The latest movie theater news and updates
July 1, 2005
ANNA, IL — The following email was sent by Kurt Petrich:
“I am writing you today to ask for your assistance in preserving one of Anna’s most prized historic buildings, the Rodgers Theatre. The Rodgers is in danger of being razed at taxpayers expense for someone elses personal gain. There are councilmembers that are bending to the every whim of two local business owners and are completely ignoring the historic value of our building. This letter is to inform you of the importance of preserving the Rodgers Theatre.
To understand our small theatre’s importance, we must first understand its creator. Isaac Walter Rodgers was born just north of us near Neoga, IL in 1875. He was born with show-business in his blood and started his career early in his life traveling the Midwest with a phonograph machine. He opened his first movie house in New Orleans in 1896 where he charged 10 cent admission and the films were only about a minute long. He then purchased a gas powered projector and again traveled the Midwest showing his films at opera houses, churches, schools, or wherever else he could darken the house. Rodgers was the first man to try and trade films with other exhibitors, although he was laughed at and told that moving pictures were a “passing fancy” and that nothing would be heard of them in years to come.
June 30, 2005
ALAMEDA, CA — The following email was sent in by Jennifer V:
“City Officials are endorsing a development deal to partially rehabilitate the historic Alameda Theater, and attach a new 2-story 7-screen multiplex with a 6-story parking garage.
As details of the plans have been made available, many citizens are horrified to learn that the Alameda Theater will not be completely renovated: the balconies will be inaccessible, the exterior will not be painted, the main theater will house stadium seating, and a historical mural that was painted over will not be restored. Futhermore, at least 3 holes will be made to connect the old theater to the new cineplex.
Citizens for a MegaPlex-Free Alameda has been formed, and our website, www.stopalamedamegaplex.com has the latest artist rendering, as well as additional information about the project and our concerns. There are also links to petitions, letters, and flyers.
I have for sale, a Marquee Sign from a closed theater in Amherst, MA. It measures 8ft wide x 4 1/2ft tall and about one ft deep. I must find a new owner with in the next few days. I have access to a truck and I will deliver it anywhere in New England, New York, New Jersey, or anywhere that not more than 8hrs away. If I can’t sell it here I will sell it at the Brimfield Antique fair. Call Tom at 978 996 9872
June 29, 2005
The following email was sent by the League of Historic American Theatres:
“Dear Historic Theatre Colleague:
Have you registered yet to attend the 29th Annual Conference & Theatre Tour?
The DEADLINE for REGULAR registration is [July 5th]. You can register on-line through our secure server, just go to this link: https://www.lhat.org/conference_theatre/2005/register.asp
Have you made your CONFERENCE HOTEL RESERVATIONS at the Fairmont Kansas City at the Plaza?
The LHAT group rate HAS BEEN EXTENDED BY ONE WEEK but is only guaranteed through [July 5th].
If you have any problems when you contact the hotel to reserve your room(s) — if they say there are no rooms left in the LHAT group block or they say the $119 + tax rate is not available BEFORE Friday — please call J.P. at the League office and he will do his best to straighten the situation out for you.
Does anyone have any historical information on the Pylon, Weston & San Carlino Theatres in Tornoto? The Pylon, at least, is now a movie theatre.
June 28, 2005
CHICAGO, IL — Time has run out on the Burnham Plaza Theatre , located in Chicago’s South Loop area at 826 S Wabash. According to an article by Haydn Bush in the 6/15/2005 edition of the CHICAGO JOURNAL, the theater will close in August 2005 and be converted to medical offices. The article states that the landlords of the Burnham Plaza blame an inneficient design and a changing real estate market.
The theater was built in 1987 by Cineplex Odeon in the burgeoning South Loop Area. Yet for some reason, it has never been a success, despite being the only theater in the area since 2000. In the eighteen years it’s been open, it has been operated by Cineplex Odeon, Loews Cineplex, Meridien, and finally Village Theatres.
Although Village did try to make the place viable, and cleaned it up somewhat, they did not advertise the theater in the paper.
Does anyone have information about the theater that appears on the bottom right hand corner of this photo?
June 27, 2005
TAMPA, FL — Tampa’s Strand Theater seems a step closer to demolition although the city’s historic preservation manager is working to save at least the facade, according to an article in the St. Petersburg Times. The block the Strand is on was purchased in January 2005 by a managed health care executive Pradip C. Patel, who plans to put a condo tower with up to 500 units.
Annie Hart, the city’s historic preservation manager, is hoping that Mr. Patel will incorporate the facade of the Strand, built in 1915, into the design and perhaps preserve part of the theater. The remaining block, part of the massive Maas Brothers department store that closed in 1991 is likely too far gone to be saved. Ms. Hart can be reached at 813.274.7984.
GREENPORT, NY — Long Island’s Greenport Village Cinema will re-open the week of June 25th. Major renovations have been going on since February.
Renovations include a cafe, new concession stand and box office. The restrooms have also been upgraded. Work was done on the heating and air conditioning system. New carpet and tile were installed. Work was also done in the projection booths including new automations and lighting controls. The theaters themselves will be renovated after the summer.
Does anyone know if the building located to the direct left of Foot Locker, on the south side of 14th Street in Manhattan, just east of 6th Avenue, was formerly a theatre? The exterior of the building certainly gives that appearance… (The ground floor level has long been occupied by an electronics store.)