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
January 4, 2005
December 29, 2004
December 24, 2004
Larry Grossman, the wonderful artist who we profiled a few months ago, sent us this beautiful Christmas card.
December 22, 2004
Friends of the Raymond Theatre Receives 2004 President’s Award From California Preservation Foundation
PASADENA, CA — The California Preservation Foundation has awarded Pasadena-based preservation organization Friends of the Raymond Theatre the 2004 “President’s Award” for their 17-year effort to preserve Pasadena’s Historic Raymond Theatre (aka Perkins Palace). The award is the highest award in the State of California presented in the field of historic preservation.
Founded in 1987 by the Raymond Theatre’s former manager and concert promoter Gina Zamparelli, Friends of the Raymond Theatre’s mission is to ensure protection, preservation and revitalization of Pasadena’s Historic Raymond Theatre. With more than 7,000 members worldwide, Friends of the Raymond Theatre is one of largest preservation organizations working to preserve a single historic structure in the state of California.
December 21, 2004
MADISON, WI — An early Sunday morning fire at the Orpheum Theatre has caused an estimated $100,000 in damage.
The fire, discovered by a quick thinking employee who tried to put out the fire while instructing others to call 911, was extinguished within minutes of the Madison Fire Department’s arrival.
Sadly, however, this is not the first blaze to strike the Orpheum. This past April, another fire caused $20,000 in damage. Orpheum owner Henry Doane believes both fires were deliberately set.
The theater is temporarily closed, awaiting cleanup and restoration.