January 27, 2006
PLYMOUTH, MI — The Friends of the Penn, a group of local investors made up of seven area business people, have purchased the Penn Theatre in downtown Plymouth, which has been closed since 2004, for $1.2 million, according to this story in the Detroit News. With the purchase complete, the group now intends to turn its attention to raising an additional $1 million to restore and reopen the 1941 Art Moderne theater located on Penniman Avenue.
The Friends of the Penn plan on using the theater to screen second-run movies as well as hosting live performances, including the Plymouth Symphony Orchestra. One of the investors, Donald Soenen, a Plymouth resident since 1969, says, “In Plymouth this is a big deal. There is tremendous support for the arts here…the real reason all these people have gotten involved is because they also believe this theater should be preserved because it will be a benefit to the community.”
January 25, 2006
YONKERS, NY — The Grinton Will Library, 1500 Central Park Avenue, in Yonkers has a few pictures of the former RKO Proctors and Loew’s theaters, both located on South Broadway in downtown Yonkers. Loews later became Brandt’s Yonkers. The display is titled “Yonkers Then and Now”, and features many interesting photos as well.
FYI: The photos belonging to the Yonkers Planning Dept would be available for copying under the Freedom of Information Law in the event you like them after seeing them on display. Most others belong to the Yonkers Historical Society which may sell reproductions.
January 23, 2006
PELHAM, NY — “It’s really heartbreaking when you see old movie theaters torn down,” 41-year-old actor Matt Dillon said at a fundraiser for the historic Pelham Picture House. He was quoted in a story by Rebecca Baker Erwin that appeared Sunday, January 22 in Gannett’s Westchester County paper, The Journal News.
Dillon was back home in Westchester Saturday night as the main attraction at a sold-out event which brought 900 people to the Hilton Rye Town to support the nonprofit film center. Dillon grew up in Mamaroneck, where he was discovered in middle school.
The fundraiser’s goal was to raise $150,000 to create a three-screen theater that could show a variety of films. It was sponsored by Picture House Regional Film Center, which bought the movie venue November.
More details can be found in the full report.
January 19, 2006
January 12, 2006
CHARLOTTE, NC — The Charlotte City Council voted January 9 to sell the long shuttered Carolina Theatre to the Atlanta developer Camden Management Partners. They propose a luxury high rise condominium project of up to 125 units built in front of and above the existing theater. The vacant corner lot in front of the auditorium should see the return of the recently dismantled theater faÃ§ade incorporated into the new structure.
The theater will be privately owned and operated with renovation money coming from a combination of sources – about $4.5 million in property taxes generated from the new condos, a $1 million developer contribution and at least another $2 million to be raised privately by a local preservation group. Drawings of the new tower have not yet been released and programming of the theater space remains unclear.
Once again a New Year has arrived, and as we go into the new year, a new opportunity for fresh grant money to restore your historical theater will become available, begining in January of 2006. Grants are available for preservation and/or conservation work on nationally significant intellectual and cultural artifacts and nationally significant historic structures and sites that include historical theaters.
Grants are awarded through a competitive process and require a dollar non-federal match, which can be cash, donated services, or use of equipment. The grant and the non-federal match must be expended during the grant period (generally 2 to 3 years) to execute your theater restoration project. The minimum grant request for historic property projects is $250,000 federal share. The maximum grant request for all projects is $1 million federal share. The Grants Panel may, at its discretion, award less than the minimum grant request.
As a Performing Art Centers Of Indiana client, one of their consultants will set up an appointment with your organization, to discuss the 2006 application grants package process and determine if your organization qualifies under the grants criteria guidelines. Their consulting firm will then assist you with the application grants package and help determine your organizations financial and restoration budget needs, for your project. To get started today, log onto their web site at www.onstagein.com to get your grants package and application process, implemented !
January 9, 2006
SALT LAKE CITY, UT — A Utah movie theater has decided not to show the film “Brokeback Mountain,” according to an Associated Press report. The film was supposed to open Friday at the Megaplex at Jordan Commons.
YEADON, PA — The 69 year-old Yeadon Theatre sustained heavy damage in a fire in the early hours of Sunday morning, January 8th according to a story in today’s Centre Daily Times. Borough Fire Chief Craig Jeffries said, “The fire was actually shooting out into the middle of the street”. The fire started in the lobby/vestibule area, and was confined to the front of the building. The cause of the blaze is under investigation.
The John Eberson-designed Art Moderne movie theater opened in 1937 and closed in 2001. Its rear wall was demolished in 2003, but at the last moment, the theater’s demolition was halted, thanks to a campaign by preservationists who hoped that the Yeadon could be reopened one day as a performing arts venue.
Council President Vivian Brooker Ford said the theater’s future will be discussed at a council meeting tonight. A decision on the theater’s integrity will be made once the evaluation by an engineer is completed.
For more information, read this report.
December 16, 2005
NEW YORK, NY — While it offers a one week exclusive engagement of “The Producers,” Clearview’s Ziegfeld Theatre will be charging $12.50 for admission.
According to Wednesday’s New York Post, as the film begins additional runs next week, the theatre’s ticket price will be returned to the current Manhattan standard of $10.75.
“It’s a business decision,” says Clearview spokesperson Beth Crimmons. “We’ll be regular price after that.”
As a Broadway play, “The Producers” had the dubious honor of being the first to raise theater tickets to $100 – and now it appears the movie is poised to break a film barrier, as well.
The exclusive engagement will begin with today’s shows and run through next Friday.
December 14, 2005
FLUSHING, QUEENS, NY — The Board of Standards and Appeals in New York City has, after three years, approved the construction of a seventeen-story tower on the site of the former RKO Keith’s Theatre, according to the New York Daily News. The project will include 200 apartments, a senior citizen center, retail space, and parking. Construction is expected to take about a year and a half.
The 1927 RKO Keith’s grand lobby and foyer area, declared a city landmark in 1984, and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, will be restored and fronted by a “curtain of glass” to allow passersby to view the interior. Former theater owner Thomas Huang was fined for bulldozing part of the lobby’s grand staircase. Huang allowed the theater to fall into disrepair.
Councilman John Liu said, “The formerly majestic RKO Keith’s Theatre, which has long symbolized the gateway to northeast Queens, will no longer be a blight and embarrassment to our community”.
Borough President Helen Marshall, speaking in front of the theater said, “Today, we are here to acknowledge all the hard work and meetings…that shaped a mixed-use development that makes sense and benefits such an important location in Queens”.