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This property is now empty of all the remains or ruins of the previous theater. Satellite and drive-by views show the parking lines for the two screen lots, but little else remains. The property is now fronted by a small used car dealership on Memorial Parkway.
This theater building went through extensive renovation and reconstruction from 2011-12. Although much of the external appearance is the same, none of the internal structure or theater related construction remains. The building has been converted into a substance abuse rehabilitation and treatment center.
The Regal 8 became “Mike’s Merchandise” (overstocked & discount goods). The interior has been completely gutted. The only traces of the theater are the snack bar area which is now used as the cash register island for store sales.
Correct link: http://paducahsun.com/view/full_story/20186976/article-Club-sets-sights-on-renovating-historic-theater?instance=search_results
The link in the main article says “Paducah Sun” but seems to refer the Sacramento Bee website.
Ladies and Gents, on Sep 28th, 2012, The Lyric Theatre hosted it’s first live performance in over 60 years. The event was a benefit concert by the Chad Fisher Jazz ensemble to raise funds for the continued restoration efforts for the Lyric. To accomplish this feat, volunteers laid down new temporary plywood flooring and lighting. Patrons brought their own chairs. Special dispensation was given by the City of Birmingham, Birmingham Fire Marshal and Code Enforcement to permit this special show. 200 tickets for this performance sold out in a matter of days.
Although the theater area has substantial water damage and decay, the sound quality was nothing less than astonishing. Live jazz spilled across the audience warm and rich as honey. There appeared to be clear sight and sound lines from all parts of the main floor. The band later reported that the sound quality and natural feedback from the venue walls was incredible.
The Hatfield Drive-in was further north of the site noted on the map. According to Google Maps (satellite view), the outlines of the drive-in are located across from the intersection of US31 and County Road 40. The parking lines, access road and projection house foundation are clearly visible.
The Clanton Drive-In was reopened as S&H Mobile Homes. That business closed in 2010. The projection house and snack box was torn down and all the speakers/posts are gone. See article – http://jj-maccrimmon.livejournal.com/811164.html
The building has been torn down (per recent drive-by).
Thank you for sharing this beautiful.
Very much so. I love the fact that they kept the sweeping glass block marque base.
This theatre sat on the corner of N 2nd Street and East Jefferson Street (northeast edge of Pulaski Courthouse Square). Since closing as a cinema and furniture company, it has been converted into office space and the entrance now faces (203) East Jefferson (Alsup & Associates Insurance Inc).
The building still has an art deco marble and stone front.
The cinema has been converted into a private business supplying and installing acoustic tile and drywall. This occured some time prior to 2008. Comparing the Google street view and associated business listing, the company there is Coronata Detail Systems.
Like the Elite Theatre, this site no longer exists. The property on either side of this address now house and elementary school and the Decatur Municipal Public Works (Transportation) Dept.
The area where the building once stood is now a neighborhood park. No building is in evidence.
The Los Angeles Times just ran an article on the Fairfax (http://articles.latimes.com/2010/jan/14/local/la-me-fairfax-theater14-2010jan14). As the Times, like to drop articles here’s the text:
There has never been any shortage of drama at the Fairfax Theatre — not even counting the cinematic conflict that for 80 years has flashed across its screens.
Just months after the 1,800-seat Hollywood movie house opened in 1930, a pair of armed robbers burst into its ornate Art Deco lobby, used adhesive tape to bind and gag employees and made a wild escape with $437 — a fortune in Depression-era receipts.
A half-dozen years later, burglars were so common that the theater’s owners took to leaving a fake safe in their office to fool intruders. One angry thief who spent hours prying open the safe one night in 1937, only to find it empty, took revenge by looting a theater storeroom of 60 lightbulbs, cartons of cigarettes from the lobby snack bar and postage stamps from the office.
Then there was that police raid in 1969 that resulted in the arrest of actors performing a nude scene on the Fairfax stage and led to the shutdown of the Los Angeles debut of “Oh, Calcutta!”
But now the action at the venerable theater at Beverly Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue shapes up to be a fight over whether the Fairfax itself lives or dies.
The longtime owner of the building that houses the theater and nine neighboring shops wants to gut the structure and rebuild it as a combination retail and residential complex.
The exterior concrete Art Deco facade of the building would remain. But the theater would be removed, underground parking for 220 cars would be added and 71 high-end condominium units and a swimming pool would be built atop ground-floor retail space.
Even critics of the $30-million redevelopment proposal acknowledge that the planned residential addition, designed by Santa Monica architect Howard Laks, skillfully blends the old and the new.
They argue, however, that steps also need to be taken to preserve the interior theater space.
“It’s one of the last neighborhood theaters in L.A. It has a curtain tower, a full stage, dressing rooms. It’s got everything to become a legitimate live theater as well as a movie house,” said Gaetano Jones, a leader of a campaign to preserve the Fairfax.
Jones, an actor and singer-songwriter who lives nearby, said the Fairfax Theatre began as a single-auditorium venue for film screenings and live shows. Its current three-theater configuration would allow for operation of a movie house, a theatrical rehearsal stage and a full-production live theater stage, he said.
Jones has launched a friends-of-the-Fairfax group. Others groups supporting preservation include the Los Angeles Conservancy, Hollywood Heritage and several neighborhood organizations.
Hollywood Heritage, in fact, has prepared paperwork that would nominate the theater for designation for city cultural-historic landmark status. Brian Curran, director of preservation issues for the group, said it has agreed to delay filing the nomination papers until after a scheduled meeting with representatives of property owner Alex Gorby.
“The Fairfax Theatre is among the earliest Art Deco neighborhood theaters,” Curran said. “The theater’s cultural significance is wider in that it became a fixture that is very much attached to the postwar Jewish community, with use by synagogues and Holocaust films premiering there.”
Representatives of Gorby, a Santa Monica businessman who they say has owned the theater building and the attached shop spaces for four decades, counter that the era of the small neighborhood movie house is over.
In any event, they contend that the Fairfax has been so heavily remodeled and renovated that it no longer represents the original theater designed in 1929 by Vermont Avenue architect W.C. Pennell.
But a full environmental impact report is being prepared and it will detail any cultural and historic significance that is attached to the property, pledged Ira Handelman, a governmental relations consultant who is a spokesman for Gorby.
Because of a lack of parking space and competition from new movie houses, the Fairfax Theatre is no longer viable as a business, Handelman said.
The theater’s current operators and merchants who operate nine storefronts in the building anticipate they have several more years before any redevelopment begins, said Lana Sterina, who for 11 years has owned a pharmacy next to the theater.
Maurice Marzouk, who has operated a 10-foot-square key shop in the building for 15 years, predicted the theater will avoid demolition. “C'mon, it’s not going to happen,” he said.
But a stalemate will just prolong merchants' anxiety, said Mike Monsef, co-owner of a shoe shop that has been in the building for 62 years.
“We don’t want to leave,” Monsef said from his store, where shoes are stacked in boxes on ancient shelving.
“But nobody is going to spend any money to improve or change things as long as we’re here on a month-to-month basis.”
C/O The Los Angeles Times
It’s always a shame when civil “leaders” in any commnuity can’t recognize the significance and the value historic theaters bring to communities. In every major city where historic theaters/movie houses have been preserved and cultivated (with good management), they’ve turned into anchor points for redevelopment of the surrounding areas. It seems the BDC missed the anchor point concept. Since when are government meetings that will fundamentally change the nature of a community allowed to be held in secret? Is court action an option to block this activity?
Ladies and gents, I just posted a group of interior photos from the Lyric (http://jj-maccrimmon.livejournal.com/611040.html) in my blog.
Are there any updates or news regarding the California? Have any renovations or changes to the site begun?
On July 18th, accompanied by two assistants, I had the opportunity extensively photograph the Lyric and Alabama Theater (across the street). The photos were taken to compare and contrast the condition of the two theaters and includes a number of wide angle, long exposure images that bring out the detail and vivid color on the inside of both grand old theaters. I’ll post links here to the site the images will be uploaded to. Over 400 photos were taken between the two sites, including backstage, below the stage, storage and mechanical areas, balconies and more. It’s taking a bit to sort out.
On July 18th, accompanied by two assistants, I had the opportunity extensively photograph the Alabama and Lyric Theater (across the street). The photos were taken to compare and contrast the condition of the two theaters and includes a number of wide angle, long exposure images that bring out the detail and vivid color on the inside of both grand old theaters. I’ll post links here to the site the images will be uploaded to. Over 400 photos were taken between the two sites, including backstage, below the stage, storage and mechanical areas, balconies and more. It’s taking a bit to sort out.
Open House FREE!
Start Date: 6/7/2009 2:00:00 PM
Tours will include the new Hill Arts Center Banquet Hall, the new Hill Center Meeting Room still under construction and tours of the Alabama and Lyric Theatres. Walk on the Lyric stage and walk back in history where the greats of Vaudeville walked.
You will hear music from the Mighty Wurlitzer pipe organ all afternoon played by members of the theatre organ staff. Our organ crew chief Larry Donaldson will be on hand to answer questions and let you peek into the secret organ chambers to see how it all works. Our Technical Director Jeff Kizziah will be in the projection booth to let you see how the picture gets on the screen. Volunteers will be stationed throughout the theatre to answer questions.
Refreshments will be in the Alabama Theatre and Hill Center. Holly Burrow of the Hill Center will be available to answer questions and provide literature about the new center.
** From the Alabama Theatre Calendar (5/19/09)
The Martin Theater is now “Sammy T’s Music Hall” and hosts live bands several times weekly. The building has removed all the theater seating and turned the screen area into a medium sized stage.
Update: I did a more thorough search and found that the Center Theater building does still stand. The address of 2313 Triana Blvd SW is incorrect though and 2380 Triana Blvd.
I’ll try to arrange a visit and ask about the old theater.