December 6, 2004
SOUTHINGTON, CT — An auction was held at the Southington Drive-In recently to sell all its possessions. Basically anything that wasn’t nailed down (and even many of things that were) were available for a price. Screen one has already been removed and the speaker poles have fallen.
Vandals have graffitied the building and broken windows. Water leaks through the ceiling of the former concession stand. The drive-in, even though it was closed for only two years, is already in a state of decay. The town of Southington purchased the property for $1.6 million earlier this year and will use it to expand a neighboring park.
Screen two and two of the projectors will remain to show movies in the park for free a few times each summer. The drive-in closed not because of lack of business, but because the younger generation of the family that owned it wanted to sell the business.
For more information, read the Record-Journal article.
December 3, 2004
HUNTINGTON, WV — Robert Edmunds, a communications professor at Marshall University, had founded the Huntington Theatre Organ Project in an effort to help galvanize interest of local business in preservation and restoration of the 1928 Thomas Lamb Keith-Albee Theatre.
The Project has nearly completed installation of a 1927 Wurlitzer EX pipe organ into the Keith that was originally built for the Granada Theatre in Bluefield, WV. The Keith’s original organ (Wurlitzer Model 240 that was used for silent movies) was sold in the 1950s and is own by a private collector.
Commenting upon the Keith, Edmunds praised the theater as a “palace of splendor.” Edmunds will be playing Christmas selections during intermission of “The Incredibles” this Saturday. In fact, the theater now has the balcony with comfortable loge seats and stadium similar seating open on every weekend.
December 2, 2004
STATEN ISLAND, NY — An Allen organ console was expected to arrive at the St. George Theatre yesterday.
It is on loan through our friends at the New York Theatre Organ Society (NYTOS). The theater will “borrow” it for about a month until another suitable console can be found.
In the meanwhile, the Allen will help to “re-open” the theater in time for its gala 75th anniversary on December 4th.
We look forward to a HUGE attendance for this rare and wonderful theater experience, which includes a red carpet, Klieg lights, entertainment, important notables, AND the “Mighty Allen!”
Hope to see you there!
November 24, 2004
ATLANTA, GA — On Christmas Day, December 25th, 1929, the Atlanta Fox Theatre opened its doors to the public for the very first time. To commorate its 75 years, the Fox Theatre will host a gala open house on Sunday, December 26th from 1pm until 7pm.
The Fox will open up its auditorium and ballrooms to the public with no admission charge. Many events are planned to take place at the Fox during this celebration. For more information, please visit the Fox’s web site at http://www.foxtheatre.org/
November 19, 2004
FULLERTON, CA — The following email was received from the Fullerton Historic Theatre Foundation:
“WE DID IT!!!!
Thanks to a very generous gift of $1,000,000, we have reached our total fundraising goal of $3.5 million and can open escrow on the Fox this Friday! The donor, who prefers to remain anonymous for the present, presented us with a $700,000 cashiers check late yesterday, and has pledged the remaining $300,000 as a challenge grant for our restoration fundraising needs.
This generous donation is allowing us to “trigger” our pledge fulfillments, so all checks that have turned in and stored in our bank vault will now be cashed into our special checking account to open escrow.
Please come by the Fox or our offices through Friday to say hi and help celebrate!
November 18, 2004
LONG BEACH, CA — U Entertainment has written an extensive article on the last remaining Cinema Treasures in the Long Beach area. Featured are the Bay Theatre in Seal Beach, the Warner Grand in San Pedro, and the Art Theatre in Long Beach.
For a dozen images of these classic theaters, look for the “See the Pictures” link on the U Entertainment page. The article features interviews with Cinema Treasures as well as local theater owners and historians.
November 10, 2004
The fire was kept to the office space of the Fox Building thanks to the work of over 40 firefighters who responded to the two-alarm fire. Damage to the building is estimated at $300,000 from fire, smoke and water.
Plans to turn the 3000-plus seat theater into a cabaret-style venue surrounded by retail space and a charter school proposed by Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown are pending the approval of the City Council.
The project is expected to cost about $24 million.
November 4, 2004
Ian from England asks…
Hello from Ian in England. Over the past few weeks there has been much news in the UK at the arrival of big style usa companies coming to the UK to open giant casinos in major cities and on costal resorts.
This has had much newsprint and television coverage. A football team Leeds has sold space to build a casino on its land amongst other projects been speculated. I’m wondering if anybody else can shed a light on a story I’m certain I heard on TV news about 10 days past (I was half asleep). I’m sure I heard a story on BBC London local news that if the big casinos come to the country a lot of planning consent laws on change of use of existing buildings of leisure would be dramatically reduced and Leicester Square in london home of some of the UK largest cinemas and other large cinemas in the UK could simply be closed as cinemas to become these casinos. The news report continued saying one major UK exhibitor had or was having chats about a such move to one of these casinos in the west end of London?
Has anyone else in UK seen this report? I’ve looked on many news websites trying to confirm what I have written here for a week or two and not had a lot of luck. Video tape in the early eighties took so many UK cinemas away at the birth of videos in homes – could this be the next threat of some of the UK most wonderful movie palaces? Whilst I’m here, does anyone know any further news of the Paramount/Odeon Newcastle — wonderful closed cinema in Newcastle — I heard Selfridges wanted it?
- thanks for reading -
booga aka ian
- thanks for reading -
October 21, 2004
FLINT, MI — Gary Flinn has sent us another quick update on the status of the Capitol Theatre:
Formal painting has begun on the Capitol Theatre Building’s arcade canopy and I thank all of you for posting the canopy photo with the gold paint sample in your respective web sites. I don’t think this is worth posting publicly as the color being painted is red metal primer. This was the unfortunate color of the canopy before repairs began. I hope it’s just a primer coat. More updates as I see changes. Thanks again.