The latest movie theater news and updates

  • February 27, 2003

    Today’s Newsreel

    Book Sale Raises $4,000 for Movie Project
    ELKADER, IA — Read the Clayton County Register article

    Trying to Keep the Theater A Theater
    BRISTOL, RI — Read the East Bay Newspaper story

    New Federal Funds to Fuel Ozarks Projects (Including the Gillioz)
    SPRINGFIELD, MO — Read the News-Leader story

    It’s Curtains For Burlington Movie House
    BURLINGTON, VT — Read the WPTZ-TV update

    Alhambra Backers Working Overtime

    Read the Courier & Press article

  • Raymond Theatre Benefit Tonight In Pasadena

    PASADENA, CA — This has been sent in from Gina Zamparelli of the Friends of the Raymond:

    Our benefit for the Raymond Theatre is tonight at the Ice House in Pasadena. We hope to see all our supporters there! It will be a great opportunity for all of us to get together and raise funds to help continue our work to preserve The Raymond Theatre.

    Comedian and show producer Julie Sandoval is kindly donating all door receipts to Friends of the Raymond Theatre. Julie will be performing, along with a host of great comedians!

    We will also be holding a 50/50 raffle. Raffle tickets will be $1. You can purchase them before you enter the Annex showroom or from people wearing yellow “Save the Raymond Theatre” buttons. Winners will be drawn tomorrow night. Someone will win half the money we raise from raffle.

    We want to see everybody at the Ice House tonight!

    Where: The Ice House
    The Annex Room
    24 Mentor Avenue, Pasadena, California
    (626) 577-1894

    When: This Thursday, February 27, 2003

    Time: 8:00 pm

    Admission: $10 (+ $2 drink minimum)


    Parking: Parking is available on the street or in the lighted garage across from the Ice House for $3.

    Entrance: Enter in the main entrance to the Ice House, which is in the alley. Once inside the Ice House, follow the signs that say “Saving Raymond” to the Annex showroom.

    Thanks to Gina Zamparelli for the update!

  • February 26, 2003

    Today’s Newsreel

    Time Short as Theater Backers Give Tour
    DES PLAINES, IL — Read the Daily Herald story

    Schedule Set for Ebert’s Overlooked Film Festival at Virginia Theatre
    CHAMPAIGN, IL — Read the News-Gazette article

    Thanks to Bryan Krefft for both of these articles.

    Landmark To Build New 14-Plex in Westside; Replace Old 4-Plex
    LOS ANGELES, CA — Read the Hollywood Reporter article
    Read Variety’s story (Subscription Required)

    The Variety article also details the upcoming reconstruction of the AMC theaters in Century City and the “multimillion-dollar renovation” of the Mann National theater. According to Variety, the National will probably not convert to stadium seating. Other details are unknown.

    Thanks to Andreas Fuchs for the updates!

    Ramon Theater Purchased
    FROSTPROOF, FL — Perry Bird reports:

    The Frostproof Chamber of Commerce agreed to purchase the 1925 Ramon Theater and adjacent building. They are currently seeking funding to restore both buildings. Plans are to once again show movies and have live performances at the Ramon.

    Read an earlier story from the Ledger

    Thanks Perry!

    Friends of the Boyd Holding Event Next Week
    PHILADELPHIA, PA — This has been sent in from the group:

    Adrian Fine of National Trust for Historic Preservation presents “Saving Historic Theaters: Examples from Across the U.S.” and discussion led by architect Shawn Evans, AIA & Howard B. Haas, Esq. of status of Sameric theater.

    This free event will be held March 5th from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm and will follow a 5:30 pm tour of ‘On the Edge of Your Seat: Popular Theater and Film in Early Twentieth-Century Art’ [at] Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Broad & Cherry.

    For more information, visit the organization’s website.

    Thanks to Howard Haas for the update!

    Artist Captures Colonial on Canvas
    PHOENIXVILLE, PA — Read the Phoenixville News

    Thanks to Gregg Anderson for the news.

  • February 25, 2003

    Today’s Newsreel

    Children’s Museum Considers Theater Site

    Read the Muskegon Chronicle story

    Eastman Raises Curtain on Facelift
    ROCHESTER, NY — Read the Democrat and Chronicle article

    Woman Tries to Give Old Theater New Life
    MOUNT EPHRAIM, CA — Read the Courier Post story

    Connecticut Theaters Booming
    Read the Republican-American story

    Thanks to Roger Katz for the update!

    Spectrum Theater Bought; To Be Demolished
    HOUSTON, TX — Read the Houston Chronicle article

    Tough Times for Museums, Theaters
    PITTSFIELD, MA — Read the Berkshire Eagle notice

    Thanks to Gregg Anderson for the news.

  • Former Key Theater To Reopen As Cinema & Drafthouse

    WEST HAZELTON, PA — Sybil Hillman, the new owner of the former Key Theater in West Hazelton, PA, has sent in the following update, which corrects earlier information we received which identified local competition as the reason for the movie house’s closure:

    The reason for the theater’s [earlier] closing was my purchase of the building. I have since renovated the entire building and will be reopening the theater as the Cinema & Drafthouse [on] March 21, 2003.

    The entire Hazleton community is extremely excited about our Grand Opening and has shown support for both my project and the revitalization of such an historical theater.

    To see the progress of the renovations, please visit our website.

    Thanks to Sybil Hillman for setting the record straight. We wish her and the Cinema and Drafthouse the best of luck!

  • February 24, 2003

    Today’s Newsreel

    Belatedly, City Begins Safety Work at the Modern Theatre
    BOSTON, MA — Read the Boston Globe article

    Preservation Alert Fans Fight to Save Historic Berkeley Cinema
    BERKELEY, CA — Read the Oakland Tribune news

    Lamar Theater Revival Project Going Strong
    LAMAR, NV — Read the Nevada Daily Mail story

    Thanks to Gregg Anderson for the news…

    Boxing Night at the Wilma
    MISSOULA, MT — Read the Missoula Independent story

    Thanks to Charles Everett for this story.

    Officials Hoping Theatre Can Stage a Comeback
    BUTLER, PA — Read the Tribune Review article

    Historic ‘Gems’ to be Featured in Presentation
    SHAWNEE, OK — Read the Shawnee News-Star story

  • February 21, 2003

    Today’s (Enormous) Newsreel

    Theater Faces Tough Sledding
    IRONWOOD, MI — Read the Daily Globe story

    Celebrate the 75th Anniversary Of the Redford Theatre Tonight
    DETROIT, MI — Read the Press Release on Yahoo!

    A Decade-Plus of Work May Put New Spotlight on Lincoln Theatre
    MARION, VA — Read the Roanoke Times story

    Preservation Alert Lindenhurst Theatre Preservation In Jeopardy
    LINDENHURST, NY — Read the troubling South Bay News article

    If you are from the area, we urge those who want to save this theater to start a rival petition and lobby for its preservation.

    1920s-Era Granada Theatre Will Get a $17-Million Restoration
    SANTA BARBARA, CA — Read the Los Angeles Times story

    Fundraising Continues for the Elkader Cinema Project
    ELKADER, IA — Read two stories from the Clayton County Register
    Article #1
    Article #2

    National Designation Being Sought for Capitan Theater
    PASADENA, TX — Read the Pasadena Citizen article

    Theater on High Ready for Opening Act/Fox Venice Theater Memories
    MOORPARK, CA — Read the Ventura County Star article

    The Pipes, the Pipes are Calling
    SACRAMENTO, CA — Read the Sacramento Bee story

    SEATTLE, WA — Read the Seattle Post-Intelligencer article
    Visit the official Seattle Cinerama website for tickets and more info

    Drive-In Movie Theater Planned for Galva
    GALVA, IL — Read the Register-Mail story

    Dickinson Theaters To Donate Fox Theater
    HAYS, KS — Read the Salina Journal news

    Thanks to Joel Weide for the update!

    Zero Hour is at Hand
    PLATTSBURGH, NY — Read the Press Republican editorial

  • February 20, 2003


    SALT LAKE CITY, UT — We’ve received a number of emails over the past 24 hours about the Villa and we are very excited to bring you some good news:

    This came in from Grant Smith last night:

    According to a news story on Fox 13 on 19 February 2003, Harmons, a local grocery store chain, bought the Villa Theatre in order to block a possible purchase by Wal-Mart, which may have wanted to demolish the theater and build a Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market.

    Harmons currently operates a grocery store at the Brickyard Plaza, very near the Villa property, and has expressed a desire to work with the Utah Heritage Foundation on possible reuse plans for the theater. Apparently Harmons offered to let Carmike Cinemas continue to operate the Villa, but Carmike declined and closed the theater.

    Reid Sondrup adds that KSL also ran that story and adds:

    … the Harmon group purchased it as an investment and is open to discussion of future use of the property. Kirk Huffaker of the Utah Heritage Foundation will discuss any part the Villa might play in future development. It was stated that demolition is not imminent.

    Sean Means, who has been covering the developments for the Salt Lake Tribune published this story today:
    Salt Lake Tribune article

    And finally, Kirk Huffaker, Assistant Director of the Utah Heritage Foundation, released this statement via email yesterday:

    I am pleased to report the following information obtained and confirmed today. You may see it in various news reports also.

    The new owner of the property, which we believe was recorded today, is the corporation that owns Harmon’s grocery stores. They bought the property as an investment property. The new owner offered Carmike Cinemas the opportunity to continue to operate the theater but they declined.

    The theater is not in immediate danger of being demolished by the new owner. In our conversation today, they have expressed willingness to discuss possibilities for the theater with Utah Heritage Foundation.

    Thank you to all our supporters near and far for their lobbying and rallying efforts.

    We’d like to thank everyone who contributed to this effort in getting the word out about the Villa and its closure. Special thanks go to Grant Smith, Reid Sondrup, Howard Haas, Bryan Krefft, Sean Means, and everyone else who notified us about these developments.

    Of course, a special thanks goes to the Utah Heritage Foundation and, of course, Harmon’s Grocery Stores. Let’s hope this has a happy ending.

    (See below for more of today’s news and events.)

  • News and Events

    Uptown Theatre and Center for the Arts to Hold Benefit Gala
    CHICAGO, IL — This just in from the UTCA:

    The Uptown Theatre and Center for the Arts (UTCA) is pleased to announce “Bring Back the Brilliance,” a gala benefit, Friday, March 21, at 7 pm at Thorne Auditorium. Proceeds from the event will support programming and operational expenses during the year.

    For more information, visit the UTCA website and go to ‘events’.

    See “Glory” at the Lafayette Theatre This Weekend!
    SUFFERN, NY — “Glory” (1989), the civil war epic starring Matthew Broderick, Morgan Freeman, and Denzel Washington, will be shown this Saturday, February 22nd, at 12 noon at the Lafayette Theatre as part of the Big Screen Classics series. Tickets are $6.00.

    Doors open at 11:30 with Jeff Barker playing the Ben Hall Memorial Mighty Wurlitzer Theatre Pipe Organ before the film starts!

    For more information, visit the Big Screen Classics website.

    Thanks to Pete Apruzzese of Galaxy Theatres for the update!

    Help Wanted at the St. George Theatre
    STATEN ISLAND, NY — With renovations continuing at the St. George Theatre, Stephanie Gilmore, who is helping to restore the 75-year-old, 2,800 seat movie palace, is looking for photos and blueprints. Gilmore is looking for interior and exterior images to enable workers to more accurately and quickly restore the St. George.

    More information on the theater
    Email Stephanie Gilmore at

    Thanks to Jean Siegel for the continued St. George Theatre updates!

  • February 19, 2003

    Today’s Newsreel

    Pre-Movie Ads Rip Off Theatergoers, Suits Claim

    Read the Chicago Sun-Times article

    Theater’s Silver Screen Gives Way to Live Stage
    MOREHEAD CITY, NC — Read the Jacksonville Daily News article

    Lawsuit Could Impact Closure of Loews Century Plaza
    LOS ANGELES, CA — Read the Los Angeles Independent story

    New Owner of the Crest Pulling Out All Stops to Pack the House
    LOS ANGELES, CA — Read the Los Angeles Independent coverage

    Meyer Theatre Opening ‘Poetic'
    GREEN BAY, WI — Read the Green Bay News-Chronicle article

    ‘Gods and Generals’ Premiere Nets $94K for Theaters
    JACKSON, MI — Read the Jackson Citizen-Patriot story

    Theater Owner Says Letters Led to Closing
    CHAMPAIGN, IL — Read the News-Gazette article