The latest movie theater news and updates
June 10, 2004
BUFFALO, NY — A fundraising goal to raise $4.1 million by May 1st has been accomplished by the Shea’s Performing Arts Center, Buffalo’s largest live performance venue, according to this report from the Buffalo News.
The theater, which opened in 1926 and seats 3183, was designed by the Chicago-based architectural firm of Rapp & Rapp. The funds will enable Shea’s to pay for the five year-old stagehouse, repair the west south and east walls and finish exterior restorations.
June 9, 2004
The following email was sent by the Friends of the Loew’s:
“In one of his first major acts as Jersey City’s Acting Mayor, L. Harvey Smith will finalize the long-term lease of The Landmark Loew’s Jersey Theatre at Journal Square over to Friends of the Loew’s, Inc. This action will finally clear the way for FOL to undertake a vital fundraising campaign, which, in turn, will make possible additional restoration and the eventual full operation of this Landmark Theatre.
A press conference and reception to formalize the lease will be held Thursday, June 10, 2004, beginning at 6:30 p.m. in the Grand Lobby of the Loew’s Jersey Theatre, 54 Journal Square, Jersey City, N.J.
June 8, 2004
NEW YORK, NY — The Madstone Theaters company has folded, according to the Salt Lake City Tribune and Indiewire.
Madstone, which laid off 180 people, announced simply: “The company was not able to achieve its business goals.”
Madstone has now closed its theaters in Albuquerque, Atlanta, Ann Arbor, MI, Cary, NC, Chandler, AZ, Denver, Salt Lake City, and San Diego. According to Indiewire, its Tampa location will remain open under new management and a similar deal may be in place for its San Diego theater.
CHARLESTON, SC — This is an update to my preservation alert of March 24, 2004 (regarding the Garden Theater). The news is not encouraging. Last week Ralph Hicks and I met with one of the current owners from Garden Theater, LLC. He remains open to any possibility that would benefit the owners. But, he will continue to move toward converting the theater to retail space.
On June 3, Ralph Hicks, Mark Tiedje, and I, met with Lawrence Thompson, and Katherine Saunders of the Historic Charleston Foundation and Mayor Joseph Riley. The mayor was open and well informed about the Garden Theater. He offered nothing to us that seemed hopeful and described the overwhelming problems that we face.
Mayor Riley described the abundance of historic properties in Charleston as a “poverty of riches.” The City has so many 18th century and 19th century buildings that there just aren’t enough resources to preserve them all.
June 7, 2004
SALT LAKE CITY, UT — Westates Theatres closed the Trolley Corners Cinema after its final showings on June 3, 2004. The triplex theater will be gutted and replaced by a 24-hour fitness health club.
Trolley Corners opened December 23, 1977 and was the last of Salt Lake’s 70mm theaters. Theater #1 featured stadium seating, 770 seats, and an 8-channel SDDS digital sound system. The large, curved screen was covered with curtains. Murals of “Star Wars” and “Sound of Music” adorned the lobby walls. The projection booth held two projectors.
June 4, 2004
MONTREAL, CANADA — Yesterday, the Famous Players Dorval Cinema closed its doors once again, but this time probably for good.
The theater will soon be transformed into the new regional head office for Famous Players.
Opened in 1962 with 2 cinemas, Salle Doree and Salle Rouge. Salle Rouge twinned in 1977 making the theater a triplex. In 1986, a 4th cinema was built upstairs. The theater closed in 2000 and reopened June 29, 2001.
June 3, 2004
RESEDA, CA — The Reseda Theater was built in 1948 by architect S. Charles Lee and is an excellent example of Art Deco and Moderne that characterizes Southern California.
However, the theater has been neglected for several years and is currently boarded up. The facade is still intact and the marquee features a beautiful (unlit) neon sign greeting motorists as they drive down Sherman Way.
I am a board member of the San Fernando Valley and am launching a campaign to preserve this historic theater. Any help whatsover, be it advice, news of events, or even tax-deductible contributions would be very appreciated.
June 2, 2004
MILWAUKEE, WI — Among the ‘Top Ten Endangered Properties’ that the Wisconsin Trust for Historic Preservation notes on its 2004 list is the 1929 Avalon Theatre.
The Avalon, closed since 2000, is threatened with redevelopment as an office. Only its exterior is landmarked and thus protected. The Soldiers Home Historic District and the North Point North and North Point South Historic Districts are also on the Trust’s list.
ALBUQUERQUE, NM — We’re looking for a photo of Carl Boller of the Boller Brothers architectural firm for our archives. He was the primary architect of the KiMo Theater, here in Albuquerque.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
June 1, 2004
BRIDGETON, NJ — The 1950 Laurel Theatre, located in downtown Bridgeton, was given a nod by the city’s Historic Commission last week as two local non-profit groups were given 30 days to find money or present a VERY compelling argument against demolition.
The theater was built in 1950, having been erected in only 14 months upon the ashes of its magnificent predecessor, the Criterion. There has been a theater or entertainment house on this property for over 150 years.
The city argues that it is an eyesore and a public hazard. The roof has extensive damage and water has been leaking into the building for about two decades. The interior is a mess. Full removal of all interior fixtures, down to the brick walls, is most likely necessary.