The latest movie theater news and updates

  • April 28, 2006

    Wehrenberg Theatres celebrates 100 years!

    Monday, May 1

    All movies are just one dollar at any Wehrenberg Theatre! This includes all showtimes and all titles. Tickets will be sold to auditorium capacity for each scheduled showtime on this day (There is a limit of ten tickets per person.) Tickets will only be available at the theatre boxoffice for performances that day. There will be no prior day advance tickets available and tickets will not be available for sale over the web or Fandango (phone or web). Theatres should plan to open their boxoffices 1 hour before their first advertised showtime. Price templates will be created to address the ticketing specifics.

    Tuesday, May 2

    Any 20 oz. soft drink is one dollar! Again, this applies to all theatres all day.

    Wednesday, May 3

    46 oz. popcorn is just one dollar at each Wehrenberg Theatre during the entire day.

    They are very proud to be 100-years-old, and the oldest family-owned and operated theatre circuit in the nation. Lets have some fun!!!!

  • Star-Ledger profiles Cinema Treasures

    Today’s edition of the Star-Ledger has a nice writeup about Cinema Treasures.

    If you’re curious about movie theaters old and new, their histories and untimely passings, Ross Melnick of Cinema Treasures has just about everything you need.

    Melnick, who co-founded the Web site in Dec. 2000 with Patrick Crowley, presides over a vast network of movie house fans. It began with listings for 125 theaters and now Cinema Treasures has nearly 14,000 listings, including theaters in Afghanistan, Croatia and Papua New Guinea.

    For those who do read the article, Ross points out: “I never said historic theaters can’t have digital sound, etc. I only said most cannot have stadium seating.”

  • April 27, 2006

    Maps for European theaters!

    Google Maps has just added detailed maps for Europe. So you know what that means… we now have maps for theaters in England, France, and elsewhere!

    Here’s a sample map for the Odeon West End, for instance:

    Since this is our first real test of European mapping, we probably have some bad address data. So if you know the correct address for your favorite European Cinema Treasure, please send it in!

  • Blow out for the Boyd

    You are invited to join the Friends of the Boyd for Brian De Palma’s “Blow Out” on May 12 at International House (3701 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia). John Travolta stars in this 1981 political assassination THRILLER, filmed in Philadelphia. In listing the film as the 6th greatest Philly Movie ever, October’s Philadelphia Mag specified that “Blow Out” has “some of the best shots ever of Philadelphia.” The movie is rated R for sex, nudity, violence, and profanity.

    FAN tickets are only $15 and include 7:30 PM pre-movie commentary by Philadelphia’s dizziest duo, entertainers CHUMLEY & CARLOTA, the film presented in a stellar 35 mm print on the large screen, and the FUN AFTER-PARTY with Yards Beer, Refreshments, and 1980’s music spun by Chatty Cathy. Fan tickets are a bargain for all you get! For ages, professional fundraisers and event planners keep telling me “don’t provide so much food at the After-Party” but I refuse to listen! Nobody goes hungry, nobody goes thirsty, and nobody fails to have fun at our film events! And, for the real film fans, we present yet another archival film print, direct from the studio vault. This is our 7th film event in our decade by decade Philadelphia themed film series, and we do it right!

    VIP Tickets are $50 for all of the above, plus 6:00 PM delicious food catered by Day by Day, excellent wine and fantastic guests who appeared in the film! Channel 6 Action News' DAVE ROBERTS, actor TOM McCARTHY, and FM radio personality MICHAEL TEARSON speak about the making of the film. Early replies have been great, but we still have room for more.

  • 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

    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.