• December 16, 2003

    Buchanan Theatre Lights Up Main Street

    BUCHANAN, VA — The Roanoke Times reports that the Buchanan Theatre, which was reopened in 2002 after a 17-year hiatus, has become the heartbeat of this small Virginia town.

    According to Steve Davis, volunteer publicity chairman for Standing Room Only, a nonprofit organization that has leased the Buchanan, “The biggest impact is that something is regularly opened after most businesses have closed. It brings a lot of people in from a large geographical area.” Much of the theater’s success can be attributed to its programming which includes first and second run movies, opera, bluegrass and rock concerts, sports broadcasts, children’s matinees, benefit performances and church services.

  • December 11, 2003

    Another Update on the Von Lee

    BLOOMINGTON, IN — The Indiana Daily Student takes another look at the history of the Von Lee Cinema and its prospects for the future in today’s issue of the Indiana University student paper.

  • Festival Centre: New Home for the Toronto International Film Festival

    TORONTO, CANADA — A new theater complex will be built in downtown Toronto to house the various departments and programming of the Toronto International Film Festival. Details can be found here.

    The festival — including this year’s event — had been previously held at the Uptown Theatre, which collapsed earlier this week during a planned demolition.

  • December 8, 2003

    BREAKING NEWS: Uptown Theatre Collapses, Killing At Least 1 Person

    TORONTO, CANADA — The ongoing demolition of Toronto’s historic Uptown Theatre took a deadly turn today as the theater collapsed, trapping at least five people. For more details, visit CNN,, or ABC News for updates throughout the day.

    (Thanks to Ashley Winnington-Ball, Mike Rivest, Phantom, edward, Dustin Revin, and others for letting us know about the Uptown.)

  • New Des Plaines Theater Owners Consider Restoration

    CHICAGO, IL — According to the Chicago Tribune, brothers Dhitu and Dharmesh Bhagwakar, who purchased the Des Plaines Theater last month from Mount Prospect National Bank, and who previously managed the theater until its closure this past spring, intend to reopen the former vaudeville house soon, showing a mix of first-run East Indian and second-run Hollywood films on the theater’s two screens.

  • December 3, 2003

    Castle Theater Builds on its Success

    Since the long-shuttered Castle Theater reopened half a year ago, it had proved to be a resounding success, according a report from the Pantagraph.

    According to it’s owner, Ben Slotky, “It’s bigger than anyone thought it would be. It took off so quickly.” The brew and view-style movie house was restored over the past couple years and was opened in May of this year after being closed since 1988.

    Now, Slotky is expanding his vision of what he wants the Castle to become, an entertainment complex filling each of the 86 year-old building’s five floors, beginning with the second story, which he plans on turning into a pool hall. “After or before the movies,” Slotky says, “people are going other places. I want them to stay here.”

  • November 25, 2003

    Palm Theater To Go Legit?

    SAN MATEO, CA — According to the San Mateo Daily Journal, the Palm Theater, which has been operated as an adult film since the mid 1970s, may be eligible for historic status. Should the theater win such status, it would slow efforts by a local developer to destroy the theater and develop an apartment building in its place.

  • November 24, 2003

    Ambler Theater Helps Revitalize Town

    AMBLER, PA — The Philadelphia Inquirer has this report on the now-thriving Ambler Theater:

    “With a $2 million makeover, including restoration of its Moorish terra-cotta facade, the 75-year-old theater reopened in February as a two-screen first-run movie house. A $1 million renovation is under way to accommodate a third screen.

    The Ambler Theater now draws 1,500 moviegoers a week. Its success has been a fillip for the renovation of at least a dozen properties around it, from a stationery store, an art gallery, and a fitness center to a discount outlet that soon will metamorphose into an Irish pub."

  • November 19, 2003

    Update on Portage Park Theatre

    Paul Warshauer, the new owner of the Portage Park Theatre, sent in this update about what’s happening at the Portage Park:

    “Now the City of Chicago wants us to install an emergency generator to back up the two other systems we spend lots of money to replace. It never ends! The landlord refuses to install it but eventually he will be forced to if the theatre is ever to open. Still we wait and have no revenue coming in…no ticket sales, no concession sales. We cannot last forever here.

  • November 18, 2003

    Gila Theatre Still Shuttered, El Sol Theatre To Become Performing Arts Center

    SILVER CITY, NM — After a protracted battle with Town officials over the safety of the building, the Gila Theatre was shuttered last summer, perhaps forever.

    Town of Silver City building and fire safety officials first cited the owners of the Gila Theatre in the winter of 2001-02, after a complaint by a theatre patron that they had nearly been hit by a piece of falling material from the auditorium ceiling.