March 28, 2003
SOMERVILLE, MA — “The Lost Theatres of Somerville” is a special year long exhibit that opens tomorrow at 5:00 pm at the Somerville Museum.
The exhibit focuses on the the fourteen cinemas “that once thrived in this small working class city near Boston and how these ‘nabes’ — neighborhood cinemas — fostered a sense of place and common culture.”
According to Mimi Graney, “The exhibit includes a wealth of archival photographs, contemporary photos, and all sorts of memorabilia from tickets and posters to a ten foot neon marquee. [We also have] a series of lectures coming up in April and others planned for the rest of the year long run.”
Hopefully this exhaustive study of Somerville’s theaters, which couples other such efforts by theater historians such as Cesar Del Valle, will inspire more of these around the county.
We’ll continue to update you about special events surrounding this terrific exhibit.
Thanks to Mimi Graney for keeping us updated and to David Guss for reminding all of us what we’ve lost.
March 24, 2003
PHILADELPHIA, PA — The original 1964 Andorra Theater, last known as the AMC Andorra 8, is slated to be demolished and replaced by a fitness center.
This all too familiar story serves as a reminder that the most endangered theaters in the country have, of late, been those built after 1960.
JERSEY CITY, NJ — The Loew’s Jersey Theatre will host the following events this coming weekend:
The 2nd Annual Classic Comedy Weekend
Saturday, March 29, 4PM
The Sons of the Desert (1933) 73 min.
Saturday, March 29, 8PM
A Night At The Opera (1935) 92 min.
Shown with three classic Three Stooges shorts!
Paul Wesolowski will display rare posters and film stills in the Loew’s and will give a brief introduction to A Night At The Opera that will include questions from the audience.
Sunday, March 30, 2PM
Bob Hope’s 100th Birthday Double Feature
The Road To Morocco (1942) 83 min.
The Seven Little Foys (1955) 93 min.
If you haven’t been to the restoration-in-progress, this is a perfect time to show your support.
Thanks to the Friends of the Loew’s for the update!
SANTA MONICA, CA — The following email has been sent from Chris Allen of the Aero:
I’m pleased to announce that we will be hosting a farewell party on Saturday, April 12, 2003. The movie “Blazing Saddles” will be the feature presentation because it is a time for laughter and not tears. Like our other special events, there will be food and wine, and tickets will once again be $20.
I want to thank all of you for your support over the last year. Without your help, the Aero would have surely met its demise.
American Cinematheque will have a representative on hand that night to let us all know of their plans to bring the Aero back to its original glory! I hope to see everyone that night. Continued vigilance will assure the Aero’s safety for years to come.
For more information, visit the Aero Theatre website.
March 17, 2003
CHICAGO, IL — The list of potential owners and operators of the famous Chicago Theatre has been reduced to two.
Thanks to Bryan Krefft for the update.
(Three more stories below.)
PHILADELPHIA, PA — The following email was sent by Friends of the Boyd Chairman, Howard Haas:
We are really eager for you to join us at our film fundraiser of The Show-Off, 8 PM, Friday March 21, at International House, 3701 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia. $15 includes live music & reception afterwards at International House with White Dog Cafe food, Yards Brewing Co. beer, and 1920’s music from radio D.J. Dan Buskirk.
The Show-Off is a silent 1926 romantic comedy starring Louise Brooks, and was filmed in Philadelphia with scenes of Swann Fountain, City Hall, and old Pennsylvania RR Broad Street Station. Movie critic Carrie Rickey will introduce the film. Hope to see you there. Please bring your friends!
For tickets, call Upstages at 215-569-9700 or buy at Prince or Plays & Players when Upstages open at those theaters, or with cash or credit card at International House from 2 hours before the film. Friends of the Boyd is raising funds for business and architectural studies to restore the Sameric.
For more information, visit the Friends of the Boyd website.
Thanks to Howard for the update.
WASHINGTON, DC — Today is the last chance to sign up for the early registration rate at the National Town Meeting, to be held May 18-21 in Cincinatti, Ohio.
To qualify for this rate, you must sign up by 5 pm today.
For more information on the National Town Meeting, visit their website.
Thanks to David Tully for the update.
March 10, 2003
SALT LAKE CITY, UT — The following email was sent out by Kirk Huffaker of the Utah Heritage Foundation:
Over the last 2 weeks, we have heard not only the continuing concerns of Villa-philes from everywhere, but also some great ideas to continue the use of the Villa as a theater venue and for adaptive use of the building. Utah Heritage Foundation would like to serve as the clearinghouse for all ideas for the continued use of the Villa Theatre and requests your assistance in this endeavor.
We would like to continue collecting these ideas through the next week (March 14). Please forward your thoughts on continuing the use of the Villa as a theater (business planning, management, rehabilitation, variation of use, integration into community events, partnerships, fundraising, etc.) or the adaptive use of the theater (ideas for other uses, feasibility of those uses in the building, rehabilitation and costs, funding/financing of a project, etc.) to me.
Thank you for your continued interest in saving the Villa!
Utah Heritage Foundation
Memorial House in Memory Grove Park
P.O. Box 28
Salt Lake City, UT 84110-0028
Thanks to Grant Smith and Kirk Huffaker for their work on behalf of the Villa!
MILWAUKEE, WI — This was sent in from contributor Jim Rankin:
The former WARNER (now THE GRAND) in Milwaukee that was supposed to be converted by the Milwaukee Symphony into a secondary concert hall (the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts is their prime venue) … will not now come to be. [See below Journal Sentinel for more information.]
The new addition to our Art Center has received national acclaim for its innovative – if not revolutionary – design, but in the process they went so far over budget (280%!) that all the local charitable dollars have been soaked up, and with about $50 million said to be needeed in adapting the former GRAND and adding a parking structure of some sort, there just are not enough dollars out there for the foreseeable future for the Symphony to do the GRAND.
The present owner of the land under the theatre says that Marcus Entertainment still has 20 years to go on its lease, and that he fully intends to keep them at maintaining the long dark theatre so that it does not deteriorate. He seems sincere in that. Since there will, of course, be no formal announcement of the Symphony’s change in plans for the GRAND, the story [below] will have to suffice.
If you would like to advertise this as an opportunity for someone to place themselves in the Mid-West in the finest of Rapp & Rapp’s medium scale works, please use this to do so! I don’t forsee anyone else locally stepping forward to take on this 2700-seat movie house which now has been ‘un-divided’ so that it is again a single auditorium, in contrast to its last years since 1973 as a so-called “Twin.”
Thanks to Jim Rankin for the update! Any takers?