The latest movie theater news and updates

  • February 24, 2005

    Rare Opportunity to Visit LA’s Tower Theatre

    LOS ANGELES, CA — The Tower Theatre on Broadway, which has been closed since 1988, will host a free lecture by Hollywood film historian Marc Wanamaker called “How West Coast Movie Production Began Downtown” on February 26th.

    The S. Charles Lee-designed Tower is not included on the Los Angeles Conservancy’s theater district tour and is rarely open to the public.

    It is mainly used for film shoots, according to Jon Olivan, the theater’s manager, who is currently trying to gain public attention of the Tower to convert it into a multi-purpose entertainment venue, like the Orpheum.

    The lecture begins at 10 AM Saturday. Further information can be found at www.towertheaterla.com or in this report from LA Downtown News.

  • February 23, 2005

    Memories of the Robins Theater

    The Robins Theater in Warren has played a key role in my family for three generations. My grandmother’s brother, Daniel Robins, who was a pioneer in the movie industry, opened the Robins Theater in 1921 or 1922. In 1902 Dan had opened the first theater in New Castle, PA, with Abe Warner, one of the Warner Brothers. One of the Warners married my grandmother’s sister, Anna.

    Dan’s obituaries detail his life and the chain of theaters he operated. After pioneering the first theaters in Youngstown, Ohio, Dan purchased the Warner Theater in Youngstown from Sam Warner, the father of the Warner Brothers.

    I have a lot of memorabilia involving Dan and his brothers, Harry and Ben, who partnered in the theater business with him. My grandfather, I.J. Goldston, was the architect for the Robins Theater (and the Trianon Ballroom on Euclid Ave. in Cleveland). My mother at age 3 ½ presented the mayor of Warren with a big gold key to the theater at its grand opening. All 1500 seats were filled.

    There were two operating companies: The Robins Theater Company and the Robins Amusement Company. The first ran the movies; the second ran the popcorn and candy stands. The theaters never made any money; the real profits came from the popcorn, candy, and pop. Dan’s nephew, Eli Goldston, used to argue that the customers should be admitted to the movies free, just so that they could buy the popcorn!

    There is a project to renovate the Robins. The State and the City have supported the effort, and a formal architectural budge estimate is still underway.

    Robin Lake

  • February 22, 2005

    LIU Plays Last Game at Brooklyn Paramount This Thursday

    BROOKLYN, NY — Unless Long Island University’s men’s basketball team finishes in the top four of the conference, and end up hosting the Northeast Conference Tournament, the Blackbirds' final game in the former Brooklyn Paramount Theatre will be Thursday, February 24th, according to this report from Newsday.

    In eight months, LIU will open its new 2500-seat, $40 million arena next to the Paramount. The 1928 Brooklyn Paramount, at Flatbush and DeKalb Avenues, once sat over 4000, and was designed in extravagant French Baroque style by the Chicago firm of Rapp & Rapp.

    The movie and vaudeville theater is perhaps best known for its rock and roll shows of the 50s, hosted by Alan Freed, where such stars as Little Richard, “Fats” Domino, Richie Valens, and Chuck Berry performed live.

  • Last Shot For LIU Basketball At Brooklyn Paramount

    This NY Daily News story also pays homage to the long-adored borough landmark, the Brooklyn Paramount, as its 40-plus year run as the home for LIU basketball comes to an end.

  • February 21, 2005

    Youngstown, Ohio Theater Photos

    YOUNGSTOWN, OH — Photos of the old Palace Theater are available on my page at Webshots.com. There are also photos of the Powers Auditorium (shown above), along with other old Youngstown theaters.

  • Monthly Uptown Socials Begin On March 7

    CHICAGO, IL — Friends of the Uptown volunteers will host brief, monthly socials to talk casually about the history of the Uptown Theatre and other historic venues. The socials are no-frills get-togethers where the dress is casual and the talk is informal.

    Come as you are at 6:30 p.m. promptly on the first Monday of each month to the first floor conference room of the Bridgeview Bank building, 4753 N. Broadway, in Uptown. Seating is limited and available only on a first-come, first-serve basis.

    Snacks and drinks to share with friends would be appreciated (go ahead and bring them!). We will also pitch in to help share the cost of the room rental.

    Friends have scheduled March 7, April 4, and May 2 talks. Future dates may be planned contingent on time, interest and inclination. Any change to the first Monday schedule will be announced only via Uptown Adviser, http://groups.yahoo.com/group/uptownadviser/

  • February 18, 2005

    “Picture House” Photography By Steven Rood

    “My name is Steven Rood. I am a Los Angeles based fine art photographer. My work is well collected. Pieces now hang in many private and corporate collections.

    I am a year into my current project entitled Picture House. An homage to classic and vintage movie theaters. A retrospective that started locally and is quickly gathering steam to become a nationwide project. Currently, over 50 theaters have been shot. 27 of these are now represented online, with many more to be added soon. These images are receiving a lot of attention from the entertainment community, the photographic community and theater preservationist groups.

    And that is why I in turn bring them to your attention. America’s classic and vintage movie theaters are vanishing at an alarming rate. Structures that represent a more innocent time in
    our country. And as they fade, so do our memories of a time before urban and spiritual decay.

  • Seeking Name of Highlands, NJ Movie Theater

    Does anyone recall the name of the small movie theater in “downtown” Highlands, New Jersey. Not Atlantic Highlands….Highlands. I don’t see it listed but have vivid memories vacationing there in the early 60s. Thanks. Jerry Kovar 42nd Street Memories

  • February 17, 2005

    Movie Theater Relics Needed For Show

    The following email was sent in from Daniel Trisi:

    “I came across your website on a search for an old theater marquee. My name is Danel Trisi, I am a theater student at California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, CA.

    I am currently working with a group of students from CalArts on our final theater production before we graduate. We are doing an original production called “Narrow Escape.” The production is a cinematic thriller about an old film director that escapes from jail and comes back to the movie theater where his movies once played.

  • Old Movies Digitised?

    Hello,

    Does anybody know if old movies such as “Citizen Kane” or “Metropolis” have been digitised and are able to be distributed and screened digitally?

    Thankyou,

    Tom.