• July 3, 2006

    Royal revival: lights back on at College Street rep

    TORONTO, CANADA — Looks like there’s some good news about one of the Festival Cinemas in Toronto, The Royal, that’s slated to close June 30th, courtesy of NOW magazine:

    When news broke several weeks ago that four of Toronto’s Festival Cinemas movie houses would be closing down on June 30, the situation looked most hopeless for the Royal on College Street.

    While the three other theatres — the Revue, the Kingsway and the Paradise — were simply slated to go dark, the Royal was immediately put up for sale by the owners, presumably because it occupied the most valuable plot of real estate.

    Rumours abounded that the historic 1930s-era theatre would be turned into a nightclub or, worse, torn down for condos. But as it turns out, the sale of the Royal will almost certainly prove to be its saving.

  • June 29, 2006

    New Book on South New Jersey Theaters

    Congratulations to CT member Allen Hauss (ahauss) on the publishing of his book “Images of America: South Jersey Movie Houses” (Arcadia Publishing).

    This is a fantastic book that demonstrates Mr. Hauss' dedication to the preservation and history of classic movie houses.

  • June 27, 2006

    Clues Sought in Arcadia Theatre Fire

    DALLAS, TX — Last week, the landmark Arcadia Theatre was destroyed by fire:

    In the middle of Wednesday’s devastating 6-alarm fire sat an 80-year-old Dallas landmark. The Arcadia Theatre was destroyed, taking with it a part of Dallas' history.

    There have been a lot of changes in the Lower Greenville area, businesses have come and gone, but one thing that stayed the same was the Arcadia Theatre.

    It was the roaring 1920s, America was making the transition from vaudeville to film, and in the middle of that transition was the Arcadia Theatre in Lower Greenville.

    Opened in 1926, the theater was famous for its shows and silent films. Now the theater that stood strong through the depression, and various other economies, has been destroyed.

    More on this from CBS 11 TV.

  • June 21, 2006

    Village Theatre Signs New Lease

    CHICAGO, IL — The June 8, 2006 edition of THE SKYLINE (a free local Chicago newspaper) reports that the Village Art Theatret has extended its lease for another year.

    Although a theatre preservationist had said that Alderman Burton Natarus (42nd Ward) told him that a pharmacy could possibly replace the theatre and the adjoining restaurant, the theatre will remain in business.

    Jonathon Fine, president of Preservation Chicago had said that Natarus had informed him of the possible changes on the property. Fine had said that the group is firmly opposed to any changes to or demolition of the 1916 theatre’s facade.

    Ron Rooding, CEO of Village Entertainment, said he recently signed a one year lease on the building with an option for a five-year renewal. Since signing the new lease, Rooding says that he hopes to make improvements to the theatre. The Village Theatre — apparently the “Art” designation has been dropped — has lost money over the past year or so because it hasn’t been able to steadily book good movies according to Rooding. He hopes to change all that, saying that when a good movie plays at the Village, it does very well.

    Rooding, whose Village Entertainment has theatres in four states, says that he will talk to the owners about sinking big money into the theatre, adding stadium seating, and improving the sound system, washrooms, and facades. He adds that his company takes older theatres and renovates them and takes losers and makes winners.

    (For the complete article, go to

  • May 25, 2006

    Rialto Theater is Looking for Your Stories!

    ATLANTA, GA — Next year marks the 90th birthday year for the Rialto Theater and 10th anniversary of its rebirth as a performing arts center through Georgia State University.

    We are collecting stories from as far back as possible… of first dates in the 1940s, and movie premieres in the 60s, and definitely the Kung-Fu days. These stories will be used throughout the anniversary year. Pictures and any other historical information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much!

    They can be e-mailed directly to or posted on the Rialto’s page on Cinema Treasures.

  • May 23, 2006

    AMC fires (then rehires) veteran ticket-taker with tattoos

    BRIDGEWATER, NJ — The Asbury Park Press has published a story about an 80 year old veteran who was fired from his ticketing taking position at the AMC Bridgewater Commons, then rehired when a public outcry errupted:

    To William C. Smith, the faded tattoo on each of his forearms are reminders of his World War II service. To AMC Movie Theatres, they were grounds for his termination.

    Smith, 80, said two AMC theater managers at Bridgewater Commons mall met with him on April 14 and said they had to fire him because of the tattoos he has had since he was a 17-year-old Marine.

    Smith, a ticket taker at the mall’s movie theater for the past 15 years, then contacted Somerville attorney David W. Trombadore, who then called the Courier News. On Tuesday, AMC Theatres offered Smith his job back, along with back pay.

  • May 8, 2006

    Who owns the Vogue Theatre?

    HOLLYWOOD, CA — I was wondering if anyone knew the name of the owner or company that owns or operates the Vogue Theatre located at 6675 Hollywood Blvd.

    I’ve been trying to reach the owners for some time now with no luck. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I’m very interested in the property which would be used for live children theatrical shows based on a series of characters I’ve created.

    I think some fun “theatre” style events on Hollywood Blvd. would do it some justice…..Thanks!

  • May 4, 2006

    Grand Venues buys Paramount Theater

    YOUNGSTOWN, OH — The Vindicator reports that Grand Venues, an Illinois developer, purchased the old Paramount Theater and will restore it for live stage shows, and a two screen theater.

    The main floor will be for the live shows seating 300 to 600, while the balcony will be converted into a twin theater for first run, historical and cult films.

    The work is expected to take three years to complete at a cost of around $3.5 million.

  • May 3, 2006

    Who owns the Hillsboro 8?

    TAMPA, FL — Anyone know who is re-developing the once Beautiful Carmike Hillsboro 8? It was retro-fitted in 99 to stadium, and features beautiful marble floors. It has been closed since the bankruptcy in 2000. They claimed road construction was the death of the location.The only competition now is AMC 14 at Westshore.

    It sat empty for years as vandals did everything from lighting fires and knocking down light poles in the parking lot to breaking glass.

    I’m interested in finding out if it will be turned into a car lot, or if they will be looking for a manager soon. I have over 7 yrs management experience, and am interested in learning if it will be re-opened.


  • April 26, 2006

    Preview the Uptown Theatre Documentary Trailer or Read the New Balaban & Katz Book

    John Pappas and Mike Bisberg of Northwestern University have recently finished their documentary on the Uptown Theatre, filmed last summer/fall in Chicago.

    It will be shown locally sometime in May, and I’ll post the information as soon as it’s available. For now, you can download a sneak peek here.

    David Balaban, whose family built the theatre in 1925, has written a book on the Balaban and Katz theatres. It is available as of today. Follow the same link to read about David and his book.