October 1, 2004
DES PLAINES, IL — A deal struck between the owners of the Des Plaines Theatre and the Des Plaines Theatre Preservation Society recently opens the way for the Society to begin screening classic Hollywood films at the 79 year-old movie palace in downtown Des Plaines. The theater also screens Bollywood fare.
In return, the Society will find volunteer workers to begin renovations on the theater, beginning with the marquee, which is one of the symbols of this Chicago suburb. The group will begin work on the marquee on October 9th, according to Paul H. Saletnik, the vice president of operations for the Preservation Society. The neon lighting of the marquee will also hopefully be repaired as well.
September 29, 2004
WAUKEGAN, IL — The goal to raise $5 million towards the restoration and reopening of the historic Genesee Theatre in downtown Waukegan was not met, and the city of Waukegan will only be able to contribute $500,000 towards the theater. Therefore, plans for the old movie palace will be scaled back and its opening date is not known.
According to a report from the Chicago Tribune, the Philadelphia-based SMG is being chosen by Waukegan to operate the Genesee, which should be made official at a city council meeting today. Brian Kabatznick, vice president of SMG, says that local groups could make the theater their home base, which could increase the usage of the theater once it is reopened.
September 16, 2004
CHICAGO, IL — The new Drury Lane Theatre at the Water Tower Place shopping center on Michigan Avenue and Chestnut Street is nearing its opening early in 2005, according to this report from the Chicago Tribune.
The legitimate theater, which is based in suburban Oakbrook (and recently closed its long-time Evergreen Park theater, which is set to be replaced by a Wal-Mart), has chosen the artistic director and producer and is hiring the remaining staff from local theater companies.
CHICAGO, IL — Just heard an interview with Seymour Hirsch, the reporter who broke the My Lai and Abu Ghraib stories, among others. He said that he was born in 1937 and remembered going every Saturday to the Victory Theater on the south side of Chicago.
Perhaps someone could contact him to get more information to add to the description on the Victory’s page…
September 15, 2004
NEW YORK, NY — Sometimes having a drag of a time at the movies can be a good thing, according to this article in this past Sunday’s New York Times.
The nine-screen Clearview Cinemas, located in the Chelsea section of Manhattan and which opened its doors for business in the late 1980s, is more than just a cookie-cutter multiplex; it’s become a true neighborhood moviehouse, with its increasingly popular program offerings to the area’s gay and lesbian residents.
August 30, 2004
KANSAS CITY, MO — Kansas City Power & Light proposes to remove most of the building that once housed the Empire Theatre to build a new headquarters, according to this report from the Kansas City Star.
DST, the development firm proposes to build a 200,000-square-foot building on the block. The current plan calls for demolishing most of the Empire Theatre but saving part of the decorative facade.
August 24, 2004
DENVER, CO — I am planning a 75th anniversary for two historic theatres in Denver for the Spring of 2005. More details to follow but I’m looking for photos, memories, clips, former employees, etc. It is surely to be a memorable event. If anyone has any information to share or a resource you think I should be directed to, please contact me at . Thanks for any assistance!
August 20, 2004
CHICAGO, IL — To celebrate the Uptown Theater’s eightieth anniversary, the Friends of the Uptown have release a beautiful, four-color calendar for 2005.
Subtitled “Our history in terra cotta, plaster and people,” the calendar pays tribute to the architectural gargoyles of the Uptown’s elaborate Spanish Baroque-styled ornamentation and to the international constituency of people who have voiced support for renovating the Uptown Theatre. The calendar is free, volunteers said, so that it will be shared widely and will reward fans of Chicago’s history and architecture who have supported many city landmarks through memberships, donations, pledges, banquets and tours.
The free calendar can be downloaded from the Friends of the Uptown website.
August 18, 2004
WEATHERFORD, TX — Although the Jones Drive-In Theater hasn’t shown a movie in two decades, the huge screen tower has been a long-time landmark in the Weatherford area. The drive-in was destroyed by a fire on August 14th, leaving only the skeleton of the screen tower standing.
Fire department captain Chuck Beard said, “When I pulled up, I was remembering right off the bat. It made me feel a little sadness. I was about 18 when it closed, and remember it like it was yesterday.”
MILL VALLEY, CA — On August 16th, a thirty square foot section of the ceiling of the CineArts at Sequoia theater collapsed onto the audience, injuring at least 27.
The CineArts at Sequoia opened in 1929, was twinned in the 1970s and underwent an $800,000 overhaul in 1999. For many years this theater was known at the Sequoia Twin.
Read more in this report from the Marin Independent Journal.