February 3, 2005
CHICAGO, IL — There is an article about the Uptown Theatre published in this week’s edition of INSIDE, a north Chicago newspaper, which updates the current legal battle surrounding ownership of the theatre.
The article mentions a grassroots petition to support the theatre. It can be found at www.compassrose.org along with a history of the Uptown.
MILWAUKEE, WI —
Let us hope that this is a breath of real hope for our beloved AVALON Theatre. There have been many hopes dashed and failures noted in the past, we can only hope that it will be different this time. The owner has played disingenuously with potential buyers in the past, according to sources, but perhaps he is now realizing a combined purchasing power that may be able to meet his reportedly stiff price.
February 1, 2005
NEW YORK, NY — There was a very interesting article about the past, present and future of Greenwich Village’s Waverly Theater, by David Dunlap, in the New York Times on January 25th: “Past Will Flicker in Village Theater Renovation.”
The theater, closed since October, 2001, is undergoing an $8 million dollar transformation into a three-theater complex that will house the IFC (Independent Film Channel) Center. Two theaters, a 220-seat main floor theater and a 110-seat upstairs theater will be in the original theater structure, and a 60-seat theater and cafe are planned for an adjacent building.
LOS ANGELES, CA — A photo essay (viewable only in print and not online) in the February 2005 issue of Los Angeles Magazine focuses on some of the area’s most notable movie palaces – among others, the Los Angeles, the Vista, the El Capitan, and the Warner Grand.
January 31, 2005
ST. CHARLES, IL — With last Thursday’s showing of Disney/Pixar’s “The Incredibles,” movies came to an end at the historic Arcada Theatre in downtown St. Charles.
According to the Daily Herald, the 1926 theater’s current owner’s lease expires today and there is now an effort growing to turn the Arcada into a performing arts center. If that doesn’t work, owner Todd Price says that there may be no other choice than to seek other uses for the building, including office and retail space, a fate that recently befell another historic suburban movie house, the Hinsdale.
January 26, 2005
NEW YORK, NY — In a January 23, 2004 New York Times article, entitled A Crossroads for Restaurants, Mervyn Rothstein reports on a number of real estate developments in the Times Square area, including four that involve sites that were once movie theaters.
A new restaurant, “Bond 45,” is set to open tomorrow in the building that used to house the Criterion Theater. (Given the restaurant’s name, presumably it is located in the space that was originally the Bond’s clothing store, which shared the site with the Criterion.)
The Hard Rock Cafe is set to move its restaurant from 57th St. to the site of the World Wrestling Entertainment restaurant complex — built, in part, of the site of the fabled Paramount Theater. (From the article it appears that the new restaurant will occupy about 5,500 sq. feet of ground-level space, where the theater’s lobby once was, and 35,000 sq. ft. of basement space.)
January 21, 2005
CHICAGO, IL — The former Water Tower movie theaters at the Water Tower Place shopping center on Michigan Avenue and Chestnut Street, which closed in summer of 2003 after a brief stint as an art house under the Village Theatres chain, will be opening around April as a single auditorium, 549-seat live theater venue.
The Drury Lane Theatre at Water Tower Place’s first production will be Terrence McNally and David Yazbek’s “The Full Monty”. Drury Lane originally was part of the shopping center when it opened in 1976, but later closed, and the space turned into a movie theater under Plitt Theatres, then Cineplex Odeon, and finally Meridian Theatres before closing in 2001.
Screens 5-7 reopened in 2002 under Village Theatres, while 1-4 were turned into additional retail space. The cost of the renovation back to a live theater space cost around $9 million. It will be the second new live theater to open on Michigan Avenue in recent years, with the Lookingglass Theatre company opening its new space in the historic Water Tower Water Works just across the street from Water Tower Place in 2003.
For more information, read the Chicago Tribune article.
January 13, 2005
I just bumped across Theater Hopper, an online comic book that’s all about going to the movies. Pretty funny stuff, actually.
January 6, 2005
MADISON, WI — After weeks of investigation, the capitol city of Wisconsin has determined that its Orpheum Theatre was indeed a victim of arson, not once, but at least twice, and a third time is suspected. Read the account here from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
Film reports were shown on Milwaukee’s WTMJ-4, channel 4 TV, which showed only the exterior of the closed theatre with notices on the doors promising reopening. The Fire Marshall asks for any tips and a reward of $5,000 is being offered.
It would seem that not everyone appreciates theatres, but at least most Wisconsinites must like them or else a city 80 miles from Madison wouldn’t have run the story, possibly to be repeated at later broadcasts.
January 5, 2005