The latest movie theater news and updates

  • December 31, 2003

    Iroquois Theatre Disaster Remembered

    CHICAGO, IL — On the hundredth anniversary yesterday of the blaze that killed more than 600 people at the Iroquois Theatre in Chicago’s Loop area, a plaque was unveiled by Chicago Fire Commissioner James Joyce and alderman Ed Burke. The plaque memorializes the Iroquois tragedy, which killed more than twice as many as the city’s Great Fire of 1871.

  • December 30, 2003

    NYC Ticket Prices Hit $10.25

    NEW YORK, NY — Ticket prices at NYC movie theaters have broken the $10 dollar barrier for the first time, according to Newsday.com. During the past week, both Loews Cineplex and United Artists have raised ticket prices by 25 cents, bringing adult admissions to $10.25 per ticket.

    “In comparison to other entertainment options, movie ticket prices are modest and remain one of the most affordable out of home entertainment activities,” Loews spokesman John McCauley said Monday.

    What do you think? Is this increase reasonable? Comment below.

  • Looking for Advice

    My husband and I are considering purchasing an old, 200-seat, one-screen theater in a small town in Texas. It has been closed for a few years because the owners got too old to mess with it anymore, but according to the realtor it seems to have all the basics (assuming it still works).

    We are going to look at it this weekend. We have no experience in theaters. This is all new to us. We would appreciate ANY advice or direction.

    email me at

  • Renovation Consultant Writes Book

    David Jenkins, 50, former Executive Director of the Fox Theatre in Salina, Kansas, has written a new book: 501 © Blues: Staying Sane in the Nonprofit Game.

    Jenkins said in an article in THE SALINA JOURNAL, “I decided I wanted to write a book that exectutive directors and responsible board members could use as a weapon, as a tool to try to get their boards to behave in a more businesslike manner.”

    Jenkins was executive director of the Fox Theatre project in Salina, Kansas from the start and has been involved in nonprofit theater groups for the past 15 plus years His book is available on line at www.amazon.com and www.fandangopress.com.

  • December 29, 2003

    Flagship Cinemas Sued by State of Maine, May be Forced to Sell Strand Theatre

    ROCKLAND, ME — The Maine Attorney General’s office has filed an antitrust suit against Flagship Cinemas, the present owners of Rockland’s long-closed Strand Theatre, according to a report in the Village Soup.

    The suit charges that Flagship, which purchased the Strand in 2001 with promises of restoration, has kept the theater closed as a means of preventing competitors from using the theater. As a remedy, Maine’s Attorney General is seeking to force Flagship to sell the Strand to an independent third-party.

  • New Book Profiles Southern Movie Palaces

    TAMPA, FL — Janna Jones, a University of South Florida professor, has written a new book about the history of Southern movie palaces. The Southern Movie Palace: Rise, Fall, and Resurrection, the first such book to focus exclusively on cinemas of the South, profiles theaters in Atlanta, Memphis, Durham, and other large Southern cities.

    “As far as I know, she’s the only one who’s taken such an in-depth look at the Southern movie palace,‘’ says Cecil Whitmire, president of the nonprofit group that owns the Alabama Theatre, one of those Jones covers in her book. "I thought she did a good job putting it together. It was well researched and well done.‘’

    More information can be found in this report in the Tampa Tribune.

  • December 26, 2003

    Today’s Newsreel

    The Uptown Theatre demolition continues in Toronto, the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, MA moves forward with its restoration plans, and the Proctor’s Theatre in Schenectady willl spend $22.5 million in a 2005 expansion effort — all in today’s newsreel.

  • December 25, 2003

    Cinema Treasures Closed Today

    Cinema Treasures is closed for the holiday today, but will return again tomorrow.

  • December 24, 2003

    92-Year-Old Empress Is For Sale

    VALLEJO, CA — The historic Empress Theatre is looking for a new owner following Robert Litwin’s decision to sell the former vaudeville and movie house after growing tired of the “city’s ‘stall tactics’ in signing a deal to help renovate and run the historic theater as the centerpiece of a revitalized downtown.”

    According to the Times Herald, the asking price is $850,000, with an option for the city to buy the theater first set to run out next month. Interested parties should contact Ronald Lee Re/Max Home Advantage of Vallejo.

  • Small Theater and/or Theater Seats for Sale? – San Francisco/Bay Area

    I’m the director of a film festival in San Francisco and one of our long term goals is to purchase a theater for second-run, indie, classic, and community access screenings. We’re currently sharing space in a South of Market art gallery/multimedia gallery, but we’re looking to expand our focus.