The latest movie theater news and updates
March 14, 2005
MILWAUKEE, WI — Thanks to the eagle eyes of Hugh Swofford comes this: according to a story in Friday’s Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the 1929 AVALON on Milwaukee’s south side in the former village of Bay View, is in the process of being purchased by a local investor, and it looks as though the Landmark chain of movie houses, which includes the ORIENTAL and the DOWNER in Milw., will be the operator of this “atmospheric” type cinema which closed five years ago.
After several false starts, it now appears that a deal in earnest, not relying upon a land contract, will come to be, and if so we will then have a grand total of 2 operating movie palaces remaining in the city, out of the 20 we once had (this excludes the DOWNER and the TIMES and the remodeled TOSA (the ROSEBUD CINEMA) which are not really palaces).
March 11, 2005
ALLENTOWN, PA — The demolition of Allentown’s historic Colonial Theater commenced this past Saturday, March 5th.
As previous news articles have reported, the Colonial was to be demolished by the City of Allentown. Shame on Mark Mendelson for destroying a theater that was a real gem when he bought in in the 1980s and letting it get this bad.
Double shame on the City of Allentown and them letting the Colonial get this bad before they finally obtained the nerve to do something.
March 10, 2005
SAN FRANCISCO, CA — I just found out today (as I work in the film and advertising business) the following memo has been sent:
Please be advised the final day of operation for the UA Coronet 1 will be Thursday, March 17.
If you have any questions, please let me know.
Regal Entertainment Group
March 9, 2005
SAN ANTONIO, TX — It has been recently announced that Santiko Theatres has broken ground on the new Paladium 20 Theater in farwest San Antonio, right across Interstate 10 and Six Flags Fiesta Texas.
I think the grand opening is slated for Fall 2005 or Spring 2006. The theater will be located on the old rock quarry there and will be a part of the new shopping center, which will include a new upscale brand of Sears (called Sears Grand) and some other upscale shopping stores.
Santikos also said that two of their older theaters, Northwest 14 and Galaxy 14, will be closed and basically gutted and renovated into all stadium seating and state of the art sound. This is similar to what they did with their old Century South 9, which they gutted on the inside and rebuilt it as the Mayan 15 (with self serve concession stand and stadium seating).
PHILADELPHIA, PA — How many out there enjoyed sitting in the old movie palaces in Center City, Philadelphia back in the 50’s and 60’s???
I am talking about the Boyd, Fox, Stanley, Randolph, Goldman, and Midtown Theatres. These theaters showed the film on a first run, even on a reserved seat engagement. Watching classics such as “Gone With the Wind”, “Ben Hur”, “Lawrence of Arabia”, “West Side Story”, “My Fair Lady”, and “The Sound of Music” on a giant screen was a view to behold. Sadly, these movies lose their dramatic effect when shown on a TV screen.
These were the days when a film played at one particular theatre anywhere from nine months to two years before general release. It was sort of special when I would go to these theatres with my family. Those were the days of going to the movies. Does anyone remember when the usher wore uniforms and white gloves???
I am glad that Clear Channel is restoring the Boyd Theater, to its former glory. I worked at some of these theaters as an usher in the late sixties. Anyone else out there a former theater employee???
March 8, 2005
HARLEM, NEW YORK, NY — The long-closed Loew’s Victoria could be reborn as a hotel and entertainment venue if developers Paul Williams and Robert Jones, of Victoria Tower Development, Inc., get the approval of the theater’s owner.
According to a NY Post article, the 1917 Victoria, which was first called the Loew’s 125th Street when it opened, has stood mostly disused since it showed it last movie in 1989. The partners see the redevelopment of the movie palace as part of a revival of Harlem’s famed 125th Street commercial and entertainment district which also includes the nearby legendary Apollo Theatre.
In the John Landis film An American Werewolf in London, there was scene set in a cinema showing a spoof porno movie – also directed by Lohn Landis.
I’ve read that the cinema was meant to have been just off Piccadilly Circus in London, and the entrance is now a fast food/pizza joint.
Looking at Picadilly Circus, this means the cinema must have been in the north corner and on the north side of the start of Shaftesbury Avenue. I was a regular cinema goer in the centre of London at this time and I don’t remember a cinema there — and I remember several others nearby that have sadly closed.
Did it ever really exist?
I have a portable deck which was originally in the Royal Oak Music Theater but removed during renovations that I’m interested in selling. if you or anyone you know would be interested, please contact me. Thanks.
March 7, 2005
CHICAGO, IL — Miriam Fisch, an Illinois politician who apparently is so fed up with the large number of advertisements that play before the start of movies these days, she has filed a lawsuit against Loews Cineplex to stop them.
According to NoMovieAds.com, which has published the complete complaint, Fisch seeks the following relief:
(d) Enjoining Loews and the defendant Loews class from showing advertisements prior to feature films, and/or an Order forcing Loews and the defendant Loews class to accurately inform customers of the real starting times of movies post-advertisements;
Is this a sign of a new breed of lawsuits to be filed against theater chains in the US and abroad?
EAST GREENVILLE, PA — The following item numbers are for sale from either the Valley Theater or Deer Lake Drive (in Deer Lake, PA):
• Xenon Lamp 4000W Good/Used from Drive In Theater Item number: 3878687848
• Old 1000W 230V Sylvania Lamp Item number: 6159210200
• Simplex Cast Iron Drive-In projector base No Reserve Item number: 3878695273
• Christie AW4 Cinema/theatre platter system w/makeup tab Item number: 3878703186
• Antique Theatre Wall Light (From Valley Theatre, PA) Item number: 6159225774
• 1966 3 tier Chandelier from Theatre Palace Item number: 6159227010