The latest movie theater news and updates

  • March 7, 2017

    Saginaw, MI – Saginaw’s historic Court Street Theatre gets new life

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    From Mlive.com: After sitting vacant for nearly two years, Saginaw’s historic Court Street Theatre is getting new life.

    The single-screen theater, built in 1938 and located at 1216 Court, closed in 2015. Now, signs posted outside announce that a newly refurbished theater is coming soon.

    Saginaw-based Raynemaker LLC purchased the property in April 2016 for $85,000, according to the Saginaw Area GIS Authority.

    Two city permits were pulled recently for work on the property: a building permit for siding and painting and a plumbing permit for fixtures and drains. Gerald G. Bergman Inc. and Earegood Plumbing & Heating Inc. are the contractors.

    Crews have been working on the building for months. It has an all-new facade but the vertical sign on the marquee still reads “Court.” Painters were working inside the lobby Thursday morning, March 2, applying fresh coats of bright colors.

    The building’s owner could not be reached for comment and details of the project, including a timeline for reopening the theater, are unclear.

    “My understanding is that they are working on the interior at this point and that their goal is to return it to the grander state it has been for the past several decades, which is obvious by the exterior work,” said Paul Barrera, owner of Jake’s Old City Grill, 100 S. Hamilton St. in Old Town Saginaw.

    “At a point when they’re ready, and that readiness they’ll determine, they’ll open up for movies as well as special events.”

  • Albany, NY – Sparks Fly as Common Council Votes to Sell Historic Palace Theatre

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    From the Times Union:After a heated and lengthy discussion, the City of Albany Common Council voted 12-3 on Monday night to sell the Palace Theatre to the Palace Performing Arts Center, a non-profit that operates the theater.

    The vote came after more than a year of contract deliberations. The sale price, though not final, sits at $750,000. The money will be paid to the city of Albany at $25,000 a year over a 30 year period.

  • Chicago, IL – Treasure Trove of Vintage Candy Wrapper Trash Found in Historic Movie Theater

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    From Pictorial: In a grimy illustration of the old saying that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, here’s a chance to feast your eyes upon some ancient candy wrappers, rediscovered in a historic Chicago movie palace.

    DNA Info shares the latest from Eric J. Nordstrom, founder of a firm called Urban Remains, which sells bits and pieces salvaged from historic buildings. Apparently nobody cleaned out spaces below the balcony seating at the currently closed Congress Theater—confirming every gross suspicion you’ve ever had about cleanliness in those sticky auditoriums—and so Nordstrom found a pile of precious, beautifully revolting antique trash. Baby Ruths, Dots, Milk Duds, Red Hots, they’re all here. Apparently the packaging for a Butterfinger has barely changed in all this time.

  • March 5, 2017

    Westwood Village, LA, CA – The Classic Landmark Regent Theatre in Westwood Is Closing After 50 Years

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    From Los Angeles Magazine: The owners of the Landmark Regent Theatre in Westwood have submitted paperwork to convert the 50-year-old movie house on Broxton Avenue into two restaurants. The neighborhood, once bustling with movie houses and a popular place for splashy premieres, now has three remaining theaters: The Bruin, the Fox, and iPic on Wilshire Boulevard.

    The Regent was built as retail stores in the 1940s and was a warehouse when Laemmle remodeled it into “L.A.’s Most Beautiful Intimate Theatre” in September 1966. They played art pictures into the 1970s when Mann Theaters, who ran the Fox and the Chinese in Hollywood, acquired it. The Regent upped their cinematic game when Landmark took over in 2002, but this was never a movie palace and the neighborhood seems to have lost interest in movies.

    In the last decade or so the Avco Cinema was converted into the iPic, and the Crest, Festival, Plaza, National, Mann 4, and UA Westwood have all gone out of business. People might have shifted their viewing habits, but they’re still hungry. Almost all the former theater sites now house restaurants.

  • February 28, 2017

    Worcester, MA – X-fated: Wrecking ball looms for storied Paris Cinema

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    From The Telegram: Demolition of one of the buildings that has been targeted for the wrecking ball, as part of the Worcester Redevelopment Authority’s Downtown Urban Revitalization Plan, could begin as early as next Wednesday.

    Quincy-based development group MG2 has indicated to city officials it hopes to begin the demolition of the former Paris Cinema at 66-70 Franklin St. on March 1.

  • Maumee, OH – The story behind the historic Maumee Indoor Theatre

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    From 13abc.com: The Maumee Indoor Theatre is owned by the city of Maumee and managed by Great Eastern Theatres.

    The building opened in 1946, then closed 50 years later in 1996.

    In 2000, the city bought the property and spent $3M renovating the space.

    By the time it reopened in 2004, the Maumee Indoor Theatre was more than before.

    The facility was now an event space, capable of hosting live shows or Q&A sessions.

    It also has a basement room for parties.

    But at its core, the Maumee Indoor Theatre is a two-screen movie house.

    “We’re part of the Ohio Historical Theatre Association,” explains Sam Johnson, Executive Director of the Maumee Indoor Theatre. “We’re part of a National Historic Landmark. So, you know, we are an historic building. They tried to restore it in the same Art Deco style. So, we tried to keep everything as much the same as we could while renovating it and bringing it up and making it nice.”

  • February 25, 2017

    Chicago, IL – Check Out Gorgeous Photos Of The Congress Theater’s Terra Cotta Facade

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    From DNAinfo.com: It’s hard to tell just how intricately designed the Congress Theater’s facade is from the street.

    So, with permission from the developer, urban archaeologist Eric Nordstrom climbed the historic theater’s scaffolding to get up close.

    What he found was incredibly detailed Italian renaissance-style terra cotta, featuring faces with “unsettling frozen” expressions, eagles and symbols, all of which left him awestruck.

    “My mind’s eye was in perpetual awe of the skillfully executed design elements packaged into each and every terra cotta panel contributing to the collection of richly ornamented assemblages found throughout the distinctive facade,” Nordstrom wrote on his blog.

  • February 24, 2017

    Springfield, OH – Upper Valley Mall movie theater closes after decades

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    From the Springfield News-Sun: The Upper Valley Mall Cinema 5’s screens went dark permanently Monday night after entertaining customers in Springfield for nearly five decades. The movie theater had fewer than a dozen employees, said Philip Chakeres, president and chief executive officer of Chakeres Theatres.

    The decision to close the theater is the latest blow to the mall, which has been hit with a steady stream of bad news from national retailers leaving the aging shopping center.

  • Marion, NC – Marion Event Center closes in old House Theater

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    From mcdowellnews.com: The Marion Event Center is no longer operating and a “for sale” sign is now in the front window of the old House Theater building.

    In May of 2014, Mike Cinquanto and his mother and stepfather, Esther and Doug Williams, started working to restore the old theater at 90 E. Court St. and operate it as the Marion Event Center. They did extensive renovations to the interior and fixed up the restrooms. Over time, the family removed layers of Formica, plaster, chipped paint and mold from the structure. They restored the interior so it would resemble a nightclub from the 1950s, according to an article in June 2015.

    “We would like to use it as a rental for weddings, anniversaries and class reunions,” said Cinquanto in June 2015. “We want to make it available for things like company Christmas parties and corporate parties. I’m hoping to get the Board of Realtors to come down here and use it for their Christmas party. We just want to get the community back in here.”

    They had also planned to restore the exterior and have the marquee and neon sign restored to its former glory.

  • Norfolk, NE – Historic theater in Norfolk for sale for $200,000

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    From the Kearney Hub: The historic Grand Theatre in downtown Norfolk is up for sale, bringing disappointment to many who tried to restore the landmark for the past 12 years.

    The Norfolk Daily News reported that the property is listed for $200,000.

    The former theater building was built in 1920. It became the Rialto in 1940. Then it became the smaller divided Cinema theaters in the 1970s before it eventually closed.

    Businessman J. Paul McIntosh donated the property in 2005 to the Norfolk Community Theatre, which tried to obtain money to renovate the structure was but unable to raise the millions needed to make necessary improvements to the interior.