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.
December 20, 2004
Since the firing, many fans of the Castro — who believe that Monga’s work was instrumental to crafting the Castro’s legendary film schedule — are planning to protest with boycotts and pickets.
December 10, 2004
WHEATON, IL — The Grand Theatre Corp. (a not for profit) has signed a one year management deal with Grande Venues, Inc. (a for profit corporation) to operate the Wheaton Grand Theatre. The theatre is currently divided in three: two movie theatres and a large concert venue featuring the well preserved proscenium arch and the lighted dome.
Plans are now under consideration to keep the present configuration allowing greater access to the public for smaller performances, conferences, and movie festivals while keeping the architectural elements unique to the building.
Paul Warshauer and Mike Novelli, the principals of Grande Venues, have already commenced an aggressive programming schedule including rock concerts, murder mysteries, a lecture series, benefits for victims in Iraq, film and television production classes, and special events including a “Somewhere in Time” weekend in February and a Peter Pan Festival slated for April.
See the website for more details www.wheatongrand.net.
December 7, 2004
PHILADELPHIA, PA — The following email was sent in by Howard Haas of Friends of the Boyd:
“The Friends of the Boyd have received news of a generous grant from Arcadia Foundation for $30,000 towards recreation of the missing original Art Deco chandeliers from the Grand Lobby of Philadelphia’s Boyd Theatre.
The Boyd Theatre was built in 1928 in the French Art Deco style. The original main chandelier and two adjoining pendants were removed during 1953 remodeling. In 1971, a central chandelier not compatible with the Art Deco style was hung. The grant will be sufficient for recreation in its original Art Deco style of the main chandelier, so it will look as it did in historic photos.
December 6, 2004
SOUTHINGTON, CT — An auction was held at the Southington Drive-In recently to sell all its possessions. Basically anything that wasn’t nailed down (and even many of things that were) were available for a price. Screen one has already been removed and the speaker poles have fallen.
Vandals have graffitied the building and broken windows. Water leaks through the ceiling of the former concession stand. The drive-in, even though it was closed for only two years, is already in a state of decay. The town of Southington purchased the property for $1.6 million earlier this year and will use it to expand a neighboring park.
Screen two and two of the projectors will remain to show movies in the park for free a few times each summer. The drive-in closed not because of lack of business, but because the younger generation of the family that owned it wanted to sell the business.
For more information, read the Record-Journal article.
December 3, 2004
HUNTINGTON, WV — Robert Edmunds, a communications professor at Marshall University, had founded the Huntington Theatre Organ Project in an effort to help galvanize interest of local business in preservation and restoration of the 1928 Thomas Lamb Keith-Albee Theatre.
The Project has nearly completed installation of a 1927 Wurlitzer EX pipe organ into the Keith that was originally built for the Granada Theatre in Bluefield, WV. The Keith’s original organ (Wurlitzer Model 240 that was used for silent movies) was sold in the 1950s and is own by a private collector.
Commenting upon the Keith, Edmunds praised the theater as a “palace of splendor.” Edmunds will be playing Christmas selections during intermission of “The Incredibles” this Saturday. In fact, the theater now has the balcony with comfortable loge seats and stadium similar seating open on every weekend.
December 2, 2004
STATEN ISLAND, NY — An Allen organ console was expected to arrive at the St. George Theatre yesterday.
It is on loan through our friends at the New York Theatre Organ Society (NYTOS). The theater will “borrow” it for about a month until another suitable console can be found.
In the meanwhile, the Allen will help to “re-open” the theater in time for its gala 75th anniversary on December 4th.
We look forward to a HUGE attendance for this rare and wonderful theater experience, which includes a red carpet, Klieg lights, entertainment, important notables, AND the “Mighty Allen!”
Hope to see you there!
November 24, 2004
ATLANTA, GA — On Christmas Day, December 25th, 1929, the Atlanta Fox Theatre opened its doors to the public for the very first time. To commorate its 75 years, the Fox Theatre will host a gala open house on Sunday, December 26th from 1pm until 7pm.
The Fox will open up its auditorium and ballrooms to the public with no admission charge. Many events are planned to take place at the Fox during this celebration. For more information, please visit the Fox’s web site at http://www.foxtheatre.org/
November 19, 2004
FULLERTON, CA — The following email was received from the Fullerton Historic Theatre Foundation:
“WE DID IT!!!!
Thanks to a very generous gift of $1,000,000, we have reached our total fundraising goal of $3.5 million and can open escrow on the Fox this Friday! The donor, who prefers to remain anonymous for the present, presented us with a $700,000 cashiers check late yesterday, and has pledged the remaining $300,000 as a challenge grant for our restoration fundraising needs.
This generous donation is allowing us to “trigger” our pledge fulfillments, so all checks that have turned in and stored in our bank vault will now be cashed into our special checking account to open escrow.
Please come by the Fox or our offices through Friday to say hi and help celebrate!