The latest movie theater news and updates
July 30, 2002
REDLANDS, CA — The new owners of the Fox Theater have launched a website that highlights the large amount of work needed to restore this movie palace to its original luster. Although badly decayed inside, artist renderings of the restored Fox are tantalizing given its current state and hint at a great future.
Opened in 1928, the Fox was later twinned in a rather destructive manner and finally closed in the late 1980s. It has been shuttered ever since. The theater was purchased earlier this year and will become a live theater venue upon its reopening.
(Thanks to Julie Schneblin for the update!)
CHICAGO, IL — Janet Davies, the entertainment news reporter from WLS-TV (ABC), will be reporting today on the Uptown Theatre at 4:00 pm on Channel 7 in Chicago. The piece will feature an interview with Mark Zipperer, CEO of the Uptown Theatre and Center for the Arts.
In other Uptown news, the group has announced that they have already “raised $1.3 million to date of the $4 million needed to purchase the building, stablize/winterize the building, replenish our operating budget, and kick off the campaign to secure the remaining funds necessary to completely restore the Uptown Theatre to its original grandeur.”
The UTCA is seeking donations which can be sent to:
Uptown Theatre and Center for the Arts
4707 N. Broadway, Suite 315
Chicago, IL 60640
The Uptown will also be holding a benefit rock concert in the near future and will have booths at the following events:
Uptown Unity Fest located at Truman College (on Wilson between Clark and Broadway) on August 3rd from 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Northalsted Market Days located on Halsted Street between Belmont and Addison on August 10th & 11th from 11:00 am – 10:00 pm.
The group will also be raffling off a 2002 JAGUAR (S-Type V6) which is valued at $45,000. Accoring to the group, chances of winning are 1 in 625. Cost per ticket: $200. For more information on the raffle, call 773-561-5700.
(Thanks to Michael Beyer for keeping us in the loop!)
PASADENA, CA — Supporters aiming to save the historic, 1800-seat Raymond Theatre from redevelopment into condominiums are holding a raffle to pay for the organization’s legal fees.
According to Gina Zamparelli, the tireless head of the Friends of the Raymond Theatre, “Our lawsuit is moving forward rapidly. A hearing date is now being scheduled [and] we are expected to go to court sometime in November of this year.”
The group needs to raise more than $7,000 before September and if the case moves on to appeals, the required funds will increase. 5,000 raffle tickets have been printed and the grand prize is a vacation for two at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada for 3 days/2 nights. Other prizes include:
2nd: $500 in cash
3rd: Go-Video Duel Deck DVD/VCR Player
4th: 2 Adult Passes to Disneyland, Anaheim, CA
5th: $50 Starbucks Coffee Gift Certificate
Suggested donations for raffle tickets are as follows:
$1 for 1 ticket
$5 for 6 tickets
$10 for 12 tickets
$20 for 25 tickets
$50 for 60 tickets
$100 for 125 tickets
$200 to $500 + donation – One raffle ticket for every dollar you donate
The drawing will be held October 12, 2002 and you do not have to be present to win. To purchase tickets online, visit paypal.com and send a payment to with your full name, address and phone. Your raffle ticket numbers will be sent via email upon request.
You can also send your payment via snail mail by writing to:
Friends of the Raymond Theatre
P.O. Box 91189
Pasadena, CA 91109-1189
(Thanks as always to Gina for getting the word out to us!)
July 29, 2002
EASTCHESTER, NY — The Garson Brothers Development company has begun construction on a new $15 million apartment complex on the site of the recently razed Scarsdale Plaza Theater. According to the New York Times, the 49-unit “Scarsdale Commons” is scheduled to open in the Fall of 2003.
The now vanished theater was sold, along with an adjacent space, for $2.85 million in late 2000. When plans to raze the theater later went public, local residents along with Craig Morrison, the chair of New York’s Historic Preservation Committee, led a drive to save the old movie house. Despite attempts to landmark the building in June 2002, the theater was demolished.
The Scarsdale Plaza was originally constructed by Rapp & Rapp for RKO in 1931. Morrison, in a June New York Post article, referred to the theater as “the only one of its kind in America” for the unique wood details in its marquee and interior. The theater had been closed since 1996 and is now just a footnote.
Score one for the developers.
POUGHKEEPSIE, NY — The continued success of the Bardavon 1869 Opera House is being cited today in the New York Times as one of the signs that the beleaguered city of Poughkeepsie is finally clawing its back from the brink.
According to the New York Times, following years of renovations in which its interior and exterior has been meticulously restored, the Bardavon is now drawing 120,000 visitors per year — a three-fold increase from its totals in 1994.
NEW YORK, NY — Elsewhere, the former Loews Cineplex Worldwide Cinemas, once the only remaining discount movie theater in Manhattan, is scheduled to be converted into multiple auditoriums for off-broadway productions. According to the New York Times, the complex will be converted into five small auditoriums, along with rehearsal space, and is scheduled to open in mid-2003.
July 26, 2002
The LA Times, the Guardian, and the NY Times each carried articles on various Cinema Treasures over the past week. Enjoy!
LOS ANGELES, CA — The Los Angeles Times has published an extensive piece about Steve Needleman’s $3 million restoration of downtown LA’s Orpheum Theatre. In addition to the article, you can also view a guided tour filmed by the newspaper’s staff. To watch, just follow the links on the right side of their page.
ENGLAND — David McKie of the Guardian has written a short piece about the English cinemas of yesterday and how their names evoked a certain magic and excitement. With the current practice of naming theaters after their number of screens or location within a shopping mall, it’s no wonder he’s waxing lyrical about a grander time at the movie house.
BROOKLYN, NY — The New York Times covered the Theatre Historical Society of America’s trip to the shuttered Loew’s Kings. The 3600-seat Rapp & Rapp movie palace has been closed since 1977 and has since been the subject of much speculation as to when and if it might reopen.
(Thanks to Andreas Fuchs for the story.)
HAMILTON, SCOTLAND — The city of Hamilton isn’t movie-less anymore thanks to a new 9-screen, 1,423-seat multiplex which is due to open August 23rd. According to the Hamilton Advertiser, the city has been without a movie house since the Odeon on Townhead Street closed in 1999.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK — This Sunday, July 28th, The Motion Picture Club presents its “Sixth Annual Street Fair” on Manhattan’s 7th Avenue between 47th and 57th Streets.
In addition to all the thrills and frills, good times and foods of an authentic New York City festival, this event offers a rare chance to find some great movie memorabilia and promotional items. With the support of our friends in the film and entertainment communities, this event helps the Motion Picture Club to raise much needed funds for many of our industry charities, including: Will Rogers Pioneers, Make a Wish Foundation, Ronald McDonald House, and Variety Clubs International.
Last year, approximately 850,000 people attended, so make sure you’ll stop by early. The street fair is scheduled from 9 AM to 6 PM. Check out the bargains, have some great snacks and enjoy the movies! For more information about the Motion Picture Club, please check out www.motionpictureclub.org.
(Thanks to Andreas Fuchs for the notice!)
July 25, 2002
CHESHIRE, CT — The parent company of a local oil firm has purchased the shuttered and crumbling Cheshire Cinema, according to a report in the Republican-American. The theater has been closed since 1998 and was briefly condemned for safety violations since that time.
Plans for the old movie house, which was erected in 1923, are unknown, but residents hope it will now be preserved or at least repaired from its current status as an ‘eyesore’. The theater is best known for an interior 15-foot-long mural created by Al Hirschfeld depicting a “nightclub filled with Hollywood legends.”
We’ll keep you posted…
(Thanks to Roger Katz for the news.)
CONCORDIA, KS — Cinema Treasures' friend, and frequent contributor, Joel Weide reports that the Apollo Theatre, has closed. The Apollo replaced the Brown Grand as the central movie house for Concordia years ago and was twinned most likely in the early 1980’s.
He writes, “I understand that it has fallen into serious disrepair, and needs extensive work. The community leadership is working to begin a project to re-open the theater and I will keep you posted as events warrant. The Apollo has no historical significance and could be consided an early AMC-type design, however it did serve the people of North Central Kansas with a great movie venue.”
(Thanks to Joel for the sad news.)
SALINA, KS — Elsewhere in Kansas, the Historic Fox Theatre Foundation has hired the former Senior Production Manager of the opening and closing ceremonies of the recent Olympic games in Salt Lake City as the new Executive Director of the Fox Theatre.
According to the Salina Journal, the multi-million dollar restoration and renovation project is scheduled to be completed in 2003 when the the Fox reopens as a mixed-use performing arts center.
(Thanks to Joel again for the update.)