The latest movie theater news and updates
December 10, 2004
WHEATON, IL — The Grand Theatre Corp. (a not for profit) has signed a one year management deal with Grande Venues, Inc. (a for profit corporation) to operate the Wheaton Grand Theatre. The theatre is currently divided in three: two movie theatres and a large concert venue featuring the well preserved proscenium arch and the lighted dome.
Plans are now under consideration to keep the present configuration allowing greater access to the public for smaller performances, conferences, and movie festivals while keeping the architectural elements unique to the building.
Paul Warshauer and Mike Novelli, the principals of Grande Venues, have already commenced an aggressive programming schedule including rock concerts, murder mysteries, a lecture series, benefits for victims in Iraq, film and television production classes, and special events including a “Somewhere in Time” weekend in February and a Peter Pan Festival slated for April.
See the website for more details www.wheatongrand.net.
December 9, 2004
December 8, 2004
PARK RIDGE, IL — The following was sent by Friends of the Uptown:
“PICKWICK presents ‘Peter Pan’: Special holiday show and sing-along with Jay Warren
If you want to taste the flavor of entertainment that built and sustained the UPTOWN THEATRE and other movie palaces in their prime, come out to the historic PICKWICK THEATRE, 5 S. Prospect Ave., in Park Ridge, Illinois, this Friday, Dec. 10, for a special holiday show.
Beginning at 7:30 p.m., the program includes the 1924 silent holiday classic “Peter Pan” with live pipe organ photoplay accompaniment by Chicago’s Jay Warren. Jay will add to the program with a special holiday sing-along.
CHICAGO, IL — The following is also from Friends of the Uptown:
“The CONGRESS THEATRE and historic Chicago will be celebrated in a "winter benefit” event for the local historic preservation advocacy group called Preservation Chicago from 6 to 8:30 p.m. this Thursday, Dec. 9, at the CONGRESS, 2139 N. Milwaukee Ave.
A $35 donation gets you music, food, a building tour, and a chance to bid on historic artifacts and items of interest. Call (312) 255-0015.
Beiger Heritage has 1,700 seats which were removed from the Morris Civic in South Bend when they did a major makeover. We hoped to use them in the Tivoli Theatre in Mishawaka, IN where the seats are currently stored.
The City is going to demolish the theatre soon and we need to get the seats out. The seats have maroon metal backs and nice maroon cushions. The armrests are natural wood. The endcaps are silver color.
For more information, contact:
James Braunsdorf, President
Beiger Heritage Corporation
An Indiana Not-for-Profit Corp.
December 7, 2004
PHILADELPHIA, PA — The following email was sent in by Howard Haas of Friends of the Boyd:
“The Friends of the Boyd have received news of a generous grant from Arcadia Foundation for $30,000 towards recreation of the missing original Art Deco chandeliers from the Grand Lobby of Philadelphia’s Boyd Theatre.
The Boyd Theatre was built in 1928 in the French Art Deco style. The original main chandelier and two adjoining pendants were removed during 1953 remodeling. In 1971, a central chandelier not compatible with the Art Deco style was hung. The grant will be sufficient for recreation in its original Art Deco style of the main chandelier, so it will look as it did in historic photos.
HOPE, BC, CANADA — Theater for sale in beautiful Hope, BC, just an hour and a half east of Vancouver. Housing 330 seats, this single screen movie house is the only one in town. In 2000, the theater had a ceiling to floor renovation.
Originally built in 1945, the theater is currently operating four nights a week and is perfect for someone who wants to live a semi-retired lifestyle. Gross revenue is approximately $150,000 per year. Contact for more info.
December 6, 2004
BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND — The Electric Cinema on Station Street will re-open this week.
The cinema was opened in 1909 in the centre of the city and has been showing movies almost ever since. Is the Electric the oldest working cinema in Great Britain? At the moment it seems it is by just a few months.
In the 1920’s and showing silent films the Electric changed its name to the “Select.” In the 1930’s the old Electric changed its name again and became the Tatler News Theatre. In the 1950’s another name change to the Jacey Cartoon cinema.
SOUTHINGTON, CT — An auction was held at the Southington Drive-In recently to sell all its possessions. Basically anything that wasn’t nailed down (and even many of things that were) were available for a price. Screen one has already been removed and the speaker poles have fallen.
Vandals have graffitied the building and broken windows. Water leaks through the ceiling of the former concession stand. The drive-in, even though it was closed for only two years, is already in a state of decay. The town of Southington purchased the property for $1.6 million earlier this year and will use it to expand a neighboring park.
Screen two and two of the projectors will remain to show movies in the park for free a few times each summer. The drive-in closed not because of lack of business, but because the younger generation of the family that owned it wanted to sell the business.
For more information, read the Record-Journal article.
December 3, 2004
HUNTINGTON, WV — Robert Edmunds, a communications professor at Marshall University, had founded the Huntington Theatre Organ Project in an effort to help galvanize interest of local business in preservation and restoration of the 1928 Thomas Lamb Keith-Albee Theatre.
The Project has nearly completed installation of a 1927 Wurlitzer EX pipe organ into the Keith that was originally built for the Granada Theatre in Bluefield, WV. The Keith’s original organ (Wurlitzer Model 240 that was used for silent movies) was sold in the 1950s and is own by a private collector.
Commenting upon the Keith, Edmunds praised the theater as a “palace of splendor.” Edmunds will be playing Christmas selections during intermission of “The Incredibles” this Saturday. In fact, the theater now has the balcony with comfortable loge seats and stadium similar seating open on every weekend.