• May 19, 2008

    Fisher Theatre to host new season of hit Broadway shows

    DETROIT, MI — Nederlander Detroit, management company for the Fisher Theatre, announced today that the famed venue for performing arts will begin a multi-million dollar renovation this month in preparation for one of its biggest seasons of Broadway in Detroit. The major refurbishment project includes several new public bars in the lobby, restroom improvements, and the addition of an all-new, private party room.

    Renovations will be completed just in time to raise the curtain later this Fall for the first of six sensational shows all appearing at the Fisher Theatre for the 2008-2009 Broadway in Detroit subscription series. The season opens with Avenue Q, the smash hit 2004 Tony Award winner for Best Musical, Best Score and Best Book (November 2008), followed by A Bronx Tale starring Chazz Palminteri (November – December 2008), A Chorus Line (January 2009), Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (March 2009), Grease (June 2009) and Jersey Boys (November 2009). Additionally, subscribers will have the first opportunity to purchase tickets to the triumphant return of Wicked (December 2008 – January 2009).

  • May 14, 2008

    Opera House’s owners cited

    BINGHAMTON, NY — As they continue to figure out the future plans for the Riviera Theatre, the owners have been cited for not filling out the necessary paperwork and let it fall into disrepair.

    The company that owns the Stone Opera House was fined $100 for failing to register the Chenango Street building as a vacant property with the city, said Wilson “Doc” Rigdon, one of the company’s partners.

    The city’s vacant-property ordinance requires owners to submit a plan to rehabilitate, demolish or maintain and secure an empty building. Last month, the city took Stone Opera House LLC to court for failing to register the building.

    Read the original article in the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin.

  • May 13, 2008

    Final season for drive-in movies in the Flint area?

    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.

  • Portland theater scene

    PORTLAND, OR — This article in OregonLive discusses the single-screen scene in the area with special focus on the 1920’s Moreland Theatre.

    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

    Drive-in remains open for now

    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

    Landmark status sought for Majestic Crest

    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.

  • Mysterious theater has Warhol past

    NEW YORK, NY — This article in the Gothamist discusses the history and present state of the Fortune Theater.

  • May 2, 2008

    City of Manistee finally takes action against theater owner

    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

    More changes at Regal

    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 Theatre sold

    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.