May 13, 2008
FLINT, MI — When this writer took in “What Happens in Vegas” at the US 23 Twin Drive-in Theatre, it was learned that the drive-in’s owner Lou Warrington suffered a serious heart attack last year which left him homebound. He is 71. His 74-year-old wife Diane is doing double duty by caring for her ailing husband and managing the drive-in. It is the belief of Diane Warrington and the drive-in staff that is the final year of operation for the US-23 Twin Drive-in. The Warrington family is seriously considering putting the drive-in property on the market. The most likely fate is redevelopment. There is a small Kroger supermarket adjacent to the drive in. The Warringtons would be willing to sell the propety to Kroger if the price is right.
Word is that the only reason the rival Miracle Twin Drive-in Theatre is still open is because the US 23 Twin is still open. So if the US 23 Twin closes permanently, so will the Miracle Twin. So with the recent news of the two drive-ins' season opening, it is likely that this is the final year for the two drive-ins.
The Moreland is just one of the vintage neighborhood movie theaters on Portland’s east side that still draw customers in an age of multiplexes, rentals, video on demand and “living room” theaters. Portlanders, unusually devoted to their neighborhood theaters, go to the Bagdad, the Hollywood, the Clinton Street Theater and others to mingle with neighbors, marvel at the theaters' ornate beauty and taste a simpler time.
“Portland’s a pretty good city when it comes to maintaining vintage movie theaters,” says Ross Melnick, a 33-year-old movie industry veteran studying for a doctorate in film history at the University of California at Los Angeles.
May 8, 2008
SACRAMENTO, CA — With a decision on its future still looking, the Sacramento 6 is still operating for the time being.
The on-again, off-again plan to demolish the aging drive-in theater along Bradshaw Road is delayed again.
Sacramento 6 is the last drive-in theater in the region.
Read the full story in the Sacramento Bee.
May 7, 2008
LOS ANGELES, CA — The Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission has recommended that the art deco Majestic Crest in Westwood be given Landmark status. The theater opened in 1940 and underwent major renovations led by Joseph Musil (who later redid the El Capitan theater) in 1987 that transformed it into a neighborhood gem.
The theater, half a mile south of UCLA, features Art Deco Revival architecture and an elaborate hand-painted interior mural that pays homage to Hollywood’s gilded age. The city’s Cultural Heritage Commission has recommended that the Crest be declared a historic-cultural monument, and a key Los Angeles City Council committee is expected to support the nomination today. Those actions are expected to clear the way for approval by the full council.
Read the full story in the Los Angeles Times.
Also check out this one from the same paper that talks about the neighboring Westwood Village with some mentions of its theater history.
May 2, 2008
MANISTEE, MI — On April 21st 2008 the city of Manistee finally took action aganist the owner of the historic Vogue Theatre in downtown Manistee.
Citing the refusal of the owner to pay property taxes for the years 2000-2005, and 2007, a letter taped to the front door of the theatre served as notice that they were seizing the property if the deliquent taxes of $16,628.84 were not paid in full by April 30th at 5pm.
As of May 1st, the signs have not been removed.
May 1, 2008
There was recent comment in the newspapers that Regal Entertainment Group may stop advertising in the local papers. This was possibly attributed from so many people finding their movie choices and times from the Internet.
Another change is that their janitors will no longer be allowed to use electric leaf blowers. Where I work, Regal Willsonville-9 in Oregon, the use of new back pack vacuums was implemented this month. I totally agree with this method as bare film screens tend to attract a lot of dust and loose their brilliance. Dusting-off or cleaning screens is a job which needs to be very carefully done and with the proper items.
April 29, 2008
BUCHANAN, VA — The Buchanan Theatre was sold to the company Standing Room Only and continues to supply a mix of theatre and film.
“But one way for a small town theatre to survive is to become more than a movie theatre and offer live music, a place for community meetings, a place for educational programs, a practice hall for local musicians and students and, yes, a place to watch movies. As a non-profit multi-functional community theatre, enlisting the help of volunteers, the future of the Buchanan Theatre is assured.
Read more in the Roanoke Times.
April 25, 2008
BRISTOL, TN — The Paramount Center for the Arts is celebrating 17 years since its renovations and subsequent name change as it looks forward to even more exciting times.
Wow, how time flies. It has now been 17 years since the refurbished Paramount Center for the Arts reopened with a grand gala featuring hometown hero Tennessee Ernie Ford.
Bristol’s old “Paramount Theatre” was reborn on April 24, 1991 as the “Paramount Center for the Arts.” Talk about a transformation: The rebirth marked the reopening of a place that had sat vacant for 14 years. What was once a movie theater became a performing arts center, said Merle Dickert, the Paramount’s executive director.
Read more at Tri-Cities.com.
(Thanks to John Erickson for providing the photo.)
April 24, 2008
RATON, NM — There are new owners for the El Raton Theatre that hope to pour some money into it and keep it going.
When Kerry Medina last August began checking out the El Raton – the downtown Raton movie theater had been put up for sale – he found out the 78-year-old building needed a lot of work, but he also “thought it would be a pretty neat business to own.”
On Thursday, Medina and his wife Kristie, along with their friends – and now business partners – Ted and Traci Kamp and Neil and Donna Emiro, became the new owners of the historic El Raton. All of the new owners are from Raton.
Read more in the Raton Range.