The latest movie theater news and updates
October 18, 2002
FORT WORTH, TX — Despite last minute efforts to save the 55-year-old landmark, the 7th Street Theatre was demolished on Wednesday with the the entire site to be cleared by the end of today. According to the Star-Telegram, the FPA Foundation, which purchased the theater last year, has not announced its intention for the barren space.
Demolition of the 7th Street Theatre originally began on April 14, 2002, but was quickly halted by outraged preservationists and the Historic Landmarks Commission, which ordered a 180-day delay. The FPA Foundation, though, would not listen to any of the interested buyers who had come forward during these last six months.
With the expiration of the demolition delay, the FPA finally knocked down the last traces of the 7th Street.
(Thanks to Dennis Huber for the sad news.)
NEW YORK, NY — WNYC-Radio FM 93.9 in New York City recently aired a feature program on Cinerama featuring interviews with John Belton, author of the book, Widescreen Cinema, Lowell Thomas, Jr., and documentary filmmaker and Cinerama guru David Strohmaier.
Strohmaier recently completed a highly regarded, feature length documentary entitled, “Cinerama Adventure,” which profiles the birth, life, and death of this revolutionary, but short-lived, widescreen cinema phenomenon.
(Thanks to Larry Karstens for the update!)
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Avalon Theater will reopen tomorrow (Saturday, October 19th) from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m for a “Special Avalon Saturday on the Avenue.” According to the Avalon Theater Project, supporters are welcome to “come see the renovation progress, try out our new seats and learn how to buy one for the theater!”
The ATP will also be hosting “CASABLANCA NIGHT: A special evening to benefit the Avalon and celebrate the 60th anniversary of the film classic, ‘Casablanca’”. The American City Diner, located at 5532 Connecticut Ave., NW in DC will be hosting the screening of the film plus dinner for $40 per person. The event will take place Monday, October 28th.
Dinner lasts from 6:30-7:30 p.m. with the film screening at 8:00 p.m. $30 of the ticket price goes to The Avalon Theatre Project and helps resurrect the 1922 movie house. Purchase tickets at the door or in advance at the Diner.
(Thanks to Jennifer Kaplan for the announcements.)
BRISTOL, ENGLAND — According to Graham Staples, a developer who had hoped to convert the old ABC Whiteladies Road cinema into a health club has appealed the council’s earlier decision denying him a permit for such a conversion.
A public inquiry will now be held on March 18, 2003. Please voice your concern to the council about destroying this beautiful, but endangered movie palace.
(Thanks to Graham Staples for the advanced warning.)
ALBEMARLE, NC — The Badin Drive-In closed this past weekend. “The land is for sale but the screen and equipment have been given to other NC ozoners.”
(Thanks to Tammy Conner for the epitaph.)
We close out the week with another big batch of theater photos. This time, we have images from all over the US, including Ohio, South Carolina, Missouri, Kansas, Idaho, Georgia, Michigan, and Minnesota.
Highlights include a beautiful, detailed view of the remains of the Chief theater in Pocatello, ID; a nighttime shot of the Trustees Theatre in Savannah, GA; a recent shot of the Somerville Theatre in Somerville, MA; and a recent image of the American Theater in St. Louis, MO.
Thanks to Bryan Krefft, Patrick Crowley, Jean, Paul Knittel, Joel Weide, Ron Pierce, Keith Schad, Cindy Lawson, and the Minnesota Historical Society for today’s images.
October 17, 2002
Another day, another set of cool theater photos. Today, we journey back to the East Coast, with photos from several Eastern states, including New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, New Hampshire, and Florida.
Images not worth missing include a vintage shot of the Fox Theatre in Brooklyn, NY; a 1950’s postcard view of the Harbor Theatre in Stone Harbor, NJ; a recent look at Staten Island’s Paramount; and a postcard view of the Roxy Theater in Norfolk, VA.
Thanks to Vasilios Papaioannou, Kathleen Moore, Jean, and Bryan Krefft for submitting these images.
October 16, 2002
Today we bring you an excellent group of shots of classic movie theaters from around the world, including theaters from Canada, China, Denmark, and France.
Some of the highlights in today’s batch include an electric view of Montreal’s Capitol Theatre; two shots of Vancouver’s Granville Street theater district, including shots of the Colonial Theatre and the Coronet Theatre; a poignant shot of one usher’s return to the Lyric, in Kitchener, Ontario; and a vintage postcard view of the Tivoli Cin
October 15, 2002
We return to the fine city of Chicago, Illinois with today’s batch of new theater photos. (Ok, that’s not entirely true, one of these photos is actually from East. St. Louis, but you get the idea.)
Today’s new images include a recent photo of the former Marshall Square Theatre; vintage postcard views of the Colonial Theatre, the Illinois Theatre, the Majestic, and the Roosevelt Theater; and a stunning image of the Congress Theater.
Thanks to Bryan Krefft, Carla G. Surratt/PicturingChicago.com, Mike Conway/Congress Theater, and Jo Reizner/University of Chicago for sending us these images.
October 14, 2002
Today’s splendid batch of theater photos brings us new images of classic movie theaters in California, New Mexico, and Oklahoma.
Be sure to check out our nighttime shots of the Criterion Theater, the Paramount Theater, and the Winter Garden Theatre; a colorful view of the Santa Cruz, and a recent exterior view of the Robin Hood Theatre in, of all places, Sherwood, Oregon.
Thanks to Bryan Krefft, Chuck Parker, JustOlBob, Paul Noble, Scott Padrick, Wes Reeves, Melissa, Tom Rose, William French, and Ron Pierce for submitting today’s images.
CHICAGO, IL — This just in from Michael Beyer of the Uptown Theatre and Center for the Arts:
The talk of the town, the Uptown Theatre restoration project, is now the talk of the nation as Jacki Lyden, the alternate host and senior correspondent to NPR’s “All Things Considered” interviews Carol Carlson of the Uptown Theatre and Center for the Arts.
Tune in to WBEZ-FM 91.5 on Monday, October 14, for this national story. The exact air time is TBD. “All Things Considered” airs Monday – Friday from 3:00-6:30 p.m.
COLUMBIA HEIGHTS, MN — The former WCCO Radio Wurlitzer Organ will play its first public performance since 1959 when it is unveiled this coming Friday, for the only upper Midwest showing of the restored print of “Lawrence of Arabia,” at the Heights Theater.
According to a press release, “The installation of the Wurlitzer at the Heights will make it the first operable theatre pipe organ in a Twin Cities movie theatre since the closing of Radio City in 1958.”
DELAND, FL — The U.S. House finance committee has just awarded $10 million to the DeLand area for various projects, including $225,000 for the continued restoration of the Athens Theater. The House and Senate must approve the measure before it is signed into law.
According to the Daytona Beach News Journal, the additional funds will help the Athens reopen by 2005.
STATEN ISLAND, NY — The following was part of “The Mayor’s 8th and Final ‘State of the City Address…’:
Renovation of St. George Theater: To ensure that this revitalization reaches into the St. George neighborhood, the City will commit resources to renovating the nearby St. George Theater into a performing arts center.
(Thanks to Jean Siegel for sending this in.)
October 11, 2002
Cinema Treasures superstar Ian Grundy returns with an awesome batch of over 20 new theater photos from the United Kindgom.
Among the highlights… shots of the endearing Cottage Road Cinema in Leeds, the aptly-named Cosy in Tadcaster, the late Victorian Harrogate Theatre in Harrogate, the Bradford Imax Cinema in Bradford, the diminutive Rex in Elland, and an updated shot of the Odeon in Harrogate.
WEST HARTFORD, CT — The Hartford Courant is reporting that the Elm Theatre is definitively closed despite the theater’s “Closed Until Spring” sign. According to the Courant, the 902-seat theater is “under contract to be sold” and “has shut its doors for good.”
The 1947 movie house was once one of the highest grossing theaters in the country playing long runs of everything from “The Sound of Music” to “Lawrence of Arabia.” Unfortunately the Elm was done in by the era of the multiplex.
The Perakos family, which owned the Elm, once operated a 358-screen chain which ran up and down the east coast. Today, only the Southington Drive-In in Southington, Connecticut remains. But for how long?
(Thanks to Roger Katz for sending in this epitaph.)
PASADENA, CA — This Sunday, October 13th, Friends of the Raymond Theatre will host a booth at the enormous Rose Bowl Flea Market in Pasadena. The space will be donated by RJ Canning Enterprises which produces the show.
The Friends of the Raymond will be selling raffle tickets, passing out flyers, and selling items to raise money for their cause. In addition, some music memorabilia will also be sold to raise money for the Friend’s fight to save the Raymond.
The Rose Bowl flea market begins at 7:00 am and ends at 3:00 pm. Admission is $7.00.
(Thanks to Gina Zamparelli for the announcement.)
HOLLYWOOD, CA — The 3-strip presentation of the first Cinerama film ever produced, “This Is Cinerama”, has been extended through next Thursday, October 17th! The film is currently playing only at the Cinerama Dome at Arclight Cinemas. (Note: TIC will not be screened next Tuesday, October 15th.)
STATEN ISLAND, NY — Preservation Magazine has just published a small story on the restoration of the St. George Theatre in Staten Island. According to the article, the 2,800-seat movie palace will need at least $12 million to be restored, but is currently being aided by a group of volunteers.
(Thanks to Jean Siegel and Gregg Anderson.)
October 10, 2002
Cinema Treasures takes a trip down south with today’s batch of theater photos.
Today, we bring you recent pics of the Charlotte, NC’s Carolina Theatre; Dekatur, GA’s innocent-looking Belvedere Theatre; Statesville, NC’s Newtowne 1 & 2; Atlanta, GA’s Tara, a local arthouse fav; and several other great shots.
Thanks to Tammy Conner/UA Girl for providing many of these images.