The latest movie theater news and updates

  • June 20, 2016

    Bellefontaine, OH – Bellefontaine theatre plans restorations

    Image

    From The Springfield News-Sun: A local theatre is moving forward with plans for a $1.2 million restoration project after being awarded a grant for historic preservation.

    The Holland Theatre, 127 E Columbus Ave., Bellefontaine, originally opened in 1931. It’s the only remaining Dutch themed theatre in the country, said Kris Swisher, president of Logan County Landmark Preservation.

    “We’re going back to the original look,” Swisher said.

    Swisher recently learned the theatre was awarded a $430,000 grant from the Jeffris Family Foundation for historical preservation.

    “They believed in this theatre because of the very uniqueness and the small town atmosphere here,” she said.

    To receive the funds, Swisher said, the theatre has to raise $860,000 in the next three years.

    “We will be selling seats for community involvement,” she said. “And approaching businesses in the community to sponsor buildings.”

    The restorations will include all new seats in the theatre, architect Karen Beasley said, as well as repairs to the building facades that frame the stage.

    “This is a great thing for our community to have,” Beasley said.

    Beasley and Swisher believe the funds will be raised in time.
    “We have confidence that we won’t let you down and we’ll go forward with this,” Swisher said.

    The restorations will begin as soon as the money is raised, Swisher said.

  • June 17, 2016

    Logan, UT – Utah Theatre To Open After a Decade Of Restoration

    Image

    From upr.org: When Michael Ballam, the founding general director of the Utah Festival Opera & Musical Theatre, came home from sabbatical in Italy 10 years ago, he saw the Utah Theatre at 18 W. Center St. – closed at the time – and knew instantly he wanted to reopen it.

    His vision was it would be something for everyone. “It’s going to be a unique theater in Northern Utah,” Ballam said. “It will be able to do things that we cannot do in the (Ellen) Eccles Theatre or any other theater north of Salt Lake City, and this will allow us to do essentially any kind of performance imaginable.” The Utah Theatre used to show movies only. In its restoration, however, the plan is to host performances, organ concerts, silent and classic films. Restoration of the theater began in 2006 with the hope of completing it by 2008. However, as crews put more effort into the restoration, they realized more work needed to be done.

    While they were digging a pit for an organ chamber to make room for a 1930’s Wurlitzer organ, crews hit a lot of water 11 feet down, a couple hundred of gallons a minute, UFOMT Managing Director Gary Griffin said.

    The UFOMT then put in extra expenses for the organ so it could withstand the flow. “We poured four-and-a-half feet of reinforced concrete underwater, put a membrane, poured the walls and then pumped the water out, and put another membrane,” Griffin said. “So that organ chamber is setting in about four feet of water.” Ballam said he hopes people who visit the theater realize what a jewel box it is. To show its capability, the Utah Theatre’s first performance will be “Peter Pan,” a performance Ballam said will demonstrate freedom, youth and magic – all qualities of the restored Utah Theatre. d more. Ballam said the theater will not play movies that are playing in nearby cinemas because they don’t want to arouse concerns of competition.

  • St. Paul, MN – New theaters Strike and North Garden rush to open renovated spaces

    Image

    From citypages.com: If all goes according to plan, two new theaters will have opened their doors in the Twin Cities by the time we see our next snowfall. Both will be small, but — their founders hope — essential to their communities. advertisement

    On West Seventh Street in St. Paul, Ryan and Tina North have just saved a historic theater from the wrecking ball. The Garden Theater originally opened exactly 100 years ago as a movie house, but hasn’t been used for entertainment since the 1960s.

    Ryan North says that last year, the city told the previous owner the severely deteriorated building would have to be torn down unless a viable renovation plan was put into place soon. “You could stand where our center stage is going to be,” he recalls, “and look up and see the sky.”

    The Norths, a married couple with a long history in the local theater scene, came up with a plan: They bought the building and will reopen it this fall as North Garden Theater. After renovations, the venue will be a flexible space with the capacity to accommodate an audience of about 150.

    “Tina and I have a couple of ideas,” says Ryan on the shows they’d like to produce in the theater themselves, “but we hope to mostly make it available for all of the nomadic performers and artists and groups who need a space.”

    With the newly opened Schmidt Artist Lofts right across the street, the neighborhood is experiencing a renaissance. “The West Seventh neighborhood has extreme potential,” says Ryan. “It’s already a great, cool little neighborhood, but we think it’s about to just pop.”

  • June 16, 2016

    New Orleans, LA – New Orleans’ historic Carver Theater, recently renovated, is up for sale

    Image

    From theadvocate.com: Two years after undergoing a full renovation intended to bring back its glory days of more than a half-century ago, the Carver Theater is up for sale.

    Along with the well-known landmark itself, the $5.5 million asking price — about half of what was spent restoring the theater, which has no fixed seating but holds 925 people — includes additional properties that are both developed and undeveloped. Altogether, they span more than a block along Orleans Avenue.

    The Carver Theater opened in a segregated New Orleans in 1950 as a moviehouse for black New Orleanians and was converted to a medical clinic in the 1980s. The clinic largely treated residents of the nearby Lafitte housing development.

    Dr. Eugene Oppman, an optometrist, began leasing an office in the building in 1987. He bought it four years later and oversaw its renovation.

    Since it reopened in 2014, the theater has hosted a mix of public and private events, including wedding receptions and musical performances.

    Mayor Mitch Landrieu delivered his State of the City address there last year. More recently, Snoop Dogg performed a late-night show there during Jazz Fest. In addition to the 17,613-square-foot theater, the properties up for sale include a vacant two-story, 3,232-square-foot commercial building and a two-story, 4,020-square-foot commercial building that houses a bakery and a barbershop that are both leased until early 2019, according to Richard Stone, a broker with NAI/Latter & Blum Commercial in New Orleans.

    The offering also includes four undeveloped lots.

    “This property package is being offered at far below the acquisition and renovation costs,” Latter & Blum said in materials marketing the sale, “and represents a tremendous opportunity to acquire a local landmark with major historical and cultural significance.”

    Oppman, 55, began considering selling the theater about eight months ago, he said Wednesday, and recently decided that it was “time to just move on.”

  • June 15, 2016

    N. Tonawanda, NY: Historic Riviera Theatre selects Foit-Albert Associates for theater expansion, development project

    Image

    From wnypapers.com: The Historic Riviera Theatre and Performing Arts Center has selected award-winning Foit-Albert Associates to design the regionally significant Riviera Theatre expansion and development project, which is designed to set the stage for future generations to enjoy the venue.

    Foit-Albert Associates will design a 23,000-square-foot addition in the rear of the theater on a fully remediated brownfield site that will enable the Riviera Theatre to increase the number and type of events offered. The project increases accessibility, includes general upgrades that will benefit patrons and performers, positively influences the theater’s economic impact on the downtown and region, and establishes new and sustainable revenue sources.

    “We are excited to move forward with an architectural partner with extensive experience in the design of new buildings and the restoration of existing facilities that will help us set the stage for an expansion that not only functions and looks great, but also compliments our history and community,” said Gary J. Rouleau, Riviera Theatre co-director.

  • Adrian, MI – Adrian’s Croswell Opera House gets $2.5 million gift

    Image

    From NBC24.com: Michigan’s oldest theater, in Adrian, has received a hefty gift to help renovate the 150-year-old building.

    The city’s historic Croswell Opera House has been given a $2.5 milion gift from Adrian-native Julianne Argyros and her husband, George. It is the single largest donation in the organization’s history and will be used to bring new life to the one of the oldest continuously operating theaters in the United States.

    “The broad base of public support for this campaign is really what helped us demonstrate its viability,” said Croswell board president Emory Schmidt. “None of this could have happened without the incredible support we have received from our community.”

    The Croswell launched a $7.2 million capital campaign to raise money for renovations in 2015. Before Argyros' generous donation, the opera house had raised just short of $5.2 million. The new gift puts them over the top in its fundraising efforts.

  • June 14, 2016

    Elizabethton, TN – Bonnie Kate Theatre to be purchased by the city

    Image

    From WCYB.com: An effort to save a historic theater is now one step closer to reality. The Elizabethton City council voted unanimously Thursday night to purchase the Bonnie Kate Theatre.

    The Elizabethton/Carter County Community Foundation gave the city $111,000 to make the purchase. Plans are to make it a performing arts center. They already have a tenet to place a bakery and restaurant in the theater as well.

    John Huber has been leading the fight for the theater.

    “It’s a diamond in the rough. I see such potential for it, and it just needs somebody to lead it to that potential,” Huber said.

    The purchase should be completed in a few days. Then, a business plan will be made, and the restoration process will begin.

    The city is also considering purchasing the gravel lot next door to the Bonnie Kate for approximately $20,000.

  • Fayette, WV – Historic Fayette Theater begins renovation project

    Image

    From the Fayette Tribune: The Historic Fayette Theater has served the community of Southern West Virginia for the past 23 years. However, the historic building in which it is located has had some limitations. The restrooms are currently located on the second floor, accessible only by a flight of steps. Creating handicap-accessible restrooms has long been a priority for the HFT’s Board of Directors and this summer the renovation work will finally commence.

    The entire lobby will be renovated and will include two handicap-accessible bathrooms. This work will be funded in part by a generous fund dedicated to the memory of Alice Todaro.

    Alice Todaro was long time supporter of the arts in general and the Historic Fayette Theater in particular. She served on the Board of Directors and regularly attended performances. She even appeared in several productions, telling people that the role she liked the best was when she shot the prop gun simulating the assassination of Teddy Roosevelt in Gene Worthington’s rendition of Bully.

  • June 13, 2016

    Streator, IL – Will the show ever go on at Majestic Theater?

    Image

    From mywebtimes.com:
    With its classic marquee and iconic balcony level, the Majestic Theatre was once considered a crown jewel in Streator.

    The movie house, built in 1907 in the 100 block of North Vermillion Street, was closed and boarded up in August 2014. It fell into foreclosure some months later.

    Local residents and city officials are hoping for an investor to see the value of purchasing the 8,100 square-foot building for some business purpose or restoring it back to its former glory as one of the most attractive movie theaters in North Central Illinois.

    The property features two separate auditoriums with seating accommodations for 450 people, a concession stand area and an unfinished apartment on the second level. Sales promotions admit the building is in need of some updates and repairs to restored the structure in its “original and nostalgia of yesterday.”

    The property will be sold as is.

  • June 9, 2016

    Los Angeles, CA – H&M’s Upscale COS Brand Coming to Olympic Theatre in Downtown LA

    Image

    From brighamyen.com: As the listing agent for the Olympic Theatre in Downtown LA owned by Titan Metropolis LLC, I am especially excited to report that we have signed a new retailer that will become another strong addition to Downtown LA’s growing shopping district. H&M is so bullish on downtown’s future — and why shouldn’t they be when their massive flagship store in DTLA has been doing extremely well — that they are now going to turn the dilapidated Olympic Theatre into their much more exclusive and fashion forward brand called COS (like “coss”), which stands for Collection of Style.

    Built in 1927, the Olympic Theatre has a total square footage of 9,835 square feet spanning three levels (basement, ground floor, and mezzanine). Unfortunately, besides the vertical “Olympic” sign installed on the front along with the beautiful arched facade, most of the historic detailing inside has not survived the decades of decay and different ownership alterations. However, given the upscale nature of COS, the retailer plans to invest a substantial amount of money to rehab and upgrade the building, including relighting the original vertical Olympic signage. You may also recall, the historic Rialto Theatre on Broadway was converted to an Urban Outfitters store back in 2013.