June 21, 2005
ALAMEDA, CA —– In a unaminous vote at its June 13 meeting, the Alameda Planning Board granted the Central Cinema a use permit, eliminating the possiblity for closure for the popular yet controversial boutique theater, to the applause of the vast majority of those attending.
There were several conditions for approval made, such as a minimum 15-minute increment between movies before 6 p.m. and a minimum 20-minute increment between movies after 6 p.m.; the cinema will also be required to offer a bike rack. The cinema’s compliance with various requirements will be reviewed in a year.
At the same meeting, the board also unanimously recommended approval of a related item: a zoning text amendment that will allow boutique theaters (theaters with audiences of 49 persons or less for live performances or for the screening of motion pictures where there is only one screen) to operate in a C-1 zoning district (neighborhood business district), and discussed a controversial plan to attatch a multiplex to the historic Alameda Theatre in hopes of revitalizing the long-closed landmark (which is not being further plexed in the project).
For a detailed story by Dmitry Kiper, read this.
June 17, 2005
ARANSAS PASS, TX — The Rialto Fine Arts Center is now operating in this old movie theater from 1937. A fine arts gallery is housed in what was the ticket and concession areas and a new exhibit gallery and six artist studios are under construction in part of the old auditorium and will be complete by July, 2005.
The Rialto Actors Theatre, a new community theatre group, will occupy the remaining auditorium space with 95 seats. This lively group, led by Artistic Director Trisha Sugarek, is busy designing the new stage and construction will start next week. Their first season opens with “Artichoke” on September 30, 2005.
June 16, 2005
There is an interesting article in yesterday’s (June 15) Wall Street Journal that has found a successful formula for drawing customers by emulating the movie palaces of the 1920s.
From the WSJ article:
[i]“They’re doing what needs to be done,” says Paul Dergarabedian, Exhibitor Relations' president. The industry needs to emphasize the difference between watching movies at a theater and at home. Muvico “does that by creating these incredible theaters,” he says. “It tells people, ‘I can’t do the same thing at home.’ ” National Amusements Inc. and Pacific Theatres Exhibition Corp. are two other chains with similar state-of-the-art theaters, he says.
“The industry is still going through changes,” Muvico’s Mr. Hashemi says. “With the shortening of the window between the DVD and the theatrical release we really have to create an event."
(rudy franchi, www.nostalgia.com))
A local eccentric owner painted huge letters on its flat, black roof saying “Welcome to Cleveland” when planes fly over it to Milwaukee’s airport a few blocks away. This has amused and startled more than a few flyers, and the story of it makes interesting reading.
Click on the link above, and when there, click on the photo to enlarge it and see what all the fuss is about. The marquee still hangs on the front of the theatre which has been Mr. Gubin’s photo studio and residence for many years now, and which has had its seats removed, but its new incarnation is probably a more suiteable usage than many others.
What will become of it when Mr. Gubin becomes too old to climb the steps to his balcony-home is anyone’s guess, but maybe the roof top joke will by then have long faded away, much to the delight of both cities. Maybe the author of the forthcoming sequel to “Milwaukee Movie Palaces,” Larry Widen, can get permission to copy this photo into the appendex of his new book: “Silver Screens” to appear in a year from now. He can hardly overlook this bit of trivia about the fates of our movie palaces!
June 15, 2005
ALBANY, NY — This summer will mark the return of movies to the historic Palace Theatre in downtown Albany for the first time in 36 years. When final installation of the new projection and sound equipment is complete, the Palace will feature the largest screen in the region and, more importantly, an amazing sound and visual presentation system.
From a programming perspective, the Palace will be paying homage to the independent movie houses of old. The selections will include a mix of classics, family friendly fare and contemporary films. Efforts are being made to have at least one notable traveling film festival make a stop in 2006. Also in the works is to honor the theatre’s history as a rock and roll palace with a series of some of the best Rock n Roll movies ever produced.
Additional themed sub-series will also be included in the first season. In addition to this mix the best new movies will be included when they leave the malls whenever possible.
June 13, 2005
June 9, 2005
Bow Tie Cinemas, a subsidiary of Manhattan-based Bow Tie Partners, announced two new cinema projects in the past week.
In downtown Schenectady, NY, Bow Tie will build and operate a deluxe six-screen upscale venue on the corner of State and Broadway, just down the street from Proctor’s Theatre. Set to open in the Fall of 2006, the cinema project, to be called Movieland, replaces a previously-announced 14-plex that was to be built on another site in the Metroplex Development Authority’s project zone.
The other site, in downtown West Hartford, CT, will be located in the Blue Back Square project. The five-screen Criterion Cinemas at Blue Back Square is set to debut in late 2006.
June 8, 2005
Yet another look at the soon-to-open IFC Center, via this recent New York Post article.
June 7, 2005
A recent IndieWire story discussed the impending June 17th grand opening of the newest addition to the NYC art house scene — the much-anticipated IFC Center.