May 24, 2017
Gregory, SD - Oldest South Dakota Drive-In Theater to Get New Projector
From US News: South Dakota’s oldest drive-in movie theater will install a new digital projector to replace equipment that has been in place since the theater was built in 1947.
The Hilltop Drive-In Theatre in Gregory will install a $45,000 projector this summer as part of a project that’s being funded largely funded through donations from movie-goers, The Daily Republic (http://bit.ly/2qMYS8D ) reported.
“We had no choice, we had to replace it if we wanted to stay open, as our other equipment got completely outdated,” said drive-in owner Cecil Harsin.
The project has raised about $20,000 and will continue fundraising through the summer, The Daily Republic reported.
The projector will allow the drive-in to show films in higher resolution, better clarity and brighter pictures. Harsin said the new projector will help the theater stay open for several years as long as interest remains high. Harsin said between 40 and 50 people attend shows each night the theater is open, and he hopes the new projector will attract more movie-goers.0 comments
May 23, 2017
Boston, MA - Hyde Park theater can be rebuilt, but it’s an expensive idea
From The Boston Globe: It would be costly — but not entirely impossible.
A group of students from Boston College this month determined that more than $10 million would be needed to bring the long-shuttered Everett Square Theatre in Hyde Park back to its former glory, and reopen it to the public.
May 19, 2017
Hollywood, CA Hollywood’s Chinese Theatre: Historic photos of the iconic movie house
From Curbed LA: Today marks the 90th anniversary of the day Hollywood impresario Sid Grauman opened his Chinese Theatre, which would become the most famous—and arguably the greatest—movie theater ever constructed.
As a recent LA Times profile explains, the extravagant theater was constructed at a hefty cost of $2.1 million on land that Grauman didn’t actually own. The showman, who also developed Downtown’s Million Dollar Theatre and the Egyptian Theatre just two blocks east of the Chinese, leased the land on which the iconic theater sits from silent film star Francis Xavier Bushman, who owned a mansion on the site.
The building was designed by architectural firm Meyer and Holler and represents an Art Deco-influenced (and shamelessly exoticized) reinterpretation of a Chinese temple. The theater’s facade is framed around a 90-foot tall pagoda topped with masks and flanked by imported artifacts from China, such as stone figures and temple bells, as LA Conservancy notes.
The theater’s most famous feature, the Forecourt of the Stars, is as old as the venue itself. Screen icons Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford were the first stars to preserve their handprints and footprints for posterity, according to the Times. Though the two actors wrote the theater’s opening date in the concrete, however, the prints were actually made a few weeks earlier in advance of the venue’s first big premiere (Cecil B. DeMille’s biblical epic King of Kings).
Now named after Chinese electronics manufacturer TCL, the theater recently underwent major renovations that equipped it for IMAX screenings. And 90 years after opening day, it’s still the place to beat for star-studded red carpet premieres. Here’s a look at the historic venue over the years.
Palm Beach County, FL - Ghost buildings: The lost movie theaters of Palm Beach County
From the Palm Beach Post: There was a time when going to the pictures in Palm Beach County had a special cachet.
Local theaters featured elaborate lobbies with smoking rooms and painted tropical murals. One theater bragged about its giant curved screen and “Ultravision” technology. Others advertised balcony seating and “all rocking chairs.”
April 29, 2017
Springfield, MO - Neighbors try to block Palace movie theater from becoming a church
From the Springfield News-Leader: Some neighbors and business owners near a south Springfield movie theater don’t want to see it turned into a church. They’re signing petitions in protest.
The Premiere Palace, located in Chesterfield Village, is under contract to be bought by Life360 Church, which is looking to relocate its nearby Park Crest campus to the 29,000-square-foot theater at 2220 W. Chesterfield St.
Deby McCurter, who has lived in Chesterfield Village for 15 years, said she’s worried that losing the movie theater will be a hit on property values and the tax base.
“(The theater) is just a great community hub. They’ve upgraded it. They’re doing first-run movies. They’re still the most reasonably priced anywhere. It’s just iconic,” McCurter said.
Leo Crosby, the executive pastor of Life360 Church, said representatives from the church have met with Chesterfield Village residents and organizations.
April 27, 2017
New focus on restoring historical theaters in Western Pennsylvania
From The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Small-town America may have been knocked down in recent decades, but don’t count it out. Private and public efforts have begun to breathe new life into abandoned main streets as people look for amenities closer to home.
One trend has been the restoration of historic theaters across the region.
“Western Pennsylvania has some really good examples of people who have pulled together to do something for their communities,” said Rick Fosbrink, executive director of the Theatre Historical Society of America, which recently moved to Pittsburgh from Chicago.
April 20, 2017
Palm Beach, FL - Palm Beach board: Historic Paramount Theatre sign needs to be replaced
From the Palm Beach Daily News: The iconic “Paramount” sign crowning the façade of the historic Paramount Theatre Building has deteriorated beyond repair and is in line to be replaced with an exact duplicate. But first the Town Council must approve a variance for the replacement, which, at 156 square feet, will be far larger than the 20 square feet allowed under today’s code.
The sign is original and has adorned the building since 1926, architect Gene Pandula told the Landmarks Preservation Commission on Wednesday.
“The sign is obviously an extremely important historic element of the building,” Pandula said. It “has been one of the constants of this building, even as other changes were made over the years.”
The sign is made up of individual letters, each 30 inches tall, which are no longer lit because the wiring is in bad condition, he said.
“It does need to be replaced,” Pandula said. “It’s been turned off for a while now. It’s not in an appropriate condition to plug in.”
April 13, 2017
Ardmore, PA - Tropicraft opens up in the former Ardmore movie theater
From the Main Line Times: After having been empty for the nearly three years following the abrupt closing of the Philadelphia Sports Club in the summer of 2014, a new business has opened up inside the former Ardmore Movie Theater.
Husband and wife team Bruce and Zofia Halpern own Tropicraft, a store that specializes in outdoor patio furniture.
Belleville, IL - Last of St. Louis region’s drive-in theaters still ‘kind of busy’
From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: The gravel lot is an unremarkable expanse dotted with hundreds of short poles whose purpose might mystify many people. Even the two huge white rectangles rising on steel struts toward the sky may be something outside their experience.
Here, atop 17 acres on the west side of Belleville, sits a rare drive-in picture show, open for a 68th season as a theatrical dinosaur in the movies-on-your-phone era. But a healthy dinosaur, owner Steve Bloomer insists.
Lots of East Siders will remember the family name from the Bloomer Amusement Company, whose chain of theaters flourished through the 20th century. Its first opened in Freeburg 100 years ago. The lone survivor — outliving the company itself — is the Skyview Drive-In, at 5700 North Belt West.
It also outlived all the St. Louis region’s other drive-ins.
Sag Harbor, NY - Nonprofit takes charge of Sag Harbor theater ravaged by fire
From the New York Post: A Hamptons nonprofit group led by artist April Gornik — the wife of painter Eric Fischl — is taking over the Sag Harbor Cinema, which was damaged by a December fire.
The Sag Harbor Partnership’s buying the theater from owner Gerald Mallow, who’s owned the theater of 38 years. Gornick’s group aims to raise funds from private donors through SagHarborPartnership.org for the renovation, and to launch the Sag Harbor Cinema Arts Center with year-round “education, outreach and programming.”
New plans include a café and the theater’s art deco facade will be rebuilt, complete with the original, salvaged sign.
A July 16 fête will honor Mallow and benefit the cinema.