The latest movie theater news and updates
August 6, 2004
WEST HARTFORD, CT — A group dedicated to saving the 1947 Elm Theater is racing against time to gain public and private support for their efforts to buy the theater back from a developer hoping to turn the shuttered movie house into a drug store.
August 5, 2004
PASADENA, CA — The Rialto Theater in South Pasadena California is in danger now to some degree. It has been listed in the “Framework for Downtown Development” in the City of South Pasadena. Its future use may change.
On page 11 #7 of their special report from the Community Redevelopment Commission (CRC) Feb 18 2004, they state:
“The Rialto Theater is a key building in terms of its historic design and function and its potential to be an anchor and catalyst for future activity. The building is thought by some to be an opportunity for a public facility, incorporating the theater and using it as community space. Some feel that the CRA will need to reestablish eminent domain in order to facilitate the more appropriate reuse of certain properties. In any case, the exterior and the marquee should be renovated and refurbished. Others feel strongly that it should be completely refurbished and remain a theater, whether one screen or reconfigured to several small screens. Customers desire a better sound system, more comfortable seats, and more diverse and more extensive programming”
Curzon Cinemas are this year celebrating our 70th year of showcasing the best in Independent Cinema and to celebrate this we are screening a number of special seasons throughout the year at both Curzon Soho and Mayfair. Here is a brief history of both cinemas from our company director Roger Wingate:
August 4, 2004
I ran into this item on eBay, thought it might be of interest to someone here who may be restoring a theater or in need of a couple hundred seats. From the pictures I assume they’re antique. The link and description are below. Seems like a very low price, $2800 for all 228 chairs.
Church Pews/Theatre Seats – Consisting of 28 Rows with 8 seats in each row for a total of 224 seats – each row is 14'3" – Seats come apart if you desire shorter or longer rows. Price per seat is $12.50 each and the Church will sell only as an entire lot. Removing and shipping is the responsiblity of purchaser. For further information call Jim Hendrick Cell 615 268 3511 or email -Great Shape
OLYMPIA, WA — The historic Avalon Theatre, which had lately served as a retail store for Griswold’s Office Supplies, was gutted by a four-alarm fire on July 31.
First alarm was turned in around 11:00 am by a fire/medic crew on their way to another fire call. The fire appears to have started in the rear portion of the building and soon shot into the roof, completely destroying it.
Local TV stations KIRO-TV7, KING-TV5, and KOMO-TV4 carried live coverage of the fire on their five o'clock news programs.
August 3, 2004
NEWPORT, OR — Here’s an update on the Midway Theatre.
This theater was awaiting the wrecking ball when we purchased it in l996. After two years of restoration and renovation it was opened again in 1998. This historical venue is now known as the “Jewel of the Oregon Coast”.
The Art Deco architectural integrity of the building has been maintained. The use of the building has been expanded to include a retail antique store (showing silent movies), art gallery, wine tasting, concerts, live stage theater, and wine tasting. The name of the building has been changed to The Ark.
In the forty eight years I have been a projectionist, I have yet to see a theater that was not haunted, one way or the other.
The old Warner in Pittsburgh, when I used to go to the upstairs booth I would smell cigar smoke in the booth, but the balcony, and booth were both empty. I later found out the old Projectionist Whitey died in the booth and was a cigar smoker, he had worked there for 40 years.
Recently, I worked the Carmike Cinema in El Paso Texas, in the booth between screens 13 & 14, the air was always ice cold, you could see shadows going along the wall of a woman and young child. I even felt a hand on my shoulder, like a gentle pat, more than once.
Have any good ghost stories?
August 2, 2004
WELLINGTON, TX — Wes Reeves sent us a new pic of the Ritz Theatre’s latest restoration…
“Hi – a few months ago you ran a photo of the facade of the Ritz Theatre in Wellington, Texas just as were about to start roof repairs.
I’m sending another shot that shows a completely different picture. Windows have been replaced, some paint has been slapped on and the old blade sign has been returned complete with new neon.
July 30, 2004
PASADENA, CA — The following email was sent in by Gina Zamparelli, President, Friends of the Raymond Theatre:
“Dear Friends of the Raymond Theatre:
Our final day for donations is July 30th. We have made great strides over the past week, but we still have $1,405 more to raise. Therefore we will continue to take donations till 5pm on Monday, August 2.
If all you can donate is $5 or $10, every dollar WILL make a difference. If you can donate $15, $25, $50, $100 or more, it would help us make great strides towards meeting our fundraising goals before Monday!
Early next week we will let everyone know if we have raised enough money to continue our efforts to legally protect the Raymond Theatre.