The latest movie theater news and updates
June 15, 2016
N. Tonawanda, NY: Historic Riviera Theatre selects Foit-Albert Associates for theater expansion, development project
From wnypapers.com: The Historic Riviera Theatre and Performing Arts Center has selected award-winning Foit-Albert Associates to design the regionally significant Riviera Theatre expansion and development project, which is designed to set the stage for future generations to enjoy the venue.
Foit-Albert Associates will design a 23,000-square-foot addition in the rear of the theater on a fully remediated brownfield site that will enable the Riviera Theatre to increase the number and type of events offered. The project increases accessibility, includes general upgrades that will benefit patrons and performers, positively influences the theater’s economic impact on the downtown and region, and establishes new and sustainable revenue sources.
“We are excited to move forward with an architectural partner with extensive experience in the design of new buildings and the restoration of existing facilities that will help us set the stage for an expansion that not only functions and looks great, but also compliments our history and community,” said Gary J. Rouleau, Riviera Theatre co-director.
From NBC24.com: Michigan’s oldest theater, in Adrian, has received a hefty gift to help renovate the 150-year-old building.
The city’s historic Croswell Opera House has been given a $2.5 milion gift from Adrian-native Julianne Argyros and her husband, George. It is the single largest donation in the organization’s history and will be used to bring new life to the one of the oldest continuously operating theaters in the United States.
“The broad base of public support for this campaign is really what helped us demonstrate its viability,” said Croswell board president Emory Schmidt. “None of this could have happened without the incredible support we have received from our community.”
The Croswell launched a $7.2 million capital campaign to raise money for renovations in 2015. Before Argyros' generous donation, the opera house had raised just short of $5.2 million. The new gift puts them over the top in its fundraising efforts.
June 14, 2016
From WCYB.com: An effort to save a historic theater is now one step closer to reality. The Elizabethton City council voted unanimously Thursday night to purchase the Bonnie Kate Theatre.
The Elizabethton/Carter County Community Foundation gave the city $111,000 to make the purchase. Plans are to make it a performing arts center. They already have a tenet to place a bakery and restaurant in the theater as well.
John Huber has been leading the fight for the theater.
“It’s a diamond in the rough. I see such potential for it, and it just needs somebody to lead it to that potential,” Huber said.
The purchase should be completed in a few days. Then, a business plan will be made, and the restoration process will begin.
The city is also considering purchasing the gravel lot next door to the Bonnie Kate for approximately $20,000.
From the Fayette Tribune: The Historic Fayette Theater has served the community of Southern West Virginia for the past 23 years. However, the historic building in which it is located has had some limitations. The restrooms are currently located on the second floor, accessible only by a flight of steps. Creating handicap-accessible restrooms has long been a priority for the HFT’s Board of Directors and this summer the renovation work will finally commence.
The entire lobby will be renovated and will include two handicap-accessible bathrooms. This work will be funded in part by a generous fund dedicated to the memory of Alice Todaro.
Alice Todaro was long time supporter of the arts in general and the Historic Fayette Theater in particular. She served on the Board of Directors and regularly attended performances. She even appeared in several productions, telling people that the role she liked the best was when she shot the prop gun simulating the assassination of Teddy Roosevelt in Gene Worthington’s rendition of Bully.
June 13, 2016
With its classic marquee and iconic balcony level, the Majestic Theatre was once considered a crown jewel in Streator.
The movie house, built in 1907 in the 100 block of North Vermillion Street, was closed and boarded up in August 2014. It fell into foreclosure some months later.
Local residents and city officials are hoping for an investor to see the value of purchasing the 8,100 square-foot building for some business purpose or restoring it back to its former glory as one of the most attractive movie theaters in North Central Illinois.
The property features two separate auditoriums with seating accommodations for 450 people, a concession stand area and an unfinished apartment on the second level. Sales promotions admit the building is in need of some updates and repairs to restored the structure in its “original and nostalgia of yesterday.”
The property will be sold as is.
June 9, 2016
From brighamyen.com: As the listing agent for the Olympic Theatre in Downtown LA owned by Titan Metropolis LLC, I am especially excited to report that we have signed a new retailer that will become another strong addition to Downtown LA’s growing shopping district. H&M is so bullish on downtown’s future — and why shouldn’t they be when their massive flagship store in DTLA has been doing extremely well — that they are now going to turn the dilapidated Olympic Theatre into their much more exclusive and fashion forward brand called COS (like “coss”), which stands for Collection of Style.
Built in 1927, the Olympic Theatre has a total square footage of 9,835 square feet spanning three levels (basement, ground floor, and mezzanine). Unfortunately, besides the vertical “Olympic” sign installed on the front along with the beautiful arched facade, most of the historic detailing inside has not survived the decades of decay and different ownership alterations. However, given the upscale nature of COS, the retailer plans to invest a substantial amount of money to rehab and upgrade the building, including relighting the original vertical Olympic signage. You may also recall, the historic Rialto Theatre on Broadway was converted to an Urban Outfitters store back in 2013.
June 8, 2016
From the Mercury News: It had been decades since I’d last visited Berkeley’s UC Theatre, the groovy repertoire cinema where I enjoyed an epic double feature of the rock documentaries “Stop Making Sense” and “The Last Waltz.”
Last week, I returned to the building — which closed in 2001 but recently reopened as a 1,400-capacity music venue. And after catching a set from The Rides — the blues-rock supergroup featuring Stephen Stills, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and keyboard great Barry Goldberg — I’m happy to report that the officially dubbed UC Theatre Taube Family Music Hall is a pretty cool place to see live music.
The 99-year-old theater has undergone a thorough restoration and looks downright gorgeous. Plus, it boasts an impressive Meyer Sound system and good sightlines, thanks to a three-tiered floor layout.
June 7, 2016
From The Patriot Ledger: City natives have been dropping by the Wollaston Theatre this past week to get one last glimpse of a building that still evokes memories of dollar movie nights, first dates and simpler times.
From WQAD.com: An abandoned yet historic Peoria theater has been damaged after a fire broke out inside and investigator say they believe it was arson.
The Peoria Journal Star reports the fire ignited late Saturday inside the Madison Theater in downtown Peoria. Brad Pierson is a fire investigator with the Peoria Fire Department and told the Journal Star the fire appeared to have been started in several parts of the old building.
Streets and a nearby bar were closed as firefighters worked to put out flames.
Peoria fire officials gave a preliminary estimate of $100,000 in damage done to the theater.
June 6, 2016
From the Daily Journal: There are generations of movie fans who don’t get the drive-in theater concept. They would ask: Why would you want to sit in your car and watch a movie through your windshield? Don’t you have your phone or iPad?
And there’s an older generation of people who don’t know that today’s drive-in theaters have kept up with technology. These throwback theaters use digital projection and a modern sound system. You hear the soundtrack through your car’s stereo system: Those low-fidelity speaker boxes, the kind you used to hang on your car window, are gone.
Movie lovers of all generations still can find common ground these days, on the parking lot of the Harvest Moon Twin Drive-In in Gibson City. This throwback from the “Happy Days” era is not only showing contemporary movies, it’s been named third among the nation’s Top 10 outdoor theaters by popular vote in a USA Today poll.