• August 10, 2006

    Des Plaines Theatre restoration at standstill

    DES PLAINES, IL — In 2003, when brothers Dhitu and Dharmesh Bhagwakar purchased the Des Plaines Theatre in downtown Des Plaines, from a bank which planned to raze the historic landmark in this Chicago suburb and build a drive-thru bank on the site, there was great relief and optimism for the former movie palace.

    The Des Plaines Theatre Preservation Society partnered with the building’s new owners, who allowed the group to hold classic film screenings and special events in the twinned theater, while Bollywood features also were screened at the theater. In return for free rent, the Society did volunteer repair work on the old theater, including restoring the Art Deco marquee, plasterwork, and fixing seats, tiles and the restrooms.

    As of around six months ago, the Bhagwakars told the Society it would have to start paying rent to continue using the theater, and when the Society declined to pay rent, its repairs and use of the theater began to end.

  • August 9, 2006

    New Life at the State Theatre

    SOUTH BEND, IN — The State Theatre has been purchased and is currently being renovated to become a cultural arts center for concerts, conferences, performances and more.

    The new owner, Lester Sumrall, grandson of the late television evangelist Dr. Lester Sumrall is at the forefront of the endeavor. Updates, photos and information can be viewed on the State’s website.

  • August 8, 2006

    Showbox Theater fire

    SEATTLE, WA — According to Seattle tv stations KOMO-TV4, KING-TV5, KIRO-TV7, and KCPQ-TV13, the Showbox Theater in Seattle had a fire break out this morning at 5:00 AM. The fire department states the fire originated on the roof in an electrical device, probably an HVAC unit. By the time the fire department had arrived, the sprinkler system had been activated. Damage is limited to a 15 foot section of the roof.

  • August 7, 2006

    In-seat complaint button being tested

    ANTIOCH, CA — In one Bay Area theater, Regal is testing out a an in-seat device to alert theater employees of a disturbance within the theater:

    Loud talking, chair kicking and other movie-theater annoyances may soon be a thing of the past, thanks to a new device similar to the flight attendant call button on airplanes.

    Moviegoers at the Regal Deer Valley Cinema complex are testing devices that will alert a theater employee when a fellow patron is behaving badly.

    For more, visit the full story on the CBS5 website.

    (Thanks to _e.t. for the image)

  • August 4, 2006

    Rethinking downtown projects

    ITHACA, NY — Officials are currently discussing how the profitability of one movie theater affects the planning of the city:

    As an elected official who has not endorsed any aspect of the Cayuga Green project, including the seizure of property through eminent domain to advance project goals, the original multiplex theater plans, and the plan to remove the helix to accommodate the preferred developer’s (Bloomfield, Schon & Partners) requests, it may come as no surprise that I plan to vote no, once again, tonight at City Council.

    Last year, the operators of Seventh Art (Cinemapolis and Fall Creek Pictures) made a compelling case that a first-run movie theatre might also show those art films which would eat substantially into their profits.

    For more, visit the Full Story in the Ithaca Journal.

  • August 2, 2006

    Regal posts second quarter loss

    KNOXVILLE, TN — Despite increased revenue, Regal Entertainment Group reported a fall in second quarter earnings.

    Regal Entertainment Group (NYSE:RGC), a leading motion picture exhibitor owning and operating the largest theatre circuit in the United States, today announced fiscal second quarter 2006 results and declared a cash dividend of $0.30 per common share.

    Total revenue for the quarter ended June 29, 2006 was $684.6 million, a 6.5% increase from total revenue of $643.1 million for the second fiscal quarter of 2005. Net income was $16.6 million in the second quarter of 2006 compared to net income of $26.4 million in the same period of 2005.

    For more, read the full report at Business Wire.

  • July 31, 2006

    Wyoming Valley Mall Theater closes suddenly

    WILKES-BARRE, PA — The theaters at the Wyoming Valley Mall abruptly closed on Friday:

    The curtain has apparently closed on the Great Escape Theatres at the Wyoming Valley Mall.

    A locked steel gate enclosed the darkened lobby to the multiscreen theater complex inside the mall Friday afternoon and no one answered the phone. Three bags of garbage, a cardboard box and a trash can had been placed in the hall outside the theaters' entrance.

    Visit the Times Leader Article for the full story.

  • July 28, 2006

    Art Theatre in Long Beach Changing Hands

    LONG BEACH, CA — After decades under the same ownership, the Art Theatre in Long Beach is being sold, but will remain a cinema:

    The venerable Art Theatre isn’t going anywhere, but its owner has decided to retire.

    After 33 years running the independent theater on Fourth Street near Cherry Avenue, Howard Linn said he has decided it’s time to let someone else take the reins.

    For the full story, visit the Gazette article.

  • July 25, 2006

    Projection Picture Warehouse Website

    I stumbled across this site, which claims itself as a Projection Picture Warehouse. They have a couple of links, pictures and videos, that feature several cinemas. Thought it might be good for people to check and see if their favorite cinema is listed there so they can update the photos (whenever that happens) or at least provide links. I’d do it myself… but whatdya think? I have all the time in the world??? Here’s the link:

  • July 6, 2006

    New Chicago Theaters

    CHICAGO, IL — Crain’s Chicago Business reports that Sundance Cinemas is now looking to locate on the site of Chicago’s former Fanny May factory, at the somewhat surprising location of Jackson & Racine on the West Side.

    This is, however, a rapidly developing area. As a part of the Metro 290 development, Sundance plans to open a 6-to-8 screen arthouse. The site is convenient to the University of Illinois at Chicago campus, the Eisenhower Expressway, and the CTA Blue Line.

    Elsewhere, as previously reported, Kerasotes plans to open two new complexes; a 14-screen near the old Bricktown Square cinemas, at Grand & Armitage, and a 16-screen in a South Loop development at Roosevelt and Wells.