The latest movie theater news and updates
October 13, 2005
COLUMBIA, PA — The theater lights at the Columbia Drive-In will go out for the last time after Sunday night’s shows at Columbia Drive-In, according to Lancaster Online.
The theater, which is being sold to make way for houses and stores, will end a nearly-50-year run this weekend with a triple feature, including a showing of “ Witness.”
October 12, 2005
My not-for-profit theatre company is seeking a unique Art Deco/Moderne space (theatre/cinema/hall/large room, etc) in Manhattan for our stage adaptation of the 1932 Ernst Lubitsch film TROUBLE IN PARADISE.
Perhaps an unused Deco screening room or ballroom or cafe within a larger building? Mid-town area is preferred, although we’ll consider other areas.
I’d like to add a couple more theater chains to the list. You have a listing for Alger Brothers and state that they operated out of Chicago. Actually, that chain was a partnership of my dad, E.E. Alger and my uncle, Harold R. Alger and the only theaters ever in that chain were the Albro and Princess in Urbana, Illinois and the Park and COED in Champaign. My Dad managed those theaters out of LaSalle, Ill. and my uncle provided the on-sight management.
The other chains with which my dad was involved as general manager or managing partner were Alger Theaters and L & P Theaters. The latter company was a partnership between Balaban & Katz (out of Chicago) and Alger Theaters. In addition, the LaSalle Drive-In was a joint venture between Alger Theaters and a company called Alliance Theaters out of Chicago and Ft Wayne, In.
October 11, 2005
HOLLINWOOD, ENGLAND — The Roxy is to be demolished after owner retires and sale to the council.
The Roxy site, will be turned into a high quality business park, much of which is currently under construction, and so it has decided to purchase the Roxy site and demolish the cinema.
Although a simplified ‘Roxy Managing Director Ken Blair has decided to retire and is selling the cinema to the council’ story has appeared in the local press, the truth is that the local council is determined that the site must be redeveloped, and has made the Roxy owners — an offer that they couldn’t refuse'.
What I, as an outsider, cannot understand, is why the council aren’t willing to allow the Roxy to continue operating as it is until the site is actually ready to be redeveloped, or, even better, until a new city centre cinema provides the local residents with the sort of service that they have come to expect from the Roxy over the past 68 years.
BRONX, NY — Fantastic News Everyone!
The Gala opening of the Loews Paradise is set for October 29th Featuring singing sensation Giberto Santa Rosa.
I will be there naturally!
Valet parking is available for $10.00 and tickets which can be purchased at the new theatre box office on Grand Concourse (a recent installment which is absolutely lovely) or ticketmaster.
Tickets for the event will run from $40.00 to $75.00. It should be wonderful.
I hope to see everyone there!
October 10, 2005
LAFAYETTE, CA — Upon learning of plans to demolish the recently-closed Park Theater for condos, local developer Greg Woehrle joined forces with a group of local businessmen and purchased the building.
Woehrle intends to preserve the theater’s marquee and facade while considering various plans (apparently not including a movie theater) to revitalize the landmark.
The story, by Meera Pal, can be found on the Contra Costa Times website.
Cambridge, MA — The Brattle Theatre has brought repertory film programming to Cambridge’s Harvard Square for 52 years, but if they don’t raise $400,000 by the end of this year, they may close.
Here’s a long press release from the Brattle, explaining their predicament:
Repertory film programming at the Brattle simply cannot survive without significant community support. Our current challenges can only be overcome with the involvement of community members who want to keep the tradition of film programming alive at the Brattle Theatre.
The Brattle has experienced the same drop in attendance that has been plaguing cinemas over the past several years. Operating costs – including film rental and facilities management – have increased by 30%. Government, corporate, and foundation funding for cultural organizations have diminished. Furthermore, BFF and the Brattle are feeling the pinch of the changes in Harvard Square’s make-up. As Harvard mainstays like Wordsworth Bookstore, Brine’s and HMV close their doors, the Brattle’s surroundings have lost much of their draw as a vibrant, independent destination. Empty storefronts lead to a decrease in foot traffic, which leads to a decrease in ticket sales."
Just as a ballet company or a museum must be subsidized by donations, so must repertory film programming at the Brattle. By definition, ticket sales are an inconsistent and unreliable source of income. Every other independent repertory cinema in the country relies heavily on public and donation support to solidify their budgets.
STATEN ISLAND, NY — In last Thursday’s edition, the Staten Island Advance reported that the UA theater in the Travis area was purchased and may be reopened as a gym.
October 7, 2005
CHICAGO, IL — The Ramova Theatre was once one of the jewels of the Bridgeport neighborhood on the South Side and could be demolished by the city, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. Located in the neighborhood where current mayor Richard M. Daley grew up, the Ramova has fallen from grace. Ceiling plaster and debris now blocks the doorways. The deteriorating Ramova Theatre, 3518 S. Halsted, has been shuttered since the mid-1980s.
HOLLYWOOD, CA — “How the West Was Won” in it’s original 3-strip Cinerama format returns to the Cinerama Dome in Hollywood for one week only from October 28 to November 3rd. Tickets are now on sale! Take it from me, if you have not seen this film on the Cinerama screen you have not seen it! See you there!!