The latest movie theater news and updates
March 28, 2005
SCARSDALE, NY — Theater architect Henry George Greene, who designed more than 80 live and movie theaters during the 1960’s and 70’s, died earlier this month at the age of 93.
Greene worked for ABC during its theater operating days as a consulting architect and may be most famous for designing the original Cine Capri in Phoenix—still mourned by moviegoers across the state.
For information, read the New York Times obituary.
MESA, AZ — I just got access to a theater today where the seats are located. It is a shutdown and abandoned Harkins Theater. It was too dark with no electrical power to get any pictures. There is a total of 1550 seats available. Once I get lighting in the building I will have photos to email. The price per seat, does not including shipping charges. If you want me to arrange shipping, I need the shipping address with zip code to get trucking cost. The seats are located in Mesa, Arizona. I can start next week on removing and shipping the seats. Please let me know if you are interested and how many you need. I can be reached at 480-987-9801 or
March 25, 2005
The 1928 movie house, which has been the focus of some debate in the Chicago suburb is expected to cost between $8 and $8.5 million to restore. The new proposal just released by the DuPage Theatre Foundation (to be presented to the village board on April 7th) is a $32 million plan which involves luxury condos and lofts being constructed in and around the former movie house, along with retail shops and a restaurant on the first floor (along with a small theater space, perhaps).
The condos and lofts built above existing storefront spaces in the theater building replace an earlier plan by the Foundation to create studio and classroom areas in that space. Twelve condos would be constructed behind the DuPage and a five-story new structure housing 68 condos would be built on a parcel of land directly south of the theater.
The new building facades would be covered with terra-cotta to match the existing building. Plans also include 248 parking spaces, some underground, which would in part be used by Metra commuters.
Theater supporter and Trustee Ken Florey says, “Even if I weren’t a theater supporter, it’s a great development. Condos is the direction we should be going downtown. Economically, it’s by far the best.”
March 24, 2005
MILWAUKEE, WI — The Miramar Theatre is in urgent need of funding to keep its doors open. We are facing foreclosure and need a minimum $70,000 by May 1st to paydown back mortgage payments and taxes.
This crisis comes on the eve of an agreement with a major local client prepared to enter into a 5-10 year rental of the building, and along with us still presenting shows this will make enough money to keep the Miramar open for many more years. We have an agreement in place but nothing can be finished until the building is secured.
I have owned the 360-seat theatre for 7 years and have hosted many wonderful productions, concerts and have worked with many community-based theatre companies and performers. We have a full liquor license and are looking for sponsors, angels or investors we are offering naming rights,product placement or any other type of benefit for the investor or sponsor (auto dealers sponsor theaters in Chicago).
Please contact us at or 414-839-0916. Check out our website at themiramartheatre.com and also our listing in the theater guide.
March 23, 2005
IRELAND — Ireland will become the first country in the world to completely upgrade its movie theaters to digital projectors.
“Ireland is the perfect pilot test site for a project like this,” said Cummins. “Eighty per cent of the movies shown in Irish cinemas are Hollywood movies, along with the fact that we are an English-speaking nation and have a relatively small number of cinemas makes it the ideal choice.”
According to this report in the Register, the projectors will be installed on 500 screens at 105 diffrent theater sites at a cost of €40 million. Digital Cinema Limited (DCL), an Irish subsidiary of Avica Europe, will provide the equipment and installation.
Read the full report.
March 22, 2005
BACK TO THE BLUEPRINT
Theaters: Fox Theatre, Tucson, AZ and Saenger Theater, Mobile, AL
Airs on Saturday, March 26 at 2:00pm ET
Episode description: “Talking Pictures” gave birth to a theater-building boom in the 1930s. In an attempt to make going to the movies as memorable as the film itself, architects and engineers constructed buildings that stimulated the senses. From the flashing lights of the marquee to the cushion seats of the balcony, no detail was overlooked. Host Marty Dunham travels to Arizona and visits the Fox Tucson Theatre. While there, he installs new air-conditioning ducts and acoustone—a soundproofing material that dates to the 1920s. Then, Marty visits Santa Theresa Tile Works to recreate the vintage tile that once covered the Fox’s facade. And at the Saenger Theatre in Mobile, Alabama, Marty helps mount a plaster bracket for new box seats and assists in applying gold leafing to this renovated movie house.
March 21, 2005
KNOXVILLE, TN — The City of Knoxville recently completed a $23 million restoration of it’s vintage Tennessee Theater.
The beautiful Tennessee Theatre is a jewel of historic Knoxville, located in the heart of downtown. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places and honored as the Official State Theatre of Tennessee, “Knoxville’s Grand Entertainment Palace” has something for everyone: classical music, vintage films, dance, theater, and stellar performances by today’s hottest musicians. It now rivals the Fox Theater in Atlanta.
A second jewel, the Bijou is moribund awaiting underwriting for rennovations as well. Since the Tennessee Theater reopened, it has hosted The Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, Elvis Costello, Steve Earle, Earl Scruggs, and a sold out Valentine’s Day screening of Casablanca!
If you are ever in town, check out this beautiful Moorish theater.
STATEN ISLAND, NY — I just attended the Tony Kenny Ireland Tour show at the St. George Theatre (3-16-05).
Rosemary Cappozalo (Richmond Dance Ensemble) and her daughters have done a tremendous job in restoring and refurbishing the theatre to its former glory. It brought back childhood memories of the Valencia in Jamaica, Queens.
If you live in the metro NYC area, you should make a concerted effort to attend a performance. The price of admission just to see the restoration is a treat in itself.
March 18, 2005
BROOKLYN, NY — The Flatbush Pavilion, which closed in May 2004, is going to become a swimming pool, according to a health club employee I spoke with. (Read this Daily Heights article for more information.)
There was some hope that the Pavilion—which opened in 1912 as the Bunny Theatre and at one time was repurposed as a mini-golf course—might find new life. But my source said the health club that bought the theater plans to build a swimming pool in the space.
JERSEY CITY, NJ — The following email was sent by the Friends of the Loew’s:
“Back in the 1950s when television was new, one of the ways the movie studios tried to compete was to change the size and shape of the movie image. But in addition to widening the aspect ratio the moviemakers made much greater use of color. This seemed a natural combination that truly helped set the movies apart from what was then the small, drab monotone television screen: glorious hues combined with panoramic views.
But a select number of widescreen movies were made in black and white. The effect of sharp contrast and subtle differences in grey scale writ across an enormously wide screen is one of the most distinct, if relatively rare, experiences in cinema. On April 1 and 2, the Landmark Loew’s Jersey Theatre will present three of the best of these movies made in glorious black and W-I-D-E.