The latest movie theater news and updates
June 28, 2004
“By the look of it, the Hiway Theatre in Middle River, Maryland, just outside of Baltimore, has been gutted and it looks like the entire block is ready to come [down]. The area has been a problem for Baltimore County and new homes have been popping up in the area. A new shopping strip was just opened next door, and it look slike the old theater, which dates back to the late 1940’s is about to be razed. I have photos if anyone is interested.”
June 25, 2004
FULLERTON, CA — The Fox Fullerton, a great old theater, is going to be demolished if the Fullerton Historic Theatre Foundation cannot meet a November deadline to buy the theater from a developer.
The City of Fullerton City Council has been working to help preserve this theater that when restored will have some of the oldest murals (now hidden under painted walls) in Fullerton. The developer who has the property rights has agreed to not demolish if funds top restore the theater can be acquired by November 2004.
This is the only way around an owner that doesn’t seem to want the property to be restored and used for films, even though the AFI has shown interest in showing films and using the theater.
There are numerous ways to help and there is an upcoming fundraiser on Saturday, June 26th. For information visit: www.foxfullerton.org
O'FALLON, MO — A new 14 Screen will be part of a new $40 Million Shopping Center in O'Fallon. It is part of one of the many sites that developers have staked out along Highway 40 in St. Charles County for retail development. The Center will be called Caledonia. (The new theater complex also is part of the recent spree of cinemas being built in the St. Louis area.)
This will be the Indiana-based Great Escape Theatres' first theater in the St. Louis Market. With the explosive growth of the WingHaven area in St. Charles County, this was an ideal opportunity for Great Escape. A new theater will be highly welcomed by the O'Fallon residents since they currently have to drive all the way to Mid-Rivers Mall (to the Wehrenberg theaters) in St. Peter’s.
June 24, 2004
Does anyone know what has happened to the huge Fox Oakland? The last time I saw it was in the 1980s – just sitting there empty, a block or so from the restored Paramount Oakland. This theater is not on Cinema Treasures list of Fox theaters. Has it been torn down? Any info would be appreciated.
[Ed — of course, the Fox Oakland is alive and kicking.]
June 23, 2004
I am producing a documentary about a Zen philosopher, D.T. Suzuki (1870 – 1966)… a long story.
I am trying to find a photo with the movie HIGH NOON (starring Gary Cooper) on the marquee. Suzuki loved this film. “The sheriff was a Zen man…” he said after seeing it. Does anyone have such a pic, or know where I might try to find one?
June 22, 2004
SALEM, OR — According to this report from the Statesman-Journal, the $3.2 million restoration and renovation project of the historic 1926 Elsinore Theatre is nearing completion. The theater is set to reopen in October and will present live entertainment such as Broadway shows and concerts.
Visitors will now be able to tour the Elsinore from noon to one on Tuesdays and Thursdays and see firsthand the progress that’s taking place at the former movie house. A state of the art sound system has been added, the lobby and murals have been restored, and stained glass windows have also been repaired.
RACINE, WI — The Park Theatre was purchased in June of 2004 by the Westbury Group LLC, headed by a local man very much interested in theater preservation.
The theater will receive a complete restoration. Two store fronts will be incorporated into a much needed lobby and restroom expansion. The apartments located on the second floor will provide space for a new restaurant.
June 18, 2004
WACO, TEXAS — The glass covered front and the inverted roof of the twin screen Lake Air Cinema that sat behind the Lake Air Mall, became the latest victim of mega-multiplexes.
After a brief asbestos removal, demolition began on June 1, 2004, and wrapped up sometime last week. I am happy to say that all 768 red theater seats, and the 2 projectors were purchased and will be used for another future theatre project in Waco.
Myself, I managed to salvage a trailer from a film which has still yet to be determined, and a fixture from the box office that cashiers use to talk through the window — I don’t know what they are called.
PARIS, FRANCE — The Kinopanorama was dark for almost two years.
After a renovation, the theater was given a new name :“Espace Kinopanorama.” The movie theater has been a little altered, but thankfully its curved screen was saved. Now, the theater serves as space for fashion shows, conferences, parties, and such.
It could have been worse, though. But since the building is still in good share, a return to movies ia always possible.