November 19, 2002
SALINA, KS — As the battle over whether to change the name of Fox Theatre to the Stiefel Performing Arts Center, to reflect its largest benefactor, continues, the Salina Journal is looking for your vote of whether or not to keep the original name of the theater.
Voters currently seem split as to whether or not to approve the name change to Stiefel which would call for the removal of the Fox vertical sign. The newspaper has also published an in-depth history of the former Fox Watson Theatre and a brief update of its current status.
(Thanks to Joel Weide for the news.)
HOLYOKE, MA — The Victory Theatre has been added to the Massachusetts list of the year’s “Most Endangered Historic Resources” by the Preservation Mass organization, according to a report in the Boston Globe.
In response, Holyoke officials announced that they are currently negotiating with the Mass Institute for Fine Arts to restore the Victory Theatre. Downtown Holyoke is one of the most beleaguered areas in all of Massachusetts and New England.
TORRINGTON, CT — The restoration and reopening of the Warner Theatre has spurred a number of articles in recent days. Here are just a few of them (please follow the links):
BRATTLEBORO, VT — Continuing with our New England theme today, the Latchis Theatre has been purchased along with the Art Deco Latchis hotel for $1.6 million by the Latchis Project — a project headed by the Brattleboro Arts Initiative.
According to the Times Argus, the purchase of the theater will lead the way to relaunching the theater as a community arts center. For the time being, and for the forseeable future, the historic triplex will continue showing movies.
November 18, 2002
It’s Monday again and that means a whole weekend of stories has been piling up. Please follow the links below to read the latest news on Cinema Treasures from around the world. See you tomorrow!
(Thanks to Joel Weide and Gregg Anderson for the update.)
The following were also sent with our tremendous thanks to Gregg Anderson:
November 14, 2002
COLDWATER, MI — The former Main Theater in downtown has been converted into a Curves for Women outlet which specializes in weight loss. According to the Daily Reporter, the theater had been closed since 1999 after the city inspection department closed the theater due to problems with the roof and plumbing.
(Thanks to Gary Flinn for the update.)
VAN WERT, OH — The two original theaters of the five-screen Van Wert Cinemas were destroyed when portions of the city were hit by a tornado. According to Grant Smith, the former Twin Cinemas were recently expanded to a 5-plex. “The two orignal screens, which must have been the largest, were destroyed and the three new screens were mostly undamaged.”
(Thanks to Grant Smith for the news.)
CANAAN, CT — The Colonial Theatre was unexpectedly purchased by a local businessman, David Ohler, after a four year campaign by The Colonial Community Theatre Group, Inc. who had hoped to purchase and renovate the theater.
According to CCTG’s website, the theater was sold on October 30th by its former owners, Michael and Richard Boscardin. Despite their setback, the group is reporting that Ohler also plans to reopen the Colonial as a theater.
(Thanks to Roger Smith for the announcement.)
POMONA, CA — City officials are already lobbying to host the premiere of the upcoming Universal film adaptation, “The Cat In The Hat,” at the Fox Theatre. According to the San Bernardino County Sun, the film was shot in Pomona and city officials hope to host a special screening of the film at the theater to raise money for its continued renovation.
“The Cat In The Hat” is scheduled for release in November 2003 when the theater’s renovation efforts will be close to completed.
November 11, 2002
Once again we are faced with the problem of too many stories and not enough space! Please follow the links below for these stories:
November 7, 2002
SANDWELL, ENGLAND — Paul Jurvis has closed the only movie house left in town, the twin Kings Cinema, citing nearby construction and the loss of parking spaces as the cause of the failing business. According to the Evening Mail, these issues have forced his patrons to attend the new Showcase Cinema in Dudley.
Jurvis' family has been in the cinema business for 47-years and previously owned the Kings, Queens, and Imperial movie houses. The newer Kings Cinema was built later, in 1975. Jurvis is already entertaining offers to take over the lease, but none of them to operate the Kings as a cinema.
BETHPAGE, NY — Cablevision has reported increasing losses in its Clearview Cinemas unit, according to a new report by Reuters/iWon.com. Clearview Cinemas, which operates such Cinema Treasures as the Ziegfeld and the Beekman, is still up for sale.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA — The San Francisco Weekly is reporting that Landmark Theatres' Lumiere may close for seismic retrofitting and other renovations as early as Thursday, November 14th. The triplex will need to close during the lucrative Fall art house season.
According to the SF Weekly, “As it has for the last two months, Landmark’s Opera Plaza Cinemas will continue to host the calendar of one-week bookings initiated at the Lumiere a few years ago.”
The Music Hall, one of Seattle’s grandest movie palaces, was torn down in 1991 to make way for an office building. Originally opened in 1929 as the Fox, its name was changed to the Seventh Avenue and later to the Music Hall. In the 70’s, it became the Emerald Place dinner theater which lasted until 1991.
The auction will consist of “ornate urns, columns, crests, arches and other relics” and will be held at 10 a.m. at 4815 15th Ave. S.W. in Seattle. For more information, visit www.tradermick.com or call auctioneer Mike Odell at (206) 542-4460.
November 6, 2002
There have been so many news stories lately that we haven’t been able to cover that we decided to post as many as we can today in an abbreviated format. Enjoy!
See you tomorrow!
November 5, 2002
SANTA BARBARA, CA — Metropolitan Theatres' briefly reopened the downstairs, main auditorium of the Granada Theater this past weekend for a three-day engagement of “The Santa Clause 2”. Santa Barbara’s oldest movie house, which was previously converted into a triplex, is currently being renovated and restored.
BRIDGEPORT, CT — The city of Bridgeport hastily began removing the Palace and Majestic theaters' marquees because of fears that they might crash to the ground. The marquees will be stripped and stored in the hopes of rebuilding them if and when the city can restore and reopen the shuttered, adjacent movie palaces.
According to the Connecticut Post, “City officials hope that construction of a state courthouse at the corner of Congress and Main streets will spark a revitalization of northern downtown, including rehabilitating the now run-down theaters.”
MINNEAPOLIS, MN — The Pantages Theatre will reopen this Friday after an extensive renovation effort. According to the Skyway News, the Minneapolis Community Development Agency, which bought the theater in 1999, has replicated the style in which the theater was originally built and upgraded and modernized its capabilites.
The Pantages opens with a three-day engagement by pianist Jim Brickman and will continue to offer “off-broadway performances and concerts.”
The Pantages was built as a vaudeville theater in 1916 and switched to movies in the 1920s. RKO remodeled the theater in 1946 renaming it the RKO Pan. It was bought by Ted Mann in 1960 and remodeled into a 70mm roadshow house, opening in March 1961 with “Spartacus.”
The former Mann theater closed in 1984 and has sat vacant ever since.
November 4, 2002
SEATTLE, WA — Redevelopment of portions of the Northgate Mall in Seattle may, once again, impact the historic Northgate Theatre. According to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, a redevelopment proposal would “likely include the mall’s northwest corner” which is where the former Loews Cineplex movie house is located, along with adjacent office space.
The Northgate Theater, which is cited as the first shopping center theater ever built, has recently been converted into a concert venue, the Northgate Music Theater. The operators currently have a one year lease.
The Northgate opened in 1950 and once seated 1,500 patrons during its heyday. As the Northgate Music Theater, most of the seats have been removed and the venue can now fit 2,400 patrons with only 375 seats on the floor.
MINNEAPOLIS, MN — The opening of the new 15-screen Crown Theatre in downtown Minneapolis is great news for moviegoers, but will add hardships to the single screen Parkway Theater.
According to the Star Tribune, Parkway owner Bill Irvine has seen his property tax bill nearly double this year due to a “reassessment” of the value of the building. That value is partially based on the development of and around the new Crown Theatre.
Irvine says he will now need to sell an additional 10,000 tickets this year to make up for the increased taxes at a theater that seats only 400 and charges $6 per ticket, 25 cents for a small popcorn, and a dollar for soda.
October 31, 2002
AKRON, OH — The Akron Civic Theatre will reopen on November 5, 2002 following a $22.6 million restoration effort at the former Loew’s movie palace.
According to the Beacon Journal, in addition to making the venue completely accesssible to the handicapped, the Civic also added a bigger stage, a new roof, new dressing rooms, a new north wing with elevators and restrooms, a bigger stage, and numerous other technical and aesthetic upgrades.
PASADENA, CA — Thanks to their supporters, the Friends of the Raymond Theatre were able to pay their latest legal bill and are continuing to fight against the gutting of the old town Pasadena movie house.
In order to raise $7,000 for the next round, the Friends are extending their raffle to November 30, 2002. To donate money or buy a raffle ticket, visit their website.
October 22, 2002
ROANOKE, VA — Less than a year after it closed, the Grandin Theatre has reopened to the public, according to a report in the Roanoke Times.
After being sold to the Grandin Theatre Foundation by former owner Julie Hunsaker, the movie house has been renovated and restored thanks to a combination of private donations and $500,000 of taxpayer funds.
DAYTON, OH — The New Neon Movies is celebrating the one year anniversary of its $325,000 renovation with revenues nearly doubled from its pre-alteration figures. According to the Dayton Business Journal, the theater’s owner attributes the success to the twinning of the theater and the ability to bring in more customers.
The 15-year-old theater gained national notoriety several years ago as a venue for Cinerama screenings. Those showings ended, however, before the renovation of the theater and the New Neon Movies has since stuck to a healthy diet of art house fare.
TUCSON, AZ — The Fox Tucson Theatre, which is currently in the third year of its renovation, will host a “free evening of Halloween entertainment” this Friday night, according to the Tucson Citizen. Events include live music, tours of the theater, a fashion show, and more. The five hour celebration will begin at 5 p.m.
The theater has already raised $3 million for its renovation efforts with more than 200 volunteers working to resurrect the 1,300-seat movie palace. Total cost of the renovation is expected to be $8.5 million and should be completed by late 2004.
The Fox originally opened in 1929 and has been closed since 1974. The theater has restored its original chandelier while replacing the roof and marquee.