The latest movie theater news and updates
July 19, 2005
DEVONPORT, AUCKLAND — Hello, I am an indie movie maker producing a video history of The Vic on Auckland’s North Shore.
It was started by a chap named Benwell in 1912. He was an American who returned to California and struck oil (literally). He never returned and the cinema and been running ever since – it is the southern hemisphere’s oldest operational cinema.
If you have any old photos, momentos or anecdotes you would like to share, then please get in touch. Production will end on October 31 2005 and the video will be released in December 2005.
HAVANA, IL — After almost three months in the dark, the historic Lawford Theatre will reopen July 22 at 7:00 pm with a showing of “War of the Worlds,” according to its new owners.
The 1914 theater was shuttered in April after a former manager was jailed for failure to pay child support in Missouri. In June Mike Novelli, President of Grande Venues, signed a one year lease with an option to purchase the entire theatre building which includes an apartment and storefront.
The theatre manager, Todd Porter, installed sound and projection equipment removed by the former manager over the weekend.
Novelli indicated that concerts and live plays would be featured in the 400 seat theatre. “Concerts, plays, magicians, story tellers, or anyone who would like to produce a show or rent the theatre should contact us,” Novelli said.
Movies will be every night at 7:00 pm with a bargain matinee on Saturday and Sunday. Adults ate $5.00, children are $3.00.
July 18, 2005
BERKELEY, CA — On July 28, the Elmwood Theater is scheduled to reopen, according to a statement by operator Greg King on July 11.
The theater, owned by the Elmwood Theater Foundation, which consists of local merchants and residents, was closed last fall due to sewer damage. Repairs were originaly scheduled to be complete by Thanksgiving, but a series of delays stalled the project. In addition, it was also learned that seismic upgrading was neeeded.
Though not all of the work will be complete by July 28, word is optimistic concerning what patrons wil find in the newly-renovated theater.
“There wiill be new seats, new floors, new carpets,” Elmwood Foundation member John Moriarty said. “When it opens it will be wonderful.”
For more details, checkout this story from the Berkeley Daily Planet.
A front-page article in yesterday’s Boston Globe discusses National Amusements' high-end ‘Cinema de Lux’ concept, now operating in the small town of Millbury, Massachusetts.
The 14-screen theatre features a piano in the lobby, reserved seats, wine and cocktails, lounges with free magazines and newspapers, plasma TVs showing baseball games, and a concierge who can book reservations at nearby restaurants.
‘'The idea is to change from a movie theater to a community entertainment experience,“ said Shari Redstone, president of National Amusements Inc., the Dedham operator of Showcase Cinemas and Cinema de Lux theaters.
The company plans to open three more ‘de Lux’ cinemas in Massachusetts over the coming year. All of its future theatres will be based on this ‘de Lux’ concept.
July 15, 2005
DUNSMUIR, CA — On June 26th, the three-story California Theater held its first live performance in many years; and on July 8th & 9th, it was home to several silent movies that were accompanied by a three-manual Allen Theater Organ. The original 1926 Wurlitzer Pipe Organ is being restored; and will be reinstalled, come Jan 2006.
The web address is http://institutearts.org and there’s a lot to read. My job is Gen Mgr. of Media and I’m licensing and installing an FM radio station and a UHF television station inside the theater. I’m also installing an audio/visual recording/production facility in conjunction with the radio & TV stations.
We’re also talking with an official of New London, CT about acquiring and doing a major refurbishing of the 1200+ seat Capitol Theater the city owns, which has been closed for 28 years. A new roof was put on in 2000, but MAJOR damage had already been done. If you’re in that area, and would like to help us refurbish it, please contact me.
July 14, 2005
July 13, 2005
LEXINGTON, KY — I would like to let you know of a documentary about the Kentucky Theatre. The film follows the eighty year history of the theater through archival photos and interviews, the battle with suburban multiplexes as seen in news film reels, and the devastating fire which led to the theater’s closing.
A love for the theatre led a group of citizens to rise up and resurrect and refurbish the theatre which is very much alive today.
The film not only shows what a shining treasure the theatre is to the downtown of a small southern city, but its influence on generations of patrons, as shown throughout the film. As director of the film, it is my hope that this story can act as a model for other cities wishing to bring back their own downtown treasures.
You can see a photos and a clip from the film at:
July 12, 2005
STRETFORD, MANCHESTER, UK —
Essoldo Video Tour
A rare opportunity to acquire a video taken of the Essoldo Cinema located in Stretford, Manchester. Originally known as the Longford Cinema (super-cinema) built in the ‘30’s, b/w photo published here taken in 1936. The Essoldo circuit took ownership in the '50's
In the '70’s, converted to Top Rank Bingo Club. It stands today, abandoned as a bingo hall, but with much of the cinema still intact.
July 11, 2005
SAN MATEO, CA — The Palm Theater on Palm Avenue could be having a date with the wrecking ball as early as today, according to the San Jose Mercury News. The Palm is to be demolished to make way for a 19-unit condominium complex. The theater, which closed this past spring, was the last single-screen movie house remaining in San Mateo.
Since the 70s, the Palm had been operating as an adult cinema. There is little sorrow for many who live and work near the theater in its demise. “We don’t want it, and we don’t need it,” said City Council member John Lee. Bob Reed, who owns a gas station across the street from the theater, says “I’m ready for it to go.” Victoria Ortiz, who lives near the Palm, recalled taking her children to matinees there before it switched to what she calls “that stuff”.
According to a news report published by a Chinese language newspaper in Hong Kong, the city will have a commercial IMAX theater to be operated by UA next year. The theatre will be converted from an existing UA theatre. The measurement of the screen is 11m X 11m.