April 4, 2005
CONWAY, NH — A fire broke out at the Majestic Theater during a Friday evening show. 200-250 people were present, all made it out.
The fire was put out in 10-15 minutes but caused a 300 to 400 foot section of the roof onto the theater seats. We are getting about 4" of rain today and not having a roof could cause some serious issues.
More details can be found in the Saturday April 2, 2005 issue of the Union Leader. The Union Leader has a website but this story didn’t make the online edition. You can view the print edition online for 50 cents.
The Majestic’s website is here, but does not mention the fire.
March 25, 2005
The 1928 movie house, which has been the focus of some debate in the Chicago suburb is expected to cost between $8 and $8.5 million to restore. The new proposal just released by the DuPage Theatre Foundation (to be presented to the village board on April 7th) is a $32 million plan which involves luxury condos and lofts being constructed in and around the former movie house, along with retail shops and a restaurant on the first floor (along with a small theater space, perhaps).
The condos and lofts built above existing storefront spaces in the theater building replace an earlier plan by the Foundation to create studio and classroom areas in that space. Twelve condos would be constructed behind the DuPage and a five-story new structure housing 68 condos would be built on a parcel of land directly south of the theater.
The new building facades would be covered with terra-cotta to match the existing building. Plans also include 248 parking spaces, some underground, which would in part be used by Metra commuters.
Theater supporter and Trustee Ken Florey says, “Even if I weren’t a theater supporter, it’s a great development. Condos is the direction we should be going downtown. Economically, it’s by far the best.”
March 14, 2005
MILWAUKEE, WI — Thanks to the eagle eyes of Hugh Swofford comes this: according to a story in Friday’s Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the 1929 AVALON on Milwaukee’s south side in the former village of Bay View, is in the process of being purchased by a local investor, and it looks as though the Landmark chain of movie houses, which includes the ORIENTAL and the DOWNER in Milw., will be the operator of this “atmospheric” type cinema which closed five years ago.
After several false starts, it now appears that a deal in earnest, not relying upon a land contract, will come to be, and if so we will then have a grand total of 2 operating movie palaces remaining in the city, out of the 20 we once had (this excludes the DOWNER and the TIMES and the remodeled TOSA (the ROSEBUD CINEMA) which are not really palaces).
March 9, 2005
PHILADELPHIA, PA — How many out there enjoyed sitting in the old movie palaces in Center City, Philadelphia back in the 50’s and 60’s???
I am talking about the Boyd, Fox, Stanley, Randolph, Goldman, and Midtown Theatres. These theaters showed the film on a first run, even on a reserved seat engagement. Watching classics such as “Gone With the Wind”, “Ben Hur”, “Lawrence of Arabia”, “West Side Story”, “My Fair Lady”, and “The Sound of Music” on a giant screen was a view to behold. Sadly, these movies lose their dramatic effect when shown on a TV screen.
These were the days when a film played at one particular theatre anywhere from nine months to two years before general release. It was sort of special when I would go to these theatres with my family. Those were the days of going to the movies. Does anyone remember when the usher wore uniforms and white gloves???
I am glad that Clear Channel is restoring the Boyd Theater, to its former glory. I worked at some of these theaters as an usher in the late sixties. Anyone else out there a former theater employee???
March 8, 2005
HARLEM, NEW YORK, NY — The long-closed Loew’s Victoria could be reborn as a hotel and entertainment venue if developers Paul Williams and Robert Jones, of Victoria Tower Development, Inc., get the approval of the theater’s owner.
According to a NY Post article, the 1917 Victoria, which was first called the Loew’s 125th Street when it opened, has stood mostly disused since it showed it last movie in 1989. The partners see the redevelopment of the movie palace as part of a revival of Harlem’s famed 125th Street commercial and entertainment district which also includes the nearby legendary Apollo Theatre.
February 28, 2005
EFFINGHAM, IL — The Lake Land College Arts and Humanities Series and Student Activity Board will partner with The HEART Theatre to host a haunted film festival starting March 2.
The event starts with a presentation of HAUNTED ILLINOIS by Troy Taylor! Taylor is the author of 33 books about ghosts and hauntings in America, and is the editor of Ghosts of the Prairie magazine, a magazine about the history, hauntings and unsolved mysteries of America. His presentation starts March 2nd, 11 am. in the Lake Land College Theatre, Mattoon, IL.
The Film Festival kick-off begins March 2nd at 5:30 pm in the LLC theatre after Troy Taylor’s presentation, with the showing of The Black Cat. The Festival will continue with two films being shown at the HEART Theatre on Courthouse Square in Downtown in Effingham on Friday March 4th: The Silence of the Lambs at 6 PM and The Blair Witch Project at 9 PM.
February 22, 2005
February 21, 2005
February 18, 2005
“My name is Steven Rood. I am a Los Angeles based fine art photographer. My work is well collected. Pieces now hang in many private and corporate collections.
I am a year into my current project entitled Picture House. An homage to classic and vintage movie theaters. A retrospective that started locally and is quickly gathering steam to become a nationwide project. Currently, over 50 theaters have been shot. 27 of these are now represented online, with many more to be added soon. These images are receiving a lot of attention from the entertainment community, the photographic community and theater preservationist groups.
And that is why I in turn bring them to your attention. America’s classic and vintage movie theaters are vanishing at an alarming rate. Structures that represent a more innocent time in
our country. And as they fade, so do our memories of a time before urban and spiritual decay.
February 15, 2005
BERKHAMSTEAD, ENGLAND — This is a story well worth looking at from the BBC News. The Rex Cinema in Berkhamstead is a superb Art Deco cinema which has survived a long period of closure and neglect to rise phoenix-like from the ashes. Take a look at their website: www.therexcinema.com.
Hopefully other UK cinemas can be rescued one day from the clutches of bingo and unsympathetic chains that simply vandalize historic buildings.