July 15, 2005
DUNSMUIR, CA — On June 26th, the three-story California Theater held its first live performance in many years; and on July 8th & 9th, it was home to several silent movies that were accompanied by a three-manual Allen Theater Organ. The original 1926 Wurlitzer Pipe Organ is being restored; and will be reinstalled, come Jan 2006.
The web address is http://institutearts.org and there’s a lot to read. My job is Gen Mgr. of Media and I’m licensing and installing an FM radio station and a UHF television station inside the theater. I’m also installing an audio/visual recording/production facility in conjunction with the radio & TV stations.
We’re also talking with an official of New London, CT about acquiring and doing a major refurbishing of the 1200+ seat Capitol Theater the city owns, which has been closed for 28 years. A new roof was put on in 2000, but MAJOR damage had already been done. If you’re in that area, and would like to help us refurbish it, please contact me.
July 13, 2005
LEXINGTON, KY — I would like to let you know of a documentary about the Kentucky Theatre. The film follows the eighty year history of the theater through archival photos and interviews, the battle with suburban multiplexes as seen in news film reels, and the devastating fire which led to the theater’s closing.
A love for the theatre led a group of citizens to rise up and resurrect and refurbish the theatre which is very much alive today.
The film not only shows what a shining treasure the theatre is to the downtown of a small southern city, but its influence on generations of patrons, as shown throughout the film. As director of the film, it is my hope that this story can act as a model for other cities wishing to bring back their own downtown treasures.
You can see a photos and a clip from the film at:
July 11, 2005
According to a news report published by a Chinese language newspaper in Hong Kong, the city will have a commercial IMAX theater to be operated by UA next year. The theatre will be converted from an existing UA theatre. The measurement of the screen is 11m X 11m.
July 5, 2005
ELGIN, IL – The 82 year-old Crocker Theatre in downtown Elgin was razed last month to make way for condominiums and parking space, but its neo-classical style facade was removed prior to demolition, and will be partially reconstructed as a sort of screening wall separating a parking lot from public view along Grove Avenue.
At a cost of $60,000, a third of the price of the Crocker’s demolition cost, the facade was taken apart piece by piece and numbered and now sits in a storage building in the meantime. Not all of the facade will be used for the parking lot, but at this time it’s not known what will become of the rest of it.
June 24, 2005
CHICAGO, IL — This article from Crain’s Chicago Business takes a look at the effect the planned AMC-Loews Cineplex merger is likely to have on film exhibition in the Windy City.
June 23, 2005
KERRVILLE, TX — It was recently announced that Rio Entertainment, which already leases the Plaza 6 theater here, has started construction on a new state of the art 10 screen cinema with all stadium seating and digital sound. The target is December 2005 with a Christmas opening date.
Word is that the Plaza 6 would remain open once the new location opens and instead of showing first run films the Plaza, it would then run art films instead.
Texas Cinemas, out of San Marcos, Texas, which has two theaters there (The Showplace 3 and Starplex 12) also said they would begin construction on a new 12 screen theater to be called GateWay 12 with all staduim seating and digital sound. It will be located at the corner of Ih10 & Sidneybaker in a new shopping center project.
NIAGARA FALLS, ONTARIO, CANADA — The Cinema 180 Adventure Dome closed its doors forever on May 1, 2005 to make way for a new attraction called The Lego Bricks Adventure. Inside the classic movie dome you will find a 10,000 square feet Lego Land. This cinema was the very last of the Cinerama theatres in Canada. It will be missed by everyone who visited Niagara Falls, Ontario.
June 22, 2005
Recently, a New York Times article,), focusing in part on the IFC Center and Landmark’s Sunshine Cinema, took a look at the cult of midnight movies and the way the cult has both evolved and remained true to its roots over the years.
June 21, 2005
ALAMEDA, CA —– In a unaminous vote at its June 13 meeting, the Alameda Planning Board granted the Central Cinema a use permit, eliminating the possiblity for closure for the popular yet controversial boutique theater, to the applause of the vast majority of those attending.
There were several conditions for approval made, such as a minimum 15-minute increment between movies before 6 p.m. and a minimum 20-minute increment between movies after 6 p.m.; the cinema will also be required to offer a bike rack. The cinema’s compliance with various requirements will be reviewed in a year.
At the same meeting, the board also unanimously recommended approval of a related item: a zoning text amendment that will allow boutique theaters (theaters with audiences of 49 persons or less for live performances or for the screening of motion pictures where there is only one screen) to operate in a C-1 zoning district (neighborhood business district), and discussed a controversial plan to attatch a multiplex to the historic Alameda Theatre in hopes of revitalizing the long-closed landmark (which is not being further plexed in the project).
For a detailed story by Dmitry Kiper, read this.
June 17, 2005
ARANSAS PASS, TX — The Rialto Fine Arts Center is now operating in this old movie theater from 1937. A fine arts gallery is housed in what was the ticket and concession areas and a new exhibit gallery and six artist studios are under construction in part of the old auditorium and will be complete by July, 2005.
The Rialto Actors Theatre, a new community theatre group, will occupy the remaining auditorium space with 95 seats. This lively group, led by Artistic Director Trisha Sugarek, is busy designing the new stage and construction will start next week. Their first season opens with “Artichoke” on September 30, 2005.