June 18, 2003
LEBANON, PA — The following was sent in by Jonathan M. Crist:
The Harrisburg Patriot News carried a blub that the former abandoned Howard Theatre in Lebanon PA will be razed as part of the rejuvenation of the aging Lebanon Plaza Mall by its new owners.
The theatre opened in 1969 as the Trans-Lux. It was a typical upscale single screen shopping center theatre with seating for about 800. In the late 70’s it was twined into two side-by-side auditoriums of about 350 seats each by the then operator Fox Theatres of Reading PA who renamed the theatre the Howard after his deceased grandson.
Fox sold to Carmike in the early 90’s who proceeded to run what was left of the Howard into the ground. The Howard closed in 1998 following Carmike’s bankruptcy. By the time that it closed the roof leaked so badly the interior walls were stained.
Another shopping center theatre bites the dust.
June 5, 2003
Thanks to all of our users and our tireless theater editor and contributor, Bryan Krefft, we’re proud to announce that we recently added our 3,000th U.S. theater.
We’re slowly reaching the 4,000 theater mark and we can’t thank you enough for your continued support!
May 30, 2003
CHICAGO, IL — The following email was sent in by the Friends of the Uptown. The Central Park was Balaban & Katz' first movie palace and, according to Douglas Gomery’s “Shared Pleasures,” the first theater in America cooled by air conditioning for the sweltering summer months.
VOLUNTEERS ARE NEEDED to assist in some house chores and heavy lifting, beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 31, at the former Central Park Theatre, on the West Side, in the North Lawndale neighborhood, at 3535 W. Roosevelt, east of Central Park Avenue. Look for the large sign that reads House of Prayer.
We will work until approximately 2 p.m. Please come and work for any amount of time that you can. Meet the group in the vestibule/lobby of the theatre/church building itself. RSVP by email to: .
Work clothes, gloves, a bottle of water and a snack are good things to bring along. Surplus cleaning supplies, brooms, mops, trash bags, light bulbs, etc. are always are appreciated.
We will meet and work with the Rev. Dr. Lincoln Scott and his staff. You may meet Mr. Butler or Mr. Roosevelt first if you choose to use the fenced parking lot adjacent to the building to the immediate west.
Home to The House of Prayer COGIC since the 1970s, this important Chicago venue will be featured on a special Chicago: Three Centuries of Theatres tour, July 8 through 13. A little work from Friends of the Uptown this Saturday will make for a better tour and will show our support for this very special landmark.
Theatre historians recall that the 1916 CENTRAL PARK is the fountainhead of movie palace design and the second successful venue of Balaban & Katz (following the CIRCLE). Its success led B&K to build later landmark venues and its design influence can be seen in other important theaters. After the RIVIERA came the TIVOLI, the CHICAGO, the UPTOWN, the ORIENTAL … from B&K and the same architects, C.W. and George L. Rapp!
Thank you for your time and attention. You will definitely enjoy this unique opportunity to experience the combination of historic theatre, appreciative owner-operator and vested constituency! Apologies for the impromptu notice. This was arranged to fit the venue’s schedule and needs.
The Friends' effort is in anticipation of the upcoming Theatre Historical Society of America conclave, “Three Centuries of Theatres,” to be held from July 8 -13, 2003 in Chicago.
For more information on the conclave, visit THSA’s website.
Have a great weekend everyone and see you on Monday!
May 27, 2003
May 26, 2003
Cinema Treasures is closed for the Memorial Day holiday, but will return tomorrow.
May 23, 2003
LONDON, UK — According to Yahoo News, EasyInternetCafe and Easyjet founder Stelios Haji-Ioannou has opened Easycinema, a new low-cost, no-frills movie theater.
How low-cost, you ask? Well, since Easycinema uses the same pricing technique first pioneered by its intercafe sibiling, EasyInternetCafe, ticket prices will be based on demand.
So, if you buy early, tickets will be as cheap as 33 cents. But as demand fluctuates, the price will be raised or lowered, depending on availability. If a movie becomes very popular, patrons will be charged a full-ticket price (approximately $8 in the UK).
In addition to the cheap tickets, Easycinema will do away with both box offices and concession stands…
“We’re keeping it as simple as possible,” said James Rothnie, an easyGroup spokesman, adding he believed it was the first such scheme in the world. “There’ll be no rip-off popcorn, no catering of any sort. If you want to eat and drink, bring your own.”
So far, not surprisingly, response from film distributors has been less than supportive, with some refusing to book blockbusters with Easycinema. But, regardless, the new company will certainly prove to be an interesting experiment for the exhibition industry.
PITTSBURGH, PA — Also according to Yahoo News, an appeals court has upheld a previous decision giving the city’s Urban Redevelopment Authority the right to seize and redevelop the Garden Theater as part of an urban renewal project.
The legal battle, ongoing since 1997, had pitted the First Amendment rights of owner George Androtsakis (who used the Garden to show adult movies) against the city’s right to use eminent domain (in pursuit of its $45 million urban renewal project).
May 22, 2003
BAGHDAD, IRAQ — The Baltimore Sun is reporting that movie theaters in newly-liberated Baghdad, many of which reopened in the past few weeks, have been ordered to shutdown by Sheik Mohammed al-Fartusi, a local Muslim cleric.
While it appears that only some theaters have responded to the Sheik’s decree, many others are taking it seriously, cutting short advertising campaigns or reducing their visible street presence (by hiding posters and other signage).
May 16, 2003
PHILADELPHIA, PA —
The following was sent in by “Save The Sameric”:
At a luncheon ceremony attended by Mayor Street of Philadelphia, the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia presented the Community Action Award to The Committee to Save the Sameric, Howard B. Haas, Chairman.
The Committee to Save the Sameric was formed in June 2002 following the issuance of a demolition permit for historic Boyd Theater in Philadelphia. Dedicated members of the film community, film buffs, and preservationists were brought together by Howard B. Haas, a Center City lawyer, to create a grass-roots campaign to preserve the theater. Media support and petitions signed by 5000 individuals eventually led to Mayor Street’s endorsement for preservation.
Although the future of the theater is still in question, the efforts of hundreds of volunteers-coordinated by a leadership group consisting of Haas, Shawn Evans, AIA, Michael Norris, Jay Farrell, Rob Bender, Andrew Repasky McElhinney, Adrian Scott Fine, and John Andrew Gallery-have demonstrated the effectiveness of grass-roots preservation action and given hope that the Boyd will be returned to its Art Deco splendor.
Haas accepted the award and pointed out in particular the heroic volunteer assistance of architect Shawn Evans, but noted that Philadelphia’s last movie palace has not been saved yet and asked the 300 people in the audience to help.
Congratulations to Howard Haas and Shawn Evans and all of the supporters of Save The Sameric for a job incredibly well done!
May 8, 2003
PHILADELPHIA, PA — “Save the Sameric,” the preservation organization fighting to save the shuttered Boyd/Sameric Theater, will hold an event for Preservation Month on Tuesday, May 13th, at 6 PM at the Academy of Vocal Arts, Helen Corning Ward Theater, 1920 Spruce Street in Philadelphia.
This is a free event with a lecture, illustrated with slides, featuring an overview of the fate and preservation of historic movie palaces throughout the U.S. The presentation will also highlight Philadelphia movie palaces, including the Boyd (Sameric), by Adrian Fine of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Save the Sameric architect, Shawn Evans.
Reservations can be made by calling (215) 546-1146 x10.
For more information on this event or the group, visit their website.