October 17, 2006
BEIRUT, LEBANON — After a much varied past, highlighting the changes in its country, the famous Dome will be torn down.
It’s an icon, it’s an eyesore – whatever it is, it’s doomed again. The bulbous, pock-marked structure flanking Martyrs Square in Downtown Beirut – an old movie theater known variously as the dome, the egg, the bubble, the blob, saboune (meaning soap) or by its official name, the Beirut City Center Building – is inevitably going to be demolished, according to all parties currently involved in deciding the building’s fate.
Originally designed by Lebanese architect Joseph Philippe Karam, the dome was built in 1965 as part of a larger, three-part complex of towers and shopping arcades that was expected, in an untimely burst of inauspicious optimism, to become the most important commercial center in the Middle East.
For more, visit the Daily Star.
October 13, 2006
BAY CITY, MI — The State Theatre was awarded the Historical Society of Michigan’s 2006 State History Award for Preservation at the 132nd State History Conference in Bay City.
Built in 1908 during the booming lumbering era in Michigan, the State Theatre was known as the Bijou and was one of many vaudeville and burlesque houses in downtown Bay City. The Bijou was renovated in 1930 by renowned architect C. Howard Crane whose impressive body of work includes the twin Fox Theatres in Detroit and St. Louis, Missouri.
Mr. Crane designed the Bay City State Theatre to resemble a Mayan Temple and the theater remains a magnificent example of art deco architecture which exudes a warm and intimate character with seating on the main floor as well as a second floor balcony.
To read more, visit My Bay City.
(Thanks to John Trudell from the State Theatre for providing the photo.)
October 12, 2006
ANN ARBOR, MI, — The SmithGroup-designed restoration of the historic Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor, MI, was recently recognized with LHAT’s prestigious 2006 Outstanding Historic Theatre Award. SmithGroup is the nation’s 7th largest architecture & engineering firm (according to Building Design Construction magazine 2006).
The award was presented to Russ Collins, the Michigan Theater’s long-time director, during the League’s annual awards banquet in Hollywood, CA this past summer.
According to Russ Collins, the Michigan Theater was selected for two reasons: one, for its interesting and diverse programming and two, for the ambient quality of the restored architecture. Members of the SmithGroup historic preservation studio worked on this project from almost the beginning. It is that continuity and commitment that was recognized and appreciated by the awards panel.
October 11, 2006
ASPEN, CO — The Isis Theatre will remain afloat now that the city and private investors are chipping in to keep it open. While one screen will turn into retail, the four remaining ones will still be leased out to Aspen Filmfest.
The city of Aspen, along with private investors and Aspen Filmfest, have reached a deal to acquire the Isis Theater for $7.5 million, the city announced on Tuesday.
The city claims the public/private/nonprofit partnership won’t cost taxpayers anything because of the method of financing. The city is selling certificates of participation on the municipal credit market that will be paid back over 30 years with the proceeds generated from the building. Certificates of participation are similar to bonds.
For more, read the Aspen Daily News.
October 9, 2006
BROOKLYN, NY — The Pavilion Theatre has been sold in Park Slope. Despite rumors saying otherwise, it will remain a movie theater.
Park Slope’s Pavilion multiplex theater may have been sold, but it’s not a wrap for the popular neighborhood movie house.
While rumors had been circulating that the theater would be converted to residential housing, Abraham Hidary of Manhattan-based Hidrock Realty, whose affiliate purchased the property for $16 million, said they never had any foundation in reality.
For the full story, go to Courier-Life.
ANTIOCH, IL — The Antioch Theater receives praise for providing a superior moviegoing experience like the old days with modern amenities.
Going to a movie at the Antioch Downtown Theater, 378 Lake St., is taking a step back in time to when prices were low and service was important.
Cindy Kottke, 49, president of “C” You at the Movies, Inc., McHenry, last year gutted and renovated the theater, installed new sound and picture equipment, spruced it up with movie memorabilia and still manages to keep ticket and concession prices lower than any modern multi-plex.
To read more about this story, visit the Suburban Chicago News.
October 6, 2006
HANNIBAL, MO — THe Historic Orpheum Theater in Hannibal, MO, has been purchased by Chalet Theaters of Florida. They are a small ‘chain’ that is investing in historic and vaudeville era theaters.
Chalet Theaters now has 10 theaters of this nature and has plans on geting up to 15 within the next year. The owners are interested in preserving the history of the older and grand theaters that once stood for beauty and class. With the purchase of this theater this adds to their list of these.
They bought the theater after its past owners ran out of funds and could not secure any more. Extensive repairs and remodeling has already been done and Chalet Theaters plans more starting in November 2006. They will be updating the sound and projection to state of the art, and also plan to have continued live shows. Below is the info about the theater.
LOS ANGELES, CA — My quest to aquire the Vogue Theatre in Hollywood has failed! One of the owners, Carol, told me she was not interested in either renting, leasing or selling. There are proposed plans to convert it into another night club -such as they are doing to the Fox Theatre across the road.
Meanwhile, I’m still searching for a southern California moderate size cinema/theater to screen British Films in; independent, art, second run, etc.
If readers have any news, I’d welcome their comments and help at .
Santa Ana, Ca.
OAKLAND, CA — Long a purveyor of a superior moviegoing experience to the people of Oakland, the Parkway Theatre receives praise for its format. Serving food and prohibiting most showings to anyone under 21, the theater is still building a loyal customer base.
Dinner and a movie is a classic combination, but Oakland’s only “speakeasy theater,” the Parkway Theater, revamps the combination.
Described by the Speakeasy Theater’s Web site as being “the anti-multiplex,” the Parkway boasts two screening rooms offering a variety of movies that include recent blockbusters, cult classics and local films not shown anywhere else.
For more, visit the Mills Weekly.
October 4, 2006
RIVERSIDE, CA — In a proposal city officials say will produce long-planned projects and make up for previously deferred upgrades, the Riverside ( Calif. ) City Council is set to vote this week on the initial plans for a $780 million citywide proposal for municipal facilities and infrastructure.
The plan contains essential cultural upgrades, including a retrofitted Metropolitan Museum , expanded Convention Center, rehabilitated Municipal Auditorium and a completely refurbished Fox Theater —– which is probably the most forward-looking aspect of the plan. Not only will it restore one of the city’s historical gems, it will finally give Riverside a first-class performance arts facility.