The latest movie theater news and updates
February 27, 2003
PASADENA, CA — This has been sent in from Gina Zamparelli of the Friends of the Raymond:
Our benefit for the Raymond Theatre is tonight at the Ice House in Pasadena. We hope to see all our supporters there! It will be a great opportunity for all of us to get together and raise funds to help continue our work to preserve The Raymond Theatre.
Comedian and show producer Julie Sandoval is kindly donating all door receipts to Friends of the Raymond Theatre. Julie will be performing, along with a host of great comedians!
We will also be holding a 50/50 raffle. Raffle tickets will be $1. You can purchase them before you enter the Annex showroom or from people wearing yellow “Save the Raymond Theatre” buttons. Winners will be drawn tomorrow night. Someone will win half the money we raise from raffle.
We want to see everybody at the Ice House tonight!
Where: The Ice House
The Annex Room
24 Mentor Avenue, Pasadena, California
When: This Thursday, February 27, 2003
Time: 8:00 pm
Admission: $10 (+ $2 drink minimum)
Parking: Parking is available on the street or in the lighted garage across from the Ice House for $3.
Entrance: Enter in the main entrance to the Ice House, which is in the alley. Once inside the Ice House, follow the signs that say “Saving Raymond” to the Annex showroom.
Thanks to Gina Zamparelli for the update!
February 26, 2003
Time Short as Theater Backers Give Tour
DES PLAINES, IL — Read the Daily Herald story
Schedule Set for Ebert’s Overlooked Film Festival at Virginia Theatre
CHAMPAIGN, IL — Read the News-Gazette article
Thanks to Bryan Krefft for both of these articles.
The Variety article also details the upcoming reconstruction of the AMC theaters in Century City and the “multimillion-dollar renovation” of the Mann National theater. According to Variety, the National will probably not convert to stadium seating. Other details are unknown.
Thanks to Andreas Fuchs for the updates!
Ramon Theater Purchased
FROSTPROOF, FL — Perry Bird reports:
The Frostproof Chamber of Commerce agreed to purchase the 1925 Ramon Theater and adjacent building. They are currently seeking funding to restore both buildings. Plans are to once again show movies and have live performances at the Ramon.
Friends of the Boyd Holding Event Next Week
PHILADELPHIA, PA — This has been sent in from the group:
Adrian Fine of National Trust for Historic Preservation presents “Saving Historic Theaters: Examples from Across the U.S.” and discussion led by architect Shawn Evans, AIA & Howard B. Haas, Esq. of status of Sameric theater.
This free event will be held March 5th from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm and will follow a 5:30 pm tour of ‘On the Edge of Your Seat: Popular Theater and Film in Early Twentieth-Century Art’ [at] Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Broad & Cherry.
For more information, visit the organization’s website.
Thanks to Howard Haas for the update!
Artist Captures Colonial on Canvas
PHOENIXVILLE, PA — Read the Phoenixville News
Thanks to Gregg Anderson for the news.
February 25, 2003
Children’s Museum Considers Theater Site
GRAND HAVEN, MI —
Eastman Raises Curtain on Facelift
ROCHESTER, NY — Read the Democrat and Chronicle article
Woman Tries to Give Old Theater New Life
MOUNT EPHRAIM, CA — Read the Courier Post story
Connecticut Theaters Booming
Read the Republican-American story
Thanks to Roger Katz for the update!
Spectrum Theater Bought; To Be Demolished
HOUSTON, TX — Read the Houston Chronicle article
Tough Times for Museums, Theaters
PITTSFIELD, MA — Read the Berkshire Eagle notice
Thanks to Gregg Anderson for the news.
WEST HAZELTON, PA — Sybil Hillman, the new owner of the former Key Theater in West Hazelton, PA, has sent in the following update, which corrects earlier information we received which identified local competition as the reason for the movie house’s closure:
The reason for the theater’s [earlier] closing was my purchase of the building. I have since renovated the entire building and will be reopening the theater as the Cinema & Drafthouse [on] March 21, 2003.
The entire Hazleton community is extremely excited about our Grand Opening and has shown support for both my project and the revitalization of such an historical theater.
To see the progress of the renovations, please visit our website.
Thanks to Sybil Hillman for setting the record straight. We wish her and the Cinema and Drafthouse the best of luck!
February 24, 2003
Belatedly, City Begins Safety Work at the Modern Theatre
BOSTON, MA — Read the Boston Globe article
Preservation Alert Fans Fight to Save Historic Berkeley Cinema
BERKELEY, CA — Read the Oakland Tribune news
Lamar Theater Revival Project Going Strong
LAMAR, NV — Read the Nevada Daily Mail story
Thanks to Gregg Anderson for the news…
Boxing Night at the Wilma
MISSOULA, MT — Read the Missoula Independent story
Thanks to Charles Everett for this story.
Officials Hoping Theatre Can Stage a Comeback
BUTLER, PA — Read the Tribune Review article
Historic ‘Gems’ to be Featured in Presentation
SHAWNEE, OK — Read the Shawnee News-Star story
February 21, 2003
Theater Faces Tough Sledding
IRONWOOD, MI — Read the Daily Globe story
Celebrate the 75th Anniversary Of the Redford Theatre Tonight
DETROIT, MI — Read the Press Release on Yahoo!
A Decade-Plus of Work May Put New Spotlight on Lincoln Theatre
MARION, VA — Read the Roanoke Times story
Preservation Alert Lindenhurst Theatre Preservation In Jeopardy
LINDENHURST, NY — Read the troubling South Bay News article
If you are from the area, we urge those who want to save this theater to start a rival petition and lobby for its preservation.
1920s-Era Granada Theatre Will Get a $17-Million Restoration
SANTA BARBARA, CA — Read the Los Angeles Times story
National Designation Being Sought for Capitan Theater
PASADENA, TX — Read the Pasadena Citizen article
Theater on High Ready for Opening Act/Fox Venice Theater Memories
MOORPARK, CA — Read the Ventura County Star article
The Pipes, the Pipes are Calling
SACRAMENTO, CA — Read the Sacramento Bee story
CINERAMA FEST IN SEATTLE!!!
SEATTLE, WA — Read the Seattle Post-Intelligencer article
Visit the official Seattle Cinerama website for tickets and more info
Drive-In Movie Theater Planned for Galva
GALVA, IL — Read the Register-Mail story
Dickinson Theaters To Donate Fox Theater
HAYS, KS — Read the Salina Journal news
Thanks to Joel Weide for the update!
Zero Hour is at Hand
PLATTSBURGH, NY — Read the Press Republican editorial
February 20, 2003
SALT LAKE CITY, UT — We’ve received a number of emails over the past 24 hours about the Villa and we are very excited to bring you some good news:
This came in from Grant Smith last night:
According to a news story on Fox 13 on 19 February 2003, Harmons, a local grocery store chain, bought the Villa Theatre in order to block a possible purchase by Wal-Mart, which may have wanted to demolish the theater and build a Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market.
Harmons currently operates a grocery store at the Brickyard Plaza, very near the Villa property, and has expressed a desire to work with the Utah Heritage Foundation on possible reuse plans for the theater. Apparently Harmons offered to let Carmike Cinemas continue to operate the Villa, but Carmike declined and closed the theater.
Reid Sondrup adds that KSL also ran that story and adds:
… the Harmon group purchased it as an investment and is open to discussion of future use of the property. Kirk Huffaker of the Utah Heritage Foundation will discuss any part the Villa might play in future development. It was stated that demolition is not imminent.
Sean Means, who has been covering the developments for the Salt Lake Tribune published this story today:
Salt Lake Tribune article
And finally, Kirk Huffaker, Assistant Director of the Utah Heritage Foundation, released this statement via email yesterday:
I am pleased to report the following information obtained and confirmed today. You may see it in various news reports also.
The new owner of the property, which we believe was recorded today, is the corporation that owns Harmon’s grocery stores. They bought the property as an investment property. The new owner offered Carmike Cinemas the opportunity to continue to operate the theater but they declined.
The theater is not in immediate danger of being demolished by the new owner. In our conversation today, they have expressed willingness to discuss possibilities for the theater with Utah Heritage Foundation.
Thank you to all our supporters near and far for their lobbying and rallying efforts.
We’d like to thank everyone who contributed to this effort in getting the word out about the Villa and its closure. Special thanks go to Grant Smith, Reid Sondrup, Howard Haas, Bryan Krefft, Sean Means, and everyone else who notified us about these developments.
Of course, a special thanks goes to the Utah Heritage Foundation and, of course, Harmon’s Grocery Stores. Let’s hope this has a happy ending.
(See below for more of today’s news and events.)
Uptown Theatre and Center for the Arts to Hold Benefit Gala
CHICAGO, IL — This just in from the UTCA:
The Uptown Theatre and Center for the Arts (UTCA) is pleased to announce “Bring Back the Brilliance,” a gala benefit, Friday, March 21, at 7 pm at Thorne Auditorium. Proceeds from the event will support programming and operational expenses during the year.
For more information, visit the UTCA website and go to ‘events’.
See “Glory” at the Lafayette Theatre This Weekend!
SUFFERN, NY — “Glory” (1989), the civil war epic starring Matthew Broderick, Morgan Freeman, and Denzel Washington, will be shown this Saturday, February 22nd, at 12 noon at the Lafayette Theatre as part of the Big Screen Classics series. Tickets are $6.00.
Doors open at 11:30 with Jeff Barker playing the Ben Hall Memorial Mighty Wurlitzer Theatre Pipe Organ before the film starts!
For more information, visit the Big Screen Classics website.
Thanks to Pete Apruzzese of Galaxy Theatres for the update!
Help Wanted at the St. George Theatre
STATEN ISLAND, NY — With renovations continuing at the St. George Theatre, Stephanie Gilmore, who is helping to restore the 75-year-old, 2,800 seat movie palace, is looking for photos and blueprints. Gilmore is looking for interior and exterior images to enable workers to more accurately and quickly restore the St. George.
More information on the theater
Email Stephanie Gilmore at
Thanks to Jean Siegel for the continued St. George Theatre updates!
February 19, 2003
Pre-Movie Ads Rip Off Theatergoers, Suits Claim
Theater’s Silver Screen Gives Way to Live Stage
MOREHEAD CITY, NC — Read the Jacksonville Daily News article
Lawsuit Could Impact Closure of Loews Century Plaza
LOS ANGELES, CA — Read the Los Angeles Independent story
New Owner of the Crest Pulling Out All Stops to Pack the House
LOS ANGELES, CA — Read the Los Angeles Independent coverage
Meyer Theatre Opening ‘Poetic'
GREEN BAY, WI — Read the Green Bay News-Chronicle article
‘Gods and Generals’ Premiere Nets $94K for Theaters
JACKSON, MI — Read the Jackson Citizen-Patriot story
Theater Owner Says Letters Led to Closing
CHAMPAIGN, IL — Read the News-Gazette article
February 18, 2003
For more information on the closing of the historic Salt Lake City movie house, please see Grant Smith’s Villa Theater site, which contains a number of new stories.
Over the weekend a protest was held to save the theater and efforts are underway to try and convince the new owner to save the Villa.
Thank you to Grant Smith for keeping up the vigil.