The latest movie theater news and updates
May 17, 2016
From the Times Gazette: Unlike its leaky roof, the Colony Theatre’s fate seems sealed.
The historic theater’s future as a mere memory seemed almost certain Wednesday after construction experts, city officials and a representative of the historical society toured the dilapidated facility.
Hillsboro Safety and Service Director Todd Wilkin led visitors through the North High Street building, with everyone dodging water that was pouring from the ceiling even though skies were clear outside.
The Times-Gazette toured the building in December 2014 when Mayor Drew Hastings led visitors through the facility, and the damage, disrepair and noticeable moldy atmosphere that was evident then was even more accentuated on Wednesday.
From WTOV9.com: Two separate grants for work on the Grand Theater will help bring the community landmark back to life.
The stage at the Grand Theater used to host casts of performances before it closed in 1979. For the past 6 years, a theater restoration group has been working to get it back to its former glory.
Now, two grants they just received are bringing them one step closer to completion.
The historic walls of the Grand Theater hold years of movies, performances and parties. Scott Dressell, with the Grand Theater restoration project, is working to make that history a part of Steubenville’s future.
“We really need a destination for entertainment downtown to turn around the lack of activity and the Grand will definitely provide that,” Dressell said.
The group just received two grants to continue the work on the interior and exterior of the building.
Dressell said the changes will “bring it back to what it looked like in 1924.”
A $70,000 Community Development Block grant will help repair the façade, and a $75,000 grant from the state will help repair the decorative interior.
“It’s the last theater of the five that used to be here so to lose this would be tragic,” Dressell said.
There’s still a long way to go but none of the work would have been possible this year without this funding. Dressell believes the funding will have a big payoff in the long run for the community.
“In every other city where a theater’s been restored, it really makes a big difference economically,” Dressell said.
The exterior is expected to be completed sometime this summer. The interior work should start in the fall.
Photos courtesy of historicsteubenville.org
May 14, 2016
From Brooklynvegan.com: Back in January 2015, it was announced that Brooklyn’s Paramount Theatre on Flatbush would begin hosting music again for the first time in 50 years. (Not to be confused with nearby Paramount Theaters, like the ones in Asbury Park, Long Island or Westchester.) More details on that have now emerged.
As Billboard reports, the team behind Barclays Center and the renovation of the Nassau Veterans Coliseum has signed a long-term lease with LIU Brooklyn to renovate and operate the Long Island University Brooklyn Paramount Theatre. Renovatons will begin in 2017, overseen by Paramount Events Center (PEC), and the doors are slated to open in 2019.
May 12, 2016
From The Hour:
Better sound, lighting and theater rigging have driven Wall Street Theater Co. to rethink its renovation of the historic theater at 71 Wall St.
Developer Frank Farricker said the organization rethought the design of the interior of the building after abatement work was completed last year.
“We went through our design process and got through everything and when we started doing the work we found a lot of things that a potential user of the facility could find lacking,” Farricker said. The redesign “is a little bit more (Americans With Disabilities Act) compliant. It has a much more robust and professional theater setup, both for the rigging and the lighting design, and the sound design is a lot more powerful.”
From Los Angeles Business Journal: Apple Inc. is in the in the process of securing a lease for retail space at the historic Tower Theater downtown, according to sources familiar with the transaction. When complete, the lease for an Apple store at the building, at 800 S. Broadway, could spark dramatic changes along a corridor that has long been in flux.
“If you have a retailer like Apple that comes to Broadway, everyone else will follow,” said Jones Lang LaSalle agent Lorena Tomb. “It’s going to push rents up, and it’s going to change the entire street.”
Terms of the deal could not be determined. Apple said it has not made any announcements about a store at that location. The brokerage reportedly representing Apple, Robert K. Futterman & Associates, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The stretch of Broadway between First Street and Olympic Boulevard has roughly 250,000 square feet of vacant retail space, despite being populated recently by retailers such as Urban Outfitters, Gap Outlet, Acne Studios, and Oak. The presence of an Apple store could be the spark that reshapes the area.
May 11, 2016
From Northwest Georgia News: It’s been a long time coming, but local theatre company Back Alley Productions (BAP) finally has a place to call home as it’s set to re-open the historic Mars Theatre in LaFayette Friday, May 13, with the classic play “Death of a Salesman.”
It’s been about five months since the papers were signed and the BAP company began the task of revitalizing the historic theatre on N. Chattanooga Street, with the hopes of transforming the gem of a space into a new, thriving entertainment venue.
“The theatre will be fully ready this week right before we open, so that’s part of the excitement,” said Kaylee Smith, BAP’s executive director. “Not only is the building getting ready, but so is the cast, the sets and everything will come together when we finally open on Friday. It’ll not only be an opening for the show, but also an opening for the style of theatre we’ll be bringing here.”
May 10, 2016
From The Star-Ledger: Carmine Cicurillo has two plans to save Newark’s historic Paramount Theater.
Plan A has him winning the lottery.
“Then I’d refurbish it and build a penthouse on top, and live there like the ‘Phantom of the Opera,’ ” he said.
Plan B is to get officials and developers to see what he sees: a majestic part of Newark’s glory days. A community gathering place that could again be a downtown entertainment anchor, if only people had his passion and belief — and the millions of dollars he doesn’t have.
Cicurillo admits Plan A has a better chance.
But it would have to be a hefty lottery, the Powerball or Mega Millions kind.
From The Anniston Star – David Lewis, a graphic designer for Anniston’s Noble Signs, says restoration projects don’t account for much of the company’s business.
“A lot of times restoring something is a bigger pain in the butt than building it from scratch,” Lewis said.
But bringing back the art deco, post-war era marquee and sign from Collinsville’s Cricket Theatre is worth it for the city’s historical association.
“Without the marquee, actually, it’s just another building” association member Jimmy Carter said in a phone interview Friday.
Noble Signs in December started working up drawings for the new marquee. They did so based on artist renderings of the theater, which hasn’t shown a movie since the 1960s.
According to Lewis, the Cricket’s sign had been stored outside on farmland for years. Despite that, Noble Sign workers have refinished much of the marquee’s half-a-century-old metal. They’ve also bent glass letters that will spell the theater’s name in blazing neon.
May 6, 2016
From the Orange County Register: As a younger man, Paul Dunlap dreamed of being another Bill Graham, the late rock promoter of such groups as the Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane.
On a weekday morning standing in front of the long-closed Bay Theatre in Seal Beach, Dunlap can almost see that vision coming true. The iconic building on Main Street could be his latter-day Fillmore. Albeit a much tamer version of the famous San Francisco concert hall.
A lifelong patron of the arts and a preservationist, the Fullerton developer and founder of the Dunlap Property Group says he wants not only to bring back the Bay Theatre as a moviehouse, but can also see it serving as a space for music and art.
“I think we can create a place that’s a draw not only for the community but for the surrounding area,” said Dunlap, 61, who is in escrow for the $2.25 million building and said he expects to spend $1 million to fix it up.
On Monday, he will introduce himself to the community at a City Council meeting and lay out his ideas. He also hopes to be a part of community workshops to gain input and insights from residents and council members.
“I intend to present my vision,” he said. “From that point we’ll move forward. Ultimately it’s a community theater. I need to reflect their wishes.”
Ultimately though, he said he’d like to see the building fulfill its original mission: to bring a cultural element to the community.
From suncommercial.com: Local historian Dennis Latta practically floated out of the small Thursday Church classroom after listening to the compelling stories of how three Indiana cities turned their suffering communities around by restoring beloved community theaters on Thursday morning .
“Wasn’t that a hoot?!” he asked, his hands shooting into the air with excitement. “I mean, what a miracle. Wow. Such beautiful renditions, LED lights.
“Can’t you just see the Pantheon like that?”
Nearly 300 Hoosier historic preservationists are in Vincennes this week as a part of the Indiana Statewide Preservation Conference, the organization’s biggest ever, according to local coordinators.
Participants all this week have been sitting in on sessions focused on “Preserving Historic Places,” and one Thursday entitled “Raising the Curtain on Long-Forgotten Theaters” focused on three theaters: the newly-restored Princeton Theatre in Princeton, The Historic ArtCraft Theatre in Franklin and Fowler Theatre in Benton County.
Their individual stories, while varied, shared striking similarities, with efforts centered around a group of historic preservationists who had a dream and a community that rallied to the cause.