August 25, 2005
LEWISTOWN, PA — The following email was sent by Paul T. Fagley:
“Embassy Theatre Embarks on Architectural and Marketing Studies
With a $15,000 Historic Preservation Grant from the Commonwealth and the same amount from a bequest from the late Helen Price, LewistownÂ¹s Embassy Theatre is ready to take another step toward its eventual rehabilitation and reuse. The Friends of the Embassy Theatre, a Lewistown-area non-profit organization, are completing architectural and marketing studies, which will provide a foundation for future decisions and investments involving theatre preservation, restoration, and maintenance.
Located on Lewistown’s Monument Square, the Embassy was constructed in 1927, designed as a scaled down version of a Broadway “picture palace” theatre. Films were last shown in 1981 and, 10 years later, the Friends of the Embassy purchased it at an auction. The group reached a major milestone in 2003 with the reconstruction and illumination of the theatreÂ¹s magnificent marquee, often referred to as the Marquee of a Thousand Lights.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Sean Doherty
Colorado filmmaker Sean Doherty has announced plans to produce a documentary about The Historic Park Theatre in Estes Park, Colorado. The Historic Park Theatre is the oldest running movie theatre west of the Mississippi River. The theatre was built in 1913 with the landmark tower added in 1922 by Ralph Gwynn. Long time locals Richard and Ola Stanger operated the theatre from 1968 until their deaths; Richard in 2003 and Ola from ovarian cancer in 2005.
In recent years the Park Theatre has fallen into a state of disrepair. In order to save the theatre from closure, the Stanger family, along with the Cultural Arts Council of Estes Park, have partnered to raise funds to restore the movie theatre to its original 1920’s prime and to continue its operation as the oldest continuous movie theater west of the Mississippi.
August 22, 2005
The Balaban and Katz Historical Foundation has been formed to collect and preserve historical data pertaining to the Balaban and Katz theater corporation. We have a new website and blog at www.balabanandkatzfoundation.com. The foundation’s first project, a book entitled,“ The Chicago Movie Palaces of Balaban and Katz.” is scheduled for release from Arcadia Publishing in December of 2005.
We are working on an extremely detailed Balaban and Katz television documentary featuring Hollywood personalities, former Balaban and Katz employees and family members … to be released soon.
Please visit our site and share any Balaban and Katz memories or wisdom. Contact David Balaban at Stay tuned for details.
The national coverage of moviegoing continues with new articles from New York Times and Time Magazine. Both articles examine the recent trend towards “luxury” moviegoing and the amenities offered by circuits such as Muvico, Pacific (Arclight), and National Amusements (Cinema de Lux).
Where is moviegoing and theater construction headed? Can older theaters remain viable? Is the “crisis” at the box office another bit of media hype? What does the future hold for the movie theater?
Sound off in our comments section.
August 16, 2005
In the Aug. 8 edition of Entertainment Weekly, the magazine named its ‘Top 10’ theaters in the United States.
No. 1 on the list was the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, Texas.
Also making the grade (in no particular order):
• The Kennedy School in Portland, OR
• The Muvico Paradise 24 in Davie, FL
• The Oriental in Milwaukee, WI
• The Castro in San Francisco, CA
• The Senator in Baltimore, MD
• The Film Forum in New York, NY
• The ArcLight in Hollywood, CA
• Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, CA
• Cable Car Cinema in Providence, RI
August 15, 2005
MARIETTA, PA — The Marietta Theatre has been purchased by Marietta Restoration Associates.
The theater, opened in 1914, was the oldest operating motion picture theater in Penna and among the oldest in the United States when it closed in 1997.
The Association is a non profit organization which helps to restore old buildings in this small town. They will hold public meetings to determine future uses for the theater. They expect to have the theater open for tours during the town’s annual Candlelight tour on Dec. 4th.
However the seats, organ, and most of the furnishings have been removed.
August 11, 2005
DES PLAINES, IL — The 1925 Des Plaines Theatre in downtown Des Plaines may soon have Miner Street glowing again with the neon lights of its marquee, according to the Daily Herald. Much-needed repairs on the theater’s marquee are expected to be completed by October 7-9th, when the Des Plaines will celebrate its 80th anniversary. Repairs to the sign include electrical work and a new paint job.
The Des Plaines Theatre Preservation Society is playing host to the celebration, which will feature one of the first films to play at the theater, W.C. Fields' “Sally of the Big Sawdust”, which will be accompanied by live organ music. (The Des Plaines actually opened with “The Unholy Three” starring Lon Chaney). Ticket prices for the anniversary weekend will be the same as in 1925, a quarter. Since last year, the Society has been presenting classic films and other events, while Bollywood features continue to play on the theater’s second screen.
August 10, 2005
Auditoria news reports on August 4th 2005:
Historic theatre archive to go online
Theatres Trust awarded grant
An image database of up to 3,000 British theatres is to be made available to the public for the first time through an online archive being created by the Theatres Trust.
The organisation has been awarded a GBP50,000 (USD89,000) grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and hopes to upload some 8,000 images on to its website by the end of 2006. These include engravings going back to the early 19th century and photographs and posters from the turn of the 20th. There are also pictures of lost buildings, original plans of existing theatres and up-to-date photographs.
“We have this huge resource, probably the biggest source of information about theatre buildings in the country, but up until now no one has really known about it,” says Peter Longman, Theatres Trust director.
August 8, 2005
AUGUSTA, GA – According to the Augusta Chronicle, the historic Miller Theater was purchased last week by Augusta businessman Peter S. Knox IV. Opened in 1940 and closed since the mid-1980s, the theater will be repaired and eventually redeveloped either for “renovation” or “mothballing,” according to a statement.
According to the Chronicle, “The Miller Theater was owned by Martinez resident Homer H. Boyd, who was facing a foreclosure sale today on the property because of more than $5,200 in delinquent taxes from 2003 and 2004 … The theater has been the focus of a grass roots effort to save it from dilapidation and was marketed through the Web page www.friendsofthemiller.com.”
If anybody has any historical media or information that they wouldn’t mind contributing to the Miller Theater website, please visit the official website and use the contact link at the bottom of the page.
August 1, 2005
LOS ANGELES, CA — The long-vacant Million Dollar Theatre on Broadway, which opened in 1918 for Sid Grauman, could be reopened soon as a concert venue (in the main auditorium) and cafe (in the lobby space).
Robert Voskanian, who manages the Stock Exchange nightclub, has recently signed a lease with the Million Dollar’s owner, the Yellin Company, which would bring the 2000-plus seat former movie palace back to life. Its last use was as a church.
Voskanian predicts that the Million Dollar “is going to bring a lot of people downtown”. Yellin Company vice president Anne Peaks adds, “We hope everything comes together because we think it would be wonderful for Broadway.”