The latest movie theater news and updates
December 28, 2005
CHICAGO, IL — Selections from “Palace Treasure,” a screenplay by Jerry Vasilatos, will be read by the author at 6 p.m. Monday, Jan. 2, in Uptown.
The venue is the Golden House Restaurant/Pancake House party room, 4744 N. Broadway. Write for more information. Seating is limited.
Based on memories of Chicago’s Uptown and Granada theatres and the legends of the buildings' owners and caretakers, “Palace Treasure” is Vasilatos' tribute to the Chicago of his youth and to the spirit of such historic buildings. The story features community-minded underdogs who race against the clock to thwart a planned demolition and real-estate development of a historic theatre. Their adventure includes looking for a valuable-but-lost silent film that is thought to be hidden somewhere within the palatial 1920s movie palace.
Vasilatos, who now calls Hollywood home, is an indepedent film writer, editor, director and producer. He is visiting Chicago friends and family for the holidays and has volunteered to host this special “Friends of the Uptown” night.
A synopsis of “Palace Treasure” can be read on Vasilatos' Web site,
Friends of the Uptown, Uptown Theatre, Chicago.
My family has 2 large gilt mirrors from the Paramount in NYC (1501 Broadway) that were rescued prior to the demolition.
We are trying to value the mirrors. Any ideas about how to do this? Or where I could find pictures of the original interior showing the mirrors?
December 27, 2005
NEW YORK, NY — Hello, I am looking for information on my great-grandfather, Percival “Patty” Roberts who died on Staten Island in the early 1960’s.
My great-grandfather was the stage manager/electrician at the Palace Theater, I assume on Staten Island, but could be the one in Manhattan?? Possibly at the turn of the century, 19-twenties? I have old photos of him at a switchboard backstage which looks to be about six feet wide by eight feet tall, lots of “Frankenstein” switches.
I remember him smoking cigars and calling me “wildwoman” when I was about three. He died shortly after that. He knew a lot of vaudeville stars, Eddie Cantor, Al Jolson, etc.
My grandmother, Florence Adelaide Roberts, would fill in between acts singing opera on stage as a little girl.
Florence M. “Rennie” (Castle) Miller
1060 Rock Road
Schuylkill Haven, PA 17972
December 26, 2005
LONG ISLAND, NY — Just before Thanksgiving, a fire was intentionally set to an old abandoned supermarket. The building burned down. Unfortunately, this building was connected the the Oceanside Twin movie theater.
The theater itself sustained no fire damage. It did however sustain heavy smoke and water damage. But the main damage was done by the fire department ripping the ceilings and walls open.
The theater is currently closed. All indications from the ownwers are that the theater will never re-open.
Long Island loses another of it’s oldtime movie houses.
Up until the revitalization on West 42nd Street between Broadway and 8th Avenue, there was a porno theater called The Harem, located at what looks like where the BB King now stands.
I need some assistance finding out what The Harem was known as before its life as a porno theater.
I know it must have had a life before porn.
December 23, 2005
Loews and AMC have agreed to each sell five theaters as a condition for the government to approve their merger next year. From the official press release:
“Five theaters from each circuit have been selected by the [uS Department of Justice and various state attorneys general] for sale as a condition to enable the companies to proceed with their transaction. The theaters are as follows:
AMC Fenway 13 (Boston)
AMC City North 14 (Chicago)
AMC Union Station 9 (D.C.)
AMC Kabuki 8 (San Francisco)
AMC Van Ness 14 (San Francisco)
Loews Webster Place 11 (Chicago)
Loews E-Walk 13 (New York City)
Loews (Cineplex Odeon) Meridian 16 (Seattle)
Loews Keystone 16 (Dallas)
Loews (Cineplex Odeon) Wisconsin Ave. 6 (D.C.)
It is anticipated that the sales process could take at least four months.
NEW YORK, NY — What theatre was located on 8th Avenue between West 50th and West 51 streets? I remember they demolished this theatre when they erected the Longacre Apartments. This was sometime in the late 90’s.
It was one block over from the old Madison Square Garden, which was demolished in the late ‘60’s / early 70’s and became the Worldwide Plaza and home to the Cineplex Odeon Worldwide Cinemas (now the Dodger Stages).
I recall the entrance as being on Eighth Avenue closer to West 50th Street. Please help me figure this out, its been on my mind.
Does anybody have the classic General Cinema trailer theme that can be downloaded into my cell phone?
Please reply to : .
Thank You Much
December 22, 2005
I am working on a 12-hour series for The History Channel titled “Mega Movers” which looks at extraordinary moves taking place around the world. I am currently looking for moves taking place between now and February 2006 to profile on the show. Specifically, I would like to document the move of a theatre – are you aware of any that have been moved or are to be moved in the next few months? If so, I would like to hear more about the move and when it is scheduled to begin.
Additionally, I am looking for historic, very large, iconic or just unusual structures moving before Feb 2006 and welcome your suggestions. Please feel free to pass my contact information along to anyone else who may know about other upcoming moves.
OLYMPIA, WA — As a followup to yesterday’s story… The State Theater, built in 1949, is currently undergoing an Enhancement Campaign to restore some much needed areas of the building.
One area desperately in need of help is the beautiful front doors. Several of them no longer lock properly and are unable to be repaired.
Any help in finding a company that make old style ‘brass & glass’ movie theater doors would be much appreciated.