The latest movie theater news and updates
January 6, 2005
MADISON, WI — After weeks of investigation, the capitol city of Wisconsin has determined that its Orpheum Theatre was indeed a victim of arson, not once, but at least twice, and a third time is suspected. Read the account here from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
Film reports were shown on Milwaukee’s WTMJ-4, channel 4 TV, which showed only the exterior of the closed theatre with notices on the doors promising reopening. The Fire Marshall asks for any tips and a reward of $5,000 is being offered.
It would seem that not everyone appreciates theatres, but at least most Wisconsinites must like them or else a city 80 miles from Madison wouldn’t have run the story, possibly to be repeated at later broadcasts.
January 5, 2005
NEW YORK, NY — Clearview Cinemas has confirmed that the owner of the Beekman Theatre, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, plans to end the exhibitor’s lease at the end of June 2005.
For an impassioned commentary on the plight of the Beekman and historic movie houses around New York City, please read New York Post Chief Film Critic Lou Lumenick’s commentary in today’s New York Post.
The Beekman is not only a landmark movie house, but a symbol of the city. It must be saved.
TROTWOOD, OH — After nearly 37 years, the Kon-Tiki Theatre is no more.
The theater opened in 1968 as the Kon-Tiki. It featured a South Pacific decor, which included conch shells for restroom sinks, illuminated tiki faces on the facade and volcanic and abalone shells in the walls.
In the late 1980s, it became the Loews Salem Ave. It closed in 1999 and sat vacant until this week when it was demolished by the city of Trotwood to make way for future developement. The theater is unique, because I am not aware of any other that has a South Pacific decor.
January 4, 2005
SANDPOINT, ID — The Bonner County Daily Bee recently profiled the Panida Theater and its inclusion in our new book, “Cinema Treasures.” Dedicated to the people of the Panhandle of Idaho, the theater opened in 1927 and remains a local cultural and entertainment center. It is one of 30 theaters profiled in the book.
Remembering the glorious Avalon Theater (New Regal) on Chicago’s south side in the 1950s and ‘60s from my childhood, I included a lot about it in my new true family, true crime book, The Pied Piper of South Shore, Toys and Tragedy in Chicago. The story is set around my parent’s toy store, Wee Folks, across the street from the Avalon.
My parent’s held many toy giveaway promotions on the stage of that theater. I thought you would all enjoy an excerpt from the book about the Avalon. For more information on the book with an artistic rendering of the Avalon on the cover contact me at or visit www.chicagospiedpiper.com to see it LIVE.
January 3, 2005
ALBANY, NY — Raiders of the Lost Ark will play at the Palace Theatre on Thursday January 26th, 2006 at 7:30 PM.
Tickets are five dollars and seating is general admission.
BOSTON, MA — The latest e-mail missive from Lee Eiseman of Friends of the Gaiety Theatre:
“As of New Year’s Eve I can report that The Gaiety has had another reprieve!
In a brief submitted to Judge Francis Spina of The Massachusetts Supreme Court, the lawyer for The Glass Slipper (a strip club next to the Gaiety also threatened with demolition) argued that demolition of the theatre would deprive his client of the right to several substantial arguments in cases still open in Massachusetts Land Court.
Judge Spina asked Kensington Development for assurances that they would refrain from demolition until after Judge Spina decides the case which will be heard on Friday, January 7, 9:30 am at 1 Beacon Street 3rd floor. Kensington has assented to this request. The public and press may attend.