The latest movie theater news and updates
April 25, 2006
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!)
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.
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
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.
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
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:
This link leads to State Sen. Plymalke and David Tyson say project coming together:
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.”
April 20, 2006
TORONTO, CANADA — Would anyone be interested in stating up a small movie theater bizz or project in and around Toronto and the GTA (Greater Toronto Area)?
I looking for people that are movie theater buffs and that enjoys taking on tasks and have enough brains and bucks to do it.
I for one are tired of the Mega-Plex theaters that are going up everywhere, and im sure everyone eles here feels the same way, other wise you would not be on this website. Right?
Im looking at re-opening classic movie theatres that have been closed for sometime in the GTA, with locations in Hamilton, Burlington, Oakville and Toronto.
I already have lots of great ideas in doing this task, but I need some help in this project.
If you and interested in this project, please send me an email @ .
Thank you for you time.
- Chad W. Irish.
P.S. Im also working on a “Movie Theater Book” and I’m almost finished working on my 1st book. It should be done very soon. I’m now looking for a book deal. Wish me good luck.
PHILADELPHIA, PA — The reports of our demise (and demolition) have been greatly exaggerated!
Since 1998, the Metropolitan Opera House has been undergoing a slow but steady renovations process. The building is currently in use primarily as a worship center (Holy Ghost Headquarters Revival Center at the Met). This center is led by a former member of the last worship center at the Met, Rev. Mark Hatcher.
HGHRC@The Met established a nonprofit community development center to complete renovations in 1998 and to lead eventual historic renovations. Approximately $4.5 million dollars in basic systems replacement, stabilization and renovations have been completed.
Phase II renovations currently underway include replacing the retail operations previously installed in the ‘40’s that will create earned income for use in the renovation work. The City of Philadelphia has made a financial commitment to support the creation of these spaces. All previous work has been completed without benefit of any public sector or private foundation funding.
April 19, 2006
The Castle Cinema appears headed for another season where the only drama is offscreen.
The Chalkstone Avenue neighborhood cinema is scheduled to be sold at a public auction at 10 a.m. on Friday.
The scheduled foreclosure sale comes less than four months after Anthony Gemma and his partners in Chalkstone Realty LLC sold the property to New Concept Entertainment Inc. on Jan. 6 in hopes that the new owners would reopen the three-screen theater.
As part of the deal, Gemma and his partners loaned the new owners $615,000 to buy the property.
“We haven’t gotten any payments since then,” Gemma said in a phone interview yesterday. “We’d like for another buyer who’d be willing to keep it as a movie theater.”
The Castle, built in 1925, was among the last of a generation of neighborhood movie theaters, most of them driven out by shopping mall multiplexes where tickets and popcorn can cost as much as dinner out.