April 18, 2006
AURORA, IL — The popular Hi-Lite 30 Drive-In, which first opened in 1947, remains “Closed For the Season”, when it has usually already opened by now. Owned by Parkside Inc. until recently, the drive-in property was sold to Bigelow Homes which is developing the property that surrounds the Hi-Lite, according to a story in today’s Aurora Beacon-News. Bigelow deeded the drive-in property to the city of Aurora, which now will be deciding the drive-in’s future.
Nova Cinemas has leased and operated the theater since 1997 and is interested in obtaining a ten-year contact to continue operating the Hi-Lite from the city. Ryan Coltmeyer, Nova’s director of operations, says Nova would like to regrade the parking lot, build a new fence around the theater, and restore a long-unused adjacent indoor theater for live entertainment and concerts. The improvements would be at no cost to the taxpayer, said Coltmeyer. “In its current format, the theater is a profitable business. It is revenue for the city.”
Not only is Nova Cinemas waiting for a decision, but so are fans of the drive-in, one of only a few in Illinois, and only a couple left in the Chicago suburbs (the other being the Cascade Drive-In in West Chicago). Rose Fromm of Channahon said, “Sure we can see the movies in some big theater, with controlled temperatures and stadium seating, but it just isn’t the same. It will be a sad day if we lose this piece of Americana.”
April 5, 2006
An opulent movie theater that has been an Anchorage icon for almost 60 years is facing what could be its final drama.
The 4th Avenue Theatre — elegant yet strong enough to withstand North America’s greatest earthquake unscathed — is on the market and could fall victim to the wrecking ball.
Anchorage voters will decide Tuesday whether to authorize issuance of a $2 million (all figures U.S.) bond to help the city pay for the $4 million sought by theater owner Robert Gottstein.
Gottstein, 51, a lifelong Alaskan who grew up watching movies there, said the 40,000-square-foot theater’s survival may depend on finding a buyer.
April 4, 2006
GOLDSBORO, NC — After a fire destroyed the historic Paramount Theatre in Goldsboro in February of 2005, leaving little more than the shell of the 124 year-old structure, there was immediately talk of rebuilding the theater. However, recently those plans have come to a standstill, according to News 14 Carolina. It is estimated that it will cost over $12 million to rebuild the Paramount, which opened in the 1920s and was being used as a performing arts center before its destruction.
Some city officials are saying that there isn’t enough support for the Paramount to rebuild it and say that other downtown projects should take priority over the Paramount. However, Charlie Gaylor of the Downtown Goldsboro Development Corporation says that the city can’t afford not to rebuild the theater. “Hundreds of people came into Goldsboro every single weekend for performances at the Paramount and when you have children involved in those performances, you’re probably looking at folks coming in from out of town, they’re spending money here by eating dinner or lunch or breakfast and they’re staying in the hotels.”
The Goldsboro City Council hasn’t yet voted on whether or not to restore the Paramount.
RUSSELL, KS — The Dream Theatre has found new life with its March 8th listing on the National Register of Historic Places.
Owned by the Russell Arts Coucil, the Dream Theatre is operated as a movie theatre on weekends by volunteers and rented out for events.
Russell County Historical Society members Aldean Banker and Kay Homewood helped the Arts Council apply for state membership which automotically qualified the theatre for national register consideration.
The Dream Theatre was privately owned until 2000, when the arts coucnil purchased it. More than 170 Russell citizens and organizations raised money to renovate the theatre. With the national reigister designation the Dream Theatre is eligible for state and federal grants and tax credits for renovation and maintenance.
March 30, 2006
HAYS, KS — The Historic Fox Theatre has been sold to Colorado Real Estate Developer and Fort Hays State Alumni Brooks Kellogg for $101,000.00.
In Wedneday’s edition of the Hays Daily News, there is front page article titled “Buying a piece of history,” which indicates work on the building will start sometime this summer, which will include bringing the building up to code, but specifics were not reveiled.
The building, which was owned by the City of Hays, after it was given to them in December 2003, has set unused for 2 years. Dickinson Theatre is final owner of the building had the stipulation that it could not be used for 1st or 2nd run moives, which limited the buying potential according to the auctioneer.
March 15, 2006
FORT WORTH, TX — Latin Arts Association of Fort Worth, the organization that manages the Rose Marine Theater, is in production for a documentary to chronicle this remarkable theater. Click here to view the trailer. Production will be continuing through the year as history, data, and photographs are being collected.
March 7, 2006
CHICAGO, IL — Crain’s Chicago Business reports that Kerasotes has dropped long-standing plans to build a multiplex atop a Target store in the large development now underway at Wilson Yard in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood.
It does plan on entering the Chicago Market through suburban multiplexes and seeks to acquire the City North 14 and Webster Place theaters, which are being sold by AMC as a result of their merger with Loews.
March 1, 2006
DU QUOIN, IL — The Grand Theater will be purchased by a father and son team. The son had been an employee there in his teen years and continued to help when needed until the theater closed in August of 2005.
Work has already started on repairs and clean-up on the theater and the owners hope to reopen soon. To read the article and see a great picture of the theater, visit The Southern Illinois.
February 23, 2006
Hello, Channel 5 on UK television has a weekly movie program called ‘movielounge’ which airs Wednesday nights at 7-15.
The show is running a feature called ‘The Best Little Cinema in Britain’ where viewers can nominate their favorite websites. To enter a submission, go to the movielounge website.
We want to find ‘The Best little Cinema In Britain’ and we need your help! It doesn’t have to be a stunningly beautiful Grade One listed building – maybe you just love it because it’s NOT just another Multiplex, maybe it’s a bit old and tatty and strange but you saw your first film there or copped your first feel there – it doesn’t matter we want to hear from you. Let us know your thoughts and we’ll come armed with a camera crew to let you show off your favourite cinema to the nation.
This week Giles kicked off proceeding with his own nomination, The Everyman cinema in Hampstead North London. Open since 1933, this luxurious little cinema prides itself on its unusual seating arrangement, its love of quality cinema, good food and wine.
February 16, 2006
BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA — The small three screen Hawthorne Cinemas (in the Brisbane suburb of Hawthorne) recently installed a Christie Series 2 projector in Cinema 1. The Cinema itself dates from the 1940’s and was converted into a 3plex some years ago.
Cinema 1 has 510 seats and a massive 56 foot screen. The digital image looks very good on this screen. The first movie screened in digital was ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’ at Christmas time. On Valentines Day, ‘Casanova’ opened in digital.
It was quite a feat for this small independent cinema chain to invest in this technology. Further details of all of their cinemas may be found at www.cineplex.com.au.