The latest movie theater news and updates
October 9, 2002
We’ve just posted our latest batch of theater photos!
These new images include vintage shots of the Cine Rubens in Antwerp, Belgium (courtesy of Serge Bosschaerts); the Colonial Theatre in Hagerstown, Maryland; the Harris Theatre in Findlay, Ohio; the Orpheum Theatre in Madison, Wisconsin; and the Worth Theatre in Fort Worth, Texas.
October 7, 2002
We’re continuing to add theaters at a blistering pace with 50 new entries added this week and 200 in the last month alone.
Thank you again to all of you who are helping us document this important part of movie history with your fond memories of those theaters which have gone dark, and a celebration of those remaining Cinema Treasures.
SAVANNAH, GA — A new $2 million storage facility is being erected on the site of the former Tara Cinemas, according to a report in the Savannah Morning News. The once popular movie house closed in 1999 and was demolished less than a year ago. The Tara had stood on the site since 1964.
NEW YORK, NY — Yet another Upper East Side cinema has closed in Manhattan as Clearview’s twin Park & 86th Street theater has gone dark. Clearview’s parent company, Cablevision, is still mulling a sale of the entire Clearview circuit.
In other Clearview news, Chelsea Classics have returned with more revival screenings at the Chelsea Cinemas. Still remaining this month are “Serial Mom” on October 10th, “Misery” on October 17th, followed by “The Exorcist” on the 24th, and “The Bad Seed” on Halloween (Oct. 31).
Ticket prices are $4.00 and all shows begin at 7:30 pm.
HOLLYWOOD, CA — Don’t miss your chance to see “This Is Cinerama” in its glorious 3-projector format playing right now at the Cinerama Dome at the Arclight Cinemas. It’s an experience not to be missed!
In other Cinerama news, a new full-length documentary on the birth and death of this widescreen cinema phenomenon has recently been screened at the Telluride Film Festival and this past week Cinerama Adventure also received a glowing review from Daily Variety film critic, Todd McCarthy.
Director David Strohmaier is currently looking for a distributor.
October 4, 2002
SANTA MONICA, CA — The Aero Theatre is becoming more and more fiscally sound thanks to a new publicity and fundraising campaign aimed at keeping the theater in business for years to come.
Scheduled to become part of the failed Sundance Cinemas project, the theater has seen rough times since General Cinema walked away during its bankruptcy reorganization. Luckily, the Aero’s owner, Chris Allen, has worked tirelessly during 2002 to save this Montana Avenue jewel.
Now in addition to the theater’s daily film progtamming, the Aero has also hosted a number of fundraising events with dinner, catered by the Wolfgang Puck Cafe, and a classic film screened for the general public.
If you already missed “Rebel Without A Cause”, “On The Waterfront”, or “Casablanca”, there’s still time to see “Dr. Strangelove” on October 16th at 6:00 or 9:00 pm. Tickets are $20 and include food and beverages. This is the best way to show your support for this single screen gem.
The Aero is also hosting a series of family films on Saturday and Sunday mornings with Shirley Temple in “The Little Princess” (1939) to be screened on October 5th & 6th at 11:00 a.m. Tickets are only $5.
NEW YORK, NY — With the Museum of Modern Art’s Manhattan location currently closed for a massive renovation and expansion effort, the theater’s much heralded film and media department has temporarily moved its screenings to the historic Gramercy Theatre.
The Gramercy will host its first MoMA series, “To Save and Project: The MoMA International Festival of Film Preservation” beginning October 11th. The series will run until November 7th.
The next series will be “Variations on an Enigma: The Billy Rose Tribute to Delphine Seyrig,” followed by “Isn’t It Romantic? Richard Rodgers: at the Movies” which opens in November and features six films from the 1930s and six contemporary international motion pictures.
Movies at the Gramercy are a throwback to the New York of the 1970s and 1980s when the theater was a key venue for repertory film programming before it switched to off-broadway and other live productions.
CHICAGO, IL — The Uptown Theatre and Center for the Arts has been granted an extension on their $2.5 million purchase agreement for the Uptown Theatre. The following letter was sent in from the UTCA and is written by CEO Mark Zipperer:
As you are likely aware, today marks the expiration of the agreement we entered into for the … purchase of the historic Uptown Theatre. In the purchase agreement, our not-for-profit organization, the Uptown Theatre and Center for the Arts (UTCA), agreed to pay the current owner of the Theatre $2.5 million dollars.
We made a down payment of $250K and agreed to purchase the property in 120 days. Yesterday, on behalf of the UTCA, I signed an agreement with the owner of the theatre to extend our deadline to October 21. … We still do not have the funds to complete the purchase.
Our staff, board, volunteers, supporters, and community leaders remain hopeful that we can make this happen in the not-too-distant future. I ask you not to lose faith in our endeavor. We’ve accomplished much in a short period of time.
For the full text of the letter and additional press release, please visit our Uptown Theatre page’s comments section
October 3, 2002
WEST HARTFORD, CT — The Elm Theater has finally closed down after five and a half decades of delighting suburban Hartford audiences. According to Cinema Treasures' Connecticut theater expert, Roger Katz, the theater closed this past Sunday, September 29, 2002.
No shows are listed for this coming weekend and a call to the theater confirms the sad news with the following recording: “We regret to inform you that the Elm Theater is closed. Thank you for your patronage.”
The theater had been struggling for the last few years and had been relegated to showing second-run features and was only open on the weekends. The now-twinned cinema opened as a single screen movie house in 1947 and was one of the oldest operating movie theaters in the area.
It will be missed.
(Thanks to Roger Katz for the sad news.)
WASHINGTON, DC — We received the following email today from the Avalon Theatre Project seeking volunteers to help them organize and reopen their classic movie house:
Now that construction has begun at the theatre (!) we are in need of volunteers to work on a variety of initiatives. If you are interested in volunteering in any of the following areas, please let us know.
We desperately need help with:
2. Event Planning
3. PR/Publicity (press release writing, etc.)
Also, so we don’t flood your list serve with e-mails, we would like to invite you all to join the ATP-Forum list serve. You can join at http://groups.yahoo.com/subscribe/ATP-forum
Thanks and look forward to seeing you at the movies!
To volunteer, please contact Jennifer Kaplan at .
PASADENA, CA — The Friends of the Raymond Theatre are now within less than $2000 of its goal needed to fight the owners of the former movie and concert venue who want to gut the building and erect condominiums inside the shell of the palatial theater.
The “Friends” have been given an additional week and a half by their legal team to raise the remaining funds. Gina Zamparelli, who heads the organization, desperately needs your help. Any amount (no matter how small) is welcome and can be easily submitted using PayPal and sent to .
(Thanks to all of you who can help save this beautiful theater.)
October 2, 2002
HOLLYWOOD, CA — As we previously reported, the newly restored print of “This Is Cinerama” opens Friday for a one-week run at the Cinerama Dome at the Arclight Cinemas. TIC will be screened in its original 3-strip format!
For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit the Arclight Cinemas website. Michael Kinerk and Dennis Wilhelm, co-authors of “Popcorn Palaces”, recently wrote a commentary for the Miami Herald detailing the wonders of this first-ever Cinerama feature.
MUSKEGON, MI — Developers have expanded their plans for the shuttered Grand Theatre to include not only a conversion into hotel rooms, but additional space for 25 condominiums as well. According to the Muskegon Chronicle, the $15-20 million project has now ballooned from its original $5 million estimate.
The proposed project would transform the former movie house into a 60-80 room hotel with 25 additional condominiums. No timeline or financing information is yet available, but the Grand’s days as a movie house seem to be over.
The Grand closed in 1999 and laid dormant for three years until it was purchased in May 2002 by a local businessman and his wife. After spending $30,000 to determine whether the theater could be transformed into a 700-seat performing arts center, they quickly changed their plans and the theater has since been slotted for renovation into hotel space using the shell of the original building.