The latest movie theater news and updates
October 29, 2002
FLUSHING, NY — Here’s a name from the past: the Keith’s Theatre, in Flushing, whose sad tale is legendary by now. After closing in 1986 as a tarnished, but still beautiful triplex, the Keith’s was purchased by Thomas Huang who subsequently demolished landmarked sections of the building.
The city of Flushing evoked his permits after discovering the violation, but the damage had been done.
According to the Daily News, Huang plead guilty in 1999 to two felony counts of “endangering the public health, safety and environment and presenting a false instrument for filing in connection with the old theater.”
The Daily News is now reporting that a new, unnamed developer has purchased the gutted and dilapidated theater from Huang. The sale is expected to close by November 12th and the new “community-minded developer” is expected to develop the site for commercial and residential use.
The Northern Blvd. landmark opened in 1927 as a 3,000-seat movie palace. It was one of the grandest theaters built in all of the New York city area and its loss is still fresh among outraged preservationists.
We’ll keep you posted…
October 28, 2002
HAYS, KS — The historic Fox Theatre has been temporarily reopened by Dickinson Theatres to take advantage of the busy holiday season at the box office. According to the Hays Daily News, the twinned movie house is still up for sale and listed for $325,000.
The Fox Theatre is one of the few movie houses left in the country with its original “crying room,” an 8-seater with reinforced glass to block out noise. The Fox originally opened in 1950 as a 1000-seat single screen theater.
GREENWOOD, OH — Clark Kimbrell, the owner of the Cinema Four Theater in Cleveland, will reopen Greenwood’s only movie house, the Cinema Three, by mid-November, according to the Greenwood Commonwealth.
Located in the Highland Park Shopping Center, Kimbrell plans to rename the triplex the “Joy Theater” after his grandfather’s first movie house.
The Greenwood theater originally opened in 1977 as a twin. A third screen was added a few years later. It closed last month when the Regal Entertainment Group decided not to renew its lease.
TACOMA, WA — One of three Tacoma theaters closed by Loews Cineplex during the past year is reopening (again) thanks to Galaxy Theatres. According to The News Tribune, the former 6-screen Tacoma Central was taken over in February by Entertainment Film Works, but ceased operations again in August.
The LA-based Galaxy Theatres, which plans to rename the multiplex venue, the “Galaxy 6 Tacoma Central”, will reopen the theater in early November. Galaxy hopes to get better bookings given its “excellent” relationships with distributors at the major studios.
October 25, 2002
Finishing up the week, we bring you another group of excellent photos, many of which, as our headline suggests, are nocturnal views of your favorite Cinema Treasures.
Highlights include nighttime shots of Lakeland FL’s Polk Theater, Minneapolis MN’s State Theatre, and New York City’s Radio City Music Hall and Sunshine Theater. Other interesting shots include a vintage postcard view of the Florida Theatre (in Hollywood, FL) and a recent exterior of George Lucas' hometime theater, the State Theater (in Modesto, CA).
Thanks to Bryan Krefft, Jack Tillmany, Adam Margovic, Steve, Keith LeBrun, Gark Parks, Ron Pierce, the Minnesota Historical Society, and Patrick Crowley for today’s shots.
We’ve just added over 30 new theaters including a large group of Brooklyn, NY movie houses thanks to Philip Goldberg, as well as a number of new listings from San Juan, Puerto Rico, courtesy of Jose Mendez.
Chad Irish has also added a number of new Hamilton, Ontario cinemas with Bryan Krefft rounding out the list with theaters from Hollywood, Florida and Dearborn, Michigan.
October 24, 2002
CHICAGO, IL — According to a new report in the Chicago Tribune, the upcoming opening of the new 21-screen, AMC River East may be the death knell of several nearby, older movie houses including the 1970s-era McClurg Court and, most notably, the 1930s-era streamline moderne Esquire Theatre.
Unlike the McClurg Court and Esquire, Loews Cineplex will probably retain its 9-screen multiplex at 600 N. Michigan despite the competition. The 2-screen Loews theater at 900 N. Michigan, however, may also be closed in the shakeup.
The nearby Water Tower triplex, which is currently operated by Village Theatres, could emerge unscathed as well with its current programming policy of art house fare.
According to Barry Schain, though, a broker who has worked with several large movie theater chains and is quoted in the Tribune, “‘There are now five theaters with 23 screens in the area, and we’ll end up with two theaters and 30 screens … The writing is on the wall for the smaller theaters.’”
The Tribune is also reporting that if these theaters close, they will likely be repurposed or torn down to make way for alternate development. The McClurg Court has been rumored to be converted into a live performance venue, while the Esquire was sold months ago to another developer with speculation swirling that “a hotel at the Esquire” is probable.
The Tribune cites a “health club” as the next business for the 900 N. Michigan Loews location.
We’ll keep you posted…
(Thanks to Bryan Krefft for keeping his ear to the ground.)
MIAMI, FL — The Olympia Theater at the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts reopened on Tuesday night following an extensive $2.1 million renovation, according to the Miami Herald. Images of the restoration of the theater’s gorgeous atmospheric interior are available at the Herald website.
The Olympia was originally constructed by the godfather of atmospheric theaters, John Eberson, and opened in 1926 for the Paramount theater circuit.
(Thanks to Dennis Huber for the update.)
October 23, 2002
Today we bring you another great batch of theater photos, with theaters from around the United States, as well as several interesting images of theaters in Croatia (in fact, these are our first Croatian theaters on Cinema Treasures.)
Highlights include an exterior view of the Capitol Theatre in Pottsville, PA just before it was demolished; a 1926 theater program from New York’s Cosmopolitan; a recent shot of the Edison in Karlovac, Croatia; a 1940s postcard view of the Fort, in Rock Island, IL; a beautiful image of the marquee re-lighting ceremony at the Fox Theatre in Tucson, AZ; a postcard view of the fabled Grand Central Theatre; and a stunning interior view of Baltimore, MD’s Hippodrome.
Thanks to Bryan Krefft, Marko Pekic, Ron Pierce, Jean, Michael Ackerman, Daniel K. Nelson, Ed Dobbins, Alex, William French, and Paul Knittel for these images.
October 22, 2002
ROANOKE, VA — Less than a year after it closed, the Grandin Theatre has reopened to the public, according to a report in the Roanoke Times.
After being sold to the Grandin Theatre Foundation by former owner Julie Hunsaker, the movie house has been renovated and restored thanks to a combination of private donations and $500,000 of taxpayer funds.
DAYTON, OH — The New Neon Movies is celebrating the one year anniversary of its $325,000 renovation with revenues nearly doubled from its pre-alteration figures. According to the Dayton Business Journal, the theater’s owner attributes the success to the twinning of the theater and the ability to bring in more customers.
The 15-year-old theater gained national notoriety several years ago as a venue for Cinerama screenings. Those showings ended, however, before the renovation of the theater and the New Neon Movies has since stuck to a healthy diet of art house fare.
TUCSON, AZ — The Fox Tucson Theatre, which is currently in the third year of its renovation, will host a “free evening of Halloween entertainment” this Friday night, according to the Tucson Citizen. Events include live music, tours of the theater, a fashion show, and more. The five hour celebration will begin at 5 p.m.
The theater has already raised $3 million for its renovation efforts with more than 200 volunteers working to resurrect the 1,300-seat movie palace. Total cost of the renovation is expected to be $8.5 million and should be completed by late 2004.
The Fox originally opened in 1929 and has been closed since 1974. The theater has restored its original chandelier while replacing the roof and marquee.
October 21, 2002
Cinema Treasures regular Ian Grundy brings us another batch of outstanding theater photos from the United Kingdom.
Some of today’s photos include shots from several London neighborhoods, including Greenwich, Hammersmith, and Shepherd’s Bush).
Also—thanks to Mike Rivest for his shot of the Centre Laval in Quebec, Canada. The Centre isn’t a UK theater, of course, but it snuck into today’s batch. Sneaky photo!
LOMBARD, IL — Lombard officials and concerned residents have reached an accord which should help save the DuPage Theater while not taxing local residents. According to the Daily Herald, $3 million of state and local funds will be used to help resurrect the former movie palace, while the remaining $6.3 million will need to be raised by a new not-for-profit group.
This plan was approved last week by a 4-2 margin and should allay local concerns that the DuPage Theater project would increase property taxes. The city was able to raise the additional money by selling a parcel of land it owns which sits adjacent to the theater.
(Thanks to Bryan Krefft for the update.)