The latest movie theater news and updates
October 4, 2004
After nearly two years of research and contributions by theaters and archives around the country, Cinema Treasures, by Ross Melnick and Andreas Fuchs, is now on sale at bookstores around the country!
Celebrating the history of moviegoing in the United States over the past 100 years, this book will not only interest anyone working in or studying motion picture exhibition, but just about everyone who loves to go to the movies.
October 1, 2004
Volunteering to save and restore Philadelphia’s last movie palace, the Friends of the Boyd present the Disney classic “The Happiest Millionaire” at International House (3701 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia) on Friday, October 1.
The 1967 musical comedy is about the comic misadventures of an immigrant butler who takes a job with eccentric Philadelphia millionaire Anthony J. Drexel Biddle. Biddle’s mansion was at 2104 Walnut Street. Starring Fred MacMurray, Greer Garson, Lesley Ann Warren, and Geraldine Page, the film will be shown in a rare 35 MM print straight from the Disney vault. The film had its local premiere at the Boyd (aka Sameric) Theatre in 1967.
DES PLAINES, IL — A deal struck between the owners of the Des Plaines Theatre and the Des Plaines Theatre Preservation Society recently opens the way for the Society to begin screening classic Hollywood films at the 79 year-old movie palace in downtown Des Plaines. The theater also screens Bollywood fare.
In return, the Society will find volunteer workers to begin renovations on the theater, beginning with the marquee, which is one of the symbols of this Chicago suburb. The group will begin work on the marquee on October 9th, according to Paul H. Saletnik, the vice president of operations for the Preservation Society. The neon lighting of the marquee will also hopefully be repaired as well.
September 30, 2004
The Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency is buying the 350-seat Reseda Theater as a linchpin for suburban renewal at Sherman Way and Reseda Boulevard, according to a report in the Los Angeles Daily News.
And at least two community groups have expressed interest in relighting the vintage neighborhood marquee that for decades drew lines around the block for top movie hits.
ANN ARBOR, MI — Former Beach Boy Brian Wilson will be performing on Monday, October 4th at the Michigan Theatre.
He is expected to play songs from his new CD, “SMiLE” which is the reconstructed lost Beach Boys album he had planned to release in 1967 and is considered his masterpiece.
September 29, 2004
WAUKEGAN, IL — The goal to raise $5 million towards the restoration and reopening of the historic Genesee Theatre in downtown Waukegan was not met, and the city of Waukegan will only be able to contribute $500,000 towards the theater. Therefore, plans for the old movie palace will be scaled back and its opening date is not known.
According to a report from the Chicago Tribune, the Philadelphia-based SMG is being chosen by Waukegan to operate the Genesee, which should be made official at a city council meeting today. Brian Kabatznick, vice president of SMG, says that local groups could make the theater their home base, which could increase the usage of the theater once it is reopened.
LOUISVILLE, KY — Showcase Cinema Louisville officially closed on September 13, 2004.
National Amusements still owns the property, but it is for sale. At this time, the theater is to be torn down.
September 28, 2004
JERSEY CITY, NJ — The following message was sent by Friends of the Loew’s:
“This was not the message we hoped and expected to send out in preparation for the Loew’s [Jersey] 75th Anniversary.
Last June, Jersey City’s Acting Mayor, L. Harvey Smith told FOL he would sign the long-awaited lease of the Loew’s to us. A press conference was held at the Loew’s in mid June during which Mayor Smith was expected to do just that, but instead he unexpectedly announced he could not sign the lease because of “legal technicalities”. He promised, however, that those technicalities would be cleared up by his Law Department in two weeks and the lease would be signed then.
EAST GREENVILLE, PA — The Valley Theatre recently received a new lease on life after the new owners reconsidered the final business use for the building.
Originally, Grand – Valley Holdings LP was committed to restoring the original appearance of the building but to level the floor and use the former theater for retail use. Due to the lack of support the theater received in recent years, it went to sheriff sale this past March 2004. Given the lack of patronage by the community to the theater, the partners initially thought its hopes to be re-opened were non-existent.
After dozens of calls and numerous people stopping by the theater since the partners' August 20, 2004 acquisition, the firm decided to give the 1924 Neo-Classical revival theater another shot.