The latest movie theater news and updates
September 1, 2016
From WTTV-TV: Tuesday marked the 100th birthday of the historic Hilbert Circle Theatre on Monument Circle.
The Neo-Classical theatre was built in 1916, where a livery stable used to stand. It cost nearly $225,000 to complete, which amounts to roughly $5 million in today’s dollars.
The first movie with sound ever shown in Indianapolis, “The Jazz Singer,” premiered at the theatre in 1928.
We’re told the seats and projection room used to extend into what is now the lobby.
August 30, 2016
From The Missourian:
In 1916, finding entertainment in Columbia was difficult. With only a few small theaters and the advent of modern entertainment still decades away, Columbia offered little in the way of diversion.
On Aug. 28, all of that changed. The Hall Theatre, a large, ornate playhouse on Ninth Street, opened, and for 35 cents, everyone in Columbia could see a motion picture, catch a vaudeville act and listen to one of the state’s best orchestras.
Not only did the Hall Theatre bring a new place for entertainment to Columbia, it invigorated the downtown culture by bringing fresh talent to town.
One hundred years later, the Hall Theatre remains standing, but only as a relic of its former self. Empty and unused since 2013, the theater hasn’t presented a show in 45 years.
From New Jersey Stage: The Newton Theatre will be celebrating its fifth year as a live performance venue on September 9, 2016. A party will take place at 7:00pm prior to the hit show, The Hit Men, which starts at 8:00 pm. The party is open to everyone who has a ticket for The Hit Men. Cake and champagne will be served. The Newton Theatre will have their signature drink, The Blue Newt, available at the bar. There will some surprises, as well.
The management and the staff of The Newton Theatre are excited to reach this milestone. A lot of work went into the restoration of the historic theatre and re-imaging of the former movie theatre into a performance venue.
On September 9, 2011 The Newton Theatre opened its doors with a sold out show by Todd Rundgren. Since then the historic theatre has hosted such iconic artists such as Judy Collins, Lyle Lovett, Arlo Guthrie, Jon Anderson, and The Glenn Miller Orchestra. Rockers like Kansas, Blue Oyster Cult, The Outlaws, Los Lonely Boys, Tom Keifer, and The Bacon Brothers have all rocked the stage. Audiences have laughed with comedians Paula Poundstone, Ralphie May, Jim Brewer, and Vic DiBitetto. Other performers who have graced the stage include Richard Marx, David Cassidy, Rick Springfield, Tommy Emmanuel and many others. Movies have also returned to the historic theatre.
The Newton Theatre has brought a new vitality to Spring Street, Newton and the Skylands Region of New Jersey. Visitors come from a wide radius to see the acclaimed artists.
The night of the anniversary, The Hit Men show will be a treat for fans of legendary artists of the 60s, 70s and 80s. A group of world class performers, superb musicians and vocalists, creative composers and arrangers, The Hit Men are consummate hit-makers who have performed and recorded with Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, Sting, Elton John, Three Dog Night, Jim Croce, Cat Stevens, Carly Simon, Carole King, Tommy James and the Shondells and more.
This brotherhood of musicians relive the magic they created on world stages and in recording studios years ago, bringing audiences a multi-media night of hit after hit, including platinum award winning Four Seasons songs like Oh What a Night, Who Loves You, Big Girls Don’t Cry and Rag Doll, made even more famous by Broadway’s Jersey Boys. They also perform many other huge hits they helped make famous, including Joy To The World, Every Breath You Take, Peace Train, Bad, Bad Leroy Brown, You’re So Vain, Good Lovin’, I Think We’re Alone Now, and Mony, Mony.
During the performance, The Hit Men also share never before heard stories and anecdotes from their days in recording studios and on the concert circuit! The show also features video clips from TV shows and live performances depicting the members of The Hit Men performing with the bands from their rich music careers. Audiences all over America are on their feet, dancing in the aisles with the guys that lived and breathed rock & roll history, The Hit Men!
Tickets for The Hit Men range from $39.00 to $54.00. Purchase tickets by visiting www.thenewtontheatre.com or contact the Box Office at 973-383-3700.
The historic Newton Theatre, located at 234 Spring Street in Newton, NJ, was founded in 1924. Revitalized and fully renovated, Sussex County’s premier entertainment venue reopened in 2011 as a 605 seat capacity live performing arts center. With it’s rich history and diverse programming The Newton Theatre is essential to the buoyancy of New Jersey’s Skylands region.
From Curbed Los Angeles: Just about a year ago, Broadway’s Globe Theatre reopened after a $5 million renovation that began in 2011. Now, the 1913 Beaux-Arts building that houses the theatre will get a makeover of its own. Developer 740 South Broadway Associates, LLC submitted plans to the city Wednesday calling for facade improvements and a zoning change for the structure that would allow its conversion to residential use.
Yes, the historic theatre, which now operates primarily as a night club and swanky event space, will be getting some new upstairs neighbors. Kate Bartolo, who is consulting with the developer on the project, tells Curbed that the building’s 10 upper floors—unoccupied since the 1980s—will be converted into 47 units of live-work housing. The project will also include the addition of two small street-level bars, a rooftop deck, and an amenities lounge within a small penthouse unit that has evidently been a popular spot for taggers over the years. The building’s lobby, long occupied by retailers, will be fixed up and converted back to its original use.
The developer is working with a restoration company and historic preservation consultant to refurbish the building’s facade. This includes the restoration of prism glass transom windows above the ground level, the removal of non-historic storefronts and sliding metal grates along Broadway, and the repair of brick and terra cotta features on the building’s upper levels.
Bartolo hints that the Morgan, Walls & Morgan-designed structure could also get its own rooftop sign somewhere down the road—in keeping with so many other historic buildings in the Downtown area. That sign would probably read “Garland,” which is the building’s official name. According to Downtown News, that’s after William Garland, the original developer of the property.
Mostly, Bartolo says, she’s excited to see decades of grit and grime erased from the stately facade. “It’s really gonna pop now,” she says.
From foxbaltimore.com: A nonprofit agency in Baltimore is working to save a piece of the past along Howard Street for future generations.
The Baltimore Development Corporation, a nonprofit economic development agency in the city, has been working on the area around the former Mayfair Theater at the edge of the Mt. Vernon neighborhood.
August 29, 2016
Hollywood Reporter: Summer Box-Office Wrap: Why Hollywood’s on Red Alert Despite Near-Record Revenue
From The Hollywood Reporter: The sequelitis virus infected a number of big-budget franchise installments, except for a precious few (think ‘Captain America: Civil War’ and ‘Finding Dory’), while horror also helped save the day and Disney dominated.
Even though there’s still a week to go before the summer season ends on Labor Day, the verdict is in: Box-office revenue in North America should clock in at $4.5 billion, predicts comScore. That’s the second-best showing ever, behind only 2013’s $4.8 billion and up one percent over last year.
So why is Hollywood on red alert? Blame it on the sequelitis virus, which hit the U.S. particularly hard.
On the one hand, moviegoers in the U.S. and across the oceans turned out in force for Marvel Studio’s franchise installment Captain America: Civil War and Pixar’s sequel Finding Dory — they delivered Disney the summer’s two top-grossing films worldwide with $1.52 billion and $929.1 million, respectively. But the same moviegoers largely rejected a number of other big-budget sequels, reboots and remakes. One genre that’s been immune to the disease is horror, helping to deliver a number of solid doubles and triples that boosted the bottom line.
In terms of attendance, 518 million people went to the movies this summer in North America, according to early projections. That’s down roughly 3 percent from last year, but up from a dismal showing in 2014, when 497 million consumers bought tickets. However, the 518 million is behind summer 2013 (585 million) and summer 2012 (539 million).
Heading into summer, no studio executive could have imagined that STX Entertainment’s $20 million Bad Moms, an R-rated comedy that has grossed $95 million to date in North America, or Universal’s $5 million horror sequel The Purge: Anarchy ($79 million) would domestically out-gross the $170 million sequel Alice Through the Looking Glass starring Johnny Depp, which earned just $77 million in North America.
From philly.com: The Pearl Theatre at Avenue North closed over the weekend, ending a decade-long run for the seven-screen movie house at Temple University’s North Philadelphia campus. It will be replaced by what Avenue North developer Bart Blatstein calls “the city’s first high-end” movie theater from AMC Theaters.
“It is a testimony for the support of this theater and how great the community around it is,” Blatstein said of the incoming AMC on Monday, adding that much of the Pearl’s business came from neighborhood residents.
AMC, which will convert the former Pearl into one of its own locations, currently offers a number of novel approaches to the moviegoing experience, including food service and alcoholic beverages in some areas. What amenities the coming theater at Avenue North will offer was not immediately clear.
August 26, 2016
From The Washington Times: Brent McKinley recalls it well – watching Willie Nelson in “Honeysuckle Rose” on the Doric Theatre’s big screen.
The 1980 movie “probably wasn’t very good,” he said with a chuckle.
But it would be the last movie the then-10-year-old McKinley would recall watching on the Doric’s screen before Morton County’s only theater went dark a short time later.
The theater was turned into apartments for a while before becoming a deteriorating storage building. McKinley, who tried to lead a revival of the theater last decade, didn’t figure it would ever flicker on again, due to the expensive price tag.
Now, the 35-year intermission has ended. The popcorn is popping again. The movies are rolling.
At the age of 98, there is a breath of new life in the Doric.
From KSPR.com: The Palace Theater in Springfield’s Chesterfield Village will soon show first-run movies.
Owners are renaming it as the Premiere Palace. The change starts Friday.
Here is what you can expect. You will pay $4 for matinees. Evening movies will set you back $6.
The Palace Theatre will become the Premiere Palace, a discount first-run movie theatre, starting on Friday, Aug. 26. The Premiere Palace will show weekly new releases at a discounted rate. Ticket prices will be $4 for matinees, children (ages 3 – 12), seniors and students. The evening price for adults will be $6.
“The people and city of Springfield have been incredibly supportive of the Palace since it opened,” said Warren Theatres president Bill Warren. “We are looking forward to giving the opportunity to see new movies, the weekend they open, at a discounted ticket price.”
Online ticketing will be available soon after opening. The Premiere Palace will accept cash, Visa, MasterCard and Discover.
The Premiere Palace is at 2220 W. Chesterfield Boulevard.
From Triblive: A second grand reopening of the renovated historic Lamp Theatre is planned for Saturday, about three years after major renovations were started on the former Main Street movie house.
“The goal has been to entertain the community. It has been mission No. 1, and it has been a great response. We keep exceeding expectations,” said John Gdula, president of the Lamp Theatre Corp. board of directors, which oversees the multi-use performance center. Irwin turned over ownership of the structure to the theater corporation in August 2015.
In the past year, the Lamp has attracted more than 10,000 patrons to watch a variety of performances, including concerts, comedies and musical theater, said John Cassandro, general manager of the Lamp and president of Irwin Borough Council.
“Our gate receipts are really good,” Gdula said.
With a year of operations under their belt, managers have a better idea of how to operate the facility, Gdula said.
“It was a learning curve. We’re evaluating the market and seeing how the community is responding” to the kind of acts that are being booked, Gdula said.
Those theatergoers flowing into downtown Irwin have benefited the restaurants and has given the community more vibrancy, said Lois Woleslagle, president of the Irwin Business and Professional Association, a volunteer group that promotes Main Street activities.
“Some businesses are profiting from what is going on,” Gdula said.
For the grand opening, a VIP reception will be at 5:30 p.m. Saturday for donors, business owners and those who played key roles in its revitalization. The evening will feature the Beatles tribute band Hard Day’s Night.
The night’s festivities “will be able to show those people who so kindly donated their time and money exactly what has been done with both,” said Bill Elder, operations manager. “We can show everyone where the theater started, where we stand now and where we plan to be in the future.”
The Lamp closed in 2004, a victim of changing times, when movie buffs were opting for multi-screen theaters in shopping malls and plazas. Downtown theaters in places such as Greensburg, Charleroi and Monessen became a relic of the past, although the Lamp hung on longer than most.
The Westmoreland Cultural Trust, a Greensburg-based foundation that owned and renovated the city’s Palace Theatre, assumed ownership of the Lamp in January 2007. But progress toward reopening suffered a setback in March 2009 when a fire in the abutting Irwin Hotel damaged the theater. When the proposed renovations for the theater came in at $250,000 over estimates in July 2012, the project again stalled.
Irwin took ownership of the building in May 2013 and began exterior renovations. Officials hoped to have it opened by fall 2014, in time for the 150th anniversary of Irwin’s founding.
“It was a little bit daunting at first,” Gdula said of the necessary renovations.
To get the point where it was viable again and worthy of a grand opening, backers had to raise sufficient money to save the 79-year-old theater. It was the beneficiary of about $600,000 in county and state grants and another $150,000 of in-kind contributions. The renovations that relit the Lamp could not have been completed with the money that was available were it not for an estimated 3,000 hours of volunteer work from more than 300 people, Gdula said.
Gdula said he was “amazed” by the community’s response to rebuild the Lamp.
“The whole community got invested into it,” Woleslagle said.
The rebirth of the Lamp is proof “there’s a phenomenal group of people in that town,” said Irwin native Christine Orosz, executive director of Stage Right!, a Greensburg-based theater company that put on children’s and adult performances at the renovated Lamp.
“It’s a nice-sized place. People are as happy to be at the Lamp as we are,” Orosz said.
Orosz remembers going to see movies at the Lamp as a youngster. Now, it’s fun to see the students they have taken to Irwin for performances enjoying the town as she and her brother, Anthony Marino, artistic director for Stage Right!, did years ago.
For the next 12 months, Gdula said, the theater board will focus on two initiatives that will require fundraising — obtaining a digital projector that costs an estimated $50,000 and extending the theater into a proposed courtyard with a walled-in area and a concessions section, a project estimated to cost $100,000.
So many of the patrons have asked management, “ ‘When can we start seeing movies again?‘ ” Gdula said.