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.
Here is an article about the Oak Street theater in Minnesota, but the problems detailed in the article are those faced by other repertory theaters like the Brattle in Cambridge.
I’d be interested to hear others opinions about how these kinds of old theaters showing older movies can survive and even thrive in the new marketplace.
You can read the article here. Thanks.
February 13, 2006
CHICAGO, IL — The Chicago Sun Times is reporting that renovation work at the Shubert Theatre (now known as the LaSalle Bank Theatre) has uncovered original interior plaster decoration, as well as brass fittings that were “hidden” to prevent their removal during the World War II era.
The story includes photos and more details about the renovation of this gorgeous playhouse in Chicago’s Loop.
February 9, 2006
NILES, IL — Village Theatres has closed the Golf Glen Theatre in Niles, IL. The final day was February 2, 2006. The Golf Glen was a typically bland early-to-mid 1980s creation. Theatres of this type, once widespread form the late 1970s to the early 1990s, fell quickly out of favor with audiences who wanted a return to some ambiance and wider screens.
Village may have feared, and rightly so, the new cinemas which Kerasotes is constructing at the nearby Golf Mill shopping center. Also, attendance was quite low at this theatre, probably because Village doesn’t advertise most of its theatres in the paper (except for the Lincoln Village Theatre). Village has, however re-activated its website, www.villagetheatres.com.
Such a non-descript theatre might not warrant an entry here except for two reasons:
1) It was probably the last theatre built for Essaness Theatres prior to that chain’s takeover by Plitt (which incidentally, to my knowledge, leaves only two former Essaness Theatres still showing movies in the Chicagoland Area — the Lake and the Davis).
2) It probably had more owner/operators in its 23 year span than any other. Essaness, Plitt, Cineplex-Odeon, Loews-Cineplex, and Village all operated it at one time or another.
February 6, 2006
I am passionately and energetically pursuing my dream to renovate an historic Times Square movie theater – once called the DeMille – and convert it into an Off-Broadway/Independent Film four-theater complex.
I am looking for additional investors (I have a strong business plan, over 3 million raised already and lots of experience building theaters) and/or theater or independent film companies who would like 10 years of free rent for office space, storage space and theater use in exchange for capital upfront for the buildout fund.
DU QUOIN, IL — The Grand Theater, which has been closed since August 24th when owner Bill Ivy had a stroke, will be sold and reopened according to this story in The Southern Illinoisan. This is one of the few independent theaters in the region as well as one of the last old-time movie theaters. The new owner, who is yet unnamed, plans to continue the theaters low-cost family friendly movies and to make improvements to the 1940s era theater.
YONKERS, NY — New movie theaters were mentioned yesterday in the Phase 1 portion of a major announced downtown renewal plan encompassing the Chicken Island city owned parking lot. Developer Louis Capelli had brought Regal into his nearby New Rochelle, NY New Roc Center project several years ago. That theater is the most successful in the Regal chain.
It will be interesting to see which chains become interested. The official press release appears in yonkerstribune.com but today’s edition of thejournalnews.com makes no mention of the theaters.
January 30, 2006
When you go to http://www.enjoytheshow.com now, it takes you to a combined Loews/AMC website.
The former Loews theatres, in particular the ones in Manhattan that I checked, are listed as being AMC but aren’t showing up yet in the listings. This was at 9:35am Eastern time Friday 1/27/06. So it must be a matter of time until they get loaded in there. Will check back later in the day.
Any word on if signage changed at the theaters themselves?
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.