July 30, 2002
PASADENA, CA — Supporters aiming to save the historic, 1800-seat Raymond Theatre from redevelopment into condominiums are holding a raffle to pay for the organization’s legal fees.
According to Gina Zamparelli, the tireless head of the Friends of the Raymond Theatre, “Our lawsuit is moving forward rapidly. A hearing date is now being scheduled [and] we are expected to go to court sometime in November of this year.”
The group needs to raise more than $7,000 before September and if the case moves on to appeals, the required funds will increase. 5,000 raffle tickets have been printed and the grand prize is a vacation for two at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada for 3 days/2 nights. Other prizes include:
2nd: $500 in cash
3rd: Go-Video Duel Deck DVD/VCR Player
4th: 2 Adult Passes to Disneyland, Anaheim, CA
5th: $50 Starbucks Coffee Gift Certificate
Suggested donations for raffle tickets are as follows:
$1 for 1 ticket
$5 for 6 tickets
$10 for 12 tickets
$20 for 25 tickets
$50 for 60 tickets
$100 for 125 tickets
$200 to $500 + donation – One raffle ticket for every dollar you donate
The drawing will be held October 12, 2002 and you do not have to be present to win. To purchase tickets online, visit paypal.com and send a payment to with your full name, address and phone. Your raffle ticket numbers will be sent via email upon request.
You can also send your payment via snail mail by writing to:
Friends of the Raymond Theatre
P.O. Box 91189
Pasadena, CA 91109-1189
(Thanks as always to Gina for getting the word out to us!)
July 29, 2002
EASTCHESTER, NY — The Garson Brothers Development company has begun construction on a new $15 million apartment complex on the site of the recently razed Scarsdale Plaza Theater. According to the New York Times, the 49-unit “Scarsdale Commons” is scheduled to open in the Fall of 2003.
The now vanished theater was sold, along with an adjacent space, for $2.85 million in late 2000. When plans to raze the theater later went public, local residents along with Craig Morrison, the chair of New York’s Historic Preservation Committee, led a drive to save the old movie house. Despite attempts to landmark the building in June 2002, the theater was demolished.
The Scarsdale Plaza was originally constructed by Rapp & Rapp for RKO in 1931. Morrison, in a June New York Post article, referred to the theater as “the only one of its kind in America” for the unique wood details in its marquee and interior. The theater had been closed since 1996 and is now just a footnote.
Score one for the developers.
POUGHKEEPSIE, NY — The continued success of the Bardavon 1869 Opera House is being cited today in the New York Times as one of the signs that the beleaguered city of Poughkeepsie is finally clawing its back from the brink.
According to the New York Times, following years of renovations in which its interior and exterior has been meticulously restored, the Bardavon is now drawing 120,000 visitors per year — a three-fold increase from its totals in 1994.
NEW YORK, NY — Elsewhere, the former Loews Cineplex Worldwide Cinemas, once the only remaining discount movie theater in Manhattan, is scheduled to be converted into multiple auditoriums for off-broadway productions. According to the New York Times, the complex will be converted into five small auditoriums, along with rehearsal space, and is scheduled to open in mid-2003.
July 25, 2002
CHESHIRE, CT — The parent company of a local oil firm has purchased the shuttered and crumbling Cheshire Cinema, according to a report in the Republican-American. The theater has been closed since 1998 and was briefly condemned for safety violations since that time.
Plans for the old movie house, which was erected in 1923, are unknown, but residents hope it will now be preserved or at least repaired from its current status as an ‘eyesore’. The theater is best known for an interior 15-foot-long mural created by Al Hirschfeld depicting a “nightclub filled with Hollywood legends.”
We’ll keep you posted…
(Thanks to Roger Katz for the news.)
CONCORDIA, KS — Cinema Treasures' friend, and frequent contributor, Joel Weide reports that the Apollo Theatre, has closed. The Apollo replaced the Brown Grand as the central movie house for Concordia years ago and was twinned most likely in the early 1980’s.
He writes, “I understand that it has fallen into serious disrepair, and needs extensive work. The community leadership is working to begin a project to re-open the theater and I will keep you posted as events warrant. The Apollo has no historical significance and could be consided an early AMC-type design, however it did serve the people of North Central Kansas with a great movie venue.”
(Thanks to Joel for the sad news.)
SALINA, KS — Elsewhere in Kansas, the Historic Fox Theatre Foundation has hired the former Senior Production Manager of the opening and closing ceremonies of the recent Olympic games in Salt Lake City as the new Executive Director of the Fox Theatre.
According to the Salina Journal, the multi-million dollar restoration and renovation project is scheduled to be completed in 2003 when the the Fox reopens as a mixed-use performing arts center.
(Thanks to Joel again for the update.)
July 24, 2002
CHICAGO, IL — The “3rd Annual Silent Summer Film Festival” begins July 26th at 8 p.m with Lon Chaney in the 1925 edition of “The Phantom of the Opera”. One silent film will be shown at the historic Gateway Theatre every week on Friday at 8 p.m.
Elsewhere in Chicago, the 21st Annual Lesbian and Gay International Film Festival kicks off on July 26th with an array of 125 films playing at numerous theaters around the city including the Music Box, the Three Penny Cinema, and the Landmark Century City Cinema.
(Thanks to Bryan Krefft!)
NEW YORK, NY — Emerging Pictures and the League of Historic American Theatres have formed a strategic alliance to deliver independent and foreign films through EP’s digital projection and satellite delivery infrastructure.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, EP plans to install digital projection in 300 classic cinemas over the next three years through the alliance. In addition to film, EP may also help historic movie houses raise additional revenues by exhibiting concerts, broadway shows, as well as corporate and educational events and programming.
(Thanks to Andreas Fuchs for the update!)
July 23, 2002
BARRINGTON, IL — According to a report in the Daily Herald, the historic Catlow Theatre’s fortunes have turned slightly thanks to an unlikely hit, the indie film “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”, which has been packing crowds into the 1927 movie house.
The film’s success this summer has given the struggling single screen cinema its best financial success in over two years and has helped keep the theater off the real estate market.
As the theater waits for the village of Barrington to commit to a plan to save the Catlow, and possibly turn it into a performing arts center, the theater’s owners are encouraged by all of the new and returning faces who continue to line up outside the theater.
(Thanks to Bryan Krefft for the news!)
July 18, 2002
SILVERTON, OR — The Palace Theatre closed last week after its deteriorating roof and ceiling began endangering the safety of theater patrons, according to the Statesman Journal.
Contractors will spend the next few weeks repairing the theater with plans to reopen the movie house later in August. New carpeting and new seats is also in the works, but may not be completed during this current phase of renovations.
The 400-seat Palace opened in 1935 and is still a first-run, single-screen movie theater.