May 11, 2004
PORT ST. JOE, FL — Recently, I clearly saw the value of Historic Registry status for our Port Theatre.
The process of application for National Historic Registry nomination is not a quick process. It could take 2 to 3 years to get through successfully. One needs to persevere and not get discouraged because in the long run it helps preserve one more theater, one more treasure.
Contacting your state’s historic department is probably the best first step in the process. You may also want to visit the National Register of Historic Places website.
April 30, 2004
CHARLESTON, SC — A few dozen people gathered on Monday night, April 26, to discuss a strategy for saving the Garden Theater as a theater. It was recently sold to a group of investors who plan to lease it to a national clothing chain. Many said converting the theater to retail space would be a loss for the city.
Jonathan Poston of the Historic Charleston Foundation said that would be “a perfect example of the mall-ization of King Street. If Charleston wants a theater on King Street that is still a theater… the community has to come up with the money.”
April 28, 2004
NEWINGTON, CT — The Hartford Drive-In on the Berlin Turnpike in Newington was one of only four remaining drive-ins in Connecticut when it screened its final movie in 1996.
Since then, the theater has sat and deteriorated, with occasional seasonal use as a flea market or Christmas tree lot. While efforts to purchase and reopen the drive-in theater failed long ago, efforts to redevelop the property with a large retailer (like Wal-Mart) weren’t successful either.
PADUCAH, KY — In an effort to lure artists to a formerly run-down area that’s currently in the midst of a revival as an artists colony, the neighboring Arcade and Columbia Theatres, closed for more than 20 years, are being given away by City of Paducah.
The city, according to this report in the Chicago Tribune, is hoping to donate either one or both of the theaters to the right party with the right plan. Carol Gault, executive director of the Main Street Paducah program says “the theaters would be perfect for a non-for-profit group that wanted to put on plays, or, for that matter, start showing films again. We’re willing to listen to any ideas.”
April 27, 2004
RIVERHEAD, NY — The sad saga of the Suffolk Theatre continues as the most recent deal to purchase the beleaguered movie house has fallen through, according to Newsday. Closed since 1987, the theater has gone through a series of public and private efforts to secure its future to little avail. The battle continues …
April 26, 2004
PLEASANT HILL, CA — A local high student is leading an effort to preserve the domed CineArts theater. Slated to be torn down to make way for a new retail and entertainment complex, the Dome remains open (and popular) and is still a local landmark.
According to the Contra Costa Times, the demolition of the domed theater, currently exhibiting art house films, has been pushed off while developers bring in two large retailers.
April 22, 2004
April 20, 2004
April 15, 2004
LOS ANGELES, CA — “Most of the great movie houses have disappeared. Even in Los Angeles, capital of the American movie industry, scores of grand theaters have been carved up, bulldozed away or converted into churches or 99-cent stores. A few are shuttered in the hope that someday they will be saved. The few lucky ones like the Pantages and the Wiltern have gone back to the future as live theaters or music venues.
But scattered around Southern California are a few remaining single-screen cathedrals of cinema where for $10 or so you’re transported to another world even before the opening credits roll by…"
(Thanks to Jim Rankin for sending this in.)
LAKE ELMO & COTTAGE VIEW, MN — The Pioneer Press reports on the continued success of the Vali Hi Drive-In in Lake Elmo and the Cottage View Drive-In in Cottage View. These two Minnesota drive-ins are two of the roughly 550 in operation around the country.
According to our friends at Drive-Ins.com, there are five drive-ins operating in Minnesota.
(Thanks to Dennis Huber for sending this in!)