The latest movie theater news and updates

  • August 2, 2005

    Classic Grand Theater Reopens

    EAST GREENVILLE, PA — After nearly one year of remodeling and restoration work, and close to $750,000 in expense, the Grand Theater at 252 Main Street in East Greenville, PA celebrated its grand re-opening over the July 30 weekend.

    The theater, built as a vaudeville and movie house in 1924, has been known by the names Valley Theater and Grand Theater over the years.

    The new owners acquired the building almost one year ago and have taken great care to both remodel and restore the theater to its earlier glory days. The theater was in complete shambles. There were holes in the floor and roof and carpet needed replacing, but the new owners had a vision and worked hard to see it materialized.

    Now, gold-colored, ornate, tin-stamped panels line the interior walls. Multi-hued, plush carpet covers the floor that the town’s mayor said once streamed water due to the leaky roof.

    East Greenville is located south of Allentown and north of Philadelphia.

  • August 1, 2005

    LA’s Million Dollar Theatre To Reopen As Live Performance Venue

    LOS ANGELES, CA — The long-vacant Million Dollar Theatre on Broadway, which opened in 1918 for Sid Grauman, could be reopened soon as a concert venue (in the main auditorium) and cafe (in the lobby space).

    Robert Voskanian, who manages the Stock Exchange nightclub, has recently signed a lease with the Million Dollar’s owner, the Yellin Company, which would bring the 2000-plus seat former movie palace back to life. Its last use was as a church.

    Voskanian predicts that the Million Dollar “is going to bring a lot of people downtown”. Yellin Company vice president Anne Peaks adds, “We hope everything comes together because we think it would be wonderful for Broadway.”

  • Drive-In Movie Theaters Make Comeback In Texas

    It seems that the decline of drive-in movie theaters across the U.S. is being somewhat reversed in Texas.

    A recent AP story pointed out the reversal of a trend which has seen the closing of drive-ins across the U.A. It seems that Texas is having a mini-boom in new drive-ins and rehabbing of existing ones.

    Texas drive-ins are seeing the biggest surge in decades, with at least five outdoor theaters opening since 2003. The latest opened in Killeen, near the Fort Hood military post, on July 1, and a new two-screen in the West Texas town of Midland is expected to open in August. Here’s the full story.

  • July 29, 2005

    Chicago’s GATEWAY to Fall?

    CHICAGO, IL — In yesterday’s NewsFlash by the Theatre Historical Society, former president Joe DuciBella announced that negotiations are well underway to demolish this Rapp & Rapp atmospheric to build more condos in a city with one of the highest percentages of condos in the nation. The famous duo did few atmospherics, and therefore this charming design will be all the greater loss.

  • Today’s Newsreel

  • Dome Cinema Closes for £2.2 Million Renovation

    WORTHING, UK — The Dome Cinema had its final show on Saturday, 23rd July. The last film was “Pollyanna” starring Mary Pickford. As this was an archive print from UCLA, the show had to be run on two projectors. The normal FP20 xenon with tower and one of the original Simplex E7 projectors with carbon arc and 2000 ft spoolboxes that is still installed. This was the opening film in 1921.

    The evening finished with “The Smallest Show On Earth” (UK 1957). The cinema should re-open in August 2006. The work is being financed by a Lottery grant and English Heritage.

  • July 28, 2005

    Digital Cinema Standards Announced

    Digital Cinema Initiatives has finally announced “its final overall system requirements and specifications for digital cinema,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. According to Walt Ordway, chief technology officer of DCI, these specifications “will allow manufacturers to create products that will be employable at movie theatres throughout the country and, it is hoped, throughout the world.”

    For more information, read The Hollywood Reporter and Reuters articles.

  • Brooklyn’s Fortway Theatre Gutted

    BROOKLYN, NY — The 1928 Fortway Theatre in Dyker Heights, which closed in June, has been gutted, according to the New York Daily News. Work began in early July. The former single-screen movie palace was acquired by Trident Developers, who insist, despite the doubts of neighbors, that the Fortway is not going to become housing.

    “Absolutely no condos,” says Bob Geroulanos of Trident Developers. “We don’t have a tenant yet, but it will be developed for a commercial tenant’s use.” Locals already miss the theater. “My kids grew up in that theater,” says Sarah Massie, “It’s a sin they’ve closed it down. It was a place you could send them and not have to worry about them.”

  • For Sale: Theater Seats, Speakers, and Sound Panels

    840 Irwin seats for sale in California. Email for details and price. The price does not include transportation. These seats are ]used but in excellent condition and are like new.

    Contact Carl at 480-710-5360 or 480-987-9801.

    Sound panels and speakers are also available in Arizona location. Everything must sell soon.

  • July 27, 2005

    Hollywood’s Death Spiral

    Slate’s Edward Jay Epstein has written a fascinating article about the “secret numbers” used within the film industry to track revenue from theatrical, DVD, and other releases.

    Consider how earlier this year entertainment journalists rattled on for months about a slump in the American box office—“Box Office Slump In Its 19th Week”—as if it were a sporting event in which the Hollywood studios couldn’t get winning hits. The story would have been different if they had seen the data on Page 16 in the 2005 Three Month Revenue Report. (Click here for that page.) Instead of a box-office decline, the studios actually took in more from the U.S. box office in the first quarter of 2005 ($870.2 million) than they did in the similar period of 2004 ($797.1 million). So even though the total audience at movie theaters declined during this period, this came mainly at the expense of independent, foreign, and documentary movies. For the Hollywood studios (and their subsidaries), in fact, there was no slump at all.

    If you want to understand the dynamic forces reshaping today’s film industry, this is required reading.