The latest movie theater news and updates
August 25, 2005
LEWISTOWN, PA — The following email was sent by Paul T. Fagley:
“Embassy Theatre Embarks on Architectural and Marketing Studies
With a $15,000 Historic Preservation Grant from the Commonwealth and the same amount from a bequest from the late Helen Price, LewistownÂ¹s Embassy Theatre is ready to take another step toward its eventual rehabilitation and reuse. The Friends of the Embassy Theatre, a Lewistown-area non-profit organization, are completing architectural and marketing studies, which will provide a foundation for future decisions and investments involving theatre preservation, restoration, and maintenance.
Located on Lewistown’s Monument Square, the Embassy was constructed in 1927, designed as a scaled down version of a Broadway “picture palace” theatre. Films were last shown in 1981 and, 10 years later, the Friends of the Embassy purchased it at an auction. The group reached a major milestone in 2003 with the reconstruction and illumination of the theatreÂ¹s magnificent marquee, often referred to as the Marquee of a Thousand Lights.
TARZANA, CA — I noticed that Mann closed it’s Valley West 9 plex in Tarzana. I’m not quite sure why, unless the valuable property it was on was sold. It was the only theatre in Tarzana and I would imagine it was profitable. The Valley West was taken over by Mann in 1982 after being a 2nd run 6-Plex named Theeeee Movies of Tarzana. They always showed double features of 2nd run films and would often move titles around and pair with new titles. Mann later added 3 screens and showed first run fare.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Sean Doherty
Colorado filmmaker Sean Doherty has announced plans to produce a documentary about The Historic Park Theatre in Estes Park, Colorado. The Historic Park Theatre is the oldest running movie theatre west of the Mississippi River. The theatre was built in 1913 with the landmark tower added in 1922 by Ralph Gwynn. Long time locals Richard and Ola Stanger operated the theatre from 1968 until their deaths; Richard in 2003 and Ola from ovarian cancer in 2005.
In recent years the Park Theatre has fallen into a state of disrepair. In order to save the theatre from closure, the Stanger family, along with the Cultural Arts Council of Estes Park, have partnered to raise funds to restore the movie theatre to its original 1920’s prime and to continue its operation as the oldest continuous movie theater west of the Mississippi.
August 24, 2005
I am the editor of the CTA Bulletin – the UK’s cinema organisation newsletter. Here are some news items I have been sent for the current issue. I will try and make this a regular submission.
Fareham (Hants) – Apollo 5 screens 750 seats 29 July
Birkenhead – Essoldo Tranmere
Hull – Eureka
Newcastle-upon-Tyne – Warner multiplex
OLYMPIA, WA — Regal Entertainment is closing two movie theaters in Olympia, Wash., as it opens a new 16-screen megaplex in nearby Lacey, Wash.
Closing are the Lacey Cinemas (eight screens) and the Capital Mall 4. Both will close Thursday, Aug. 25. A local church will acquire the Lacey Cinemas space this year. The fate of the Capital Mall space (which is actually inside the mall) is not decided. Century Theaters, however, has announced plans to build a 14-screen theater on the mall campus.
August 23, 2005
BEVERLY HILLS, CA — According to the Friends of the Boyd Weekly Update: “Demolition is starting today on the famed Beverly Theater in Beverly Hills. Opened in 1925 with Indo-Chinese design, the movie palace’s conversion to a retail store in the 1970’s retained its ornate landmark exterior & ornate interior. Preservationists objected unsuccessfully to the loss of this Los Angeles landmark.”
Cinema Treasures users weigh in as well on the theater’s page on this site.
CHICAGO, IL — The following email was sent by “UptownAdviser”:
“HOW YOU CAN HELP (worth reading!)
Donations and memberships are needed at this time
Help share the cost of publicity, communications and events Further the Friends mission
The concept and function of “Friends of the Uptown” has been an active force in maintaining and promoting the UPTOWN THEATRE, Chicago, since the mid-to-late 1970s. That’s when volunteers began petitioning the ownership at the time (Plitt Theatres) to find additional rental income for the building, including special events and rock concerts. Volunteers also provided after-hours cleaning and maintenance that kept the UPTOWN from complete ruin. When the building closed in 1981, volunteer work continued.
The Elks National Home (established in 1903) has two original Vintage Film projectors for sale. They were used to show original films in our theatre in the 20s, 30s and 40s. For more information contact Kim Snow at 540-425-9305. These would be great film props for a movie about early film making or to go in a restored theatre.
August 22, 2005
The Balaban and Katz Historical Foundation has been formed to collect and preserve historical data pertaining to the Balaban and Katz theater corporation. We have a new website and blog at www.balabanandkatzfoundation.com. The foundation’s first project, a book entitled,“ The Chicago Movie Palaces of Balaban and Katz.” is scheduled for release from Arcadia Publishing in December of 2005.
We are working on an extremely detailed Balaban and Katz television documentary featuring Hollywood personalities, former Balaban and Katz employees and family members … to be released soon.
Please visit our site and share any Balaban and Katz memories or wisdom. Contact David Balaban at Stay tuned for details.
The national coverage of moviegoing continues with new articles from New York Times and Time Magazine. Both articles examine the recent trend towards “luxury” moviegoing and the amenities offered by circuits such as Muvico, Pacific (Arclight), and National Amusements (Cinema de Lux).
Where is moviegoing and theater construction headed? Can older theaters remain viable? Is the “crisis” at the box office another bit of media hype? What does the future hold for the movie theater?
Sound off in our comments section.