The latest movie theater news and updates

  • March 26, 2004

    MPAA Head Jack Valenti to Step Down

    LAS VEGAS, NV — In what will likely be his final appearance at the ShoWest exhibitors convention, Jack Valenti, venerable head of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), announced plans to step down within the next few months.

    Valenti, who is now 82, has served as president and CEO of the industry lobbying group since 1966, when he accepted the position after leaving a stint as a staffer in the Johnson administration.

  • March 25, 2004

    Odeon Drive-In Won’t Reopen for 2004 Season

    WINNIPEG, CANADA — According to this report from the CBC Manitoba, Cineplex Odeon has no plans to reopen the popular Odeon Drive-In this summer, ending a nearly 40 year tradition of bringing outdoor movies to the citizens of Winnipeg during the summer months.

    Cineplex spokeswoman Pat Marshall remarked, “I think with the advent of our new mega-plexes which have become just great entertainment destinations, people are choosing to go to those theatres moreso than the drive-in.”

    Marshall says the increasing costs of running the old drive-in could not be made up with declining attendance during the city’s short summer season.

    (FYI… the article includes a section where readers can share their memories of the Odeon. You can also submit them .)

  • El Campo Community Theater Restoration Project

    EL CAMPO, TX — Here in El Campo there is a small venue theater that a handful of people are desperately trying to restore. If you know about any ways to obtain funding, please let us know at .

    There is a need for about $200,000 at last count. Any help you can offer in terms of links, information or how to find funding would be great!

    Thanks.

  • March 24, 2004

    Garden Theater in Charleston in Danger

    CHARLESTON, SC — The Garden Theater, located at 371 King Street, is in immediate danger of being lost.

    Designed by architect, C.K. Howell, the Garden opened in 1918. Silent films gave way to sound in 1929 when the Garden began a policy of showing only films made in the Vitaphone process.

  • Today’s Newsreel

  • March 23, 2004

    Help Save the Bengies!

    BALTIMORE, MD — Gregg Anderson alerted us to the fact that Baltimore’s Bengies Drive-In Theatre has an important zoning hearing on Thursday. If you live near the Baltimore area, please consider attending the meeting to show your support for the theater!

    From the Bengies newsletter:

    “Dear Great Patrons of the Bengies Drive-In Theatre,

    In order to save the Bengies Drive-In Theatre, I must act upon my agreement to purchase the property it sits upon. I must take the zoning of the property and change it from residential to commercial, so that I can set other things into place to generate enough income to support the mortgage.

    I have put this request in to Baltimore county, Maryland, and the first of 2 PUBLIC hearings is set for this coming THURSDAY, March 25. It is a public hearing that will be HELD AT 7PM at PARKVILLE HIGH School. [THERE WILL BE A SECOND PUBLIC HEARING LATER THIS SUMMER] Both hearings are VERY important to our cause.

  • Luna Theatre Pic

    Wes Reeves sent in this pic of the Luna Theatre (in Clayton, NM):

    “I was cleaning out some files and found this photo of another small town theater in my area — the Luna Theater in Clayton, New Mexico. I thought you’d like it. I love the marquee.”

    UPDATE: Wes also sent us this link to a recent story about the Luna in American Profile magazine.

  • March 22, 2004

    Barbie Loves Cinema Treasures?

    Three Cinema Treasures and other L.A. landmarks are featured in the book Barbie Loves L.A. by Greg LaVoi.

    There are photos of the Azusa Foothill Drive-In (p. 53), the Cinerama Dome (p. 56), and Grauman’s Chinese (p. 75).

  • Mason City’s Arlee Theater Reopening This Week

    MASON CITY, IL — The Arlee Theater on Main Street in Mason City is about to reopen after four years of sitting vacant, according to this report in the Lincoln Courier.

    The theater was last used as a country western music venue. Before that, it was a movie house from 1936 until 1984. But in May of 2003, John and Gaye Maxson of Mason City purchased the 450-seat Arlee, and since then have put a good deal of time, effort and money into cleaning up the theater. “I bet I’ve scraped 2,000 pieces of gum off the floor,” says Gaye, “Some of it’s pretty old.”

  • March 19, 2004

    Balboa’s Birthday Bash Was a Blast!

    SAN FRANCISCO, CA — In anticipation of the big day, the Balboa staff worked hard to clean and get ready for our 78th Balboa Birthday Bash.

    With daily construction happening around the theater restoration and handicap upgrades, there was quite a crowd in the lobby and auditoriums each day. Several took on the delicate project of washing the etched glass of our light fixtures while Romero Glass Studios in Oakland was creating replacements for the broken and missing pieces.