The latest movie theater news and updates
May 31, 2017
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
From Culture Map Austin: On Friday, May 26, Austin Film Society will open the doors to its new art house movie theater at 6226 Middle Fiskville Rd. Ahead of the premiere, CultureMap has a first look at AFS Cinema.
The property, formerly Marchesa Hall and Theater, officially transformed into the AFS Cinema in spring 2016, but it closed last fall for a major overhaul. Updates include a new lounge area; full-service bar; marquee sign; updated event hall; and additional cinema, bringing the total to two screens.
Designtrait and Michael Hsu Office of Architecture teamed up with AFS founder and acclaimed director Richard Linklater to redesign the space. The goal was to make AFS Cinema a destination for casual moviegoers and film buffs alike.
May 23, 2017
From The Boston Globe: It would be costly — but not entirely impossible.
A group of students from Boston College this month determined that more than $10 million would be needed to bring the long-shuttered Everett Square Theatre in Hyde Park back to its former glory, and reopen it to the public.
From the Salamanca Press: The light at the end of the restoration tunnel is visible at the Historic Hollywood Theater.
It has taken more than 20 years and lots of work from volunteers and craftsmen to get the the theater into the condition it is today at 39 W. Main St.. A family-owned Buffalo restoration company, Swiatek Studios, has restored the ceiling and portions of the walls of the 990-seat theater, including a 22-foot convex dome at its center of the ceiling. The dome changes color on a ceiling that took the company four months to clean and preserve.
Some of the walls have been restored as well, including plaster mouldings, rosettes and other decorative pieces.
May 19, 2017
Flushing, Queens, NY – Landmarks approves plans to disassemble RKO Keith’s Flushing Theater’s historic interiors
From 6sqft.com: In a rare case, the RKO Keith’s Flushing Theater is an interior landmark, but the building it’s inside is not landmarked. Built in 1928 to the designs of noted theater architect Thomas Lamb, the elaborately ornamented Churrigueresque-style movie palace has sat decrepit for the past three decades, until Chinese firm Xinyuan Real Estate (they’re also behind Williamsburg’s Oosten condo and the forthcoming Hell’s Kitchen condo that will be anchored by a Target) bought the vacant theater for $66 million last year with plans to develop it into a 269-unit luxury condo. Moving ahead with this vision, they’ve tapped Pei Cobb Freed & Partners and preservation specialists Ayon Studio to erect a 16-story glass tower at the site, which includes plans to “enclose the interior landmark, and to disassemble, restore off-site, and reinstall salvaged ornamental plasterwork and woodwork and replicas” in a new residential lobby. Despite some opposition from the Historic Districts Council (HDC) regarding public accessibility, the Landmarks Preservation Commission voted in favor of the plan, congratulating the architects and expressing great admiration for their design.
From Curbed NY: New York City is about to lose another independent cinema. Rumors have been swirling for years that Landmark’s Sunshine Cinema on East Houston Street would be redeveloped, and now, the New York Post reports that it’s a done deal. According to the paper, developers East End Capital and K Property Group closed a $31.5 million deal for the movie theater, with plans to redevelop it into “a mixed-use development with retail and upstairs office space.”
Landmark’s Sunshine Cinema opened in 2001 in a building that had served as a theater for more than a century, first for vaudeville acts and then for film screenings. But the theater has been in trouble for a few years now, and was dealt a blow in 2012 when the local community board voted against a plan that would have allowed the cinema to serve food and drinks.