The latest movie theater news and updates

  • April 26, 2006

    Preview the Uptown Theatre Documentary Trailer or Read the New Balaban & Katz Book

    John Pappas and Mike Bisberg of Northwestern University have recently finished their documentary on the Uptown Theatre, filmed last summer/fall in Chicago.

    It will be shown locally sometime in May, and I’ll post the information as soon as it’s available. For now, you can download a sneak peek here.

    David Balaban, whose family built the theatre in 1925, has written a book on the Balaban and Katz theatres. It is available as of today. Follow the same link to read about David and his book.

  • Gene Siskel Film Center of Chicago presents Classic Film Series May 6 through June 1

    CHICAGO, IL — From May 6 through June 1, the Gene Siskel Film Center, in collaboration with the Library of Congress, presents Treasures from the Library of Congress, nine programs of top-quality archival prints of classic American films selected for inclusion in the National Film Registry.

    Featured in our film series are triumphs of atmospheric style (CAT PEOPLE, MOROCCO), air-combat sagas (WINGS, TWELVE O'CLOCK HIGH), a Hitchcock favorite (SHADOW OF A DOUBT), silent films with live piano accompaniment by the incomparable David Drazin (THE ITALIAN, WINGS), and a double shot of bonded Bogey (CASABLANCA, THE MALTESE FALCON) on Memorial Day Weekend.

    Tickets for all films are $9 General Admission, $7 for Students, and $5 for Film Center members. For more information on how to purchase tickets and discounted parking please call 312-575-8000 or visit us on the web at www.siskelfilmcenter.org.

    Also, on May 27 at 3:00 pm, we will present Curator’s Choice, a special program of short films hosted by Gregory Lukow, cheif of the Library’s Motion Picture Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division. Admission to this unique event is free for Film Center members; $5 for General Admission and Students.

  • Trafford PA theater?

    I don’t know if I read it on the internet or I’m getting stories and towns mixed up, but does anyone know if there was a theater in Trafford, PA (past Monroeville)?

  • April 25, 2006

    Bay Area theater revival in the works

    SAN FRANCISCO, CA — In Sunday’s edition, the San Francisco Chronicle looked into the recent upswing of theater revivial projects in the Bay area:

    Phil Tagami’s parents went on their first date in 1959 to Oakland’s Fox Theater, a gilded movie palace on Telegraph Avenue. In 1965, the venue closed, and for more than four decades it has been largely vacant, crumbling from neglect.

    “It’s been shuttered for virtually my entire life,‘’ said Tagami, a 40-year-old developer who owns several buildings nearby and never had the opportunity to attend an event at the theater.

    But now Oakland, which hired Tagami as a consultant, is spending millions to resurrect the 1928 vintage Fox, a step the city sees as key to bringing new life to a neighborhood — and city — in need of revitalization.

    Oakland is one of a nearly a dozen Bay Area cities committing millions to theater restoration projects. They are dusting off old architectural relics — some dating back to vaudeville days — that closed and sat dormant after being damaged in earthquakes or made redundant by television, cineplexes and other entertainment options. Local officials, like their counterparts in cities across the nation, are betting that their investments will bring cultural capital to rundown neighborhoods, particularly downtowns, and spur economic activity.

    (Thanks to CWalczak for this one!)

  • Commonwealth Amusement Company/Corporation

    I am trying to find out what happened to Commonwealth Amusement.

    I am a former drive-in manager with them from the mid ‘70’s til '80. I was looking through a variety of search engines and could only find one reference to the company regarding the Rialto Theatre in Searcy, Ark from 1938.

    I would like to contact some old friends and reminicse about the good old days, but if I can’t track down an entire company, people are probably going to be impossible!

    Please let me know the fate of Commonwealth. I would greatly appreciate it.

  • Theater Seats For Sale

    I have recently cleaned out a theater and have the seats for sale. There are 700 red seats and 150 Art Deco seats from the late 30’s. All are in used condition. Selling whole lot or partial. Make me an offer. Mail to or call (815) 275-4594.

  • April 24, 2006

    Grand Opening of Foxmoor 7 Cinema

    EAST STROUDSBURG, PA — On Friday May 5th, 2006, the Foxmoor 7 Cinema and Arcade will reopen with a true Red Carpet Gala.

    The Pocono Mountains will now have a new Family Entertainment venue that concentrates on its community and providing a safe and secure area. With over $800,000 of renovations, new luxury seating, dolby sound and a specialized training for all staff in guest services and customer satisfaction, this theater with 2,000 square foot arcade will the the IN place for all families and guests of the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania.

    The boutique cinema will offer 7 screens, 800 luxury seats, extended concessions, special promotions and a truly enjoyable experience to all. With all the cineplexes and megaplexes out there, it is a wonderful thought to have a hometown theater.

  • Is the Three Penny Next?

    CHICAGO, IL — Recently, a “FOR RENT” sign went up on the Village Art Theatre.

    Now it appears that another Near North Side (Of Chicago) theatre may soon close. I was in the 3 Penny Cinema tonight. I went to see NEIL YOUNG HEART OF GOLD. After the show, I was talking to the owner. He said he will probably have to close down the theatre soon. He is having trouble meeting the outrageously high City of Chicago amusement taxes.

    This is one of the few independently owned cinemas remaining in the City of Chicago. It features a great selection of movies, low prices, reasonable concessions, and even beer and wine! I urge every Cinema Treasures reader and contributor in the Chicagoland Area to get off his/her sofa and patronize this neat little theatre at least once before it closes!

  • April 21, 2006

    Keith Albee gets movie close up in “We Are Marshall”

    HUNTINGTON, WV — After having shown films and hosted stage shows from 1928 until January 2006, the Keith-Albee Theatre, an atmospheric Spanish moorish theatre designed by Thomas Lamb, got a chance for its own ‘close up.’

    On Tuesday, April 18, director McG (“Charlie’s Angels) and other Warner Bros. filmmakers utilized the theatre for the filming of a scene in "We Are Marshall,” which is set for a December release.

    Starring Matthew McConaughey and Matthew Fox, as Coach Jack Lengyel and Ast. Coach Red Dawson, the film traces the true story of a plane crash that killed 75 members of the 1970 MU team along with most coaches, atheltic department staff, supporters, media reps and crew.
    Two of the injured team members did NOT make the trip. Instead, they were inside the Keith Albee watching “Student Nurses” (for which Warner Bros. substituted “Kelly’s Heroes”).

    During the showing of the movie, the projector is shut off and the manager takes the stage to announce the tragedy.

    Portions of the movie palace’s design should be seen in the film.

    At this time Marshall University, the Marshall Foundation and the Governor’s office are organizing a fund drive to renovate the Keith as a performing arts center. Although the Marshall Artists Series which offers touring Broadway shows will use the theatre during the Fall of 2006, one of the fundraisers indicated that they may close the Keith in the Spring of 2007 to remove the two ‘mini’ auditoriums and do other structural work.

    This link to the filming of WE ARE MARSHALL inside the theater is:
    http://www.huntingtonnews.net/local/060419-rutheford-wam.html

    This link leads to State Sen. Plymalke and David Tyson say project coming together:
    http://www.huntingtonnews.net/local/060329-rutheford-ka.html

  • Fine Arts hosts “CYXORK 7” theatrical premiere

    BEVERLY HILLS, CA – The grandly reopened Fine Arts Theatre will host the SAG theatrical premiere of “CYXORK 7” (starring RAY WISE) Saturday, May 20th at 8 PM. Scheduled to appear: RAY WISE, SONYA SMITH, BEATA POZNIAK, JOSEPH CULP, CASSANDRA CREECH, PAGET BREWSTER and GREG PROOPS.

    The dark twisted satire follows a hungry movie crew making yet one more sequel in a burned out sci-fi franchise. How hungry are they? They’re hoping for a predicted cataclysmic earthquake that they can use for free special effects. Directed by John Huff, Cyxork’s original screenplay was co-written by Huff and producer, Andreas Kossak.

    This is a special showing for us,“ Kossak explained. Screen Actors Guild rules require a theatrical ticket performance before sales begin. "We wanted the technology that went into Cyxork to show to full effect in projection and sound. Then our line producer, Warren Smith, recommended Michael S. Hall and the Fine Arts Theatre.”

    A side note: The Fine Arts Theatre has been brought back to life under the scrupulous eye of Michael S. Hall, third generation projection master and restorer extraordinaire. See LA TIMES article.

    “We chose the Fine Arts,” Kossak said, “because Michael’s team offers state of the art, full resolution 2K HD projection from our D-5 master tape.”