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Old arcade building to be revamped
By: Erica Byfield
By: Erica Byfield KVFS Channel 12 News June 21, 2007
PADUCAH, Ky. – It’s not often that we get to take a step back in time, but that’s exactly what we did Thursday.
We took an exclusive tour of the old arcade building in downtown Paducah with an investor that wants to bring some life back to it.
Sharon Graves can’t help but get excited, “It will be very dramatic to see all that cleaned up.”
She’s poured a lot of energy into this project.
“When I see the potential in this building it would be great place to work,” Graves said.
She explained plans to gut Paducah’s old arcade theater, built in 1911, in an exclusive tour.
Stage one, overhaul the front part of the building into retail and office space and then fix up the old theatre into more work space.
“We’ll just build from the inside and where going to put windows on the back,” she said.
If the Paducah City Commission approves Sharon Graves' proposal to buy the property, she says she hopes to sell off all the artifacts inside here… including the theatre seating, speakers… you name it… and she hopes it all goes to a local charity.
“It’s going to still be the same building but once it’s all painted the same color and new windows… it’s going to pop again.”
Sharon Graves adds she has an extra incentive to paint and rebuild this landmark.
“I’ve had so many people tell me that when they were little they could come here to the theatre” she said.
It won’t happen overnight, but Graves is sure once it’s done the old arcade will once again be the talk of the town.
Sharon Graves still needs approval by the Paducah City Commission before she can start renovating the old arcade building.
Many thanks to Brucec for his above comment and 8-6-04 list of movie palaces saved in downtowns of cities all over the US, posted at the Mayfair (Embassy 2-3-4) page: /theaters/501/ With very slight adjustments to theater names, I employed his list in this past Monday’s Weekly Update email to our supporters (www.FriendsOfTheBoyd.org).
Here’s the Weekly Update:
Below is a list of restored LARGE movie palaces in US CITIES' DOWNTOWN “entertainment zones” that a movie palace enthusiast drew up in August 2004 at cinematreasures.org The list may not have been complete then (and more movie palaces have since been restored), but it does show that many cities across the USA have saved, restored, and reopened their glorious historic movie palaces for entertainment!
The list was drafted to advocate reuse of a closed Times Square movie palace. The list drafter opined that Radio City Music Hall was outside New York City’s entertainment zone of Times Square. In addition to Radio City, reopened Midtown Manhattan movie palaces include the Hollywood (church) and New Amsterdam. Please realize there are MANY MORE restored movie palaces in the US: in neigbhorhoods, towns, suburbs, etc. in addition to those movie palaces listed below in cities' downtowns.
Defined as the traditional locale of movie palaces and other theaters, Philadelphia’s “entertainment zone” would include Chestnut West. The BOYD THEATRE should join the list!
Howard B. Haas
Seattle: Paramount and Fifth Ave
Portland: Arlene Schnitzer (Paramount)
San Francisco: Orpheum, Warfield and Golden Gate
Oakland: Paramount and Fox Oakland (restoration in progress)
San Jose: California (opens in Sept)
Hollywood: Chinese, El Capitan, Pantages, Egyptian (not fully restored)
Los Angeles: Orpheum, United Artists (church) and many unrestored
San Diego: Fox (Copley), Balboa and Spreckels
San Antonio: Majestic and Aztec (under restoration}
St. Louis: Fox and Powell (St.Louis)
Kansas City: Midland
Minneapolis: Orpheum, State and Pantages
Chicago: Chicago, Oriental and Palace
Detroit: Fox, State and Opera House (Capitol)
Cleveland: Palace, State, Allen and Ohio
Columbus: Ohio, Palace and Southern
Indianapolis: Indiana and Circle
Buffalo: Shea’s Buffalo
Pittsburgh: Heinz Hall (Loew’s Penn), Benedum (Stanley) and Byham (Gayety)
Providence: Ocean State (Providence)
Boston: Wang (Metropolitan), Majestic (Saxon), and Opera House (BF Keith)
Washington DC: Warner
Richmond: Carpenter (Loew’s)
New Orleans: Saenger and (unrestored) Loew’s State
Miami: Gusman (Olympia)
Omaha: Orpheum and Rose (Paramount)
Syracuse: Landmark (Loew’s State)
Salt Lake: Capitol
Jersey City: Loew’s Jersey and Stanley (church)
Again, it is sad that the Mayfair is being gutted. However, the efforts by many of you will not be wasted. Many thanks to Brucec for his above 8-6-04 list of movie palaces saved in downtowns of cities all over the US, and for his comments on Philadelphia’s Boyd Theatre page /theaters/1209/ I used his wonderful list in my Weekly Update email www.FriendsOfTheBoyd.org this past week, to illustrate how almost every American city has saved at least one downtown movie palace! the Boyd is downtown Philadelphia’s sole surviving movie palace, and needs to be saved, restored, and reopened.
here’s the theater link: /theaters/9231/
click the link for a nice photo.
Documentary filmmaker Michael Moore plans to glam up a theater in Traverse City, Mich.
“We’re going to restore this magnificent building to its old glory,” Moore told a crowd on May 30, according to the Associated Press.
The Flint-born director’s film festival, which he launched two years ago, acquired the State Theatre on May 26. It plans to turn the building, which opened in 1949 and showed its last film in 1996, into a state-of-the-art movie house with one of the largest screens in the country.
“As a kid, I grew up going to the theater until it was closed,” says John Robert Williams, film festival board member. “It’s a slice in time from my youth. We don’t want to change it. It’s in phenomenal shape.”
The film festival leased the State Theater last year from Rotary Charities of Traverse City, which acquired the building in 2006. It has essentially donated the building to the film festival.
“We started asking Rotary Charities if we could borrow or rent the State Theatre because it was a crime to be showing movies in Traverse City and not do it in the State Theatre,” Williams says. “[Previous owners] were going to rip it up and turn it into a performing arts center. It was a plan to fail.”
The roof needs repairs, and the festival plans to install a sprinkler system later this year. In the meantime, it has been spiffing up the theater, installing a custom-made screen that measures 46 feet wide.
Mike [Moore] has had lunch with George Lucas, and George is going to be supplying, free of charge, a THX sound system and a standard Dolby sound system,“ Williams says. "We’ve got all the connections. It’s going to be the place to see a movie.”
The Traverse City Film Festival runs from July 31 to Aug. 5.
I’ve heard from a West Chester resident that “The art deco auditorium had seen better days by the 80’s, but you could still see the grandeur, and the size of the place itself was amazing.” The fellow says the auditorium was torn down and made it into a parking lot, and that the lobby was renovated into offices, which is where the Philadelphia Inquirer has their Chester County office today. He further tells me that “The only interior architectural detail that survived is the railing on the stairs, which were originally the balcony stairs.”
If as I think, the exterior is legally protected, then I would hope, and think, that the large circle on the exterior with sculptural reliefs of figures, would be protected.
If those photos can be scanned, and placed on flickr or another website & linked here, many of us would enjoy looking at them. I’d rather look at the pretty theater than the projection room, but I’m sure many here would be pleased to look at the photos of the projection room, too!
Never mind. I found it in Monday’s Daily News at Dan Gross' column-
Logan Theater to live again
Entertainment promoter Jimmy “Hollywood” Brooks and Dr. Owen Williams are fixing up the old Logan Theater (4732 N. Broad) and hope to reopen it as a live-music venue called Claretildaville as early as November, Brooks says. The property, which was built in 1924, later became a church. Brooks and Williams acquired the spot two years ago and have purchased the old curtains from the Copa Room at the recently shuttered Sands in Atlantic City. The venue is named after Williams' late wife, Claretilda.
Could you please advise when & where this article? Today’s Daily News? I can’t find it online. Does it say who is going to operate it> Thank you.
Just so visitors to this site know, the Bradbury, though not a theater, is a wonderful historic building that can be visited:
the Ziegfeld is closed for a couple weeks, so it will lose less money. There’s isn’t any chance at all that the Loew’s King, built with more than 3000 seats, as a single auditorium, is going to again show new movies. That’s like all the suggestions that the Embassy 2-3-4 aka Mayfair would again do so. The Mayfair is being gutted to its bare walls now. Focus on the Loews Kings showcasing live shows….or see it gone.
I agree totally that on website, AFI should identify which film is in the historic auditorium!!
As to the Avalon, under various management over the years, that theater has always specified Avalon 1 (the beautiful huge downstairs auditorium) or Avalon 2 (upstairs). I'v seen a movie upstairs since the nonprofit community tookover, and it isn’t inappropriate for an arthouse film. It isn’t a huge auditorium or screen, but it has been refurbished as comfortable as possible. I’d rather see a movie upstairs any day than in NYC’s Lincoln Plaza.
I wasn’t impressed with it on TV. Blade Runner was very impressive in 1998 on the huge screen at the Uptown in Washington D.C. albeit in 35 mm because it was part of Warner Brothers 75th Anniv & none of those films arrived in 70 mm. At least some of your listings above indicate that the movie in 1982 didn’t get the largest widest screens that it does deserve.
I’d hope, even if limited release, a re-release in 70 mm could be possible, including at the D.C. Uptown.
This afternoon, I photographed the Murano residential tower that is being built on what I think is the site of the Erlanger. The Erlanger closed in the 1970’s and was demolished in that decade.
Here are my photos at the Paris of a few of the movies shown in the last few years:
2005 Happily Ever After, View link
The White Countess, View link
Copying Beethoven, View link
The Namesake, View link
Paris, Je T'aime, View link
La Vie En Rose, View link
Having been well reviewed by the critics, La Vie en Rose seems to be doing well at the Paris. Yesterday, the orchestra was crowded during the afternoon.
The lobby display, in the niche to the right, no longer changes with the movie. I think it was sometime earlier this year, perhaps in February when Breaking and Entering was shown, that the display became a wonderful montage of Paris monuments and actors.
I’d like to see a photo of the former, huge basement lounge.
I meant www.cinematour.com
the above article specifies:
As the 20th-century Paramount is painstakingly restored â€" from the ornate vents in the sealing to the murals on the walls and the Art Deco seats
It is a shame that decoration is being gutted! There are a few photos of the interior after triplexed at www.cinematour.org under Mayfair. Don’t other people have additional interior photos other than the few linked above??
As to people who were thinking this theater could be a daily single screen movie theater again, that’s not real world in the age where there’s no more downtown exclusive! Thankfully, one movie premiere is taking place tonight at Radio City and the Ziegfeld continues (for the time being). People can hope that in the future maybe the Hollywood Theatre (by Lamb) will be available for film premieres/film classics/film festivals. With it rotunda lobby and gorgeous auditorium, built as a movie palace, it would be wonderful to see a film there (though the primary use could be legit theater if it is ever acquired from the church).
Nice photos, thanks for sharing your photos of this Art Deco gem. It is a shame that it closed.
Of course you did. That’s the same story worldwide. A quick google search doesn’t reveal other York cinemas listed at cinematreasures.org. If you know any details (names, style, year built, year closed, what they are now) about them, feel free to list them, even if only here in reply. Movie theater fans visiting York may want to glance at a building and realize what it was.
I look forward to hearing in the future about the renovation of the Odeon York! if possible, you might to telephone the new company, or the town authorities, to inquire about the mural. Even if they know about it, lobbying by individual citizens could result in it being un-hidden.
hah? so if I inform you that the Boyd Theatre is downtown Philadelphia’s last surviving pre-war movie palace, then you’d conclude the others were bombed by the Germans during World War II rather than lost due to TV, suburbs, multiplexes, etc?
How sad! Let’s hope any new owners does indeed incorporate the facade with the wonderful looking marquee, and the gorgeous Art Deco/Art Moderne light fixtures, too, in a new building if this theater is demolished.
I have once visited York and seen the exterior of this theater, but wasn’t inside.
Where is the hidden mural?
If the balcony auditorium is going to be triplexed, will 3 not very large screens be up there instead of the large screen seen in the photos?
Who will attend the reopened theater if there’s movie theaters for mainstream films, and art films, nearby? Are those theaters convenient, comfortable, and up to date?
Of course, that this theater isn’t to be demolished (which seems the fate of the Manchester one) is great