The latest movie theater news and updates

  • June 7, 2017

    Seattle, WA – Guild 45th, Seven Gables movie theaters closed indefinitely

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    From The Seattle Times: Seattle moviegoers just got two fewer choices: Two of the three remaining Landmark Theaters in Seattle closed abruptly this week. A notice on the Landmark website announced “The Seven Gables and Guild 45th have closed. Please stay tuned for future details on our renovation plans for each location.” The Crest Cinema Center, the third Landmark theater here, remains open.

    Landmark’s national director of publicity, Laine Kaplowitz, contacted via email, was unable to provide any additional detail other than the above statement.

  • San Francisco, CA – The show will again go on at long dormant Presidio theater

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    From the San Francisco Chronicle: The methodical restoration of the Presidio’s Main Post has transformed military barracks into museums. Homes built for officers now house investment firms. The guardhouse is a visitors center.

    So there’s something anticlimatic but satisfying in the plans for the Spanish Revival movie theater that has sat empty since the U.S. Army handed off the Presidio to the National Park Service in 1994. A $30 million makeover will bring the atmospheric relic back to life — life as a theater, a variation of the only role it ever played.

    “My father and I came here 45 years ago to watch Hal Holbrook do ‘Mark Twain,’” said Margaret “Peggy” Haas, whose foundation will develop the building with the blessing of the Presidio Trust, which manages nearly all of the 1,491-acre enclave at the foot of the Golden Gate Bridge. “We want it to be a space that’s as flexible as possible, and affordable as well.”

  • Madison, NJ – Historic Madison movie theater closes

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    From the Madison Eagle: Madison Cinema 4, the historic movie theater at 4 Lincoln Place, unexpectedly closed following the Memorial Day weekend.

    A representative from Saxum Real Estate Group, which bought the historic building housing the movie theater in February, confirmed that Bow Tie Cinemas chose to terminate its lease on Monday, May 29. By Wednesday, May 30, the movie theater chain had moved out of the historic building, the representative said.

    The representative, who spoke on condition of anonymity, declined to comment on why the chain stopped leasing the space in the theater.

    Bow Tie Cinemas was leasing the theater from Parsippany-based Madison Movie Development on a monthly basis. The theater occupied the first floor of the 11,000-sq-ft building two-story historic building. An upper floor facing Lincoln Place was unoccupied, Mayor Robert Conley said.

  • Encitas, CA – City leaders looking to restore historic Encinitas theater

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    From the Seaside Courier: Silent film star Mary Pickford supposedly rode a bicycle to its opening in 1928, and Douglas Fairbanks and Charlie Chaplin attended its initial screenings — right after the dawn of “talkies.” Later, surf films took top billing because of the surf culture in the area.

    The La Paloma Theatre, a Spanish revival-style venue in Encinitas, is a historical landmark to many in the city, and downtown business leaders are looking to get it designated as such, either through the National Register of Historic Places and/or the California Register of Historic Resources.The Encinitas 101 MainStreet Association and consulting company Dudek have donated employee time to lay the groundwork, association president Dave Peck told the Encinitas City Council April 27.“The one thing that people don’t disagree about in this town — and it’s a town where we disagree about things, sometimes in a vitriolic way — is that La Paloma needs to be preserved as an icon, as a landmark, as a beacon in our downtown,” he said.

    By looking up at the ceiling of the old theater, “you can see what it once was,” he said, and that it needs significant cosmetic improvements.

  • Duluth, MN Historic Duluth theater rehab over half done, and uncovering secrets-

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    From the Post Bulletin: The restoration of the historic NorShor Theatre in Duluth, a project intended to anchor a revitalized downtown arts district, is now more than half finished.

    Officials announced Wednesday the $30.5 million project is 60 percent complete, and is on pace to wrap up construction by the end of the year, with a grand opening planned for Feb. 1, 2018.

    “It’s amazing what’s going on here, and it won’t be long before we will have our new community arts center,” said Christine Gradl Seitz, executive and artistic director of the Duluth Playhouse, a nonprofit that will operate the theatre when it opens.

  • May 31, 2017

    Cleveland, OH – Cleveland’s historic Variety Theatre preservation campaign gets a boost

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    From Cleveland.com: Cleveland’s historic Variety Theatre is the recipient of a This Place Matters award from The National Trust for Historic Preservation.

    The theater at West 118th Street and Lorain, currently the subject of a long-term preservation campaign, will receive the award at a public ceremony in front of the theater at 2 p.m. Wednesday, June 7. The event is free and open to the public.

    The award is meant to showcase historic structures that matter to people across the United States. The Variety, which will be 90 years old in November, was chosen based on its history and photos, says Ward 11 Councilwoman Dona Brady. The goal of the campaign is to raise awareness of historic structures such as the Variety; it is not a monetary award.

    “What makes this so important is that it gives the Variety Theater national attention from people who care about the preservation of treasures like the Variety,” says Brady.

    Mike Wolfe, creator and star of the History Channel’s “American Pickers” series and owner of Antique Archaeology, will appear to present the award. He will also be named the honorary chairman of the Variety’s fundraising efforts. Wolfe launched the This Place Matters Campaign with The National Trust for Historic Preservation last year. He learned of the Variety thanks to former Clevelander Jayne Ansberry, a singer now residing in Nashville.

  • Milwaukee, WI – Looking back at the rise, and fall, of Milwaukee’s first drive-in movie theater

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    From the Journal Sentinal: n 2017, drive-in movie theaters are a blast from the past.

    Nearly 80 years ago, they were the future. Or, as The Milwaukee Journal reported on Dec. 6, 1939, “a new way to see the movies — driving right in and watching the show from your car.”

    Milwaukee — and the state — got its first drive-in seven years after the first outdoor movie theater opened in Camden, N.J., in 1933.

    In December 1939, a group disclosed plans for a drive-in theater on the site of a former dog track on the south side of Blue Mound Road, west of Moorland Road in what was then the Town of Brookfield. The Journal reported on Feb. 9, 1940, that the drive-in would have room for 700 cars (later reduced to 500), speakers for each car and a 50-by-60-foot screen — which the developers called the “world’s largest.”

  • May 24, 2017

    Brooklyn, NY – LIU Brooklyn Paramount Theatre Begins Major Renovation This Fall

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    From Amplify Magazine: The iconic LIU Brooklyn Paramount Theatre – the first in the world to show talking movies – is set to undergo a major renovation before reopening as a live music venue. The downtown Brooklyn theatre’s facelift will begin this fall and is scheduled for completion before 2019, according to a statement released by theatre officials today. The project aims to restore the historic theatre to its former glory, provide additional opportunities for LIU Brooklyn students and will modernize the venue to meet today’s entertainment standards. The venue, when it reopens, will have a capacity of up to 3,000, with a flexible seating configuration that will accommodate mostly general admission-style setups. However, there also is an opportunity for seated floor events as well, theatre officials said. The venue will open loge-level seating and include premium VIP areas.

  • Gregory, SD – Oldest South Dakota Drive-In Theater to Get New Projector

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    From US News: South Dakota’s oldest drive-in movie theater will install a new digital projector to replace equipment that has been in place since the theater was built in 1947.

    The Hilltop Drive-In Theatre in Gregory will install a $45,000 projector this summer as part of a project that’s being funded largely funded through donations from movie-goers, The Daily Republic (http://bit.ly/2qMYS8D ) reported.

    “We had no choice, we had to replace it if we wanted to stay open, as our other equipment got completely outdated,” said drive-in owner Cecil Harsin.

    The project has raised about $20,000 and will continue fundraising through the summer, The Daily Republic reported.

    The projector will allow the drive-in to show films in higher resolution, better clarity and brighter pictures. Harsin said the new projector will help the theater stay open for several years as long as interest remains high. Harsin said between 40 and 50 people attend shows each night the theater is open, and he hopes the new projector will attract more movie-goers.

  • Schuyler, NE – Movie theater closing for summer

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    From the Schuyler Sun: The Schuyler Enrichment Foundation has decided to close the Colfax Theatre for the summer following the Memorial Day weekend show on Sunday and reopen the doors on Labor Day weekend.

    This decision was made because of a lack of attendance and difficulty in getting weekend managers and volunteers during the summer.

    Attendance at the theater has declined through the years and the cost to show movies has increased since the theater opened more than 10 years ago. If attendance does not increase when the theater reopens in the fall, the Enrichment Foundation may close the doors permanently.

    During the summer, the foundation will be optimistically planning for the future of the Colfax Theatre. Deep cleaning will be done, plans for additional use of the theater will be explored and possible schedule changes will be looked at.