August 30, 2002
COUER D'ALENE, ID — The historic Panida Theatre is not only celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, but has just been awarded the 2002 Governor’s Awards in the Arts, reports the Couer d'Alene Press.
Karen Bowers, executive director of the Panida, says in the article that, in addition to switching from 16mm to 35mm projectors, the theater will be “spruced up” for its anniversary. A gala fundraiser is being held September 14th, including a perfomance by the Couer d'Alene Orchestra and appearances by actors Jack Bannon and Ellen Travolta, Couer d'Alene natives.
The Panida, which is a combination of the words “Panhandle of Idaho”, opened in 1927, and originally was a vaudeville house before switching to movies, which it continued to show until the mid 1980s. Today, the theater screens classic and foreign films, hosts concerts, and live theater.
August 29, 2002
RICHMOND, VA — According to the Richmond Times-Disptach, the popular seven-screen multiplex is being closed by Regal Cinemas on September 5th after 32 years as one of the most popular movie houses in the city.
The Ridge still draws an audience (though a continually smaller one), screening a mix of both mainstream and art features. It opened in 1970 with the Albert Finney and Alec Guinness musical “Scrooge” and Jack Nicholson in “Five Easy Pieces”, as a twin.
The Ridge’s closing has caused some dismay as it is still in decent shape, while other less presentable theaters owned by the chain in the area will continue to remain open.
(Thanks to Mary Wiggins!)
DALLAS, TX — Closed since a fire swept through it in 1995, the Texas Theater in Dallas is best known as the place where Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested in 1963 after assasinating President John F. Kennedy. However, once a nearly $6 million restoration is completed in 2003, the theater will host live stage shows, as well as house an exhibit relating to the Oswald arrest there.
The Houston Chronicle reports that the project will restore the Texas' interior to its original appearance, while the exterior will appear similar to how it looked when Oswald was arrested in 1963.
The theater was built for billionaire Howard Hughes in 1931.
August 28, 2002
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!)
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
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
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, 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.”
(Thanks to Howard Haas for his tireless work on behalf of the Sameric and for sending this in!)
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
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.