The latest movie theater news and updates
August 19, 2005
WELLINGTON, TX — Deep in the heart of West Texas, big and bright doesn’t describe just the stars anymore.
On Aug. 5, Historic Wellington, Inc. in the Panhandle town of Wellington, Texas had residents dancing in the streets under the neon glow of the newly restored facade of the Ritz Theatre.
Restoration of the 1928 mission-style theater began in 2003 with the removal of tons of debris from the ruined interior and the reconstruction of a new roof.
Local preservationists couldn’t wait until the project was finished before seeing the neon lights glow again. In 2004, Historic Wellington hired Wellborn Sign Co. of Amarillo, Texas to restore the blade sign and marquee. The sign was relit that same year, but it wasn’t until Aug. 5 of this year that the marquee and sign were lit together for the first time at an annual street dance in front of the theater.
Historic Wellington now has funding to complete the entire building restoration, thanks to support from a local family foundation, and final plans are being drawn now. The group credits the Southwest Office of the National Trust for Historic Preservation for jumpstarting the project with an intervention grant in 2002.
When the reconstruction is complete, Historic Wellington hopes to offer live performances as well as classic and first-run films at the Ritz.
LONG BEACH, CA — I’m looking for information on the Fairyland and Dreamland theatres.
I own the pipe organ from the Fairyland. Any info would be appreciated.
August 18, 2005
CHICAGO, IL — Don’t forget! Uptown neighbors and fans of the Uptown entertainment district are encouraged to help make history by posing for a classic photograph in front of the neighborhood’s namesake historic theater at noon Saturday, Aug. 20, at Broadway and Lawrence.
Marc Smith, internationally acclaimed poet and creator of the Uptown Poetry Slam at the Green Mill Cocktail Lounge, will emcee the event. Actors from the Quest Theatre Ensemble and the Annoyance Theatre Company are scheduled to entertain passersby on the street.
The free, rain-or-shine “Uptown Community Portrait 2005” event celebrates the community and the 80th anniversary of the historic Uptown Theatre, 4816 N. Broadway. The theater has been closed since 1981 and is in serious need of significant private investment for it to be renovated as an entertainment venue.
The goal of the “Uptown Community Portrait 2005” is to create a high-quality color photograph of the event, duplicating historical views of the theater’s opening day in 1925 and the “Uptown Community Portrait 2000.” More than 300 neighbors and fans turned out for the event in 2000. Sponsored by the Uptown Chicago Commission, the Uptown Community Development Corporation, Friends of the Uptown, and Compass Rose Cultural Crossroads, the 2005 community portrait will be used in publications and advertisements to represent the people and buildings of the now-ascendant district. Noted Chicago architectural photographer Bob Nick will capture the picture from a perch on a scaffold across the street from the theater.
August 17, 2005
I would love to hear anyone’s stories and incidents about Heaven’s Gate (regardless of the original release in New York or the cut release).
The details that I gather will be presented on my homemade commentary for Heaven’s Gate that will eventually show up on Renengade commentaires web site.
Also, if you have any sources for interview’s about Heaven’s Gate from the actors (then or now), I would love to know that info also. I will give everyone credit for their stories. I have a long time to fill and would love to get as many stories about this films playing in the theaters and the reaction that it recieved.
Also, on a personal note, I would love to know if anyone knows what happened to the aledged Ultra Panavision 70 mm prints that were advertised right before the release in ads in the New York Times.
Did these prints actually exist???
These are the 4x14 inch signs used in interior or exterior poster cases, above or below a poster to indicate play dates or times.
They were usually in a small but long frame. These signs have a black field with white letters.
I have four COMING SOON and two ADDED ATTRACTION. I am asking $ 1.00 each plus shipping. For additional information or questions email me at .
August 16, 2005
In the Aug. 8 edition of Entertainment Weekly, the magazine named its ‘Top 10’ theaters in the United States.
No. 1 on the list was the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, Texas.
Also making the grade (in no particular order):
• The Kennedy School in Portland, OR
• The Muvico Paradise 24 in Davie, FL
• The Oriental in Milwaukee, WI
• The Castro in San Francisco, CA
• The Senator in Baltimore, MD
• The Film Forum in New York, NY
• The ArcLight in Hollywood, CA
• Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, CA
• Cable Car Cinema in Providence, RI
I have Irwin cupholder for sale from a AMC theater with the AMC logo on the cupholders. They are $3.50 each and I have over 100 for sale with buttons.
Contact Carl at 480-987-9801 (office) or on my cell at 480-710-5360. Email: .
August 15, 2005
REGO PARK, NY — Since its closure in late 1999, community groups, historic preservationists, and the local media have tried to clarify the fate of the iconic Trylon Theater, located at 98-81 Queens Boulevard.
Sadly, the property is now undergoing profound alteration for its new use as a social services facility for the Bukharian community. At this writing, the entrance pavilion has been walled off, facade features have been destroyed, and the interior is being gutted. Original painted murals, decorative tilework depicting the Trylon and Perisphere (the 1939 New York World’s Fair symbols), and marquee elements have all been destroyed and no salvage is being conducted.
Appeals to NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission and NYC Councilwoman Melinda Katz to halt the destruction and achieve a preservation-minded adaptive reuse plan for the defunct theater have been unsuccessful thus far. The Art Deco Society of New York (ADSNY) and the Historic Districts Council (HDC) have spearheaded the effort to intervene — even at this late stage — to protect the outstanding and unique Art Deco property.
The Trylon Theater, designed by Joseph Unger, reflects the cultural impact of the 1939 World’s Fair and its theme of “The World of Tomorrow,” in decorative tiles, murals, and overall aesthetics. The streamlined Art Deco property is a rare surviving neighborhood movie theater due to the loss of hundreds of such buildings in New York and meets criteria to become a designated and protected Historic Landmark.
**To lend your support: Please contact (Journalist/Preservationist) & send carbon copies to (Art Deco Society of NY) & (Historic Districts Council) & .
This is A PRESERVATION EMERGENCY!!!
Call Councilwoman Melinda Katz (718-544-8800) who was the only member who opposed landmark designation & is responsible for this act of destruction. Also e-mail her at .ny.us.
Well, they say you can buy almost anything on eBay, I just found this…
MARIETTA, PA — The Marietta Theatre has been purchased by Marietta Restoration Associates.
The theater, opened in 1914, was the oldest operating motion picture theater in Penna and among the oldest in the United States when it closed in 1997.
The Association is a non profit organization which helps to restore old buildings in this small town. They will hold public meetings to determine future uses for the theater. They expect to have the theater open for tours during the town’s annual Candlelight tour on Dec. 4th.
However the seats, organ, and most of the furnishings have been removed.