The latest movie theater news and updates
August 4, 2004
OLYMPIA, WA — The historic Avalon Theatre, which had lately served as a retail store for Griswold’s Office Supplies, was gutted by a four-alarm fire on July 31.
First alarm was turned in around 11:00 am by a fire/medic crew on their way to another fire call. The fire appears to have started in the rear portion of the building and soon shot into the roof, completely destroying it.
Local TV stations KIRO-TV7, KING-TV5, and KOMO-TV4 carried live coverage of the fire on their five o'clock news programs.
August 3, 2004
NEWPORT, OR — Here’s an update on the Midway Theatre.
This theater was awaiting the wrecking ball when we purchased it in l996. After two years of restoration and renovation it was opened again in 1998. This historical venue is now known as the “Jewel of the Oregon Coast”.
The Art Deco architectural integrity of the building has been maintained. The use of the building has been expanded to include a retail antique store (showing silent movies), art gallery, wine tasting, concerts, live stage theater, and wine tasting. The name of the building has been changed to The Ark.
In the forty eight years I have been a projectionist, I have yet to see a theater that was not haunted, one way or the other.
The old Warner in Pittsburgh, when I used to go to the upstairs booth I would smell cigar smoke in the booth, but the balcony, and booth were both empty. I later found out the old Projectionist Whitey died in the booth and was a cigar smoker, he had worked there for 40 years.
Recently, I worked the Carmike Cinema in El Paso Texas, in the booth between screens 13 & 14, the air was always ice cold, you could see shadows going along the wall of a woman and young child. I even felt a hand on my shoulder, like a gentle pat, more than once.
Have any good ghost stories?
August 2, 2004
WELLINGTON, TX — Wes Reeves sent us a new pic of the Ritz Theatre’s latest restoration…
“Hi – a few months ago you ran a photo of the facade of the Ritz Theatre in Wellington, Texas just as were about to start roof repairs.
I’m sending another shot that shows a completely different picture. Windows have been replaced, some paint has been slapped on and the old blade sign has been returned complete with new neon.
July 30, 2004
PASADENA, CA — The following email was sent in by Gina Zamparelli, President, Friends of the Raymond Theatre:
“Dear Friends of the Raymond Theatre:
Our final day for donations is July 30th. We have made great strides over the past week, but we still have $1,405 more to raise. Therefore we will continue to take donations till 5pm on Monday, August 2.
If all you can donate is $5 or $10, every dollar WILL make a difference. If you can donate $15, $25, $50, $100 or more, it would help us make great strides towards meeting our fundraising goals before Monday!
Early next week we will let everyone know if we have raised enough money to continue our efforts to legally protect the Raymond Theatre.
MT RAINIER, MD — The New Horizon Christian Faith Outreach Center (NHCFO), formally known as the Kaywood Theater, is now open and operating as a facility that offers a variety of Christian programs, performances, plays, concerts, educational and cultural events.
Together, hand-in-hand through the word of God, the NHCFO Center is a place where our events encourage people to change their lives. As a venue available for community use, the NHCFO Center is conveniently accessible to Washington DC residents and its rich structure and remarkable beauty makes it an inspirational community gathering all.
DETROIT, MI — The 16th Annual Theatre Tour run by Preservation Wayne will be August 7th.
See the theaters that make up Grand Circus Park; Michigan Opera House, Gem, Former Michigan Theatre, Music Hall, State, and Fox Theatres.
The price is $30 which includes lunch at the Opera House cafe. From 9:00 AM to 11:30 AM. Touts leave every half hour from the lobby of the State. Total time is 4 hours for tour.
Reservations are recommended! Call (313) 577-3559.
Used 35MM projector for sale. Interested parties can contact me at or reply to this thread…
July 29, 2004
ST. LOUIS, MO — To celebrate its 75th birthday, the “Fabulous Fox” in St. Louis is recreating, as nearly as possible, its opening night program on January 31, 1929 this coming Sunday, August 1st.
The huge C. Howard Crane-designed palace on Grand Boulevard is showing the first movie it played, the silent Janet Gaynor film “Street Angel”, accompanied by the Fox’s Mighty Wurlitzer organ. The stage acts which preceded and followed the movie, including a “living tableau” of St. Louis' history, a chorus line, opera, ballet and even a “Neapolitan festival”, will also be put on again, by local celebrities and talent.
Furthermore, during the festivities, from 2 to 7 pm, the price for admission will be the same as in 1929, 75 cents at the box office. Mary Strauss, the Fox’s owner, will be an “extra” in the stage show, and is encouraging visitors to dress up in 20s-style clothing for a parade onstage before the show.
Read the full report in the River Front Times.