The latest movie theater news and updates
May 4, 2016
From The Baltimore Sun: The first block of West North Avenue lost one of its longest-tenured commercial presences this week. A place my family long called Dr. Fouch’s drugstore disappeared during an eight-hour demolition.
The razed structure at the southwest corner of Charles and North avenue put in decades of hard work. It seems to have been a neighborhood drugstore from the 1880s through World War II.
William Fouch, recalled as a tall man with a black mustache, got his pharmacist’s diploma in 1886. He died in 1946.
The building later served as a Peoples drugstore, then changed careers — a White Tower hamburger shop, then a White Coffee Pot restaurant and finally the Chicken Box, where a neon sign famously described a dish as “mec and cheese.”
The building’s last act was home to the Station North Arts and Entertainment offices, as well as the Annex Theater.
Yet as the heavy equipment plowed into its bricks, the spot is giving way to help another landmark. The building will be replaced by architects Ziger/Snead’s addition to the 1915 Parkway Theatre.
The Ector Theatre that drew families to the center of a humming downtown finally faded from its old glory in 1985, when its original owner locked the doors after more than three decades and walked away. By then, it had become a financial burden.
But for the last 15 years, Don and Toni Stice kept the historic venue alive even in the age of the multiplex. They leased the building for a pittance from the City of Odessa, which bought the 1950s-era theater in 1994 for $155,000 in federal funds with hopes of keeping it open to the public.
He served as the artistic director and her as the business manager keeping the books. Performers and the classic films returned to the marquee.
“They loved being entertained by that,” Don Stice said in an interview inside the Ector Theatre, where he first came to work in 1959 as a projectionist. “They love going back in time. I call this place a time machine.”
That ends this month, after a final series of events, as the city begins laying the groundwork for a downtown hotel and convention center estimated to cost some $77 million and incorporate the theater. The city will not tear down the Ector Theatre but officials are still working out the specific plans about how to renovate and reopen it.
But first, there will be a performance by a Johnny Cash tribute artist on May 7. Then, the Ector Theatre will show “The Last Picture Show” on May 13 and May 14.
Finally, after a couple junior high choir shows and an Odessa High reunion, the Ector Theatre will close.
April 20, 2016
York Theatre Royal will reopen its doors following a £6million redevelopment by architects De Matos Ryan. The 270 year old theatre will launch with the world stage premiere of Evelyn Waugh’s classic novel Brideshead Revisited, adapted by Bryony Lavery and directed by Damian Cruden.
April 18, 2016
Building on what has been a successful year of fundraising for the nonprofit Tampa Theatre, the majestic movie palace is the proud recipient of a half-million dollar gift from the family of Theatre Board Member Anne Arthur Pittman, including her husband, Drew Pittman; her father and stepmother, Tom and Dixie Arthur; her mother and stepfather, Bretta Arthur Sullivan and The Honorable Don Sullivan; and her sister and brother-in-law, Tready and Thayer Smith.
April 14, 2016
The Colonial Theatre in Phoenixville, PA, which gained cultural significance when it appeared in the 1958 Steve McQueen movie The Blob, started a new chapter in its storied history last week, when the Association for the Colonial Theatre (ACT), a non-profit organization that operates the local landmark, held the groundbreaking ceremony for their ‘Bank on the Arts’ project.
April 11, 2016
New Mexico MainStreet Announced Second Annual Historic Theaters Institute in Silver City on April 22
SILVER CITY – New Mexico MainStreet announced on Monday that it will have its second annual Historic Theaters Institute in Silver City on April 22.
The Historic Theaters Institute is open to New Mexico’s community leaders to help them improve the performance of their local theaters and spur economic growth in their downtown MainStreet districts.
April 7, 2016
Great news from our friends in Hoopeston, IL! The Lorraine Theatre has tentative plans to open this year. Preparations are now in progress to begin work in the auditorium. The heat has been turned on to start work for the first phase of the auditorium renovation, according to Save the Lorraine Foundation Vice President Alex Houmes.
April 5, 2016
The Watts Theatre is a recognizable feature on Osage, Iowa’s Main Street. The neon lights with the chrome, pink and teal facade stick out among the more subdued buildings on the street.
April 1, 2016
Great news from our friends in Beverly, Massachusetts and Boston NPR: “Once there were more than 20,000 grand movie palaces in the United States. Think the Coolidge Corner Theatre in Brookline, the Somerville Theatre, the Strand Theatre in Dorchester.
Today, though, the National Trust for Historic Preservation estimates only about 250 survive. The Cabot Theatre in Beverly is one of them.
Not too long ago it seemed to be on the verge of joining the list of lost classic movie houses. But the community here banded together to save the Cabot for 21st century audiences.
March 31, 2016
The restoration of Playhouse Square’s Ohio Theatre lobby is almost complete, with the space returned to its original grandeur. The May completion will mark the final project on the Playhouse Square theater renovations list.