July 25, 2002
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.
July 17, 2002
DENVER, CO — The lease to the Paramount Theatre has been sold to Kroenke Sports in a transaction that includes not only the Art Deco movie palace, but also an adjacent building which houses the offices of the Historic Paramount Foundation and the House of Blues Concerts which books the 1970-seat theater.
According to reports in the Denver Business Journal and the Rocky Mountain News, Kroenke Sports, which also owns the Colorado Avalanche hockey and Denver Nuggets basketball franchises, as well as the the Pepsi Center arena, will now commence a “decade-long renovation effort.” Kroenke Sports was established by Wal-Mart’s Stan Kroenke who may seek to purchase the building outright in the future.
The restoration and renovation project will include repairs to the theater’s silk tapestries, the Paramount marquee, and the theater’s roof, as well as the installation of a new air conditioning system.
The Kroenke Sports lease will last until at least 2026 — four years prior to the Paramount’s 100-year anniversary.
July 16, 2002
BURNHAM-ON-SEA, ENGLAND — The Ritz, Burnham-on-Sea’s last movie house, has closed after 70 years of operation. According to ThisIsBristol.com, the theater had been operated since September 2000 by Starlight Cinemas which has now decided to close the twin because of the “lack of support”.
The Ritz opened as a movie house in the 1930s with a balcony and was split several years ago. Prior to Starlight Cinemas, it was used by the Ritz Social Club, which still occupies the ground floor of the building.
The liquidators have descended upon the Ritz as it has faded to black…
CULVER CITY, CA — The Center Theatre Group has been forced to scrap its plans for an additional 100-seat auditorium to be built inside the old Culver Theater balcony because it could not be lowered enough, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times.
The former movie house will reopen in 2004 as a performing arts center named the Kirk Douglas Theatre after the legendary actor who has pledged $2.5 million to its restoration campaign. Costs for the project have increased from an estimated $8 million to $10.9 million with $7 million already in the bank.
The theater will now house a 320-seat auditotium and a mixed rehearsal space/classroom in the converted balcony area.
ONEONTA, NY — The Oneonta Theatre has been sold to former employee Terry Mattison who plans to convert the twinned 105-year-old movie house into a live theater venue in the future. According to the Daily Star, Mattison has worked at the movie house since 1974.
The Oneonta, which opened as a single auditorium theater in 1897 and is on the National and State Register of Historic Places, may now return to its roots to accomodate live performances. Mattison may also make other modifications including repairing the theater’s roof and other touch-ups.