The latest movie theater news and updates
November 16, 2004
Our new book, “Cinema Treasures,” is mentioned in the current issue of Newsweek in the “Tip Sheet” section (page 77) and is featured in the article “Cinema Paradiso” in the December 2004/January 2005 issue of Arthur Frommer’s Budget Travel Magazine (page 78).
For both articles, co-authors Ross Melnick and Andreas Fuchs selected seven “Cinema Treasures” (Panida Theater in Sandpoint, ID; Senator Theatre in Baltimore, MD; Arlington Theatre in Santa Barbara, CA; Cape Cinema in Dennis, MA; Paramount Center for the Arts in Peekskill, NY; Oriental Theatre in Milwaukee, WI; and Cinerama Dome in Hollywood, CA) as examples of classic movie theaters still showing films today.
JERSEY CITY, NJ — This Sunday afternoon, November 21 at 2:00, the Loew’s Jersey Theatre, at Journal Square in Jersey City, NJ, will be open FREE to the public for a live performance of IOLANTHE by W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan, presented by the Ridgewood Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Company.
This will be the Ridgewood Company’s seventh semi-annual visit to the Loew’s, presenting the comic operas of Gilbert & Sullivan fully staged with costumes, scenery and a 23-piece orchestra playing Sullivan’s original orchestrations.
November 15, 2004
KANSAS CITY, MO — The Empire Theater has survived another round in an ongoing battle between developers, who control the property, and those interested in saving the historic theater. Only this time, it appears that the battle may be nearing its end.
Preservationists experienced a sigh of relief on Nov. 11. The Kansas City Star reported that a plan to construct a new headquarters for Kansas City Power & Light on the theater’s site had been rejected by city leaders. Developers sought the entire Empire Theater block to erect a new office tower for the utility company, which rents space just two blocks away.
ANN ARBOR, MI — Blues legend B.B. King will be performing at the Michigan Theatre on Wednesday, December 8. The e-mail I received from the Michigan Theatre follows:
Even though we consider the Michigan Theater a palace, it’s not everyday that we have the opportunity to entertain royalty within our walls. This season we have that chance! On Wednesday, December 8 we are fortunate to host a concert by the undisputed King of the Blues, B.B. King.
November 12, 2004
ALLENTOWN, PA — After 16 years of owner Mark Mendelson letting the Colonial Theater sit vacant and rotting, the City of Allentown has issued a final ultimatum… again… for the building.
This time however, the City appears ready to take action as the building is in danger of collapse with 16 or so years of water pouring in the building now has a sinkhole — which is dooming the building.
The building was closed when Mendelson bought it in 1988 and was in fairly good condition at the time. The roof was let go and that completely destroyed the building. Repairs were started about 3 years ago on the roof, but quickly stopped before the building was secured.
Story about the Colonial’s owner and his affect on Allentown
November 11, 2004
BANGKOK, THAILAND — According to a report from the Bangkok Post, Shin Broadcast Internet is testing a new theater concept in Thailand.
The concept, dubbed “My Theatre”, is designed to deliver multiple forms of entertainment to small groups of people. Theaters are rented on an hourly basis by small groups of people — two, eight, or twenty-one patrons — who choose between watching films delivered via satellite, singing with friends in a karaoke session, or playing video games.
The test theater, which cost $250,000 to construct, was built in the Ratchaburi province. If the concept proves successful, the size of the existing exhibition industry in Thailand could double according to the theater’s backers.
November 10, 2004
The fire was kept to the office space of the Fox Building thanks to the work of over 40 firefighters who responded to the two-alarm fire. Damage to the building is estimated at $300,000 from fire, smoke and water.
Plans to turn the 3000-plus seat theater into a cabaret-style venue surrounded by retail space and a charter school proposed by Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown are pending the approval of the City Council.
The project is expected to cost about $24 million.
November 9, 2004
EAST ORANGE, NJ — The Hollywood Theater is on its way back. According to the Star-Ledger, a new renovation has begun which will transform the theater into a five-screen multiplex.
After 20 years of being boarded up, a New York City developer has steel workers, electricians, masons, roofers and laborers working in and around the once-famed movie house — at 634 Central Ave., near the Orange border — for a grand reopening.
“We’re doing a gut renovation, to create a brand-new fiveplex movie theater,” said Schwartz, whose father, Albert Schwartz, owned the building just before it closed in the early 1980s. “Four of the theaters will feature stadium seating, and one will be a traditional theater.”
Read more details in the full report.
November 8, 2004
FLINT, MI — CT volunteer Gary Flinn has sent us another update about the Capitol Theatre.
Hello again, Patrick and Ross.
I took pictures of the Capitol Theatre today. This week, the painting of the arcade canopy was finished and it looks great. Work on the vertical sign is underway. The neon tubing was removed and the sign was power washed before painting started. On Saturday morning, the sign was painted all white. When I returned in the afternoon, the painters were working with the final blue and yellow colors. Attached are pictures.
SOUTHEND-ON-SEA, ENGLAND — The Odeon Southend cinema is alas no more. It has now been demolished.
The site has been bought by Southend College who plan to build a large college building where the once superb Odeon was.
I was one of the last people to visit the Odeon a few weeks ago and took the last pictures of the auditorium.