The latest movie theater news and updates

  • October 14, 2016

    Kingman, AZ – Zombie Fest proceeds to help renovate Beale Street Theater

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    From The Daily Miner: When Kristina Michelson walks through the dilapidated Beale Street Theater, she sees the glass as half full.

    Plaster is peeling off the walls, the ceiling shows large blotches of water damage, electrical wiring is spliced and exposed, pipes are rusted and broken, and the interior is generally in shambles.

    “It’s got potential,” insists Michelson, cofounder of Kingman Center for the Arts, a nonprofit group formed earlier this year with a mission of renovating and restoring the theater that was most recently home to Boston Antiques.

    It’s going to be a while before crowds come into Beale Street Theater to watch live dance and theater productions and classic movies.

    There’s no timetable for opening at this point, as the group must raise about $500,000 to complete construction work necessary to bring the building up to code, Michelson said. The fire sprinkler system alone is estimated to cost $80,000.

    “Our first step was to set up the 501©, and we recently got that from the IRS. Now we can move forward with materials testing on the property,” she said.

    The building has undergone several material and structural assessments in the past without any major issues, Michelson noted, and a volunteer architect with the nonprofit group is preparing a detailed report of the building and its operating systems.

    In the meantime, Kingman Center for the Arts is forging ahead with plans to develop arts-based programs here, starting with the Art in the Park fundraiser held in August.

    On Saturday, the group is holding Zombie Fest 2016 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. in Metcalfe Park, 315 W. Beale St. It features a live theater production of “10 Ways to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse,” a play that Michelson came across while researching for Art in the Park.

    The play has a cast of 15, including Michelson’s son, Spencer, a freshman at Lee Williams High School who will be playing the part of one of the zombie survivors.

    There’s also a preshow comedy act, flash-mob dance to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” photo booth, games and concessions. Cost is $10.

    Kingman Center for the Arts is putting on two children’s theater productions of “The Nutcracker” Dec. 2-3 at Lee Williams High School, and recently held auditions for “A Christmas Carole.”

    Originally from Utah, Michelson is an advocate of the arts with teaching and performance experience in music.

    She plays piano, saxophone, clarinet and oboe, and was in a professional hand bell choir in Las Vegas before moving to Kingman about three years ago.

    She hooked up with Sara and Nate Peterson, who bought the theater for $150,000 and cofounded the Kingman Center for the Arts.

    A third-generation artist and art teacher, Sara Peterson had a vision to create more opportunity for arts in Kingman and was the catalyst for Kingman Center for the Arts.

    To learn more about the organization or to volunteer, go to the organization’s web site at www.bealestreettheater.com.

    “We want live theater and there’s nothing to stop us from getting a theater program up and running in this community,” Michelson said.

    The theater opened in 1939 at Fourth and Beale streets, and was built by Harry Nace as part of the Lang movie chain. It closed in 1979, and later operated as a church and furniture store.

  • October 11, 2016

    Santa Barbara, CA – SBIFF Launches Capital Campaign (Riviera Theatre)

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    From The Santa Barbara Independent: Each winter when the Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) takes over downtown, our seaside town’s movie houses hum with a whir of films, panel discussions, and celebrity events. It’s good fun and great fare, but it doesn’t end when the festival packs up –– SBIFF is a year-round experience offering educational programs, Wave mini-festivals, and weekly showcase films at their recently acquired Riviera Theatre.

    In an effort to enhance its roster of offerings, SBIFF has begun a fundraising effort, deemed the Capital Campaign, which will allow it “to expand [its] current slate of education programs, preserve an important historic landmark, enhance the communal theater experience, and create a cultural hub for all things film,” according to a recent press release. More than $2 million has been raised so far, with the goal of $5 million by March 2017.

    A face-lift for the Riviera is scheduled to begin January 2017 with a spring completion date. In addition to theater restoration, a new balcony lounge will be built that will serve as a space for SBIFF gatherings and receptions come the 2018 festival. Other planned changes include a classroom, world-class sound and projecting systems, a loop system for the hearing impaired, and improved heating and air conditioning.

    With the Riviera Theatre as its base, the SBIFF now has the opportunity to expand its already existing educational programs — such as its youth programs, AppleBox Family Films and Mike’s Field Trip to the Movies — as well as create new offerings. “Our capital campaign and expansions to the Riviera Theatre mark an important new chapter in our festival’s history,” said festival executive director Roger Durling. “These renovations and improvements will allow us to serve Santa Barbara in new and exciting ways and will bring us closer together as a community.”

    For more information and to contribute to the campaign, see sbiff.org/riviera.

  • Tupelo, MS – Something strange in your neighborhood: Tupelo’s Lyric Theatre

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    From djournal.com: There are some things in this world that go way beyond human understanding – things that cannot be explained – things some people don’t even want to know about. You hear something go bump in the night. You see something out of the corner of your eye. You feel something on the nape of your neck.

    Most unexplained events can be easily dismissed: The wind blew something over or faulty wiring made that bulb flicker, ominously. But, sometimes, you’re in a place with a history behind it. And whether those stories have been passed down over generations or are still actively discussed today, they haunt those areas as much as the ghosts in the stories.

    Over the next four Fridays, the Daily Journal will be spotlighting four separate locations in Northeast Mississippi that share a common bond: ghosts and the legends that surround them.

    The Lyric Theatre

    What is now the home of Tupelo Community Theatre has undergone many changes since its inception in 1912.

    At that time, R. F. Goodlett sought out financial backers to construct a vaudeville theater called The Comus. The structure remained a home for live theater until 1931, when it was purchased by the M.A. Lightman Company chain and turned into a movie theater. It was at that time the facility received its now iconic marquee and art deco appearance. From 1931 to 1984, lots of tales came out of the movie house, like Elvis Presley’s first kiss in the balcony during a Saturday matinee, but it was the 1936 tornado that decimated Tupelo, killing an untold number in its path, that gave credence – and still does – to the greatest story out of the Lyric Theatre.

    “‘Antoine,’” said Tupelo Community Theatre executive director Tom Booth, chuckling. “Where did that name even come from? Nobody knows. I can’t for the life of me tell you where his name came from.”

    “Antoine” is the name given to the Lyric’s local haunt, a presence that many have felt but few can put into words. Some see him as a glowing light, while others hear a childlike giggle in the darkness of the historic structure. TCT inherited the spirit, and his story, when they acquired the theater in the mid-’80s.

    There are two separate stories of Antoine that have followed the theater to this day, and many off-shoots of the main legends.

    One is that Antoine was a caretaker of the theater who worked under the stage, shoveling coal. It’s believed he may have even had an apartment in the facility he looked after.

    The more popular legend is that Antoine was a small child killed during the twister of ’36. Whether he was killed and taken to the theater – which was used as a makeshift hospital and morgue in the aftermath of the tornado – or was taken there to be treated and died later remains a mystery, much like Antoine himself.

    Still, strange things happen daily in the landmark, but Booth usually just chalks that up to it being a “big, old building.” That’s not to say he hasn’t had his own run-ins with Antoine.

  • October 10, 2016

    New York, NY – Lin-Manuel Miranda to Launch Movie Series at United Palace Theatre (Loew’s 175th St.)

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    From DNA Info: If you missed him in “Hamilton,” now’s your chance to catch the award-winning actor, playwright and Inwood native Lin-Manuel Miranda on a different stage — hosting a screening of the original “Mary Poppins” movie at the United Palace Theatre.

    The screening, which will take place Sunday, Oct. 16 in the historic theater on Broadway and 175th St., will launch Miranda’s “Reawaken Wonder at a Timeless Movie Palace” campaign to raise an additional $300,000 to upgrade the theater’s audio system.

    Miranda, who donated $100,000 for a projection system that will debut with the film screening, tweeted out the screening details Tuesday morning, causing United Palace Theatre’s site to crash.

  • Newport Beach, CA – Newport council to weigh $1 million sale of Balboa Theater for renovation

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    From The Los Angeles Times: The Balboa Theater, a longtime community fixture on the Balboa Peninsula, would be sold to a Costa Mesa developer for $1 million under a proposal the Newport Beach City Council will consider Tuesday night.

    The council voted in April to enter a nine-month exclusive negotiating agreement to work with Lab Holding LLC, the company behind The Lab and The Camp in Costa Mesa, on a proposal to rejuvenate the 88-year-old theater building, which has been vacant for years.

    The agreement was intended to give the city and Lab Holding time to finalize a plan and negotiate a sale of the city-owned property to Lab, which proposes to update the Balboa Boulevard venue and maintain it as a theater.

    Lab Holding is proposing to restore the theater’s original architecture, including the marquee, which likely would reflect the 1920s wrought-iron style. The venue is proposed to have a cafe that would open to the street, a small stage for live music and a second stage for private events. The live-music stage would have an indoor pub but no seating. The theater likely would not show films, according to preliminary plans.

    “We are excited by the opportunity to resurrect this community amenity for Balboa Village,” Lab Holding founder Shaheen Sadeghi wrote in his proposal to the city.

  • Lakeland, FL – Palm Cinema 3 screens go dark after 3 decades

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    From The Ledger: The Carmike Palm Cinema 3 meant much to the personal life of Brice Holley — his first job, a place to see friends and catch the latest movie, and where he met a cute employee who would eventually become his wife.

    But it’s the end of an era for a place of diversion that was a big part of Holley’s life and the lives of thousands of other Polk County residents seeking a two-hour-or-more escape from reality. The Palm Cinema 3 staff has turned off the theaters' projectors for good, ending an 30-plus-year run that began when “Ghostbusters,” “Indiana Jones” and “Beverly Hills Cop” were just-released blockbusters. According to the website Flikr, the Palm Cinema 3 was opened by Floyd Theaters April 18, 1986, built on the site of the former Lakeland Drive-In.

    Until its closing, it was second-oldest Polk County theater, after the Polk Theatre, which is still in operation.

    “My wife, myself and a few friends still keep in touch and we all worked there back in the ‘80s. We had a reunion of sorts about four years ago. Seeing it in its current state is sad; when we were there it was still shiny and new,” said Holley, 46. who worked as a projectionist and usher from 1986 to 1989.

    The Palm Cinema 3 was divided into three theaters: The Arts, which showed specialty films; The Variety, which showed discount-priced, second-run films; and Mugs and Movies, where beer and pub food were available.

    Holley said the Mugs theater’s roof was giving way due to leaks and he was told it shut down Oct. 1.

    According to its website, Carmike Cinemas, Inc., which is based in Columbus, Ga., is one of the United States' largest motion picture exhibitors, with 276 theaters and 2,954 screens in 41 states, with a focus on mid-sized communities.

    The news of Palm Cinema 3’s closing was also bittersweet for another Lakeland family.

  • October 6, 2016

    Birmingham, AL – Alabama Theatre announces 2016 Christmas movie schedule

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    From AL.com: Halloween is still more than three weeks away, but it’s not too early to start making your Christmas plans at the Alabama Theatre.

    Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. today, Oct., 6, for the Alabama’s 2016 Holiday Film Series, and if you want to make sure to get tickets to see some of your favorite Christmas movies, you might want to go ahead and buy your tickets now.

    Last Christmas season, a record 29,281 people attended the Holiday Film Series, and 12 of the 18 screenings were sold out, according to Brant Beene, executive director of Birmingham Landmarks, which owns and operates the Alabama Theatre.

    “These are so popular,” Beene said. “People even plan their holidays around them.”

    Tickets to this year’s movies are $8, with the exception of the two screenings of “The Polar Express.” Those tickets are $12, with proceeds benefiting Kid One Transport.

    Order tickets online at Ticketmaster.com or by phone at 800-745-3000. There is an additional charge for online purchases.

    Here is the 2016 Holiday Film Series schedule:

    Dec. 9, Friday, 7 p.m. — “White Christmas.”

    Dec. 10, Saturday, 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. — “The Polar Express.”

    Dec. 10, Saturday, 7 p.m. — “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.”

    Dec. 11, Sunday, 2 p.m. — “Miracle on 34th Street.”

    Dec. 11, Sunday, 7 p.m. — “Elf.”

    Dec. 12, Monday, 7 p.m. — “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

    Dec. 13, Tuesday, 7 p.m. — “Home Alone.”

    Dec. 14, Wednesday, 7 p.m. — “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.”

    Dec. 15, Thursday, 7 p.m. — “Elf.”

    Dec. 16, Friday, 7 p.m. — “A Christmas Story.”

    Dec. 17, Saturday, 2 p.m. — Christmas Cartoon Matinee: “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”

    Dec. 17, Saturday, 7 p.m. — “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

    Dec. 18, Sunday, 2 p.m. — “White Christmas.”

    Dec. 18, Sunday, 7 p.m. — “Home Alone.”

    Dec. 19, Monday, 2 p.m. — “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

    Dec. 19, Monday, 7 p.m. — “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.”

    Dec. 20, Tuesday, 2 p.m. — “White Christmas.”

    Dec. 20, Tuesday, 7 p.m. — “Meet Me in St. Louis.”

    Dec. 21, Wednesday, 2 p.m. — “A Christmas Story.”

    Dec. 21, Wednesday, 7 p.m. — “Elf.”

    Dec. 22, Thursday, 2 p.m. — Christmas Cartoon Matinee: “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”

    Dec. 22, Thursday, 7 p.m. — “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.”

    The Alabama Theatre is at 1817 Third Ave. North in downtown Birmingham.

  • New York, NY – This luxe dine-in movie theater serves only quiet food

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    From the New York Post: New Yorkers who get their first look at — and taste of — the city’s first iPic cinema complex at the South Street Seaport on Friday might be awed if they’ve never been to one of iPic Entertainment’s 14 other destinations around the US.

    Realty Check got a sneak peek at iPic in the landmark Fulton Market Building, which boasts eight screens and 501 seats. It opens to the public on Oct. 7 with showings of “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children,” “The Birth of a Nation” and the much-anticipated “The Girl on the Train.”

    Plush, reclining seats similar to those in a first-class airline cabin and food prepared by an award-winning chef that’s served as you watch a film, are far more upscale than even the fanciest of other cinemas in New York.

    Via iPic.com and a dedicated app, customers can easily book showings — not only the movie and time but also exactly which seats. There are two seating options, Premium and Premium Plus. The former includes regular or chaise lounge seats; customers can bring food from an iPic Express counter to the seats.

    Premium Plus means reclining leather seats built into pods with pillows, blankets and “unlimited free popcorn.” They’re arrayed in pairs separated by aisles, so customers can have pre-ordered meals and cocktails delivered to seats by “Ninja” servers who don’t block anyone’s view of the screen.

    Membership programs both free and paid entitle users to various discounts, priority reservations and other benefits. Seats cost $14 to $29 depending on which level of service is chosen, as well as the day and time; weekends are more expensive.

  • Waterbury, CT – Tour given of historic Waterbury theater

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    From TownTimesNews.com:
    Friday, October 15, is a chance to learn some of what makes the magic happen behind the curtain along with the history and lore steeped in 95 years as an entertainment venue during the Waterbury Palace Theater’s upcoming monthly tour from 11a.m. to 12:30p.m.

    For information, visit www.palacetheaterct.org, call 203-346-2000, or in person at the Box Office, 100 East Main Street, Waterbury. Groups larger than 10 people are asked to contact the Box Office to book their reservations in advance.

    During the tour, attendees are led through nine decades of the theater viewing and hearing facts and lore, about the stunning architecture and backstage magic related to the Palace’s rich history. In addition to exploring the many spaces within the theater, patrons also have the opportunity to visit hidden areas not seen by the general public, like the green room, wig room and star dressing rooms, you can even stop to take a selfie at the stage door. Tour takers will also be able to experience the thrill of walking across the stage and viewing the venue’s hidden backstage murals featuring show motifs painted and signed by past performers and Broadway touring company cast members. Guests will also browse a collection of the theater’s pre-restoration photos, in addition to viewing elements from the Palace’s Tenth Anniversary History Exhibit, which include a visual timeline of historic milestones dating back to 1922, as well as original theater seats from the 1920s.

    Each tour is approximately 90 minutes and is led by a team of engaging volunteers well-versed in the theater’s rich history, architectural design and entertaining anecdotal information. The walking tour covers five floors of history and architecture, including grand staircases from the 1920s. While elevator access is available, guests with walking disabilities or health concerns are asked to inform the Box Office ahead of time, so that the tour guides can make accommodations in advance to insure a pleasurable experience for all.  

    For general information about the venue, visit www.palacetheaterct.org.

  • October 5, 2016

    St. Paul, MN – Take a look inside St. Paul’s Palace Theatre overhaul, soon to be a major concert destination

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    From the Star Tribune: The Palace Theatre in downtown St. Paul looks to be in ruins right now. And that’s a good thing.

    After three years of financial and governmental wrangling, renovations on the 100-year-old former vaudeville and movie house are well underway — 32 years after its marquee went dark over what’s now the 7th Place walking plaza between Wabasha and St. Peter streets.