November 26, 2002
The Chicago Tribune recently took an in-depth look at the Chicago Theatre and the companies who have applied with the Chicago Department of Planning and Development to take over the theater and manage it on an ongoing basis.
Because each of the bidders (Chicago Theatre Alliance, TheatreDreams Chicago LLC, and The Entertaiment Group Fund Inc.) have radically different concepts for the future direction of the Chicago, there is great debate about which proposal will bring the most cultural and economic impact to the city of Chicago.
Definitely worth a read, if you have a spare moment. (Note: registration is required to view this article.)
(Thanks to Cinema Treasures regular Bryan Krefft for this story!)
The Glenwood Arts Theatre in Overland Park, Kansas opened to packed houses last weekend. The Fine Arts Group restored the former Metcalf Theatre with items salvaged from the original Glenwood Theatre, including seats and the 40 foot tall marquee sign. The theater will eventually house two more screens and a soda shop.
(Special thanks to Keith LeBrun for keeping us in the loop on this one.)
November 22, 2002
We’ve just added over a dozen new theaters thanks to Philip Goldberg, Bryan Krefft, Steve Smith, Salvatore Salonia, Bruce Talanian, and Ron Pierce. We currently have over 2,500 U.S. theaters, over 200 each from Canada and the U.K., and hundreds more from another 28 countries.
November 15, 2002
BOSTON, MA — A $31 million restoration and renovation project at the former Keith’s Memorial is set to begin now that the city has handed a permit to Clear Channel Entertainment. According to the Boston Globe, Clear Channel hopes to begin hosting Broadway productions in the former Keith’s/RKO movie palace by 2004.
FROSTPROOF, FL — The Frostproof Chamber of Commerce will vote on whether or not to purchase the old Ramon Theater when the board meets on November 19th. According to The Ledger, the plan to purchase the theater and an adjacent building from owner David Higginbottom is nearly a done deal.
Future plans for the shuttered Ramon include screenings of classic films and live performances. The Ramon and the adjacent Thompson building both need new roofs which will cost roughly $50,000.
The Ramon opened in 1925 for motion pictures and stage shows.
PHILADELPHIA, PA — While plans for the Sameric are still on hold, the Goldenberg Group, which owns the Center City movie palace, is eyeing a joint operation of the Trocadero as a premiere arts venue.
According to the Philadelphia Daily News, the 1870 theater is “on the National Registry of Historic Places and is the oldest Victorian theater still in operation.” It has been a venue for rock concerts since 1986.
Meanwhile, the Sameric/Boyd’s demolition permit expires next month with no movement one way or another in the works. The Goldenberg Group is still discussing ways to revamp and reopen the theater as “multi-purpose entertainment facility.”
The Friends of the Boyd is also working to preserve the former UA movie palace.
(Thanks to Howard Haas for the update!)
November 12, 2002
According to the Business Journal, “the non-binding agreement” calls for Onex to pay roughly “$36.3 million in equity capital, with the rest coming from acquisition financing.” The Los Angeles Times reports the total sale at $80 million.
With the two exhibitors under one corporate roof, the Los Angeles Times is reporting that Landmark Theatres will be operated as a “specialty film division” of LCE. Oaktree Capital, which is selling Landmark to the Onex Corporation, is currently a co-owner of LCE with Onex.
Landmark currently operates 67 theaters with 290 screens including the Oriental, Nuart, Sunshine, and many more Cinema Treasures around the country. There is no word yet on management or operational changes, or of any imminent theater closings.
We’ll keep you posted…
SMITHTOWN, NY — The former Smithtown Theatre reopened two weeks ago and is now playing to nearly full houses as a for-profit performing arts center. Last operated by United Artists, the Smithtown underwent a three year, $1 million restoration effort before reopening on October 26th.
The article also cites a trend on Long Island, and in particular Suffolk County, of restoring old movie theaters with recent efforts in Patchogue and Westhampton Beach. However, the Art Deco Suffolk Theatre, located in nearby Riverhead, is still facing an uncertain future.
November 4, 2002
VIENNA, AUSTRIA — According to ScreenDaily.com, “The city of Vienna has agreed to subsidise the operation of two historic art house cinemas that were threatened with closure after they ran into financial difficulties.”
The Vienna International Film Festival will take over the 736-seat Gartenbau cinema, while the Austrian Film Archive will operate the “historic and architecturally important” Metro Cinema.
The city will also help finance the future of these two movie houses which were put in jeopardy after the opening of nearby multiplexes.
November 1, 2002
CHICAGO, IL — According to an email sent by the Friends of the Uptown, the historic Riviera Theatre went up for sale on Wednesday for $4.5 million — a figure which includes the attached commericial space. G.B. Property Management is handling the sale of the 1918 former Balaban & Katz movie house.
According to the Friends, the 2,500-seat Riviera was the second B&K “presentation house”, after the Central Park, and was built by Rapp & Rapp, who would continue a long and fruitful relationship with Balaban and Katz.
After closing in the early 1980s, it first became a nightclub, and by the end of the decade, transformed into one of Chicago’s most popular concert venues. It continued to host concerts into 2002.
(Thanks to the Friends of the Uptown for the news.)