The latest movie theater news and updates
April 20, 2005
I am researching some of the old buidings in Port Arthur, Texas for a slide presentation of before and after. Pictures of the Strand Theatre are needed since the building was torn down. This theatre in Port Arthur was noted for the stripes on the sidewalk which do still exist. I grew up in Port Arthur during the 40’s and 50’s. Thanks for any input provided.
April 19, 2005
CHURCHVILLE, MD — From a high of 47 in 1958 to a total of one today — that is the current state of the drive-in theater in Maryland following the announcement of the closure of the 53 year-old Bel Air Drive-In. According to the Baltimore Sun, patronage had fallen off dramatically and its operators could no longer afford the rent.
To read (and see) more about the end of the Bel Air, visit WBAL-TV, Channel 11 Baltimore’s website. For a forum about drive-ins and a survey about your own drive-in patronage (or lack thereof), visit our weekly poll.
For more information on drive-ins, check out Kipp and Jennifer Sherer’s wonderful website, drive-ins.com. [Editor’s note: I’ve been using it for years to visit drive-ins around the country.] Like our friends at CinemaTour and other sites, drive-ins.com is part of a growing community of like-minded enthusiasts, preservationists and fans. For more drive-in related websites, visit our drive-in theater links.
As the Bel-Air goes dark, perhaps forever, it offers another reminder of how quickly decades of memories can be extinguished. Here today, gone tomorrow. It’s another reason to pay homage to your favorite theaters with your good wishes and your attendance.
(Thank you to Edward Lopez who alerted us to this story.)
April 18, 2005
NEW YORK, NY — A recent Daily News article focused on some of NYC’s alternative ‘Cinema Treasures’, including Ocularis in Brooklyn and the Millennium Film Workshop in the East Village.
I’m a producer working on a documentary about 1967’s “The Graduate”. I’m looking to this community for help. Does anyone have photos related to theatre marquees or lines of people waiting to get into “The Graduate”?
The film played in many (now) historic theatres, and unfortunately, a number have since closed, making contacting the theatres directly difficult, if not impossible.
Thanks so much.
April 15, 2005
LEWISTON, ME — According to the Press Herald, the 102-year-old Empire Theatre will be demolished this spring to make room for a parking lot. This once rampant demolition practice for parking spaces had subsided in recent years and it is surprising to see such an old theater, of an increasingly rare vintage, going down without much notice from the community or preservation groups.
Are there any Maine/New England Cinema Treasures members out there who can shed light on this?
(Thanks to John Elwood for notifying us about this story.)
SANTA MONICA, CA — The following press release was sent in by the American Cinematheque which operates the Aero Theatre:
“The American Cinematheque at the Aero Theatre will present an exclusive four night return engagement of LAWRENCE OF ARABIA (1962, Columbia, 216 min.) in 70 mm!, May 5 – 8, 2005. Peter O'Toole (GOODBYE MR. CHIPS) stars as the tortured, near God-like Lawrence in director David Lean’s (A PASSAGE TO INDIA) absolute masterpiece. An epic film that takes place during World War I and Lawrence’s adventures in North Africa.
The film features one of the finest casts ever assembled in a motion picture: including, in his first major English-speaking role, Omar Sharif (DR. ZHIVAGO), Anthony Quinn (ZORBA THE GREEK), Jack Hawkins (LORD JIM), Claude Rains (CASABLANCA), and Alec Guinness (THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI) as Prince Feisal. Freddie Young’s 70 mm. photography is considered to be a work of genius, as is the screenplay written by Robert Bolt and Michael Wilson. Maurice Jarre’s moving score and John Box’s production design only serve to add more layers of excellence to the film. Winner of 7 Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director. “When you’re in the desert, you look into infinity … It makes you feel terribly small, and also in a strange way, quite big.” – David Lean.
These items are for immediate sale and ready for shipment. Must have them gone in the next few weeks. Email for pictures and prices. Willing to make a deal for all of the items as a whole. Transportation is not included in selling price. Please include your zip code if you would like transportation quote as well.
Curtain Motor Driven Open / Close
Lobby Lights Outside White Track
Lobby Lights Silver
Lobby Lights White Ticket Booth
Metal Kitchen Sink
Outside Poster Signs
Projection Room Equip Upstairs
Spare Cup Holders
Spare Seat Cushions (Numerous)
Spare Seat ends (Numerous)
Speaker along Wall
Speaker Boxes – No Speakers
Speakers In Ceiling
Theater Entrance Signs
Theater Seats Good & Very Good
Unistrut for Screen Frames
April 14, 2005
The development will include “two theaters, rehearsal rooms, student residences, and restaurant space,” according to the Globe. “Plans are sketchy but will probably include a theater seating about 450 and a smaller, 75- to 125-seat black-box theater. [boston Redevelopment Authority] spokesman Susan Elsbree said yesterday that the final size will depend on the needs of the nonprofit arts groups that the city wants to include.”
PHILADELPHIA, PA — The following was sent in by Howard Haas of the Friends of the Boyd:
“The new owner of the Boyd didn’t waste time. Last Wednesday, I joined architect Gary Martinez, AIA, & National Design Director John M. Ahrens, AIA, in a long awaited Inventory Tour, walking thru the movie palace, pointing out all the historic features we had discovered. I shared copies of much of our research. I had been in the Boyd before with them, but this was an all day discussion that for awhile also included Michael Norris (our Development Chair) and Adrian Fine (Regional Director of the National Trust for Historic Preservation), and a consultation from another organ company.
I am thrilled to tell you that everybody wants to bring the movie palace back to its original 1928 beauty. Clear Channel wants to do a comprehensive restoration to the original colors of the paint & plaster, light fixtures, and much more! As we have said, in addition to film, organ, exhibits of the theater’s history and public tours, there are also Art Deco features that Friends of the Boyd can help make a difference in ensuring they return, but we are very happy with the company’s expertise and their commitment.
The Boyd is on its way! I liked the 1970’s Art Deco Revival concession stand in the Lobby, with its light ends that lit up. But, most people thought it a monstrosity incompatible with the original French Art Deco design. It is gone!
April 13, 2005