The latest movie theater news and updates

  • October 21, 2002

    DuPage Theater Agreement Reached

    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.)

  • Odeon Cinema In Nottingham Goes “Clubbing”

    NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND — Springwood Leisure, which operates the Zanzibar nightclub chain around England, has finally been given approval to convert the Odeon Cinema into a 2,000-capacity venue. According to the Nottingham Evening Post, the ruling comes after a 19-month battle to gain a license to operate inside the old movie palace.

    Renovations will begin shortly with the latest Zanzibar scheduled to open next year.

  • October 18, 2002

    Today’s Newsreel

    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.

    Visit the WYNC website
    Visit Strohmaier’s “Cinerama Adventure” site

    (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.)

  • New Photos: Friday Blowout

    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

    New Photos: East Coast Cinemas

    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.

    Browse today’s photos

  • October 16, 2002

    New Photos: Cinema Treasures Goes Abroad

    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

    New Photos: Chicago, IL

    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.

    Browse the new photos

  • October 14, 2002

    New Photos: On the Western Front

    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.

    Browse the new photos

  • Today’s Newsreel

    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.

    Link to the show


    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.”

    For more information, read both releases:
    Press Release 1
    Press Release 2
    Visit the official Heights Theater website


    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

    New Photos: UK Photos

    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.

    Check out Ian’s photos