Theaters

  • August 28, 2002

    Montreal’s Imperial Theatre to Undergo $4.5 Million Restoration

    MONTREAL, CANADA — According to a Canada.com article, the 1913 Imperial Theatre in Montreal will be restored to its original appearance inside and out, as well as getting new projection and sound equipment, and a larger stage.

    Currently hosting the Montreal World Film Festival, which runs to September 5th, the Imperial will be closed until July of next year, when it will reopen in time to present the FantAsia Film Festival.

    (Thanks to Mike Rivest!)

  • DuPage Theater’s Future Goes to Vote

    LOMBARD, ILLINOIS — A petition led by concerned Lombard residents to save the 74-year old DuPage Theater in downtown Lombard will lead to a vote this November on whether citizens want to save the former movie palace. Village officials are expected to add the vote to the election ballot prior to the election, according to the Daily Herald.

    It is expected that Lombard must raise over $5 million, in addition to the $2 already promised by the village and a grant from the state of Illinois.

  • August 27, 2002

    2600 THEATERS!

    The Cinema Treasures theater database continues to grow at a brisk pace. Just weeks after we added our 2500th theater, we’re now proud to announce we now have 2600 theaters!

    It goes without saying this milestone would not have been possible without the efforts of those who you use this site. Special thanks go to Bryan Krefft, Celia Stapleton, Chad Irish, Chris Joiner, Dan Kaiser, Drew Taylor, Drew Taylor, George Haider, Grant Smith, Ian Grundy, Jean, Jeff Laffel, Jessica Figueroa, Joe Sedelmaier, Joseph Anthony Sobora, Kristin Knutson, Michael Bathrick, Michael R. Rambo Jr., Paul Knittel, Pete Christy, Peter Davis, Roger Katz, Ron Pierce, Scot S. Wilkinson, Sean Doerr, Serge Bosschaerts, Tammy Conner, Wes Reeves, William Hamilton, and Woody Wheeler for their recent entries.

    Again, thanks to all of our users for supporting Cinema Treasures, and the thousands of theaters we’re helping to save!

  • August 22, 2002

    News From Canada

    MONTREAL, QB, CANADA — The 900-seat Imperial Cinema will undergo a major restoration and renovation effort next month, following the end of the Montreal World Film Festival on September 2nd.

    According to the Montreal Gazette, the $4,5 million project is being funded through $1.4 million of federal and local contributions, $1.7 million from the theater itself, and an additional $500,000 from Senator Kolber whose contribution will give the building a new name, the Sandra and Leo Kolber Building.

    In addition to repairing the facade and adding a brand new marquee, the theater will also relocate the projection booth and update its capabilities for 16mm, 35mm, and 70mm presentation as well as add a new sound system. Most intriguing, perhaps, is the addition of two new auditoriums in a building just north of the Imperial that was recently purchased for $450,000.

    The Imperial will continue to be the annual host of the Montreal World Film Festival and is scheduled to reopen in time for the FantAsia festival next July. The imperial originally opened in 1915.


    REGINA, CG, CANADA — In other Canadian news, the Cornwall Cinemas will close its doors tonight after 21 years. According to the Regina Leader Post, the Famous Players movie house did not renew its lease following months of dwindling audiences who the Canadian exhibitor says are venturing, instead, to newer complexes.

    No new tenants have been found for the old four-screen plex.

    (Thanks to Mike Rivest and Chad Irish!)

  • August 14, 2002

    Philadelphia Mayor Speaks Out In Support Of The Sameric

    PHILADELPHIA, PA — Philadelphia Mayor John Street, in his weekly radio address on Saturday, publicly proclaimed that his “administration is committed to exploring every possibility to preserve the Sameric Theater.”

    According to the KYW radio address, which has been reprinted on www.boydtheatre.com, the mayor also stated that, “Although I respect and fully support our development community, I do hope that by working together with the current owner, the Sameric can share the same success as the old Midtown Theater. In 1997, the Midtown Theater underwent a $10 million restoration and now houses the Prince Music Theater.”

    Read the full radio address

    (Thanks to Howard Haas for his tireless work on behalf of the Sameric and for sending this in!)

  • News From Around Chicago

    CHICAGO, IL — The legendary Chicago Theatre is reportedly on the auction block again as the Chicago Theatre Restoration Associates is “on the verge of defaulting on a $21 million loan from the city”, according to a report in today’s Chicago Tribune.

    The theater’s current operator, the Columbus Association for the Performing Arts (CAPA), is rumored to be a possible buyer. If the venerable theater is sold, CAPA would be among the many different owners who have controlled the former movie palace over the past two decades.

    Elsewhere in Chicago, the Broadway Theatre is scheduled to reopen this fall as a live venue. According to the Tribune, the former movie house will be given a $25,000 makeover for various improvements and its name will revert back to the Lakeshore.

    And finally, as we reported yesterday, the Water Tower Theatre will reopen this Friday, but this time as a three-screen art house cinema. An $8 ticket will admit you for either “13 Conversations About One Thing,” “Lovely and Amazing,” or the new version of Giusseppe Tornatore’s brilliant epic, “Cinema Paradiso.”

    (Thanks to Bryan Krefft for the update!)

  • August 13, 2002

    Guess Who’s Coming To Theater

    WINNIPEG, MB, CANADA — Burton Cummings, the lead singer of the rock group Guess Who, has become the benefactor of the struggling Walker Theatre, according to Chartattack.com. Cummings will begin donating a portion of the proceeds of his concerts at the Walker in order to pay down the theater’s $1.8 million debt and fund future renovations.

    In exchange for his aid, the theater will be renamed the Burton Cummings Theatre for the Performing Arts after the singer who attended the former movie house as a child. The board hopes Cummings' name will help bring in additional grants and donations.

    The 2000-seat Walker opened in 1907 and was named for its owner, Corliss Powers Walker, who brought in live theater, vaudeville, concerts, and silent films. The theater switched to a movies-only format in 1945 and remained in operation until 1990. In 1991, it reopened as a performing arts center and is an official Manitoba Provincial Heritage Site.

  • Del Ray Theater May Make A Comeback

    HUGHSON, CA — The Hughson City Council has voted to approve plans for a new redevelopment agency which has already cited the resurrection of the historic Del Ray Theater as part of its plan to revamp the ciyt’s downtown area.

    According to the Modesto Bee, the Del Ray has been closed for almost 40 years, but could be restored and reopened as a venue for either live theater or classic films, or as a community center.

  • Water Tower Theatres Reopens In Chicago

    CHICAGO, IL — The Water Tower Theatres at Water Tower Place will reopen this Friday under the Village Theatres banner, according to a report in Crain’s Chicago Business. The three-screen theater has been closed since last year. The move follows on the heels of Village’s recent takeover of the historic Biograph.

  • August 9, 2002

    Contribute To A Forthcoming Documentary On Interstate Theatres

    Jeff Mills, the Producer/Director of the forthcoming documentary about the Interstate Theatres circuit, “Before the Curtain Rises”, is looking for anyone with archival material, anecdotal stories, and any other information on the long history of the Texas-based exhibitor.

    He writes, “With the recent movement by the El Paso Community Foundation to put a great deal of money into the restoration of the Plaza in El Paso, we have ramped up our efforts to record their efforts and complete the film.”

    The production team is currently looking for physical artifacts such as lobby cards, ticket books, copies of The Interstate newsletter, etc., as well as any photos, postcards, film or video, printed material, audio recordings, historical information, and/or oral histories to share. They are also looking for leads on specific theaters which would be of importance either extinct or extant.

    Visit their website to watch the documentary’s trailer, as well as access numerous photos, virtual tours, interviews, and much more…

    Visit the Interstate Documentary Project website
    Visit our small list of Interstate theaters
    Email Jeff Mills at

    You can also contact Jeff Mills by phone at 713-661-6677.