October 29, 2002
FLUSHING, NY — Here’s a name from the past: the Keith’s Theatre, in Flushing, whose sad tale is legendary by now. After closing in 1986 as a tarnished, but still beautiful triplex, the Keith’s was purchased by Thomas Huang who subsequently demolished landmarked sections of the building.
The city of Flushing evoked his permits after discovering the violation, but the damage had been done.
According to the Daily News, Huang plead guilty in 1999 to two felony counts of “endangering the public health, safety and environment and presenting a false instrument for filing in connection with the old theater.”
The Daily News is now reporting that a new, unnamed developer has purchased the gutted and dilapidated theater from Huang. The sale is expected to close by November 12th and the new “community-minded developer” is expected to develop the site for commercial and residential use.
The Northern Blvd. landmark opened in 1927 as a 3,000-seat movie palace. It was one of the grandest theaters built in all of the New York city area and its loss is still fresh among outraged preservationists.
We’ll keep you posted…
October 28, 2002
HAYS, KS — The historic Fox Theatre has been temporarily reopened by Dickinson Theatres to take advantage of the busy holiday season at the box office. According to the Hays Daily News, the twinned movie house is still up for sale and listed for $325,000.
The Fox Theatre is one of the few movie houses left in the country with its original “crying room,” an 8-seater with reinforced glass to block out noise. The Fox originally opened in 1950 as a 1000-seat single screen theater.
GREENWOOD, OH — Clark Kimbrell, the owner of the Cinema Four Theater in Cleveland, will reopen Greenwood’s only movie house, the Cinema Three, by mid-November, according to the Greenwood Commonwealth.
Located in the Highland Park Shopping Center, Kimbrell plans to rename the triplex the “Joy Theater” after his grandfather’s first movie house.
The Greenwood theater originally opened in 1977 as a twin. A third screen was added a few years later. It closed last month when the Regal Entertainment Group decided not to renew its lease.
TACOMA, WA — One of three Tacoma theaters closed by Loews Cineplex during the past year is reopening (again) thanks to Galaxy Theatres. According to The News Tribune, the former 6-screen Tacoma Central was taken over in February by Entertainment Film Works, but ceased operations again in August.
The LA-based Galaxy Theatres, which plans to rename the multiplex venue, the “Galaxy 6 Tacoma Central”, will reopen the theater in early November. Galaxy hopes to get better bookings given its “excellent” relationships with distributors at the major studios.
October 25, 2002
We’ve just added over 30 new theaters including a large group of Brooklyn, NY movie houses thanks to Philip Goldberg, as well as a number of new listings from San Juan, Puerto Rico, courtesy of Jose Mendez.
Chad Irish has also added a number of new Hamilton, Ontario cinemas with Bryan Krefft rounding out the list with theaters from Hollywood, Florida and Dearborn, Michigan.
October 24, 2002
MIAMI, FL — The Olympia Theater at the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts reopened on Tuesday night following an extensive $2.1 million renovation, according to the Miami Herald. Images of the restoration of the theater’s gorgeous atmospheric interior are available at the Herald website.
The Olympia was originally constructed by the godfather of atmospheric theaters, John Eberson, and opened in 1926 for the Paramount theater circuit.
(Thanks to Dennis Huber for the update.)
October 21, 2002
LOMBARD, IL — Lombard officials and concerned residents have reached an accord which should help save the DuPage Theater while not taxing local residents. According to the Daily Herald, $3 million of state and local funds will be used to help resurrect the former movie palace, while the remaining $6.3 million will need to be raised by a new not-for-profit group.
This plan was approved last week by a 4-2 margin and should allay local concerns that the DuPage Theater project would increase property taxes. The city was able to raise the additional money by selling a parcel of land it owns which sits adjacent to the theater.
(Thanks to Bryan Krefft for the update.)
NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND — Springwood Leisure, which operates the Zanzibar nightclub chain around England, has finally been given approval to convert the Odeon Cinema into a 2,000-capacity venue. According to the Nottingham Evening Post, the ruling comes after a 19-month battle to gain a license to operate inside the old movie palace.
Renovations will begin shortly with the latest Zanzibar scheduled to open next year.
October 7, 2002
We’re continuing to add theaters at a blistering pace with 50 new entries added this week and 200 in the last month alone.
Thank you again to all of you who are helping us document this important part of movie history with your fond memories of those theaters which have gone dark, and a celebration of those remaining Cinema Treasures.
October 4, 2002
SANTA MONICA, CA — The Aero Theatre is becoming more and more fiscally sound thanks to a new publicity and fundraising campaign aimed at keeping the theater in business for years to come.
Scheduled to become part of the failed Sundance Cinemas project, the theater has seen rough times since General Cinema walked away during its bankruptcy reorganization. Luckily, the Aero’s owner, Chris Allen, has worked tirelessly during 2002 to save this Montana Avenue jewel.
Now in addition to the theater’s daily film progtamming, the Aero has also hosted a number of fundraising events with dinner, catered by the Wolfgang Puck Cafe, and a classic film screened for the general public.
If you already missed “Rebel Without A Cause”, “On The Waterfront”, or “Casablanca”, there’s still time to see “Dr. Strangelove” on October 16th at 6:00 or 9:00 pm. Tickets are $20 and include food and beverages. This is the best way to show your support for this single screen gem.
The Aero is also hosting a series of family films on Saturday and Sunday mornings with Shirley Temple in “The Little Princess” (1939) to be screened on October 5th & 6th at 11:00 a.m. Tickets are only $5.
NEW YORK, NY — With the Museum of Modern Art’s Manhattan location currently closed for a massive renovation and expansion effort, the theater’s much heralded film and media department has temporarily moved its screenings to the historic Gramercy Theatre.
The Gramercy will host its first MoMA series, “To Save and Project: The MoMA International Festival of Film Preservation” beginning October 11th. The series will run until November 7th.
The next series will be “Variations on an Enigma: The Billy Rose Tribute to Delphine Seyrig,” followed by “Isn’t It Romantic? Richard Rodgers: at the Movies” which opens in November and features six films from the 1930s and six contemporary international motion pictures.
Movies at the Gramercy are a throwback to the New York of the 1970s and 1980s when the theater was a key venue for repertory film programming before it switched to off-broadway and other live productions.
CHICAGO, IL — The Uptown Theatre and Center for the Arts has been granted an extension on their $2.5 million purchase agreement for the Uptown Theatre. The following letter was sent in from the UTCA and is written by CEO Mark Zipperer:
As you are likely aware, today marks the expiration of the agreement we entered into for the … purchase of the historic Uptown Theatre. In the purchase agreement, our not-for-profit organization, the Uptown Theatre and Center for the Arts (UTCA), agreed to pay the current owner of the Theatre $2.5 million dollars.
We made a down payment of $250K and agreed to purchase the property in 120 days. Yesterday, on behalf of the UTCA, I signed an agreement with the owner of the theatre to extend our deadline to October 21. … We still do not have the funds to complete the purchase.
Our staff, board, volunteers, supporters, and community leaders remain hopeful that we can make this happen in the not-too-distant future. I ask you not to lose faith in our endeavor. We’ve accomplished much in a short period of time.
For the full text of the letter and additional press release, please visit our Uptown Theatre page’s comments section