The latest movie theater news and updates
August 13, 2004
PHILADELPHIA, PA — The Devon Theater will be restored and renovated into a 500-seat performing arts center, according to an article in the Northeast Times.
The newspaper reports that the Mayfair Community Development Corporation will reopen the renamed Devon Theater of Performing Arts to “showcase a wide range of entertainment – live theater, opera, orchestra and ballet performances, children’s shows, dance and music recitals, comedy cabarets, holiday plays – and even an occasional movie.”
PITTSBURGH, PA — Does anyone out there remember the Fairgrounds Drive-In Outside of South Park in Pittsburgh.? I also would like to know how many of us got the chance to work one of the old theaters with what seemed like 900 steps going up to the booth?
God, do I miss those theaters. I remember the Stanley in Pittsburgh, Pa. was like going on a mountain climbing crusade, same with the Warner. Oh how the ushers hated us, when they had to carry film up to us. I would gladly do it again.
MONTEREY, CA — The 1926 Golden State Theatre is in the process of being sold. The new owner, who is from the Los Angeles area where he has owned a recording studio, expects to own the theater sometime in mid-to late September 2004.
Immediate plans call for the balcony triplexing (added in 1976) to be removed, allowing the auditorium to return to one space. New seats on the main floor, and possible some in the balcony will take place as well.
August 12, 2004
IMAX Corporation and National Amusements have announced an agreement to install as many as 18 IMAX® theater systems over the next several years.
According to the press release from PRNewswire-FirstCall, “the deal signals an important milestone for IMAX in the implementation of its commercial theatre growth strategy.”
The proprietary IMAX DMR® (Digital Re-Mastering) technology brings major Hollywood event films, such as this summer’s “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” and “Spider-Man,” to the giant screen. The new IMAX MPX® design allows to add an IMAX theater to a new or existing multiplex in a more cost effective and timely manner.
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND — The final credits will roll at Manchester’s famous Odeon Cinema next month.
The historic 74-year-old Oxford Street picture house, which began life as the Paramount Theatre, has been unable to compete with modern cinema complexes, and a recent review determined the seven-screen cinema is no longer “commercially viable”.
As a spokesman for the Odeon put it: “We can confirm the closure of the cinema on Oxford Street, which will officially shut its doors for the last time on Thursday, September 2. Until that time, the cinema will remain open for business as usual.
For more information, read this report from the Manchester Online.
August 11, 2004
NEW YORK, NY — On Monday, Clearview Cinemas announced via PRNewswire that on Friday, August 27 its 300-seat theatre at 62nd and Broadway will reopen as Cinema Latino — the only all Latino movie house in Manhattan.
The single-screen will exclusively show first run Latin American, Spanish and Portuguese films with English subtitles imported from 20 different countries.
The Board needs to approve the release of $900,000 in tax-increment finance funds already pledged to the restoration of the former movie house. Work on the first phase of the restoration project, estimated at $1.4 to $2.4 million, is scheduled to begin this fall.
Around $5.3 million in contributions has been pledged already, according to the DuPage Theatre Foundation, of which $200,000 has been received. Lombard’s releasing the $900,000 towards the project is tied to a state grant that has been frozen for over a year due to the State of Illinois' financial troubles.
August 10, 2004
I’ve decided to sell my Playbill collection. I have pieces from the ‘40s to the '80s. Their conditions range from good to excellent. Each Playbill is preserved in a plastic sheet.
Though I’m keeping my favorites, I’ve decided to sell the rest to help fund my new business. I’ll be listing most on eBay starting next week, but if there is a Playbill you have been looking for, feel free to inquire.
Send me an email at . (Remove the x’s for this email to work.)
DETROIT, MI — A fire broke out on August 4th at the Detroit Opera House’s Cadillac Cafe.
The damage was confined to the cafe according to this report from Crain’s Detroit Business:
A small fire at the Detroit Opera House caused only minor damage this morning.
The fire began shortly before 5 a.m. in the Cadillac Cafe at the opera house when a food warmer caught fire, said Dave Blackburn, public-relations coordinator for Michigan Opera Theatre.
“This has never been a problem in the past; I don’t know if the food warmer malfunctioned or was left on,” he said.
August 9, 2004
ASBURY PARK, NJ — The world reknowned trombonist, Arthur Pryor, played and conducted his orchestra for 25 glorious summers in a boardwalk pavilion overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, in Asbury Park. In the late ‘60s, a pavilion with a bandshell roof was erected in Pryor’s memory.
Since then, Asbury Park has hit on bad economic times and sold all of its oceanside structures to a development rights holder who plans to demolish the section of the pavilion housing the bandshell, to replace it with office space.