The latest movie theater news and updates
March 1, 2004
MILWAUKEE, WI — Prospects for saving Milwaukee’s last surviving atmospheric theatre, the Avalon Theater, brightened on Wednesday when a Milwaukee City Council sub-committee voted to recommend landmark status for the theater, according to this report in the Milwaukee Journal.
If the full council adopts the recommendation, the Avalon’s current owner, Craig Ellsworth, would be unable to make any renovations to the theater’s exterior without the approval of the city’s Historic Preservation Commission, nor would he be able to demolish the structure without prior approval.
That said, should landmark status be granted, Ellsworth would still be able to proceed with his plans to convert the Avalon’s interior into office space.
WACO, TX — I recently went to the Waco city hall and did an open records request concerning the 25th Street Theatre. Apparently, the building was red tagged on October 10, 2003 and is now slated for demolition, although no definite date was provided, so maybe there is still time to save it.
I viewed pictures taken by a Waco building inspector and the place is a disaster. Amazingly enough, though, the mural of the Chariots on the theater’s south wall is still intact, but badly water damaged.
February 27, 2004
FLUSHING, NY — Boymelgreen Developers, who bought the RKO Keith’s in 2002 from developer Tommy Huang, will demolish the theater and build a 19-story mixed-use tower on the site called RKO Plaza.
WICHITA, KS — A radio sales manager suffered an apparent heart attack during the final scene of The Passion of the Christ, during the first showing at the Wichita’s East Warren Theatre on Wednesday, February 25.
For all of us whom own theaters, I sincerely hope that this is just an isolated occurrence and not something that this film stirs “that” kind of emotion in. Reportedly the woman, 57, was described by co-workers as not suffering from any health-related problems prior to the incident.
ELMHURST, IL — Classic Cinema’s York Theatre is opening two more screens in April, bringing the theater’s total number of screens to seven.
February 26, 2004
PASADENA, CA — On March 15th, the City of Pasadena will attempt to grant permits to gut the interior of the Raymond Theatre (formerly known as Perkin’s Palace). Our sixteen year battle to stop unnecessary development of the theater into an apartment/retail/shopping center will be over.
Upstage Restaurant and theater, located in the historic seaport of Port Townsend, WA, seeks info or sources regarding theater marquees. Looking for possible ‘historical’ examples, photos, and sources of theater facades and marquees, especially circa 1860 to 1930. Contact Mark at 360-385-2216 or .
Don’t miss the latest addition to our Link Directory:
“Wisconsin’s performing arts are as old as the state itself. Learn about the historical forces that moved us from the nineteenth century opera house, to the movie palace and beyond. Visit some of Wisconsin’s most unique, interesting, and beautiful old theaters and learn their history.”
February 25, 2004
Joanne Asala asks…
“Hi, I recently purchased an old photo at an antique shop of a theater called "The Strand.” Although I got it in Wichita, Kansas I’m not sure if it’s a Kansas theater. The photo was taken in 1941, based on the movies listed. I thought you’d like a copy of it with the hopes of identifying it someday. Thank you!"
Any guesses? (Hint: Cinema Treasures lists 60 “Strands”.)