May 7, 2015
Besides being fun and interesting to browse, the THS archives can help you document the architectural, social and cultural history of the theatres you love! Information and materials in the archives can be used to help gain historic landmark status, accurately restore buildings to their former splendor, and provide a look at the cultural and social history of an era. Here’s a peak at the postcard collection in the THS archives.
The Postcard selection is an important one, because it illuminates a few issues related to theatre history research and archiving. For most of the 20th century, the postcard was a popular tourist purchase. Postcards were both a quick way for a traveler to share news of their journey, and a handy way for localities to advertise their attractions. Many of these towns saw their theatres as memorable locations and used their images to promote and memorialize their towns.
Many, if not most, of our postcards are from the latest era of postcard production, known as photochrom-style postcards. Photochrom-style postcards are the color cards with photographic appearance that most of us are familiar with today. From 1939, when photochrom-style postcards were first sold in Western gas stations, to the 1990s, when the popularity of email led to an overall downturn in postal communication, these colorful postcards were one of the easiest and most popular ways for travelers to share the sights of their latest journeys, like these postcards showing Oakland, California’s Grand Lake Theater.
While postcards are often praised for their self-contained, single card design, they could also reach high levels of complexity. This postcard, with its self-closing printed envelope, accordion-folded images, and full text backing, is a small feat of postcard engineering.
May 6, 2015
Happy 100th Birthday to the Maryland Theatre in Hagerstown! ‘The Maryland Theatre was built in 1915, at a cost of about $200,000 by the Potomac Realty Company. Designed by Harry E. Yessler of Hagerstown, who also designed the Colonial Theatre across the street, and renowned Thomas W. Lamb of New York. Mr. Lamb is recognized for his work on The Hippodrome Theatres as well as Madison Square Garden Theatre in NYC along with theatres in England, Egypt, India and South Africa.’ Maryland Theatre website
January 18, 2015
Amelia Jordan was 13 when she and her family moved from El Paso to Santa Monica.
“I didn’t really have any friends or knew what to do around town,” said Jordan. But then one day the family was driving on Montana Avenue and saw the marquee of the vintage Aero Theatre.
“We saw that Charlie Chaplin was playing,” she noted. “We started going to the Aero, and we haven’t stopped since then. It’s more than just a theater. It’s more of a community. People who go there make bonds, friendships and relationships.”
The 19-year-old college sophomore has worked at the Aero for several years in various capacities. For the last year, Jordan has been the manager of the single-screen theater, which has been operated by the American Cinematheque — which also owns and operates the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood — for the last decade.
Read the entire article online at latimes.com
“AMC counting on pulled-pork panini (and such) to stem moviegoing decline in Chicago” From Lombard, IL.
Would you like a side order of “Birdman” the movie with that pulled pork panini? Sound tempting?
Well, it’s entirely doable now at the AMC Yorktown 18 multiplex in west suburban Lombard. And that panini looks to be part of a growing trend to make in-theater dining just as much of a main attraction at the multiplex as the films themselves.
Though the Yorktown 18 has been around for a while, AMC has just completed converting the entire 18-theater complex into a facility where moviegoers can watch a movie on one of 18 screens while chowing down on a menu of food prepared in a kitchen inside the movie complex.
Read the entire article online at Chicago Business Journal.
January 8, 2015
Elroy and its surrounding communities are delighted that its classic, old movie theatre has been rescued by Kari Preuss and her children, Paige and Dane, just when screens all over the country are going black due to the rise of the digital cinema experience.
Since Preuss purchased the theater in 2005, she has been renovating the interior and upgrading the projection system, including the digital improvement.
Preuss initially invested in updating the building, including a new roof, updated electrical system, replacing all the theater seats, repairing the marquee, insulating the building, and installing new lobby carpeting, and air conditioning.
At that time, she also purchased new theatre equipment, including a new sound system, projection lenses, movie screen and, perhaps most importantly, a new popcorn maker.
Read the entire article at swnews4u.com.
The Belmont Studio Cinema, a fixture in Belmont since the early 1900s may be closing, according to owner Jim Bramante. A recent inspection by town officials discovered several code violations and the cinema’s license was not renewed. Bramante is not sure he will be able to correct them, however he is working with the town and has engaged contractors. “Our plan is to try and work something out – hopefully something can be done,” he said. “There’s a reason why we’re one of the last remaining independent single screen theaters,” he added, noting that it is hard to be successful in small scale cinema. “We tried to hold on as long as we could.”
Read the entire article at wickedlocal.com.
December 19, 2014
Next time you go to the movies, you might want to think about putting on a coat and tie.
As more high-end cinemas open in the region — boasting reserved seating, concierge desks, cocktails and fancy food — the experience is becoming less and less like an afternoon at the Bijou and more like a night at the Kennedy Center.
In fact, when ArcLight Cinemas unveiled its 16-screen multiplex in Bethesda last month, a place with a posh lobby bar and old-school ushers, but no box office, the company’s vice president of operations, Stephen Green, described the chain’s competition not as other movie theaters, but — wait for it — opera.
What’s next, printed theater programs?
Read the entire article at washingtonpost.com
December 17, 2014
Two years ago, Vince Amaro moved his antique business into a red-brick building in East Lake that had been in his family since the 1960s, despite the fact that its neighbor across the street was a porn theater.
Amaro spruced up the outside. He hung a handsome sign with scalloped corners. Employees stacked steamer trunks in front of display windows and lined the walls with old writing desks and a massive hunter’s cabinet. Recently, the staff added a Christmas tree draped with candy canes and plastic poinsettias.
But no matter the holiday, or the inventory, there was one thing about those window displays Amaro couldn’t change.
The view on the other side of the plate glass always included a string of adult-oriented businesses: The Cinema Blue, with its weathered marquee, Pleasure Books and its badly buckled sign and a third shop, Birmingham Adult Books.
Read the entire article at al.com.
December 11, 2014
There’s always more to read about the movie-going experience out on the internet, so here are some additional links:
“Movie Theaters Lure Customers with Luxe Amenities” From Reston, VA.
“Marcus Theatres announces cinema upgrades, continuing its multi-million dollar investment” From Illinois & Wisconsin.
“Jurassic World Could Usher In New Era Of Cinema” From Forbes.com.
“Allen Theaters cancels 8-screen movie complex in Carlsbad” From Carlsbad, NM.
“Cinemark Holdings Sets New 1-Year High at $36.63 (CNK)” From Tickerreporter.com.
December 10, 2014
Opera buff Ferdinand Wythe Peck built the Auditorium Theatre with an uplift agenda: offering affordable culture to the common man. In 1889 he could not see movies coming. Yet his illustrious theater at Congress and Michigan, which celebrates its 125th anniversary with a star-studded gala Tuesday, turned into the largest venue in the Loop for photo plays and moving pictures.
Peck — called “Commodore” by his yachting pals — inherited a wealth of city property and turned civic philanthropist. “Mr. Peck was very democratic in his ideas and very sympathetic towards the man who could not afford to indulge his propensities in the direction of culture without pecuniary aid from such public-spirited altruists as Mr. Peck,” observed a contemporary. Auditorium architect Louis Sullivan cited Peck’s “firm belief in democracy — whatever he meant by that.”
Read the entire article at the Sun-Times.