The latest movie theater news and updates

  • December 21, 2004

    Madison Orpheum Damaged In Fire

    MADISON, WI — An early Sunday morning fire at the Orpheum Theatre has caused an estimated $100,000 in damage.

    The fire, discovered by a quick thinking employee who tried to put out the fire while instructing others to call 911, was extinguished within minutes of the Madison Fire Department’s arrival.

    Sadly, however, this is not the first blaze to strike the Orpheum. This past April, another fire caused $20,000 in damage. Orpheum owner Henry Doane believes both fires were deliberately set.

    The theater is temporarily closed, awaiting cleanup and restoration.

    Coverage from the Wisconsin State Journal & Capitol Times:
    Second Fire In Year Hits Orpheum
    Fire Hits Orpheum 2nd Time

  • Epitaph For Two Harrisburg-Area Movie Theatres

    HARRISBURG, PA — Over the next few weeks demolition is scheduled for two vastly different Harrisburg Pennsylvania area movie theatres – each of which exemplified theatrical design for the decade in which it opened: the East Park Center and Capital City Mall 6 Plex.

    East Park Center
    Built in 1963, the East Park Center at 4400 Derry Street was the first shopping center theatre in Central Pennsylvania. Dubbed the ‘Airplane Hanger’ (its convex steel shell exterior looked like one), the free-standing building was 130 feet wide yet only 90 foot deep. The East Park had been designed for reserved seat, 70MM roadshow attractions, with 1,200 rocking chair seats (all on one floor), a 45 foot high by 90 foot wide screen, and 6 Track Magnetic Stereo Sound. Whether due to architectural folly or a desire to save costs (perhaps both), the auditorium ceiling was left exposed ‘“ thereby creating horrible acoustic problems.

  • December 20, 2004

    NPR Airs Report On Castro Theatre Firing

    SAN FRANCISCO, CA — National Public Radio’s All Things Considered aired a report on Friday about the firing of Anita Monga, the former programmer at the Castro Theatre.

    Since the firing, many fans of the Castro — who believe that Monga’s work was instrumental to crafting the Castro’s legendary film schedule — are planning to protest with boycotts and pickets.

    Listen to the report here. (There’s also some discussion of this issue on the Castro’s page here on Cinema Treasures.)

  • New Poll: Have You Worked At A Theater?

    The latest Cinema Treasures poll is live! This week’s question — have you ever worked at a theater? And, if so, what position?

    Vote now!

  • December 17, 2004

    Casablanca At The California

    SAN JOSE, CA — On Saturday, the California Theatre will begin a six-day run of the film classic Casablanca.

    The screenings — eight in total — will be more than just a movie (not that Casablanca isn’t remarkable all on its own). The theater plans to precede each night’s screening with half-hour organ concert, a short Bugs Bunny cartoon, and a newsreel from F.D.R.’s famous 1943 Casablanca War Conference in Morcocco.

    Tickets, which can be purchased at the California’s box office, are priced at a very modest $5.

    If you’re interested in attending the screenings, don’t miss this report from the Mercury News.

  • The Paramount Center For The Arts Continues Major Renovation Project

    PEEKSKILL, NY — The Paramount Center for the Arts is pleased to announce that it will begin the second phase of a dramatic interior restoration project, from December 20th, 2004 through February 4th, 2005.

    The renovation project will involve the completion of the decorative painting of the theater walls, columns, and lobby by Evergreene Painting Studios, whose impressive resume includes the restoration and preservation of over 100 historic theaters and capitol buildings in over 26 states.

  • Historic Schine Theater In Ohio For Sale

    SANDUSKY, OH — An operating historic Schine theater built in 1941 in Grecco-Deco style is now for sale.

    Set near Lake Erie, Cedar Point, and water park complexes. Over nine hundred seats with balcony, movie system, orchestra pit. All set up for live shows, concerts, and movies. Located near three major highways.

    Seller eager to retire after 31 years. Qualified buyers reply for more information at 419-668-1641— the answering machine is always on. Will return call promptly.

  • 8000 Theaters!

    We almost forgot to mention that the Cinema Treasures Theatre Guide now lists over 8,000 theaters! Once again, endless thanks to everyone who has made this possible. It’s really been amazing to see this site grow into such an amazing resource.

  • December 16, 2004

    URGENT: Boston’s Gaiety Theatre In Critical Danger

    BOSTON, MA — Depending on the outcome of some litigation today, Boston’s historic Gaiety Theatre could face demolition as early as tomorrow.

    Read these links from the Boston Phoenix for the latest info!

    The Gaiety outrage
    Is Friday demolition day?

  • Groundbreaking Ceremony At Chicago’s Biograph Theatre

    CHICAGO, IL — The renovation of the historic Biograph Theatre kicked off yesterday with a ceremonial groundbreaking ceremony in front of the former movie house in Lincoln Park.

    Acquired by the famed Victory Gardens theater company, the 90 year-old Biograph is being converted into a new venue for the troupe, which will include a 299-seat main auditorium and a 128-seat studio, as well as rehersal spaces.

    The total cost of the transformation is expected to run $9 million, of which Victory Gardens already has over $8 million in the bank. Both members of the theater company and city officials braved chilly temperatures for the ceremony, which is expected to open “at the end of 2005”. The Biograph’s facade, a neighborhood landmark, will be retained.

    Read the full report from the Chicago Tribune.