• September 13, 2006

    Watch a drive-in movie, from bed

    FAIRLEE, VT — The Fairlee Motel & Drive-In as well as a theater in Colorado make their business over the summer by providing lodging adjacent to an outdoor theater.

    The Fairlee Motel & Drive-In Theater combines the best of roadside America. Drive in, and you have your classic outdoor experience. Check in, and a picture window and NuTone speaker give you the same show from your king-size bed — with air conditioning and no mosquitoes. Please don’t wipe popcorn butter on the sheets.

    Someone taller than about 5-foot-8 can even watch the movie from the shower, through the tiny bathroom window.

    The Fairlee is one of at least two drive-in motels in the United States. Another is the Best Western Movie Manor in Monte Vista, Colorado. The Movie Manor claims to be unique, but according to the motels' histories, the Fairlee’s combination came first, in 1960.

    To read more, visit CNN Travel.

  • September 8, 2006

    Boyd Theatre renovation

    PHILADELPHIA, PA — Renovations are underway for the Boyd Theatre to reopen in 2007. Cinematical has just published an interview with Howard Haas of Friends of the Boyd.

    It’s been a small-but-persistent little news story in Philadelphia over the past several years: The last remaining old-school, ultra-cool, Art Deco movie palace in the city was in serious danger of being destroyed, thus removing any reminder of Golden Age cinematic history from The City of Brotherly Love.

    How could this happen? How could one of the oldest, largest and most unquestionably awesome cities in the nation be stripped of its last remaining movie palace?

    Well, it came pretty darn close to Wrecking Ball Central, but thanks in large part to the efforts of one local attorney, the beautiful Boyd Theater is now enjoying a long-overdue facelift.

    For the rest of this story as well as the interview, please visit Cinematical.

  • Pickford Cinema to expand

    BELLINGHAM, WA — The Pickford Cinema is about undergo an expansion to add seats and amenities in order to draw more moviegoers.

    The Whatcom Film Association, which opened the cinema in November 1998 on Cornwall Avenue, has hired Moceri Construction to begin work on its Dream Space building at 1318 Bay St. The nonprofit bought that building in January 2005.

    The new movie theater will have two screens and seating for 238 patrons, a significant upgrade from the current one-screen facility on 1416 Cornwall Ave., which seats 88.

    For the full story, read the Bellingham Herald.

  • September 7, 2006

    Collinsville theater on hold

    COLLINSVILLE, IL — The eager residents of Collinsville will have to wait longer for the opening of the long-promised multiplex from Kerasotes.

    Plans for a new Kerasotes Theatres complex have been delayed by budgetary constraints. The Chicago-based movie theater company purchased more than seven acres of land at Eastport Plaza behind Wild Country in Collinsville after announcing it would build a 10- to 12-screen theater there.

    That was three years ago. Theater real estate director Bon Gallivan said the initial $6.7 million 33,000-square-foot design came way over budget and has forced the project back to square one. Gallivan said a redesign has yet to he completed, and it will be another year before construction could begin at the metro-east site.

    You can read more about this story in the Belleville News-Democrat.

  • September 6, 2006

    Updates on Manistee’s closed movie theaters

    MANISTEE, MI — Many people have shown an interest in the history of Manistee’s “other” movie theaters. Today I went and spent a day at the museum compiling information that has been virtually unknown until now.

    From the Manistee News Advocate, 8-25-15..article mentions new theater, (Lyric), to be built on the site of the old Royal Theatre on River Street.

    Nov 25 1915
    News Advocate announces “Lyric Theatre at 415 Rivert St opens.”

  • September 4, 2006

    Marana cinema to come eventually

    MARANA, AZ — Despite holdups, the new 12-16 screen Pavillions Theatres from the Linda Vista chain should open by next summer.

    The number of screens has been reduced and the opening delayed a few months, but Northwest Side residents should be able to catch a flick at Marana’s first movie theater by next May.

    There had been some talk about opening the theater by the end of this year, but administrative holdups and paperwork pushed back the date, said Kent Edwards, a managing partner with Linda Vista Cinemas LLC.

    For more on this story, go to the Arizona Daily Star.

  • August 31, 2006

    Customer service keeps small-town theater open

    LIVINGSTON, AL — The Sumter Theatre in the this small Alabama town stays alive by going the extra mile for each of its few customers.

    Livingston, outside the University of West Alabama, is a town of 3,048 in Sumter County, some 172 miles north of Mobile. It’s a sleepy town that got sleepier when Wal-Mart moved out in January.

    Smitty said he’s not a natural businessman. He ran a store in town that failed. The movie theater isn’t doing much better financially, but he doesn’t have the debt this time. “We tread water,” he said. Some days he only has one person watch a movie. Fifteen is a good day, he said.

    For more, read the full story in the Press-Register.

  • Pickerington movie theater getting ‘UltraScreen’

    PICKERINGTON, OH — Following in the footsteps of their property in North Columbus, Marcus Theatres is building a separate new 400 seat theater adjacent to their Pickerington Cinemas. The theater will house a significantly larger screen than normal along with luxury seating.

    For an extra 50 cents a ticket, moviegoers will be able to enjoy an extra-wide screen at Marcus Cinema Pickerington beginning next spring.

    Marcus Theatres Corp. said Wednesday it will house a 70-foot wide UltraScreen — nearly three times wider than regular screens — in a building adjacent to its 16-screen Marcus Cinema Pickerington.

    For all the details, read the article in the Columbus Bizjournals.

  • August 30, 2006

    Small theater chain owners find niches

    DURHAM, NC — The Phoenix Theatres chain is succeeding by avoiding competition and offering audiences new amenities. By putting extra thought into the markets they open theaters in and their specific clientele, the chain is becoming extremely popular in its respective areas.

    “There is no theater in the north of Durham. You don’t get another theater [heading north] until you get to Roxboro,” said Zacheretti, flashing a smile as he contemplates the competitive landscape. Phoenix Theatres operates 84 screens from Kansas to Florida.

    In an industry where the giant chains keep consolidating, small operators such as Phoenix and even smaller independents still find ways to entice moviegoers and make a buck.

    For more, read the full story in the News & Observer.

    (Thanks to Phoenix Theatres for allowing us to use a photo of their Legends 14 in Kansas City, KS)

  • August 29, 2006

    Now showing: Too much

    REDWOOD CITY, CA — Downtown Redwood City was expected to be booming with the opening of a new complex. Instead, it looks like people might have overestimated the need for another multiplex.

    The fate of the old movie house off Highway 101 remains a cloudy script, although city officials and business leaders still hope Century Theatres will close it to enhance the draw at the new cinema-retail complex downtown.

    As it stands, keeping Century Park 12 along the highway in business has partly been blamed on the sluggish start of the On Broadway complex a mile away. The centerpiece of the complex, a 20-screen cinema, opened July 28.

    For more, read the full story in Inside Bay Area.