The latest movie theater news and updates
May 30, 2003
CHICAGO, IL — The following email was sent in by the Friends of the Uptown. The Central Park was Balaban & Katz' first movie palace and, according to Douglas Gomery’s “Shared Pleasures,” the first theater in America cooled by air conditioning for the sweltering summer months.
VOLUNTEERS ARE NEEDED to assist in some house chores and heavy lifting, beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 31, at the former Central Park Theatre, on the West Side, in the North Lawndale neighborhood, at 3535 W. Roosevelt, east of Central Park Avenue. Look for the large sign that reads House of Prayer.
We will work until approximately 2 p.m. Please come and work for any amount of time that you can. Meet the group in the vestibule/lobby of the theatre/church building itself. RSVP by email to: .
Work clothes, gloves, a bottle of water and a snack are good things to bring along. Surplus cleaning supplies, brooms, mops, trash bags, light bulbs, etc. are always are appreciated.
We will meet and work with the Rev. Dr. Lincoln Scott and his staff. You may meet Mr. Butler or Mr. Roosevelt first if you choose to use the fenced parking lot adjacent to the building to the immediate west.
Home to The House of Prayer COGIC since the 1970s, this important Chicago venue will be featured on a special Chicago: Three Centuries of Theatres tour, July 8 through 13. A little work from Friends of the Uptown this Saturday will make for a better tour and will show our support for this very special landmark.
Theatre historians recall that the 1916 CENTRAL PARK is the fountainhead of movie palace design and the second successful venue of Balaban & Katz (following the CIRCLE). Its success led B&K to build later landmark venues and its design influence can be seen in other important theaters. After the RIVIERA came the TIVOLI, the CHICAGO, the UPTOWN, the ORIENTAL … from B&K and the same architects, C.W. and George L. Rapp!
Thank you for your time and attention. You will definitely enjoy this unique opportunity to experience the combination of historic theatre, appreciative owner-operator and vested constituency! Apologies for the impromptu notice. This was arranged to fit the venue’s schedule and needs.
The Friends' effort is in anticipation of the upcoming Theatre Historical Society of America conclave, “Three Centuries of Theatres,” to be held from July 8 -13, 2003 in Chicago.
For more information on the conclave, visit THSA’s website.
Have a great weekend everyone and see you on Monday!
May 29, 2003
Movie Theatre Revamp Bears Fruit
JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA — Read the Business Day story
Thanks to Bryan Krefft for the news.
Camelot Regained: Nevada Theater to Reopen
NEVADA, IA — Read the Ames Tribune article
Thanks to “Stacey” for the update.
Senator Owner, Tom Kiefaber, Honored
BALTIMORE, MD — Read the Baltimore Sun article
Congratulations to our old friend Tom who continues to inspire us and those around him.
Now Showing in the Neighborhood: Backyard Theatre
EASTHAMPTON, MA — Read the Gazette article
Under-21 Dance Club to Open At Former State Theater
LEBANON, PA — Read the Lebanon Daily News
Moving Movies Out to the Suburbs
WINFIELD, KS — Read the Winfield Courier editorial
May 28, 2003
Thanks to Bryan Krefft for the update.
Quentin Tarantino Focuses on (Re-)Opening a Specialty Movie House
LOS ANGELES, CA — Read the Downtown News
Thanks to Warren Dewey for the news.
Dramatic Changes as Theater Keeps Pace With Region
FREDERICKSBURG, VA — Read the Washington Post
See you tomorrow!
May 27, 2003
LITTLE ROCK, AR — According to an email sent in by local resident, Steve Yoder, the UA 150 closed abruptly last night. The United Artists Cinema 150 was the last of the Dimension 150 theaters which once dotted the country from New York to Seattle. In recent years, the Seattle, Washington and Syosset, New York D-150 theaters were also shuttered and then later demolished.
After being a local icon in the Little Rock area for 35 years, tonight this classic 703 seating capacity cinema showed it’s final show. I sat with my wife and two children watching X-Men 2, remembering having sat there as a 7 year old child watching Sean Connery’s, “Diamond’s Are Forever”, thinking that unfortunately some things aren’t forever.
In 1968 the theater opened it’s doors with classic movie “The Odd Couple”. One of it’s early highlights was when it hosted the world premiere of John Wayne’s, “True Grit”. From the information I could gather, Regal Entertainment, had made a business decision to close it and put the property up for sale. This closing followed the opening of an ultra-modern 10 screen stadium seating theater.
For more information, read the Baxter Bulletin article.
This may be the last chance to save this unique widescreen theater. Any interested parties out there???
May 26, 2003
Cinema Treasures is closed for the Memorial Day holiday, but will return tomorrow.
May 23, 2003
LONDON, UK — According to Yahoo News, EasyInternetCafe and Easyjet founder Stelios Haji-Ioannou has opened Easycinema, a new low-cost, no-frills movie theater.
How low-cost, you ask? Well, since Easycinema uses the same pricing technique first pioneered by its intercafe sibiling, EasyInternetCafe, ticket prices will be based on demand.
So, if you buy early, tickets will be as cheap as 33 cents. But as demand fluctuates, the price will be raised or lowered, depending on availability. If a movie becomes very popular, patrons will be charged a full-ticket price (approximately $8 in the UK).
In addition to the cheap tickets, Easycinema will do away with both box offices and concession stands…
“We’re keeping it as simple as possible,” said James Rothnie, an easyGroup spokesman, adding he believed it was the first such scheme in the world. “There’ll be no rip-off popcorn, no catering of any sort. If you want to eat and drink, bring your own.”
So far, not surprisingly, response from film distributors has been less than supportive, with some refusing to book blockbusters with Easycinema. But, regardless, the new company will certainly prove to be an interesting experiment for the exhibition industry.
PITTSBURGH, PA — Also according to Yahoo News, an appeals court has upheld a previous decision giving the city’s Urban Redevelopment Authority the right to seize and redevelop the Garden Theater as part of an urban renewal project.
The legal battle, ongoing since 1997, had pitted the First Amendment rights of owner George Androtsakis (who used the Garden to show adult movies) against the city’s right to use eminent domain (in pursuit of its $45 million urban renewal project).
May 22, 2003
BAGHDAD, IRAQ — The Baltimore Sun is reporting that movie theaters in newly-liberated Baghdad, many of which reopened in the past few weeks, have been ordered to shutdown by Sheik Mohammed al-Fartusi, a local Muslim cleric.
While it appears that only some theaters have responded to the Sheik’s decree, many others are taking it seriously, cutting short advertising campaigns or reducing their visible street presence (by hiding posters and other signage).
Landmark Theater Symbol of Valley’s Rebirth
VALLEY, AL — Read the Tuscaloosa News
$1.3M Park Renovation Promises Return of Live Entertainment
EDGEWOOD, RI — Read the Cranston Herald
Venerable Downtown Arcade Celebrates 100th Birthday
NASHVILLE, TN — Read the Tennessean
Roseville Theatre Renovates
ROSEVILLE, MI — Read the South End article