• January 18, 2008

    El Portal history

    NORTH HOLLYWOOD, CA — An article in the L.A. Daily News tells the tumultous history of the El Portal Theatre.

    The El Portal Theatre has staged thousands of comedies, dramas and musicals – but the story behind the playhouse could make for its own interesting script.

    From vaudeville to punk rock, the El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood has seen a lot in the past 81 years – including an earthquake that nearly toppled the historic building and the revival of its surrounding arts district.

  • January 16, 2008

    Miami’s closed Coconut Grove planning to reopen

    MIAMI, FL — After almost two years of inactivity, the Board of the Coconut Grove Playhouse is considering how it can reopen.

    Working with Miami-Dade County’s Department of Cultural Affairs and consultants at Connecticut-based AMS Planning and Research, board leaders have a draft plan that they will take to theater ‘'stakeholders’‘ — former subscribers and patrons, business and government leaders, members of the theater community, Coconut Grove activists, historic preservationists and the public — in a series of meetings aimed at getting reaction and sharpening the proposal.

    The rebuilding plan would bring together three partners: the playhouse, a local college or university and a commercial developer. They would work together to create, manage and finance an institution that would cost an estimated $6.5 million a year to run.

    The plan could lead to a standard-setting institution that would help develop new works and new talent, provide technical or design support to smaller area companies and become a magnet for top-level actors, playwrights and directors, including many who have left Miami to pursue their careers in New York or in cities with established regional theaters.

    Read more in the Miami Herald.

  • January 15, 2008

    NuWilshire closed…yet lights still on?

    SANTA MONICA, CA — The NuWilshire Theatre is currently a sitting duck…with the lights still on. As of today, January 14, 2008 the theatre has not changed status except that the lights on the marque remain lit. As I am only a few blocks away the theatre, I have noticed they have remained on since the last day of working there. You would think that no light would be on at all, so as not to confuse a passersby or someone hoping to catch a movie and only to discover that it’s closed. No matter the time of day, the lights have been on. This is a mystery. Another reason why this puzzles me, is the fact that Santa Monica claims to be a green city. If this is the case, wouldn’t the lights be left off until actual construction and remodeling begins?

    I will keep you posted.

  • January 10, 2008

    Mystery Camden, S.C. theater

    I’m hoping someone in the Camden, South Carolina area can help me. I was driving through Camden on my way home from Texas over the holidays and came accross a really nice old theater on rt. 20 right in town. It’s still open-showing “National Treasure” and “Alvin And The Chipmunks.” I stopped and took photos of it, but there was no name on the theater, except a small sign on top reading “Little’s” I believe. I went to Cinema Treasures, they list two theaters for Camden-the Camden, the Hagler and the Majestic-all listed as closed.

    Does anyone know the name of this theater?


  • January 8, 2008

    Pennsylvania Road Show

    This New York Times article takes a look at where some of the historic theaters of Central Pennsylvania are today like the Majestic Theater and Fulton Opera House.

    The Fulton is one of a number of historic – and fully operating – theaters in south-central Pennsylvania that offer backstage tours where one can step right into theatrical history. All within a few hours' drive from Philadelphia, they can provide an easy weekend getaway for theater history lovers.

    Some theaters charge for tours (at the Fulton it is $7); others (like the Majestic in Gettysburg) offer tours free, while placing show bills into the hands of visitors who are encouraged to come back that evening as theatergoers.

    For theater buffs (and for a former drama club president like myself), it is a heady experience to peek into stars' dressing rooms in gilded palaces that radiate theatrical magic in a way that modern performance spaces lack. And to pick up a few tricks of the trade.

  • December 31, 2007

    Happy Birthday Radio City!

    NEW YORK, NY — This past week on December 27th, Radio City Music Hall celebrated its 75th Anniversary.


    Roxy opened the doors to RCMH and called it the “Showplace of the Nation” and it was with an all live show. Movies with a show came later.

    This is one of the leading Art Deco masterpieces and it is still with us and still in use. It was a very advanced theatre for its time. Huge pipe organ, everything about it was huge.

    Information provided by Mr. Don Bohatka of Milwaukee, Wisconsin

    Courtesy of Ted Gooding at THSA.

    Happy Holidays from everyone here at Cinema Treasures and a Happy New Year!

    (Thanks to Chirstopher Chan for providing the photo.)

  • Proposed new cinema for Scarborough, England

    Proposed multiplex for Scarborough.

    Plans have been put forward for the Hippodrome Centre, a new entertainment and retail centre on the current car park in North Street, Scarborough, North Yorkshire. It will occupy four floors plus a basement car park for 109 vehicles.

    There are plans for 6 cinema auditoria on the 1st and 2nd floors, seating:–

    1)and 6) 34 premium, 152 standard and 3 disabled (total 189 patrons)
    2) 65 premium, 271 standard and 4 disabled (total 340 patrons)
    3) 4) & 5) 28 premium, 75 standard and 3 disabled (total 106 patrons)

  • December 26, 2007

    Exciting future for D&R

    Courtesy of THSA:


    Aberdeen, WA, is joining the ranks of cities with a restored theater, the D&R. The theater was derelict for many years and was in very poor conditions. On December 21, 2007, a new marquee and blade sign were tested and it was spectacular. It appears that in May, when it reopens, it will prove to be a world class venue and a masterful restoration.

    John Yonich’s, the owner, current plan is to have only live performances at the D&R. He would like to buy and restore a second theater “The Aberdeen,” currently a church, for movies.

    As many of you know, this is deja vue all over again for me. But, for once, I have had nothing to do with these projects except as a spectator.

    If any of you have any material on or artifacts from either of these theaters, please let me know.

    Please get the word out about this project and lets get some press.

    Mike Dickerson

  • December 25, 2007

    ABC Wakefield uncovered

    WAKEFIELD, WEST YORKSHIRE, ENGLAND — Check out the great pics and story of a journey into the long shuttered ABC Wakefield

    ABC Wakefield

    Pics courtesy of Phill D

  • Minivan slams into former State-Lake Theatre

    CHICAGO, IL — During a Sunday night broadcast of ABC7 News at 10 p.m., a minivan crashed into a glass wall of the WLS-TV studios disrupting the live broadcast at the former location of the State-Lake Theatre. The driver was arrested and the broken glass was boarded up.

    There was no structual damage to the historic State-Lake Building. Further details including video from WLS-TV.