The latest movie theater news and updates
January 30, 2006
As part of a three-part documentary that I’m making about my hometown, Newark, NJ, I’m making a section about the “lost” theaters of Newark. As a kid growing up in the mid-50s, I spent many hours watching movies both in the neighborhood theaters, the Tivoli and the Plaza, as well as the downtown Newark movie palaces.
I call the Newark theaters “lost” because not one theater that was operating in Newark when I was young is operating today. Some are still there, probably in some state of arrested decay, but many are gone.
I’m looking specifically for film, slides, stills, newpaper clippings or any information about the Tivoli on Orange Street, The Plaza on North 7th Street, as well as the downtown theaters: RKO Proctors, Loew’s State, Branford, Adams, Paramount, Little, etc. Please contact me and let me know what you have. Thanks.
When you go to http://www.enjoytheshow.com now, it takes you to a combined Loews/AMC website.
The former Loews theatres, in particular the ones in Manhattan that I checked, are listed as being AMC but aren’t showing up yet in the listings. This was at 9:35am Eastern time Friday 1/27/06. So it must be a matter of time until they get loaded in there. Will check back later in the day.
Any word on if signage changed at the theaters themselves?
January 27, 2006
In his latest blog entry, Mark Cuban, the spirited owner of Landmark Cinemas, takes a frank and fascinating look at the state of the exhibition industry.
On collapsing the “release window” between theatrical exhibition and other release formats (DVD, iTunes, Cable, etc.)…
How sad is it when the President of the National Assoc of Theater Owners doesnt think his members can create a better movie going experience than what we can see in our houses and apartments ?
Guess what John, I can whip up a mean steak, but I still like to go to restaurants. Because I enjoy it. I enjoy getting out of the house with family, friends, who ever.
On shifting demographics…
The experience that a 16 year old expects is going to be completely different than what a 35 or 55 year old expects.
When a 16 year old goes to a movie, there is absolutely nothing at all wrong with answering your cellphone, talking back to the screen and texting your heart away during a movie. The movie is just there because its better than doing the same thing sitting or walking at the mall, or hanging in your buddys smelly bedroom again, listening to his mom yell at him.
All of the above drives anyone not in that demographic crazy. So when a couple of 35 year olds go to see King Kong, not only can you pretty much bet that they arent going to have a great experience during the showing of the movie, but they probably didnt have a great experience before they even got their seats.
On giving theaters a piece of the DVD business…
Its also probably a good time to take steps to be paid for the role you play in promoting the sale of DVDs and TV. You already know that you platform movies and create demand for future sales. Your problem is that you dont get paid for it. DVD sales now exceed box office sales and you dont get a nickel of those DVD sales. Its time for that to change.
On what business theaters are in…
First of all, I dont think they know what business they are in any longer. It appears they believe they are in the business of showing the movies Hollywood gives them and praying that Hollywood makes good movies and spends enough money to drive people through the doors so they make some money on the boxoffice and concessions. They arent.
So, what do you think Cinema Treasures fans? (Read the full blog post and then comment below!)
PLYMOUTH, MI — The Friends of the Penn, a group of local investors made up of seven area business people, have purchased the Penn Theatre in downtown Plymouth, which has been closed since 2004, for $1.2 million, according to this story in the Detroit News. With the purchase complete, the group now intends to turn its attention to raising an additional $1 million to restore and reopen the 1941 Art Moderne theater located on Penniman Avenue.
The Friends of the Penn plan on using the theater to screen second-run movies as well as hosting live performances, including the Plymouth Symphony Orchestra. One of the investors, Donald Soenen, a Plymouth resident since 1969, says, “In Plymouth this is a big deal. There is tremendous support for the arts here…the real reason all these people have gotten involved is because they also believe this theater should be preserved because it will be a benefit to the community.”
January 26, 2006
JERSEY CITY, NJ — On February 10 and 11, Friends of the Loew’s begins its Spring season of classic film weekends at the Loew’s Jersey Theater.
In partnership with Greyhound Friends of New Jersey, The Loew’s Jersey is proud to present three films that depict the complex relationships between humans and animals:
Friday, February 10, 8 PM: BEST IN SHOW (2000/90 min) — A wickedly funny and intelligent character comedy that gently sends-up the peculiar world and characters of dog show competitions.
Saturday, February 11, 4 PM: OLD YELLER (1957/84 min) — One of the best loved live-action features ever made by the Walt Disney Company.
Saturday, February 11, 8 PM: THE MISFITS (1961/124 min) — The final film for both Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe, “The Misfits” also starred Montgomery Clift and Eli Wallach. It is a powerful tribute to the majesty and vulnerability of the Old West’s wild horses, symbols not just of the Old West but of independence and fundamental goodness — and of the fragility of the same.
Greyhound Friends of New Jersey, Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to rescuing and finding homes and new lives as loving pets for greyhounds that have been “retired” from racing.
The Landmark Loew’s Jersey is an arts and entertainment center operated by Friends of the Loew’s, a non-profit organization.
I am interested in purchasing an old theater / performance venue for a theater company located in New York City.
Must have proximity to NYC, but am flexible about area. Space can accomodate live performance as well as film projection. Please contact me should you have any leads. I appreciate any help I can get. Contact Jenny via email: .com
Thanks to all,
January 25, 2006
YONKERS, NY — The Grinton Will Library, 1500 Central Park Avenue, in Yonkers has a few pictures of the former RKO Proctors and Loew’s theaters, both located on South Broadway in downtown Yonkers. Loews later became Brandt’s Yonkers. The display is titled “Yonkers Then and Now”, and features many interesting photos as well.
FYI: The photos belonging to the Yonkers Planning Dept would be available for copying under the Freedom of Information Law in the event you like them after seeing them on display. Most others belong to the Yonkers Historical Society which may sell reproductions.
Hello, I am a current college student who is majoring in Theater Operations, and am looking for a 70’s-80’s style live stage theater to one day call my own. This is nothing short-term, but if anyone knows of something in the greater northern Sacramento, CA area, please let me know.
January 24, 2006
While the theater’s exterior has been an official landmark since 1989, the interior does not have the same protections. (You can see a few shots of the interior here.)
Mr. Bialek has been authorized by the Landmarks Preservation Commission to demolish the interior of the Metro, whose exterior was declared a landmark in 1989. He said he is considering leasing the space to a dinner theater, a restaurant or a store, or perhaps reopening it as a multiplex.
This is indeed a sad day for moviegoers in Manhattan. The megaplexes continue to eat away at the city’s remaining single and twin screen moviehouses.
(Thanks to Howard Haas for sending this in!)
CHICAGO, IL — A sad day here as another one of Chicago’s historic theaters faces the wrecking crane. At around 2:00pm Friday, January 20th, the fight to save the Adelphi Theater was crushed as the wrecking crane opened it’s huge steel jaws on it’s bucket…. then closed the bucket’s jaws equally as quick…. then taking hold of it’s first few chunks of bricks and then dropped them from the bucket to the ground.
Within minutes most of the back wall of the theater that runs along Ravenswood Avenue was a pile of rubble ready to be carted off.
It’s a sad, sad day.
- Bill Morton
Citizens for the Adelphi Theater
- Bill Morton