The latest movie theater news and updates
December 16, 2003
According to Steve Davis, volunteer publicity chairman for Standing Room Only, a nonprofit organization that has leased the Buchanan, “The biggest impact is that something is regularly opened after most businesses have closed. It brings a lot of people in from a large geographical area.” Much of the theater’s success can be attributed to its programming which includes first and second run movies, opera, bluegrass and rock concerts, sports broadcasts, children’s matinees, benefit performances and church services.
December 15, 2003
ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA — According to a report in the Adelaide Advertiser, the Regent Theatre will close January 28, due to a dispute between the Hoyts theater chain and the building’s landlord, St. Peter’s College.
The closure comes as a surprise to the Regent’s landlord, according to Paul Fielding, business director for St. Peters:
“I still haven’t got their sign-off to withdraw from their tenancy,” he said. “But, in any case, it’s a sudden thing and we haven’t got our mind around what you do with a large empty space like that.”
CHICAGO, IL — Plans are underway to host “Within Our Gates,” the famous 1919 silent film by Oscar Micheaux, at 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 15, at the historic Central Park Theatre, 3535 W. Roosevelt Road, Chicago. This will be the first film to be shown in the theater since 1971.
December 12, 2003
PARK RIDGE, IL — According to a Pioneer Local story, Buster Keaton’s silent classic, “The General” is being shown tomorrow, December 13th at 8 PM at the Pickwick Theatre in Park Ridge, accompanied with the Pickwick’s Mighty Wurlitzer organ to benefit the restoration of the Des Plaines Theater.
Both the Pickwick and Des Plaines are former vaudeville houses which later became movie houses, and are both long-time landmarks of the downtowns of neighboring Park Ridge and Des Plaines. The event is presented jointly by the Des Plaines Theater Preservation Society and the Silent Film Society of Chicago.
December 11, 2003
BLOOMINGTON, IN — The Indiana Daily Student takes another look at the history of the Von Lee Cinema and its prospects for the future in today’s issue of the Indiana University student paper.
LOS ANGELES, CA — a new California state law, set to become active on January 1, will make recording a feature film with a camcorder a misdemeanor punishable by one year in jail and a maximum fine of $2,500, according to a report in camcorderinfo.com.
The law, signed by former governor Gray Davis, is designed to cut down on illegal recording activity in movie theaters, which is considered to be a primary source of bootleg movies sold on street corners in DVD form or downloaded from the Internet.
TORONTO, CANADA — A new theater complex will be built in downtown Toronto to house the various departments and programming of the Toronto International Film Festival. Details can be found here.
The festival — including this year’s event — had been previously held at the Uptown Theatre, which collapsed earlier this week during a planned demolition.
December 10, 2003
The Balboa Theater announces plan to reopen in 2008, the Von Lee gets a temporary reprieve, the Waverly to be included in proposed historic district, and the Marion Theater to get $1.3 million renovation — all in today’s newsreel.
- Firemen avert disaster at historic movie house
- Persevering with Preserving
- Lights out for Clinton theater
- Group Aims to Reopen Balboa Theater in 2008
- Liquor license granted for Park Cinema
- Von Lee alcohol permit decision delayed
- The great Von Lee-burger
- Historic organ brings music, nostalgia to Keith-Albee
- Theater restorers plan a ‘palace’
- Struggling theater aids struggling ship
- Victory for indie filmmakers
- Historic Preservation Board Fighting Plans To Destroy Buildings
- Supporters buy books for Capitol
- Gillioz Theatre Getting Updated
- Historic theater could go, but fixtures stay
December 9, 2003
TORONTO, CANADA — According to Yahoo News, yesterday’s collapse of the Uptown Theatre has left one person dead and 14 others injured. As many of you know, the accident comes during the midst of a planned demolition of the theater to make way for an apartment complex.
“The whole thing just came down like a rocket,” said witness Harry Lesik, 65. “It just came down like a ton of bricks.”
Here’s a quick roundup of the most recent reports (including television coverage from local Toronto TV stations):
• Man killed as Uptown collapses
• Building collapse claims life
• Uptown Theatre Collapses
• Toronto theatre collapses, 1 dead
• Uptown Theatre collapses (eyewitness account)
• Trapped student rescued after theater collapse
• Crane cut beams just before collapse: witness
• The history of Toronto’s Uptown Theatre
Video (via Windows Media)
• CTV News: On questions that surround the collapse
• CFTO Toronto: On earlier concerns about the demolition
• CFTO Toronto: Interviews with people who escaped the disaster
• CFTO Toronto: Details of the demolition site
Photographs (before and after the collapse)
• Aerial pics of the collapse (taken by an Uptown neighbor)
• Yahoo! News Uptown slideshow
• A few shots of the Uptown (pre-collapse)
Greg Hannah sent us these shots of the Uptown Theatre on Sunday — just a day before yesterday’s fatal building collapse. (The wall that collapsed can be seen in the second image, at right. The school is also visible at far right.)