• July 14, 2008

    Downtown theater adjusts course

    CONCORD, NH — The recently opened Red River Theatres is experiencing some growing pains as it figures out how to be successful in today’s marketplace.

    Concord filmgoers want to see films that are edgy, local and touch on contemporary social issues. They are supportive of independent films but susceptible to market forces that keep independent films out of the spotlight in favor of commercial hits.

    These are some of the lessons that the staff of Red River Theatres have learned since the nonprofit independent movie theater opened in October.

    On Monday, the Concord City Council may consider a request by the theater for an $18,000 grant to cover the cost of its property taxes. But property taxes are one small portion of the expenses that the theater faces. In the eight months it has been open to the public, Interim Executive Director Connie Rosemont said, staff have been monitoring revenue and attendance, figuring out what expenses loom on the horizon, and working to adjust their business plan accordingly. The theater’s total annual operating budget is approximately $735,000.

    Read the full story in the Concord Monitor.

  • July 11, 2008

    Metro Theatre status

    NEW YORK, NY — In the New York Times, they discuss a possible sale of the Metro Theatre and where its ownership situation stands currently.

    The Metro Theater, a landmark 1930s Art Deco movie theater on the Upper West Side, has been vacant for the last three years, a terra cotta question mark on Broadway between 99th and 100th Streets.

    Three giant signs advertise that the building is for sale by Eastern Consolidated, but exactly what the future holds for the Metro is unclear. Like many other handsome structures in New York that have outlived their original purposes, the building awaits a new use.

  • July 10, 2008

    Rebuilt LI theaters carry hopes for economic revival

    ISLIP, NY — Communities on Long Island are using reopened theaters to bring life back into their downtowns.

    The lobby of the old Islip cinema is buzzing again.

    Patrons buy tickets at the marble-fronted box office, tread up the carpeted stairs and take their seats – but this time it’s not for a movie.

    After years of dormancy, the ‘40s-era Islip Theater has been reinvented as the Islip Pavilion, a performing arts center with concerts, comedy shows and community events. And local business owners are pinning their hopes on its success.

    Read the full story in Newsday.

  • July 9, 2008

    An era ends at the Coolidge

    BROOKLINE, MA — After ten successful years, the Executive Director of the Coolidge Corner Theatre is leaving. He led the charge in revitalizing the theatre so replacing him is a top priority.

    Executive Director Joe Zina is leaving the Coolidge Corner Theatre at the end of the year, and a new chapter in one of the few remaining Art Deco moviegoing jewels will begin.

    From the press release: “After an incredibly active and prolific 10-year career as the Executive Director of the Coolidge Corner Theatre Foundation, Joe Zina will be stepping down from his position at the end of the year. Zina, who was previously on the Board of Directors at the theater and took the position of Executive Director in 1998, will be moving on to pursue personal artistic projects including consulting with community cultural centers on dance and film.

    Read the full story at the Boston Globe.

  • Alameda Theatre cuts corners with non-union workers

    ALAMEDA, CA — The recently reopened Alameda Theatre has been getting heat for hiring non-union projectionists.

    Martin Lipow, president of Local 169 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts (IATSE) says that un-trained, non-union employees in the projection rooms at the new Alameda Theatre are likely to damage film prints and increase the costs for maintaining equipment at the theatre. Lipow says that the Alameda Theatre is using non-union “front of the house employees,” such as ushers, concession stand workers and ticket-takers, rather than trained projectionists, to effectively just “push the button” to start screenings on sophisticated equipment that was designed to be run by professionals. The results, he says, will be a diminished theatre experience for Alameda movie-goers, and a poorly run theatre that might not succeed.

    Lipow works for Renaissance Rialto Theatres – owned by Allen Michaan – which also runs the Grand Lake Theatre in Oakland, the Orinda Theatre, and Auctions by the Bay at Alameda Point. Michaan is known for the political messages he posts on the Grand Lake Theatre, such as the anti-Iraq war slogan “No War For Oil.”

    Read more at Action Alameda.

  • Senator faces pressure from city events

    BALTIMORE, MD — City legislation is coming up that could support summer outdoor events in the city at the expense of the success of the Senator Theatre.

    For those of you who share our interest in protecting and preserving The Senator Theatre, we want to inform you of a pending legislative matter that if passed, may serve to undermine the theatre’s operational status. We are asking our friends and supporters to tune into this issue and what’s at stake, and to help us defeat the legislation currently pending before the Baltimore City Council.

    4th district Councilmember Bill Henry has introduced City Council Bill #08-0135 for the purpose of approving certain amendments to the established Planned Unit Development (PUD) for Belvedere Square. Some of the amendments are warranted. Those that are problematic relate to the outdoor concerts and outdoor movies on weekend evenings.

    Read more at the Senator website.

  • July 3, 2008

    Pagoda Theater completely gutted

    SAN FRANCISCO, CA — In its colorful past the Pagoda originally opened as the Washington Theatre. It later became the Palace, converted to a live performance venue and introduced the world to the likes of Sylvester, the Cockettes and the Pointer Sisters.

    It was later changed to the Pagoda and offered a venue of Asian films. A recent article in the San Francisco Chronicle, along with several pictures, shows the current state of theater after several years of fighting over the future of the structure. It is now completely gutted with no inward signs that a theater ever existed. Sadly, another theater bites the dust…

    The article can be read here.

  • July 1, 2008

    Cultural Treasures: Clearfield County movie theatres

    This article takes a look at some of the Cinema Treasures still left in Clearfield County, PA.

    Welcome to the first article in GantDaily’s Cultural Treasures.

    The GantDaily News Team is combing Clearfield County to find these places.

    It’s the season of the summer blockbuster! With that in mind the News Team decided to start off with movie theatres in Clearfield County. Our county is blessed in that we have three historic movie theaters; the Rowland, the Ritz and the Super 322 Drive In.

    Read in detail about all three theaters in the Gant Daily.

  • A look into Brooklyn theaters

    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 Theater update

    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.