July 9, 2007
BETHESDA, MD — The Bethesda Theatre is opening again, this time as a showplace for small-scale plays.
In the ever-expanding constellation of new spaces for plays and musicals in and around Washington, a landmark art deco movie palace on Wisconsin Avenue will open this fall as a home for audience-friendly, small-scale plays and musicals.
Nederlander Worldwide Entertainment, whose president is Robert Nederlander Jr., has a long-term contract to manage the Bethesda space, owned by the Bethesda Cultural Alliance, a new, nonprofit arts group. Nederlander’s idea is to make the Bethesda site the first of a circuit of smaller theaters across the country to which musical revues, comedies and jukebox shows could tour.
Read the full story at the Washington Post.
There is a website with photos showing the theaters of Bristol, a port city, and its suburbs during the past century. It includes a brief history of venues covered.
July 2, 2007
HONOLULU, HI — This art deco beauty is gone forever as a movie house, but at least the new owners have paid tribute by incorporating many original details into the building and loading it with fascinating memorabilia.
You can see more photos of the Waikiki Theater at
(Thanks to Bob for providing the photo.)
June 27, 2007
BURLESON, TX — Ground has just been broken on this theater and I would like to get more info on what it will offer. The info boasts of including a Jazz Bar and an amphitheater but are they considering any screens equipped with REAR or OPEN CAPTION for the hearing impaired?
The AMC Parks has one and only one with rear caption. Grapevine Mills has one and that’s all that I know of and Grapevine is quite a drive. There are many people that enjoy the real theater experience, popcorn dripping w/butter and gum on your shoes, but they are left waiting for the DVD and watching at home with ORVILLE! I would like someone to look into this since the forms are not set, this would still be a chance to make a difference for the community! Thanks for listening!
June 25, 2007
HOQUIAM, WA — This article chronicles the renovations of the atmospheric 7th Street Theatre as seen through the eyes of its legendary concession man.
If some criminal had called Lane Youmans “Butter Boy” during his days as a Grays Harbor Sheriff’s detective, it wouldn’t have gone down well.
But when he’s behind the snack bar counter at the 7th St. Theatre, it’s a nickname Youmans has come to not only expect but meet with a grin. He’s the guy who puts butter on the popcorn whenever a movie is showing — whether it’s “Casablanca” or “Willy Wonka.”
For the full story, go to the Daily World.
June 18, 2007
MADISON, WI — The historic Majestic Theatre is under new ownership and will be bringing the very best in live music to downtown Madison beginning in September 2007. The century old theatre will undergo several renovations and aesthetic improvements this summer.
The new owners are looking for at least one “classic theatre style” chandelier to add to the historic vibe of the interior. Please if you know of anyone selling light fixtures.
June 15, 2007
SCOTIA, CA — 90 years after opening, the Wi'ne'ma Theatre is being dedicated. Due to the special occasion, research has been conducted to discover the theatre name’s origins.
Native Sons statewide officers will be in attendance for a dedication today at 1 p.m. at the Wi'ne'ma Theatre. The organization will install a plaque commemorating the history of the nearly 90-year-old theater, considered by many as one of America’s cinema treasures.
A statement Jacobs made about the Wi'ne'ma Theatre is as follows: “It is more than a theater. It is a place of friendly assemblage. It is intimately connected with a great industry. Its natural surroundings are magnificent. Its design should be no more commercial than its purpose — that is, not at all. When we face nature, man doesn’t attempt to compete in splendor. It can’t be done. We only seek to harmonize our buildings with what we find.”
For more, go to the Eureka Reporter.
June 11, 2007
RICHMOND, VA — The Byrd Theatre Foundation has finally secured a deal that gives control over the namesake theatre. Now the fight to restore the building to its former luster begins.
Luckily for Byrd fans, the Warren heirs finally agreed on a date and a price. On May 31, the Foundation announced that its persistence (and $1.2 million) had paid off as the organization was the proud new owner of The Byrd.
However, now that the organization holds ownership of the building, the real work can begin, said Bertie Selvey, the other co-vice president of the Foundation and president of Byrd Watchers, a separately formed entity of community volunteers that raises money and awareness for preservation of The Byrd.
“This has been a long struggle,” Selvey said. “When I came in here and found out what hadn’t been going on, I realized that if we didn’t do something we would lose it. But we are putting all that behind us and we are jumping ahead. Now we have a big job…and the first thing we need is the new roof so we can get rid of those 21 buckets up there.”
To read more, go to Richmond.com.
CONCORD, CA — After a long court battle, a church is finally going to be able to use a shopping center’s theater as their home base.
The Harvest Church won a round in court today in its effort to use a former movie theater in Concord’s Park & Shop shopping center as its congregation gathering spot.
The California 1st District Court of Appeal upheld decisions by the City Council and a Superior Court judge to allow the use.
City officials fought the plan for years, saying the proposed use conflicted with the city’s effort to implement more intense retail uses in the downtown core. City leaders eventually approved the plans, and business owners in the area challenged that decision.
For more on the new chapter of this growing trend, read the Contra Costa Times.
June 7, 2007
WATSEKA, IL — The Watseka Theatre opened in 1931 but started to fall on hard times in the late 60’s early 70’s. These hard times forced its closing in the 90’s only to see it’s upcoming rebirth later this year!
Charles Gomez has purchased the theatre and preservation efforts are already under way! The Watseka Theatre/Iroquois Performing Arts Center is now planning a New Years Eve Grand Re-Opening! New life is once again being placed in this Art Deco Gem! A Theatre Cafe and Bed and Breakfast are in the plans for the adjoining store fronts & those with fond old memories are asked to . That’s “Watseka Theatre Memories”!