June 11, 2007
RICHMOND, VA — The Byrd Theatre Foundation has finally secured a deal that gives control over the namesake theatre. Now the fight to restore the building to its former luster begins.
Luckily for Byrd fans, the Warren heirs finally agreed on a date and a price. On May 31, the Foundation announced that its persistence (and $1.2 million) had paid off as the organization was the proud new owner of The Byrd.
However, now that the organization holds ownership of the building, the real work can begin, said Bertie Selvey, the other co-vice president of the Foundation and president of Byrd Watchers, a separately formed entity of community volunteers that raises money and awareness for preservation of The Byrd.
“This has been a long struggle,” Selvey said. “When I came in here and found out what hadn’t been going on, I realized that if we didn’t do something we would lose it. But we are putting all that behind us and we are jumping ahead. Now we have a big job…and the first thing we need is the new roof so we can get rid of those 21 buckets up there.”
To read more, go to Richmond.com.
CONCORD, CA — After a long court battle, a church is finally going to be able to use a shopping center’s theater as their home base.
The Harvest Church won a round in court today in its effort to use a former movie theater in Concord’s Park & Shop shopping center as its congregation gathering spot.
The California 1st District Court of Appeal upheld decisions by the City Council and a Superior Court judge to allow the use.
City officials fought the plan for years, saying the proposed use conflicted with the city’s effort to implement more intense retail uses in the downtown core. City leaders eventually approved the plans, and business owners in the area challenged that decision.
For more on the new chapter of this growing trend, read the Contra Costa Times.
June 7, 2007
WATSEKA, IL — The Watseka Theatre opened in 1931 but started to fall on hard times in the late 60’s early 70’s. These hard times forced its closing in the 90’s only to see it’s upcoming rebirth later this year!
Charles Gomez has purchased the theatre and preservation efforts are already under way! The Watseka Theatre/Iroquois Performing Arts Center is now planning a New Years Eve Grand Re-Opening! New life is once again being placed in this Art Deco Gem! A Theatre Cafe and Bed and Breakfast are in the plans for the adjoining store fronts & those with fond old memories are asked to . That’s “Watseka Theatre Memories”!
June 4, 2007
During this weekend’s showings of Pirates of the Caribbean, theatre officials announced that the five year old Sherman Oaks theatre would reopen as an ArcLight cinema in the winter of ‘07. Plans are to close the smaller auditoriums at the end of the summer, then close the entire complex in the fall while the remodeling is done.
According to the theatre manager, the prices will rise in accordance with the upgrade to an ArcLight, although it was hinted that they might still be a dollar or two less than the Hollywood flagship.
BELLEVILLE, IL — Plans are in motion to restore the front of the Washington Theater and at least convert some of it to lofts.
Hillesheim said she hopes to be able to make loft space in the taller part of the theater building known as the fly space, where scenery and other items could be raised out of the way of the stage.
Work on the facade is at a halt at the moment because Hillesheim has to apply for downtown facade improvement grants and plan out what is to be done and how to do it.
For more, read the Belleville News Democrat
May 29, 2007
The NY Post reported the other day of plans for a new multiplex in the northwest Bronx on Broadway at West 230th Street in the borough’s Marble Hill neighborhhod. The chain was not identified, but many months back, The Bronx Review press reported that developer Bernard Rosensheim of Westchester County had an agreement with National Amusements to open at that site.
There is also talk of another theater as part of a possible retail project at the site of the former Kingsbridge Armory on Jerome Avenue just above Fordham Road. It was used for stages recently for films “I Am Legend” and “The Hard Way' years back.
May 25, 2007
PENDLETON, OR — The 1920-era Rivoli Theater is being bought by the Oregon East Symphony (OES) and will be rebuilt into a multi-purpose theater for the community. Given the size of Pendleton, the Rivoli was a rather grand theater. The organizers will be looking for an interior theater designer/architect to work with them to develop with the best, most workable design possible.
The old Rivoli Theater has been empty for years, with dust, wood rot and mold its primary occupants. But that soon could change if the Oregon East Symphony has its way.
The OES Board of Directors met Wednesday night and agreed to purchase the old theater building at 355 S. Main St. with contingencies. OES Treasurer Dr. Frank Erickson said contingencies include issues such as how to deal with mold, asbestos and a structural analysis to determine if bringing the old building to life is feasible.
For the full story, go to the East Oregonian.
Please contact Tom Hebert at the address below, who will forward all inquiries and materials to the organizing committee.
71904 Patawa Road
Pendleton, OR 97801
May 21, 2007
VICKSBURG, MS — Now, six months have lapsed and Vicksburg still doesn’t have a cinema. I heard that Mayor Leyens was asked about the Pemberton again. Now his big mistake was this: he said in an interview the day the cinema operator opted that by summer this port would have cinema and the CBL rep claimed that she’s searching for one. I got smart when I was out at the near dead mall and I ask around. The response? No new operator.
But the mayor got nervous about the question. He stated that he’s going to Las Vegas Nevada next week to confront CBL Associates directly on the issue. He admitted the cinema is in poor repair and needs work. But the locals I suspect want a brand new bigger cinema.
May 18, 2007
FLINT, MI — After the producers of the film “Semi-Pro” spent $20,000 to restore the Capitol Theatre’s marquee, Troy Farah whose family owns the Capitol Theatre building hopes the film will have its world premiere at the theater. The last time the theatre was open was during Flint’s sesquicentennial in 2005 and had free showings of classic Disney cartoons.
A Christie digital projector was brought in for that presentation and the screen is in working order.
But the theater’s heating system is not in good working order. To keep the theater from freezing during the winter, two regular gas furnaces are set up in front of the theater’s stage with PVC pipes leading to two holes in an exit door to exhaust the fumes.
WINTER GARDEN, FL — The streets of downtown Winter Garden were filled with over 1500 excited moviegoers Saturday evening as the Garden Theatre premiered The Starlite Movie Night series under the marquee. The two-story movie screen showcasing the Ben Stiller flick, “Night at the Museum”, provided free family fun as a thank you to the community for its continued support of the theatre while building excitement around the re-opening scheduled for January 2008.
This event, sponsored by Seasons 52 and Castle & Cooke, marked the first cinematic experience in the historic downtown area in over forty years. Families and friends, gathered on blankets and lawn chairs to create a drive-in ambiance, enjoyed the Lakeview Middle School jazz band pre-show while favorite movie refreshments, including popcorn, candy, snocones, and cotton candy, were served.