The latest movie theater news and updates
January 6, 2005
SANTA MONICA, CA — The Aero Theatre reopens tonight! Closed since April 2003, the Aero has undergone a $1 million renovation effort by its new operators, the American Cinematheque, who will bring their programming prowess to this popular Santa Monica staple.
According to Variety, “Besides renewing the projection and sound systems, the single-screen theater’s capacity was reduced from 600 seats to 400 in order to install bigger, more comfortable seats. The new screen, which is 44 feet wide and 17 feet high, is three times the size of the original. A new concession stand was also installed.”
Director Paul Weitz will be on hand tonight for the theater’s first show: a screening of Weitz’s new film, “In Good Company,” starring Dennis Quaid, Topher Grace, and Scarlett Johansson.
For more information on upcoming events at the Aero, please visit the new Aero Theatre calendar.
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.