The latest movie theater news and updates

  • March 30, 2006

    Grant lights up theater sign fund-raising campaign in Amarillo, Texas

    AMARILLO, TX — Center City of Amarillo, Texas has awarded a $40,000 grant to the Amarillo Historical Preservation Foundation (AHPF) to restore the historic Paramount Theater electrical sign that adorned the Paramount Building in downtown Amarillo from 1932 until the late 1970s.

    The AHPF plans to raise at least $80,000 to complete the job and provide long-term maintenance on the sign, which will be placed in its original location on the Paramount Building, Ninth Avenue at Polk Street, when completed. The sign was removed in the late 1970s for use at a disco in the city’s warehouse district northeast of downtown. The AHPF acquired the sign in late 2005.

    “We wouldn’t have considered a job so large without Center City’s help,” said Wes Reeves, president of the AHPF. “We can now get started on a dream we’ve had for a number of years.”

    Wellborn Sign Company of Amarillo, with a major restoration award under its belt, has been chosen to restore the Paramount sign. Wellborn was the 2005 winner of the Texas Sign Association’s best restoration project for its work on the historic Ritz Theatre in Wellington, Texas, where a 1940s-era sign and marquee were brought back to life after years of neglect.

  • March 29, 2006

    Final Act for Act 1 & 2 Cinemas

    BERKELEY, CA — According to a report from the Berkeley Daily Planet, the Act 1 & 2 Cinema closed for good on March 26:

    Act 1&2 Theatre at 2128 Center St., showed final screenings of C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America and Summer Storm to sparse audiences Sunday before closing down for good.

    The lease for the two-screen cinema, owned by Landmark Theatres, had run out, said Vice President of Marketing Ray Price.

    He refused to comment on specific reasons for the closure, but said, “In general, one of the problems with theater properties is the retail value of the square footage is higher than the value of the theater. Other retail venues can better afford to pay that.”

    “It’s not uncommon,” he said.

    Landmark operates 57 theaters nationwide and specializes in art-house first-run independents, foreign film classics and other nontraditional cinema. In the East Bay, the company owns the California Theatre, Shattuck Cinemas, Piedmont Theatre and the Albany Twin. It acquired Act 1&2 in 1994.

    Employees who chose to stay with the company were given the option to transfer to other theaters, said Act 1&2 Manager Chris Hatfield.

    Last week, a theater employee told the Daily Californian on condition of anonymity that the theater was closing because low customer turnout was exacting a toll on financial solvency. Price would not confirm that.

  • March 28, 2006

    Looking for theaters to revitalize

    I recently fell upon this wonderful site and became a member.

    I was doing a search on a local theater in NJ, the Harwan Theater. I had wanted to revitalize it and was hoping somehow I could re-design the space or buy it. I found out the theater is in the process of renovation and re-opening.

    I am an interior designer and have always wanted to open my own club/restaurant. I was wondering if there are any theaters that are closed that can possibly be turned into a venue either for live theater, live music, club or a restaurant.

    I am all for saving theater in this country but I didn’t realize the amount of theaters we have, unfortunately most of them are closed. I would like to save the architecture and possibly turn an existing run down space into something new and exciting.

    Please if anyone can help me in achieving this I would highly appreciate this. Who do I need to contact? I will look into each theater individually if I have to. I would also be interested in saving the building to us as a theater if I felt that was the best use for the space.

    Last thing, on average how much does a theater cost to buy? I live in NJ so anything in surrounding states is fine.

    Thanks, Kristin

    (My email is )

  • March 27, 2006

    Ridgewood Theater to close?

    NEW YORK, NY — On Sunday, the New York Daily News published a report about the future of the Ridgewood Theatre.

    Preservationists fear the opening of a Glendale multiplex could force the historic Ridgewood Theatre to close its doors for good – about a decade shy of its 100th birthday.

    The Ridgewood, designed by architect Thomas Lamb and first opened in December 1916, is believed to be one of the oldest continuously operated theaters in the country, having never closed for renovations during its 89-year run.

    But residents think the upcoming opening of a Regal Cinemas multiplex in the Shops at Atlas Park, an office/retail complex on Cooper Ave. between 80th and 83rd Sts., will bring too much competition for the Ridgewood.

  • Cinemart Theater To Undergo Partial Restoration: Search for vintage photos

    FOREST HILLS, NY — My name is Michael Perlman, and I am a Forest Hills preservationist who is assisting the owner of the Cinemart Theater with the restoration of an ornate coffered ceiling from 1925.

    The ceiling is located in the entryway/lobby, & is concealed with lackluster, industry-standard paneling. The theater was formerly known as the Metropolis and the Inwood. This is one of the many activities I hope to accomplish in honor of Forest Hills' 100th anniversary this year.

    I would appreciate it if anyone can share photos of the interior/exterior prior to the 2002 renovation (1925-2001), since this will assist us in the restoration. If you don’t have any photos, I would appreciate any bit of advice as to where I can find some. Also, if you can provide some restoration tips, that would be of great help too. Please e-mail me at Thank you!

    Please read the following March 15th Daily News article by reporter Nicholas Hirshon, which documents our effort and the history of the Cinemart:

    www.nydailynews.com/boroughs/story/399660p-338622c.html

    The Cinemart website is as follows: www.cinemartcinemas.com/chc/cc/about_us.asp

  • Theater Equipment for sale

    We recently purchased a theater located in Lacrosse, Wisconsin. We have acquired numerous theater equipment such as: Art Deco theater seats, light bars, projector equipment, 45' screen, curtains, Marquis Letter’s, etc.

    If anyone is interested in purchasing these items, please contact Mike.

    Thanks and as always have a great day!
    Mike A.
    608-637-3291

  • March 24, 2006

    Sundance Cinemas Returns

    SAN FRANCISCO, CA — Sundance Cinemas, the on again, off again project from Robert Redford’s Sundance Group, seems ready for its close-up after nine long years. The group, led by former Landmark Theatres executives Paul Richardson and Bert Manzari, has announced the purchase of the Kabuki 8 Theatres from AMC.

    According to The Hollywood Reporter, the theater is scheduled to reopen in late summer and early fall—just in time for the bulk of independent and art house film releases.

    Sundance Cinemas was first announced in 1997 as a joint partnership with General Cinemas, but never opened a single theater. The project was put on further hiatus whne General Cinemas filed for bankruptcy protection and was eventually sold to AMC.

    News surfaced last year that under Manzari and Richardson’s guidance (they departed Landmark with its acquisition by Mark Cuban), Sundance Cinemas would be relaunched.

  • March 23, 2006

    Belmont World Film Presents “Extraordinary Journeys” at Studio Cinema

    BELMONT, MA — The Studio Cinema is the home for Belmont World Film’s “Extraordinary Journeys” film series, which runs March 19-May 8, and includes international feature films and documentaries:

    3/26: In Casablanca Angels Don’t Fly (Morocco, New England premiere)
    4/2: Moon of Avellaneda (Argentina, New England premiere)
    4/9: Kilmetre Zero (Iraq, New England premiere)
    4/10: Liberace of Baghdad (documentary about Iraq, New England premiere)
    4/23: Aaltra (Belgium, New England Premiere)
    4/30: Windhorse (filmed in Tibet)
    5/8: Le Grand Voyage (France/Morocco)

    For more info visit www.belmontworldfilm.org or call 617-484-3980.

  • Theaters Wanted

    Hello everyone, we are Chalet Theaters LLC and we specialize in acquiring theaters from people or companies that are closing or in need of restoration. We currently lease and have purchased 9 theaters from Cinema Treasures (private people and companies) and are in need of a few more. We specialize in leasing/buying ones that are suffering and need repairs and the owners cannot afford to do so.

    If it is a non-profit theater, we will lease it, renovate it, restore and then return it to the non-profit. We have many creative ideals and would like to talk further with anyone that has a theater for sale or lease. Thanks for your time!

  • March 22, 2006

    Master Plan Complete for Historic Michigan Theatre

    JACKSON, MI — Press Release: Theatre Rehabilitation Master Plan Complete for Historic Michigan Theatre in Jackson; Design Team is Led by GunnLevine Architects with Consulting Architects, SmithGroup, Inc.

    Detroit-based GunnLevine Architects and consulting architect SmithGroup, Inc., completed rehabilitation master planning services for the Michigan Theatre in Jackson.

    Since the theatre’s completion in 1930, the city of Jackson has experienced significant cultural changes, transitioning from a manufacturing base to a community that values itself as a leader in arts and educational programming. The current leadership plans to update the theatre’s programming to include movies, concerts, Community Theatre, children’s film festivals, special events and more.

    Edward D. Francis, FAIA, lead architect and Principal for GunnLevine comments, “The interior, while smaller than the fabulous FOX in Detroit, is its equal in terms of decorative plaster, elaborate moldings, decorative tile, wood paneling, and ornamental ironwork. It’s the only theatre of its kind in mid-Michigan.”

    The Michigan Theatre is on the National Register of Historic Places, the State Historic Register and is located in a designated Historic District of Jackson, MI. The master plan completion is targeted for April of 2006.