January 24, 2003
We received the following letter this week regarding the Friends of the Raymond Theatre’s effort to save the 1927 movie house:
THIS IS A VERY SPECIAL AND URGENT REQUEST FOR DONATIONS!
Donations are desperately needed for us to continue our work to preserve the Raymond Theatre. With the help of our supporters, Friends of the Raymond Theatre has accomplished a great deal, but our financial needs for this project still remain a large concern.
We are now down to the 11th hour, and we still we need to raise $3,200 IMMEDIATELY to make our final payment on our legal bill. We also need to be aware, should we lose in court (though we have all intention of prevailing), that we need to be prepared for an appeal to the Court of Appeals.
To appeal, we must first pay off our $3,200 which is due NOW and also be prepared with a significant downpayment on February 11th. We need to make sure we can meet these financial challenges in the next few weeks.
A tall order, yes, but doable if we ALL pull together and help by sending a donation. We need to raise about $1,000 a week, in the next 3 weeks or sooner. Currently donations are coming in at about $20 to $150 a week.
Please, please wont you consider donating whatever you can by donating $5, $25, $50, $100, $250, $500 or more.
We are a project of Spirit of the Sage, under Social & Environmental Entrepreneurs (SEE), a California 501 ©(3) tax exempt organization, tax identification # 95-4116679.
All donations are tax deductible, or can be given as a loan, which would be repaid in full or part if we are awarded our money back from the courts. Please state what you prefer for our records.
To make a donation, please make your check payable to:
Friends of the Raymond Theatre
P.O. Box 91189
Pasadena, CA 91109 – 1189
You can also make a donation online from our website on the “donate” page or by going to: www.PayPal.com. Pay Pal accepts all major credit cards. Our e-mail address for PayPal is: .
If you wish to make an anonymous donation, please let us know. Once again, we are at a critical turning point and on a short timeline to
raise money. We hope everyone will lend a hand and donate whatever you can.
I will let everyone know how much we raised by this weekend and/or Monday of next week. Thank you for your continued help in preserving the Raymond Theatre.
Friends of the Raymond Theatre
Office: (818) 541-9522
Fax: (818) 541-9523
PS: If you could pass this e-mail on to your friends, family or co-workers, or take up a donation pool for us, we would be very grateful for any assistance our supporters can give.
January 22, 2003
OMAHA, NE — The “Saving The Indian Hills” documentary will be unveiled on Friday, April 4th, 2003 at 7:30pm at the Rose Blumkin Performing Arts Center (known in Omaha simply as “The Rose”). According to the film’s website, general admission tickets are $7.00 each, and they will be available one hour before showtime. For more information, call (402)334-2288 or e-mail us at .
January 9, 2003
PHILADELPHIA, PA — Dick Pollman has written an extensive article on the fight, and the need, to save Philadelphia’s last remaining movie palace — the Sameric Theater in Center City.
The article features quotes from Steve Needleman, who recently restored and reopened the Orpheum Theatre in downtown Los Angeles; Cinema Treasures' friend Howard Haas, who has led the fight to save the former movie palace; and Theatre Historical Society executive director, Richard Sklenar.
We are also pleased to inform you that yesterday we elected additional members to our Board of Directors:
(1) Adrian Fine, who works in Phila. for the National Trust for Historic Preservation
(2) state Representative Babette Josephs, who represents the area and who has been vocal on our behalf
(3) Michael Norris, External Affairs Director of the Arden Theater, who generously contributes his time as our Fundraiser
(4) Andrew Repasky McElhinney, Film Director. Andrew is planning our Benefit Screening on March 21 at the International House in Philadelphia of the silent film set in Philadelphia! “The Show-Off” which will have live music and a reception. Tickets will be reasonably priced. We will let you know further details soon, but MARK YOUR CALENDARS!
Thanks to Howard Haas for the update!
January 7, 2003
While we were on vacation, over 60 new theaters were added thanks to Bryan Krefft, Philip Goldberg, Donald John Long, Jim Rankin, Tim Eiler, Garrett Murphy, Emily Giesy, G.E. Nordell, Dennis Whitefield, Keith Smith, Eric Enders, “Fox Theatres”, Ivan Kent Steinke, Wes Reeves, Jose Mendez, Jake Vanek, Aaron Bennet, Lisandrea Wentland, Paul Lappin, Ron Pierce, Darren Jones, Steve Smith, and Mike Croaro.
January 6, 2003
Our vacation is officially over and we’re back at work!
We hope you a terrific holiday, saw some of the better movies that were released at the end of 2002, and maybe pitched in to help a theater in need. In these difficult economic times, theaters, performing arts groups, and preservation organizations need all the assistance they can get.
Luckily for those theaters still showing movies, motion pictures have usually bucked economic downturns during their history, as evident by last year’s box office performance. According to Yahoo!/The Hollywood Reporter, the total box office for last year should reach $9.4 billion, up a reported 13% from 2001, with ticket sales reaching their highest count in 45 years.
While this news is terrific for resurgent theater chains such as Loews Cineplex, Regal Entertainment Group, Pacific Theatres, AMC, and more, the independent exhibitor is still struggling. The reasons are too many to list, but access to product, high overhead, and the inability to book multiple films in single screen theaters are amongst the largest culprits.
Still there were bright spots in 2002: “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” proved to be a lifesaver for theaters such as the Catlow; and more and more older, second run theaters switched to art house product for far better profits and reliability.
But there were so many theater closures at the hands of financially strapped exhibitors, frustrated landlords, and expanding drugstore and retail chains, we would need UPS to deliver the hefty list.
As we look ahead to 2003, we’ll begin focusing more of our attention not only on the stories and events that impact you, the exhibitor, the patron, the preservationist, or the theater lover, but show you how others have stayed alive and what we can all learn from their experiences.
The news will be changing as well. Lately there have been so many news stories regarding historic theaters that it’s been impossible for us to relay them to you quickly and effectively. Therefore, we will be posting more of them in link format so that you can read the original stories sooner and in more depth.
Elsewhere, our incredibly dedicated volunteer staff like Bryan Krefft, Grant Smith, William Gabel, Roger Katz, Ian Grundy, and others will continue to help us preserve the memory and futures of these beloved theaters around the world.
We’re extremely excited to get Cinema Treasures 2003 underway and we’ll be back tomorrow with more theaters, more news, and more of what you’ve come to rely on at Cinema Treasures.
Thanks and let’s start saving some theaters!
December 12, 2002
CENTENNIAL, CO — Regal Entertainment Corp has announced a massive digital projection initiative, with plans to equip nearly 80% of its existing locations with digital projectors, high-speed networks, and satellite downlinks, according to a recent article in the Los Angeles Times.
While Regal (which owns both the Edwards Cinemas and United Artists theater chains) plans to spend $70 million going digital, initial plans call only for the digital projection of short films and advertisements. In other words, these conversions will not allow theaters to digitally project feature-length films—at least for now.
“At some point in time, digital projection will become a standard for theatrical films,” said Jeffrey Logsdon, managing director of investment bank Gerard Klauer Mattison. “Until then, Regal believes that if it can put the infrastructure in now, and build a business around it with promotional or advertising customers, it’ll put the company that much farther ahead of everyone else.”
Regal’s digital rollout is in partnership with Christie Digital, a company which specializes in the deployment and management of digitial projection systems.
By the end of the 2003, Christie Digital and Regal plan to deploy the new systems on over 4,500 screens. Additionally, plans call for the installation of over 1,400 42' high-resolution plasma displays throughout Regal theater lobbies.
December 11, 2002
“The story I am sending to you is about the theatre that I have been involved with for 15 years or so. I lead a group that saved the theatre and got it reopened and operating. This influx of funds is an answer to my prayers eventhough I have been living in Chicago for 6 years.”
Dave is referring to the fact that the State of Illinois announced on Monday that the Lincoln Square will receive a $3.5 million grant, as part of its Illinois FIRST program.
The city plans to renovate the 1917 theater using private funds and then hand over operational control of the theater to a private group.
“We are very much interested in improving the Uptown entertainment district,” said Alicia Berg, the commissioner of planning and development. “This is a historic building and an incredibly important one.”
In fact, the Riviera was one of first movie palaces in Chicago that was built specifically for movies, instead of more traditional theatrical purposes.
Note: registration is required to view article.
(Thanks to Bryan Krefft for telling us about this.)
December 10, 2002
MILLVILLE, NJ — According to this inspiring story from Bridgeton News, teenager Samantha White has become a junior board member of the Levoy Theatre Preservation society, a group which is working to restore Millville’s classic Levoy Theatre.
White began working with the society last year, as part of her volunteer duties as a member of the Key Club at the Millville Senior High School. She was so well-recieved that the society recently made her a junior board member of their organization.
The irony of all of this is that the Levoy closed in 1974, so Samantha White never enjoyed the theater while it was still operating. However, according to the article, she’s learned a lot about the theater from conversations with her uncle.
(Thanks to Gregg Anderson for both of today’s stories.)
PORTLAND, OREGON — According to a recent article in the Oregonian, the 76 year-old Hollywood Theatre has experienced two fires in the past month, both occuring on the theater’s emergency-exit staircase, which is located at the rear of the building.
As theater manager Shannon Donaldson put it:
“Unfortunately, it’s a wonderfully perfect spot for homeless people to sleep or for kids to drink beer or for people to shoot up drugs.”
Thankfully, the fires did not seriously damage the Hollywood. Current plans call for the theater to improve lighting and security around the stairs at a cost of $25,000, which the theater expects to raise from local supporters.