The latest movie theater news and updates
October 4, 2005
NEW YORK, NY — Well, I visited the “Astor Plaza” Theater last night, although of course it is now the Nokia Theatre. (I know it may hurt, but I believe in keeping with the policy of this website, the name may have to be changed on the site, and Unfortunately, “Astor Plaza” may now have to become the secondary name).
Well, last night was the second night of the new theater. (The Nokia Theater opened Saturday Oct 1, 2005 with Social Distortion playing in the new venue. The new marquee was beautiful. My visit there was sort of bittersweet, as it’s a shame that it is no longer the Astor Plaza…but it is attractive. “Social Distortion” was the first band to open up the new Nokia Theatre, and that’s who I went to see. (they are also playing Tuesday and Wed of this week there).
The escalators look similar to the way it always was, but that’s where it ends. Everything is new, and nothing really remains of the old Astor Plaza. At the bottom of the escalators, is a bar area. Once inside the auditorium, it has been completely redone. The seats have been completely ripped out, and the front two tiers now has hardwood floors. This concert was general admission, so those two tiers are standing room, like most of this type of concerts are.
The book, “The Chicago Movie Palaces of Balaban and Katz” by David Balaban is now available for pre-order from all major online booksellers including Amazon.com and BN.com at special pre-release prices. The cover of the book features the beautiful Uptown Theatre. The expected delivery date listed is October 31st, 2005.
For more information please visit www.balabanandkatzfoundation.com or email me at .
October 3, 2005
MILWAUKEE, WI — It is a pleasure to announce that Milwaukee’s AVALON THEATRE is being reborn, but just as what is not now known. Two days ago, a conference among community of Bay View, the neighborhood in which the Avalon sits, met at the theatre under the invitation of new owner, Lee Barczak, to discuss the future of the building in the minds of its neighbors.
It was related to me that the goal was to get the word out to the locals to get their input, and to that end, half sheets of paper were handed out to be distributed, titled: “THE AVALON THEATRE, Projected Opening — 2007.” Responses were asked for in writing to three questions about the use of the former movie palace, and if one wanted to be notified of future events/developments, one’s name, address, and E-mail address were asked for.
Significant to all of this is the appearance of the theatre’s new web site: http://www.theavalontheatre.com/. Go to its page: “About Us” > “Feedback” and there type in your suggestions for a successful future, as well as any other suggestions you might have. Let us hope this charming atmospheric (stars ‘n’ clouds) theatre will soon sing again, available parking or not.
September 30, 2005
NILES, IL — After a five-year absence, after the 2000 closing of the Golf Mill Theater, which had enjoyed a nearly 40-year run and has since been converted into a gym, a theater may soon be returning to the Golf Mill Mall in the Chicago suburb of Niles, according to this report from the Niles Herald-Spectator.
Kerasotes Showplace Theatres is currently negotiating with the mall to open a 14-to 16-screen movie theater at Golf Mill. The theater is tentatively scheduled to open during summer of 2006.
While Kerasotes operates over 70 theaters around the Midwest, including Illinois, it is only now beginning to break into the Chicagoland market. The chain has plans to open theaters in Vernon Hills, Naperville, Lake in the Hills, Aurora, and Chicago.
Unlike the old Golf Mill Theater, which stood apart from the mall itself, the new theater will be attached to the mall, and will be able to be entered from outside as well as from inside the mall. In addition to the former Golf Mill Theater, the mall once had a stand-alone live playhouse as well, the Mill Run Theater, which was closed and demolished years ago.
BROOKLYN, NY — I have approx. 500+ Irwin Citation seats available for sale.
The parts are black and the fabric is burgundy. Cupholders on all standards. Backs have a very thick cushion. Available for pick-up, delivery, and installation, if you need help.
Leave a message for Lillian at (718) 802-0137. Photos are available.
September 29, 2005
BROOKLYN, NY — A new supermarket may be built on the site of the recently closed Fortway Theater, according to a local developer. Though it’s not known exactly if that will happen, developer Spiro Geroulanos said he definitely does not want to turn the site into a condominium, but rather something that is more in line with the community’s needs.
The theater was originally built in 1928 and closed this past June, after Loews Cineplex decided not to go into a new lease agreement with the building’s owner. The theater was thought of as “revolutionary” when it first opened due to its atmospheric design (done by architect Charles Sandbloom), which looks like an outdoor garden, according to historians. Sandbloom also put in “electric stars” on the dark blue ceiling. Fortway was the second theater of this type to be built in Brooklyn. (Universal in Sunset Park was the first.)
Fortway originally had a Kilgen theater organ put in, and a stage in front of the main screen. Fortway was sectioned off when it became a Cineplex in the 70s.
CHARLESTOWN, MA — Hello Group!
Hoping someone can point me to any information about this theater – history, photos etc.
Have been able to find almost nothing except that the address, 179 Main Street, now seems to be the Branch Public Library, built about 1970. Urban renewal strikes again?
If anyone knows of infomation on the Gold… I understand it was a movie house in Buffalo NY dating 1920-1940.
September 28, 2005
Wonderful site! Enjoying all comments & news!
I have a special interest in the (now demolished) Strand Theater in NYC. My grandmother I never knew was the organist & orchestra leader there in the era of silent movies.
I have her ivory baton, dark hair, jowls, & odd sense of humor (I’ve been told). I also have small black/white pictures of her dancing Isadora Duncan-style with her flapper friends in the countryside.
Could anyone direct me to possible brochures, flyers or ads from the Strand during that era? I would greatly appreciate it.
~ Bess' Girl
September 27, 2005
ROCK ISLAND, IL — Devin Hansen has purchased and restored the old Capri Cinema which had been shuttered for the past 10 years and is now showing first run and independent films.
The theater now operates as a Brew & View and also serves food. The Rocket Cinema (which was the theater’s original name) also has live music which includes local and national touring acts.