The latest movie theater news and updates

  • September 12, 2005

    Providence Plans Renewal For Liberty Theatre/Art Cinema

    A photo-article in the Providence Journal of September 1, 2005 discusses continuing plans to convert the former Bomes-owned Art Cinema (formerly Liberty Theatre) to a neighborhood “community space where arts and culture are displayed and celebrated.”

    The building, opened in 1921 and closed since 1975, is currently owned by the Providence Redevelopment Agency, which takes ownership of abandoned properties.

    The consensus among area residents is to turn the building into the “Liberty Theater Cultural Center, a facility that could serve as a multi-cultural arts and education resource for the South Side and the entire city.” Under the plan, the center would have space for live theater and dance, musical performances, film and culturally diverse performing arts.

    The article reports that plans would likely include gutting the interior and replacing electrical, plumbing, heating and air and sprinkler systems, according to an assessment by the Urban Design Group. Cost estimates range from $2.5 million to $3.5 million.

  • UC Theatre to Become JazzClub? Hurdles Mount

    BERKELEY, CA — Just when it will happen remains a question, but the closed UC Theatre is being sought after as the home of a jazz club.

    Gloria Mendoza and Michael Govan, until recently operators of Kimball East, a prominent jazz club, have submitted an application for approval with the City of Berkeley for a plan to reconfigure the theater, replacing the row seats with fixed U-shaped booths seating 596 people. Additional movable tables and chairs could increase the capacity to 900.

    But there are a few things to be settled before the revitalizations can commence.

    More details available from this report by Richard Brenneman in the Berkeley Daily Planet.

  • China Giveaway?

    I just finished reading this great book called “The Nabes: Toronto’s Wonderful Neighbourhood Movie Houses” by John Sebert.

    In it, he explained that some small movie theatres would give away items to the ladies instead of advertising. The example that he used was “Rosey Bower” dishes. I have not been able to find this pattern, but have found two Rose Bower patterns, one by Sebring and one by Norleans.

    Does anyone know if either of these are the correct one, or do I have to keep looking? Any help would be appreciated.

  • September 9, 2005

    New Book, Theatres of San Francisco, Released!!!

    The following press release was submitted in support of longtime contributor Jack Tillmany’s fabulous new book, Theatres of San Francisco:

    “Single Screen Theatres to the Ever-Present Multiplexes. This is what has become of the theatres of San Francisco. Cinema native Jack Tillmany attempts to approach the questions that surround this suddenly fading pastime. Why did these simple and popular theatres close? Come find out as Tillmany gives a very factual account of these famous theatres.

    Features from Theatres of San Francisco:

    • Factual information that answers the San Francisco theatres' questions so many are asking
    • Photographic history trail from the single screen theatres to the ever -present multiplexes
    • A glimpse at the amazing, stunning, and elegant architecture that was once the grand theatres of San Francisco
    • A reminder of the simplicity in single screen theatres and the reasons why most of these theatres are now out of business

    Jack Tillmany, former owner of the Gateway Cinema in San Francisco and a revival programming pioneer, brings the city’s theatres to life in this amazing selection of vintage images. Drawing his personal archive collected during a 30-year career in cinema management, he paints a detailed story of the golden age of theatre, both live and cinematic.

    Available at area bookstores, independent retailers, on-line bookstores, or through Arcadia Publishing at or (888) 313-2665."

  • See the Mayan Theatre on CBS

    For those that are interested, the Mayan Theatre in Los Angeles is currently being used to tape the television show “Rock Star: INXS” on CBS. There have been some modifications to the auditorium but the Mayan looks great. At first I thought it was a set in a studio but then I found out the show is putting out a CD of music titled “Rock Star At The Mayan”. The show is doing quite well and will be ending within the next few weeks when INXS picks one of the performers to be their new lead singer.

  • WANTED — c.1970s General Cinema “Coming Attractions” or “Feature Presentation” Trailer

    You all know the one I’m talking about. The GCC logo is an animated 35mm projector; the G is the projector except for the supply and feed reels, which are the two Cs. The music is a synthesized jazz harpsichord with upbeat swinging brushes-on-snare drum beat. I want a copy of this only for private sentimental purposes, especially the music track. (AMC bought GCC a few years back and has referred me to National CineMedia which has yet to call me back. Meanwhile, I figure if there are any exhibitors, projectionists, or other theatre-lovers out there who also loved this bit of trivia, perhaps you can share a connection if not the actual film itself.) If you have this GCC material in any form — film, video copy, digital copy — I would be happy to borrow it for a refundable deposit (as a “bond”) less a mutually agreeable lending fee, make a video/digital tranfer, and then return it to you (shipping paid both ways, of course). You can Email me at THANKS!

  • Theater Lobby Table

    I have a lobby table available for free. It has a chrome pipe base, with a black lacquer top. The measurements are 32 inches high, 30 inches wide, and 13 inches deep. The table is from the 40’s and does need to be restored. The table is free and must be picked up near Allentown, Pa. Contact me for more information or questions.

    Thanks, Johnn

  • Theatre Seats

    The Greek Cultural Center, Inc. a non-profit org. in Astoria, New York is selling its old theatre seats: 19 ½ inch solid maple wood seats with iron legs, made in the 1920â€\s. There are about 5 rows of 3 chair rows. Chairs are immediately available by PICK-UP ONLY. Please contact Irini at

  • September 8, 2005

    Oldest Operating Art House/Rep House in the US?

    “A question— would anyone happen to know what the oldest still-in-operation art house/ rep theater in the US is…? I have a feeling it might be my local favorite, Cambridge MA’s Brattle Theater, and wonder if anyone could confirm or correct this notion.



    Paul Monticone

  • It’s Showtime! Movie Theater History in WNY

    Monday, September 19, 7:00PM & Tuesday, September 27, 7:00PM

    Meet John Basil, the last man alive who can share true stories…..

    The stories of the most prominent theater chains of the 20th Century in Western New York, the Basil and Dipson Theaters…including the largest theater, Basils' 4200-seat Lafayette Theater, the Colvin, the Apollo, the LaSalle, the Dipson/Basil RIVIERA THEATER IN NORTH TONAWANDA…..and many more.