June 6, 2016
From the Star Tribune: One of Minnesota’s finest art museums provides an ever-changing global repertoire of avant-garde work and cherished classics. For generations, the Art Deco Uptown Theatre has been the hottest ticket and coolest movie marathon in town. To celebrate the beginning of its second century the Uptown throws its 100th anniversary party this week.
Since World War I, it has appealed to moving-picture fans even when the heating and cooling fans became museum pieces of their own. Before admissions were sold online, visitors stood outside the box office in the kinds of long queues that ticket scalpers hope for. Even with a 1939 conflagration that closed it for repair, and later grousing about parking shortages and worn seating, it drew devotees decade after decade.
June 3, 2016
From the Alaska Dispatch News: A tax break that was part of a proposal to redevelop the historical but unused 4th Avenue Theatre downtown has been denied by the city’s chief fiscal officer, according to documents submitted to the Anchorage Assembly this week.
The owner of the theater and adjacent properties, Peach Investments, had proposed a complex costing roughly $278 million that would include pedestrian shopping, a parking garage and tower. The Assembly declared the property “deteriorated” last May, and in September, Peach Investments applied for partial tax exemptions amounting to about $38 million over 10 years.
Without a tax break, the owners argued, the project most likely couldn’t happen. But in a memo to Mayor Ethan Berkowitz and the Assembly, Anchorage chief fiscal officer Robert Harris said the application didn’t demonstrate that the tax break was in fact necessary — or that the project even qualified for one under current city law.
In an interview Wednesday, Harris said the proposal detailed a project that was just in its early stages and lacked specifics. He said the owners didn’t pin down key details, like whether a hotel or a condominium would be built.
June 1, 2016
Cleveland, OH – Vintage Playhouse Square gallery chronicles rise, decline and rebirth of iconic district
From Cleveland.com: When Playhouse Square was built, shortly after World War I, it was the largest performing arts center in the United States outside of New York City, according to the Cleveland Memory Project. With 11 stages and 10,000 seats, it retains that title in 2016.
The project began when a partnership — spearheaded by developer Joseph Laronge — built a row of theaters on Euclid Avenue in 1921. Native Clevelanders will recognize the names of the five theaters they opened that year: Allen, Ohio, State, Palace and Hanna. All five still stand today.
Cleveland theatergoers have seen some of the most famous stage plays and musicals in theater history at Playhouse Square through the years, including “Hello Dolly,” “My Fair Lady” and the controversial “Hair.”
But it’s been a bumpy ride for the historic block in downtown Cleveland. Four of the theaters shut their doors — seemingly for good — in the late 1960s, but were eventually rescued by the grass-roots efforts of civic-minded Clevelanders.
May 19, 2016
From southwestjournal.com: The Uptown Theatre’s landmark sign originally required approval from the civil aviation authority — it was the first three-sided vertical tower sign in the country, said Assistant Manager Joseph Larsen.
The theater is celebrating its 100th anniversary with a party and a run of classic films in June.
Originally called the Lagoon, the Uptown Theatre opened in 1916 as part of a dance hall and storefront block, according to research by Larsen.
May 18, 2016
April 14, 2016
The Colonial Theatre in Phoenixville, PA, which gained cultural significance when it appeared in the 1958 Steve McQueen movie The Blob, started a new chapter in its storied history last week, when the Association for the Colonial Theatre (ACT), a non-profit organization that operates the local landmark, held the groundbreaking ceremony for their ‘Bank on the Arts’ project.
April 5, 2016
The Watts Theatre is a recognizable feature on Osage, Iowa’s Main Street. The neon lights with the chrome, pink and teal facade stick out among the more subdued buildings on the street.
March 28, 2016
From the Avalon to the Uptown, Chicago Magazine explored the city’s historic theatres. Enjoy the article and great photos along with notes like these about the Uptown Theatre:
March 24, 2016
Great News From Our Friends in Oregon! The Community Planning Workshop (CPW) is embarking on a dramatic journey, the Oregon Historic Theatres Inventory Project. CPW will explore these incredible cultural gems, once cornerstones of social and economic life, to understand their continued value as community assets.
March 23, 2016
The grand old Palace Theatre in Greensburg, PA is getting a touch-up to celebrate its 90th anniversary.
Mike Langer, of the Westmoreland Community Trust, has helped raised more than $10 million to keep it open.
“We had over 75,000 people come in the last year, had over 113 shows, 40-some special events,” he says. “When you put that many people through a building that was built in 1926, you can imagine there’s going to be some wear and tear.”