard Crane, also the architect of the Detroit Orchestra Hall, designed the Regent Theatre which opened on August 16, 1920. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Regent is described as a light neo-classical or Adam style, which is evident by the decorative details on the facade, and the proscenium, balcony and mezzanine decorations of the interior.
The Regent was built as a legitimate theater, but was later adapted to show moving pictures. Springfield’s famed booking agent, Gus Sun, utilized the Regent for his various productions and vaudeville acts. Sun’s booking agency, which was located on the second floor of the theater, was nationally known, and he is credited with giving many young acts, including the likes of Bob Hope, their start in the business.
December 10, 2007
OWOSSO, MI — In a formal ceremony held at the newly dubbed Lebowsky Center Complex on December 4, the Owosso Community Players, received the title to the 9,000 square foot Miner Building from Chemical Bank which had occupied it. The donation was announced last August. Chemical Bank also donated $5,000 to the OCP’s fundraising campaign.
The adjacent Miner building was the location of Chemical Bank’s loan office and storage space before the fire last February which gutted the adjacent Lebowsky Center. The OCP is calling this building the West Annex. Before the bank occupied it, it had housed Kline’s department store. The second floor, with renovations nearly finished, will continue to be leased out to tenants. The first floor is being used as a reception area and rehearsal space. Dinner theater is planned for that space. The basement is currently costume storage. Renovations to the first floor and basement will take place over the next few months.
December 7, 2007
ANCHORAGE, AK — The historic 4th Avenue Theater is once again facing an uncertain future. The theater was strong enough to withstand a 9.2 earthquake unscathed in 1964 but may not survive plans to convert the theater to commercial interests.
Attempts have been made to protect and preserve the theater since 1985 but none have proved successful. Two companies are now mulling over deals to buy the 60-year-old building from owner Robert Gottstein who is said to be negotiating a sale to the national Hard Rock Cafe. If those negotiations are successful it would convert the theater to one of it restaurants. Meanwhile retired contractor Les Sheppard and a local non-profit group are launching a fund-raising campaign to buy and preserve the theater. The cost to purchase it is almost $3 million dollars and time is running short for proponents of preservation. A foreclosure sale has been postponed for several months but owner Robert Gottstein continues negotiations with commercial interests.
The opulent streamline moderne theater, though showing the effects of time, remains relatively intact since its opening sixty years ago. The theater ceased operation in July of 1985. The twinkling big dipper lights embedded in the ceiling no longer work. The monolithic side panels are now covered with basic black and the chandeliers are in storage.
An article on the current attempts to save the 4th Avenue along with a video and a couple of small photos can be found at 2 NEWS KTUU.
A selection photographs of the interior can be found at the Alaska Digital Archives.