The latest movie theater news and updates

  • March 23, 2005

    Ireland Goes All Digital

    IRELAND — Ireland will become the first country in the world to completely upgrade its movie theaters to digital projectors.

    “Ireland is the perfect pilot test site for a project like this,” said Cummins. “Eighty per cent of the movies shown in Irish cinemas are Hollywood movies, along with the fact that we are an English-speaking nation and have a relatively small number of cinemas makes it the ideal choice.”

    According to this report in the Register, the projectors will be installed on 500 screens at 105 diffrent theater sites at a cost of €40 million. Digital Cinema Limited (DCL), an Irish subsidiary of Avica Europe, will provide the equipment and installation.

    Read the full report.

  • March 22, 2005

    Upcoming ‘Back To The Blueprint’ Episode Features Two Cinema Treasures

    Cinema Treasures member EverGreene points out that this week’s episode the History Channel program Back to the Blueprint visits the Fox Theatre in Tucson, AZ and the Saenger Theater in Mobile, AL.

    Theaters: Fox Theatre, Tucson, AZ and Saenger Theater, Mobile, AL
    Airs on Saturday, March 26 at 2:00pm ET

    Episode description: “Talking Pictures” gave birth to a theater-building boom in the 1930s. In an attempt to make going to the movies as memorable as the film itself, architects and engineers constructed buildings that stimulated the senses. From the flashing lights of the marquee to the cushion seats of the balcony, no detail was overlooked. Host Marty Dunham travels to Arizona and visits the Fox Tucson Theatre. While there, he installs new air-conditioning ducts and acoustone—a soundproofing material that dates to the 1920s. Then, Marty visits Santa Theresa Tile Works to recreate the vintage tile that once covered the Fox’s facade. And at the Saenger Theatre in Mobile, Alabama, Marty helps mount a plaster bracket for new box seats and assists in applying gold leafing to this renovated movie house.

  • March 21, 2005

    Tennessee Theater Reopens After 23 Million Dollar Restoration

    KNOXVILLE, TN — The City of Knoxville recently completed a $23 million restoration of it’s vintage Tennessee Theater.

    The beautiful Tennessee Theatre is a jewel of historic Knoxville, located in the heart of downtown. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places and honored as the Official State Theatre of Tennessee, “Knoxville’s Grand Entertainment Palace” has something for everyone: classical music, vintage films, dance, theater, and stellar performances by today’s hottest musicians. It now rivals the Fox Theater in Atlanta.

    A second jewel, the Bijou is moribund awaiting underwriting for rennovations as well. Since the Tennessee Theater reopened, it has hosted The Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, Elvis Costello, Steve Earle, Earl Scruggs, and a sold out Valentine’s Day screening of Casablanca!

    If you are ever in town, check out this beautiful Moorish theater.

  • Memories of the St. George Theatre

    STATEN ISLAND, NY — I just attended the Tony Kenny Ireland Tour show at the St. George Theatre (3-16-05).

    Rosemary Cappozalo (Richmond Dance Ensemble) and her daughters have done a tremendous job in restoring and refurbishing the theatre to its former glory. It brought back childhood memories of the Valencia in Jamaica, Queens.

    If you live in the metro NYC area, you should make a concerted effort to attend a performance. The price of admission just to see the restoration is a treat in itself.

  • March 18, 2005

    Flatbush Pavilion to Become Swimming Pool

    BROOKLYN, NY — The Flatbush Pavilion, which closed in May 2004, is going to become a swimming pool, according to a health club employee I spoke with. (Read this Daily Heights article for more information.)

    There was some hope that the Pavilion—which opened in 1912 as the Bunny Theatre and at one time was repurposed as a mini-golf course—might find new life. But my source said the health club that bought the theater plans to build a swimming pool in the space.

  • Glorious Black & W-I-D-E At Loew’s Jersey – April 1&2

    JERSEY CITY, NJ — The following email was sent by the Friends of the Loew’s:

    “Back in the 1950s when television was new, one of the ways the movie studios tried to compete was to change the size and shape of the movie image. But in addition to widening the aspect ratio the moviemakers made much greater use of color. This seemed a natural combination that truly helped set the movies apart from what was then the small, drab monotone television screen: glorious hues combined with panoramic views.

    But a select number of widescreen movies were made in black and white. The effect of sharp contrast and subtle differences in grey scale writ across an enormously wide screen is one of the most distinct, if relatively rare, experiences in cinema. On April 1 and 2, the Landmark Loew’s Jersey Theatre will present three of the best of these movies made in glorious black and W-I-D-E.

  • Theater Seats For Sale!

    Aproximately 800 Theater seats for sale. Condition ranges from very good to useable. These seats would be great for recovering. Very comfortable. Located in Stroudsburg PA.

    All offers will be answered!


  • March 17, 2005

    Landmark Plans Digital Projection for its Theatres

    According to this article, Landmark Theatres will be launching a digital projection roll-out this summer with the installation of Sony’s new digital SXRD projectors in six Landmark locations, with eventual installation in all 59 of its theatres.

  • Balaban and Katz book

    I’m David Balaban, Grandson of David Balaban, director of theater operations for Balaban and Katz until 1949. I’m writing a book entitled, “ The Chicago Movie Palaces of Balaban and Katz” The book will be published in December of 2005. It will contain hundreds of pictures of Balaban and Katz theaters, people and never before seen documents about the unique company that my family operated. If you have a Balaban and Katz memory or picture, please email it to me for possible inclusion in the book. Thanks!

  • March 16, 2005

    Silent Film Festival at the Lafayette Theatre!

    SUFFERN, NY — The SOUNDS OF SILENTS Film Festival comes to the historic Lafayette Theatre in Suffern, New York. Nine silent film programs with LIVE musical accompaniment to be screened April 8-9-10, 2005.

    The SOUNDS OF SILENTS Film Festival at the historic Lafayette Theatre in Suffern, New York, presents nine unique and entertaining silent film programs from the golden age of cinema, all on the Lafayette Theatre’s giant silver screen – and all with live musical accompaniment. Screening will be films with stars such as Charlie Chaplin, Lon Chaney, Douglas Fairbanks, Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd, and Lillian Gish. All of the films are showing in the finest archive prints available and all will feature live musical accompaniment. Selected short subjects will also be a part of several shows. Festival Dates: April 8-9-10, 2005.