The latest movie theater news and updates

  • February 10, 2017

    Lewisburg, PA – The Campus Theatre’s mission of historic preservation & vision for cultural captivation

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    From The Bucknellian: Every member of the Lewisburg community is sure to encounter the historic Campus Theatre at some point, as its iconic neon green lettering and old-school marquee on Market Street make it hard to miss. The theatre’s central location, nestled in the heart of Lewisburg, and old-fashioned Art Deco themed decoration and architecture make it an ideal location to bring film lovers together. Many people do not realize that the Campus Theatre is one of the oldest renovated theaters around. Some of the other notable famous historic theaters include the Ziegfeld in Manhattan, which closed in January 2016, and the Somerville Theatre in Somerville, Mass. The Campus Theatre opened in January 1941, about 11 months before the historic attack on Pearl Harbor. The Stiefel brothers emigrated to the United States from Russia, and built the theatre shortly thereafter. The brothers were large proponents of community involvement; hence, it was no surprise that the theater became quite an integral part of the Lewisburg area. Although the Stiefel brothers constructed 24 other theaters modeled with a similar Art Deco style, the Campus Theatre in Lewisburg is one of only five others still in operation. Although recently renovated by Hartmann Fine Arts Conservation Services, Inc., few changes have been made regarding the intricate paintings that embellish the interior of the theater’s walls and high-ceilings, as well as the original structural-architectural designs from the theater’s conception.

  • Tulsa, OK – Circle Cinema Shows Off 1928 Pipe Organ For ‘Second Saturday Silents’

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    From newson6.com: Tickets are on sale right now for Second Saturday Silents at the Tulsa’s Circle Cinema. This time a Buster Keaton silent flick will be accompanied by the Circle’s original 1928 theater pipe organ.

    Bill Rowland plays the theater organ at the Circle Cinema; he plays to accompany the once-a-month silent movie at the Circle.

    “This is the original organ that was installed in the Circle Cinema – or Circle Theater at the time – in 1928,” Rowland said.

    Rowland plays with his shoes off because he said he gets a better feel of the keys.

    “You can’t look at your feet, you gotta look up there,” he said.

    The console where Rowland sits is more or less a control panel; behind the movie screen is where the action is – a huge blower to provide the wind, and there are dozens of pipes of different lengths.

    There’s also an area called the toy counter – fun sound effects like a base drum, train whistle, bird whistle and a car horn, all of it, he can operate from the console.

    So, you put it all together and you have an accompaniment for a silent movie.

    Theater organs had their heyday from 1915 to about 1930 when talking movies took over; but cities like Tulsa, which have theater organs, create opportunities, like Second Saturday Silents, so they can show them off.

    Silent movies are every second Saturday at the Circle Cinema.

  • New book on the Kings Theatre in Brooklyn, published by Theatre Historical Society of America.

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    On September 7, 1929 the Loew’s Kings Theatre in Brooklyn opened its doors to the public for the first time. Less than 50 years later they were shut, seemingly for good. Designed by the Rapp & Rapp architecture firm in the French Baroque style, the Kings is not only an architecturally important piece of Brooklyn history, but from community standpoint as well. Many Brooklynites had their first date at the theater, or walked across the stage during their high school graduation. Now, after almost 40 years of darkness, the curtain is beginning to rise.

    When it reopened in 2015, the Kings became the largest indoor theater in Brooklyn and the third largest in New York City. It is a place for the community to gather once again, hosting everything from Broadway shows to concerts. Take a trip through the history of the Kings via photographs and artifacts spanning the theater’s heyday through its renovation. Watch the theater return to its original splendor and learn for yourself why it’s called Brooklyn’s “Wonder Theater.”

    This new book by Matt Lambros contains never before seen historic and modern photographs of the Kings, as well as a complete history of the theater. There are a limited supply available online at Amazon.

    LINK TO PURCHASE THE BOOK: https://www.amazon.com/Kings-Theatre-Rebirth-Brooklyns-Wonder/dp/0692032002/

    ABOUT THEATRE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA: Founded by Ben Hall in 1969, the Theatre Historical Society of America (THS) celebrates, documents and promotes the architectural, cultural and social relevance of America’s historic theatres. Through its preservation of the collections in the American Theatre Architecture Archive, its signature publication Marquee™ and Conclave Theatre Tour, THS increases awareness, appreciation and scholarly study of America’s theatres.

    Learn more about historic theatres in the THS American Theatre Architecture Archives and on our website at historictheatres.org

  • February 9, 2017

    Green Bay, WI – Budget Cinemas to close amid East Town redevelopment plans

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    From Fox11online.com: One of the main tenants of Green Bay’s East Town Mall will close next week. The Budget Cinemas is going dark amid plans to try to redevelop the entire mall. Although, Kevin Vonck, Green Bay’s economic development director, believes the closure likely would have happened either way. “You just look at the rise globally of Netflix and Amazon and all these other streaming services and across the nation movie theatres are taking a hit,” said Vonck.

  • Shawnee, KS – One of the oldest theaters in Kansas — vacant for decades — will be renovated

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    From the Kansas City Business Journal: The new owners of Shawnee’s Aztec Theatre — one of the oldest movie theaters in Kansas — plan to bring it back to life, the Shawnee Dispatch reports.

    It last saw life as a movie house in 1975, according to Cinema Treasures.

  • Birmingham, AL – Carver Theatre, a Birmingham cultural icon, may finally be restored

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    From AL.com: The restoration of the historic Carver Theatre is moving forward just weeks after portions of the 4th Avenue Business District was included in the Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument.

    Last year, the Birmingham City Council approved spending $4.3 million on capital improvements to the city-owned structure. The process hadn’t moved forward, though, until this week when leadership of the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame, which operates the facility, met with city leaders to go over the budget for the planned work.

    Bishop Jim Lowe, president of the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame board of directors, said he hopes renovations will be complete in 12 to 18 months.

    That timeline, though, may be too optimistic as the project hasn’t went out to bid yet, and the allotted city funds likely won’t pay for all of the improvements on the board’s wish list.

    The historic Carver Theatre, owned by the city of Birmingham since 1990, is a non-profit multi-use community-based theater, which houses the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame museum.

    Hundreds of internationally recognized artists have performed at the Carver Theatre, and each year, more than 100 area school children receive tuition free jazz instruction and performance opportunities at the venue.

    The Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame now wants to restore the aging theater to its 1940s grandeur and capitalize on the 4th Avenue Business District’s inclusion into the National Park system.

  • Greeneville, TN – Updates To Capitol Theatre’s Facade Coming This Spring

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    From The Greeneville Sun: A downtown landmark will soon get a bit of a facelift.

    Work to repair the Capitol Theatre’s marquee is likely to get underway soon, along with other planned upgrades to the theater’s facade.

    Earlier this week, the Historic Zoning Commission approved plans for the South Main Street landmark that include repairs to the marquee and its lights, enclosure of the existing ticket booth and installation of granite and tile on the lower portion of the building’s facade.

  • Chatham, VA – Something old to something new; proposal to turn old movie theatre into fishing store

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    From WSET.com: Doomsday doesn’t mean the end for a Chatham building. Danville Resident, Steve Delgiorno and his business partner will present their plans to the Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors on Monday night. If approved, Delgiorno hopes to turn what was once a movie theater (Ed: Chatham Theater) into the new headquarters for Doomsday Tackle Company, a fishing company. The County has owned the building for about 30 years, and currently uses it for storage.

  • Takoma, MD – Historic Takoma Theatre To Be Renovated As Commercial Space

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    From the Silver Spring Patch: A commercial real estate investment company Rock Creek Property Group announced they broke ground on restoration of the historic Takoma Theatre Wednesday. The former theatre—just a five minute drive from Silver Spring—will be preserved while simultaneously converted into a commercial building.

    Takoma Theatre was build in the 1920s by architect John Jacob Zink, and was one of the first theaters in the area to feature “talkies,” or sound films, in 1929. Zink went on to design more than 200 theaters around the country.

    Due to the theater’s significant history, Rock Creek Property Group plans to restore the original exterior of the theater, while building the interior to meet the needs of businesses and apartment tenants.

  • Lisbon, ND – Oldest Movie Theater in U-S is in North Dakota

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    Podcast from KFGO.com: l Michels, the owner of “The Scenic” Theater in beautiful Lisbon North Dakota. The Scenic opened in 1911 with the showing of “Nemo,” a 10-minute black-and-white movie.