Cinema Treasures Tour

posted by ParkerP on June 22, 2006 at 6:02 am

Hello Theatre Buffs,

While we continue our search for an historic theatre to refurbish or maintain in the Chicago area, I have a question for folks. Is there a travel agency/service offering national trips and tours of historic theatres?

Parker P

Comments (28)

hstorybuff on June 22, 2006 at 6:34 am

Theatre Historical Society of America has an annual Conclave/Theatre Tour in a different city every year. This year the tour is in Boston, MA area running June 27th to July 1st. See their website for details about next year.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on June 22, 2006 at 7:04 am

I am the International Visit Co-ordinator of the Cinema Theatre Association (CTA) based in England (UK). Monthly tours are organised for members within the UK and there is usually at least one International tour a year.

Currently I am in New York City setting up a 10 days tour of N.Y.C. theatres (and former movie houses/theatres) which will take place in late October/early November 2007. Future CTA International visits are also being planned to Denmark (Copenhagen), Cuba (Havana) and our 2nd visit to India.

Recent CTA International visits in the past 3 years have been to Australia (Sydney & Melbourne), USA (Los Angeles, CA and Boston, MA), Russia (St Peterburg) and India.

More information on the Cinema Theatre Association (which has an International membership) can be found on the website:–

ParkerP on June 22, 2006 at 9:41 am

Good information. I think it would be great fun to take a train or bus tour of different historic theatres in a region. I don’t know when I’ll get back to the UK, but it won’t be for lack of trying!


Broan on June 22, 2006 at 10:19 am

I know pretty much all the Chicago-area theaters. Drop me an e-mail. Click on my name, and it will show my address. I’d be glad to talk all about them.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on June 22, 2006 at 4:20 pm

Hey Ken… You wouldn’t happen to have a policy of adopting a local cinema theater enthusiast (such as myself) in each city you visit and taking them along for the tours, would you? Heh heh. And what is the deal with the theater database on CT today? Seems to be down since about 3pm EST.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on June 22, 2006 at 5:39 pm

Parker;Let me know when ever you next plan a trip to the UK

EdSolero;I ‘adopt’ local cinema enthusiasts in all city’s I visit! LOL A local guide is essential to getting the best information on theatres and how to get around. Feel free to contact me on e-mail.

ParkerP on June 23, 2006 at 3:53 am

Will do, Ken. Best, Parker

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on June 23, 2006 at 5:40 am

I’ve been noticing lately that a great many more guests have been hitting this site than ever before. Whereas those numbers have previously peaked well under the 500 mark, these past few days have evidenced numbers as high as over 2000! As of this posting, it appears there are 700 guests visiting (and 10 or so registered members).

This morning, I reported an unrelated link that was posted yesterday and made comment on the database problems we’ve all been experiencing, with the suggestion they post some sort of bulletin regarding the situation to keep the membership informed. They usually respond quickly to reported links, so I trust we’ll get some news soon enough.

ParkerP on June 23, 2006 at 6:11 am

P.S. Ken,

I’ve been to St. Petersburg and would love to go back (and what an interesting way to get back there) and have a good friend outside of Melbourne and would be interested in a future trip there as well. I’ll keep an eye out for the NYC trip in 2007. Best, Parker

tim on June 23, 2006 at 9:37 am

If you ever get the theater tours put together, contact the Catlow Theater ( and we’ll try to make arrangements to show you around.

Karen Colizzi Noonan
Karen Colizzi Noonan on June 23, 2006 at 4:16 pm

As President of Theatre Historical Society, i would urge anyone who is interested in future tours to check our website for future Conclave information. ( In 2006 we are, as mentioned, in Boston but that tour is now sold out. In 2007 we will be traveling from Milwaukee to Minneapolis and in 2008 we will be in the San Francisco/Oakland area. A decision on 2009 will be made this coming week at our board meeting, but we anticipate being back on the East Coast in the Mid Atlantic region. (Think of a fabulous restoration in PA which will be completed by then!) As soon as the proposal is accepted for the official calendar, I’ll announce it right here!

Karen Colizzi Noonan, President THS

mikemorano on June 24, 2006 at 3:51 pm

Are these tours expensive? Let’s say a tour to Denmark for example. What would that cost for one person. Approximately how many days would a tour to Denmark consist of.

Bway on June 25, 2006 at 1:59 am

There is a majopr problem with the site. It is impossible to get into the various theater sections. The recent comments are from days ago, as it is not possible to enter the theater pages, much less comment.
As for the “guests”, that’s probably the problem, however, it’s not because there are all these “guests” out there. I think it has to do with people trying to get in, members or otherwise, and being unsuccessful. Each attempt must be a “guest”.
There’s no way that on a Sunday morning early, there are close to 500 “guests”, especially when the theater sections are unreadable. The number has to do with the fact that there is a problem

Karen Colizzi Noonan
Karen Colizzi Noonan on June 25, 2006 at 4:18 am

I think we should all demand our money back. Oh… wait…. never mind….

: )

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on June 25, 2006 at 7:08 am

I find that the site typically tends to bog down and the individiual theater pages become unavailable in the late afternoon. I’ve not encountered many problems specific to the weekends, myself. This particular problem has been persistent since Thursday afternoon. There is obviously a serious problem along the lines of the problem that shut the site down for almost a week sometime last year.

Bway on June 25, 2006 at 7:21 am

Ed and Lost, you are both right about the “bogged down on weekends and afternoon”. But look at the recent comments on the main page. The last comment made was made on the 22nd. That was last Thursday. The pages have been inaccessible since then. While it occasionally happens at “peak” times, this time it is for days straight. At midnight it is just as inaccessible.

Michael Furlinger
Michael Furlinger on June 25, 2006 at 4:16 pm

i need my fix back……….

Michael Furlinger
Michael Furlinger on June 25, 2006 at 4:19 pm

I would be happy to pay a $ 25.00 yearly fee to be a part of Cinema Treasures…..Maybe that would cut out some of the traffic..Dont all be pissed at me because i said fee!

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on June 25, 2006 at 4:48 pm

A $25.00 Annual Fee is very reasonable. Hopefully that would provide enough income for an expansion to a larger capacity server for the site.

Many members of the site have now added a great ammount of invaluable information to the site, that it would be sad to loose it all, just for the sake of a few $ input.

Guests should not only be unable to post to listings, but should only have a limited number of ‘hits’ to pages of the site per day. To facilitate this, the ‘guest’ list would be suspended and non-paid up ‘members’ would then log in as a named user, but with limited capabilities. Fully paid up members get it all facilities (unlimited). That would be a fair way of operating the site and raising money to keep it going.

I do hope that Patrick and Ross (administrators of the site) are reading this discussion. If they are, then a quick posting as to what is going on would be a nice gesture to make, just to keep us informed as to what’s happening (or going to happen) to the site.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on June 25, 2006 at 5:01 pm

Small fee is good idea if it makes for a better site.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on June 25, 2006 at 5:25 pm

mikemovies;Regarding the costing of C.T.A. visits (tours) of theatres.
There is no registration fee to be paid for a CTA visit, so in reality the visit is free! Visits are arranged as a benefit of membership for members of the Cinema Theatre Association.

What is payable and built into the cost of a visit is the air travel (booked as a reduced group rate from the UK), the hotel (usually a centrally located 2*(or equivalent) hotel (again booked as a reduced group rate)and sharing a room comes out cheaper than having a single occupancy, a comprehensive visit notes booklet which is illustrated and fees/donations paid to the theatre buildings who ask for them (tour guides, caretaker fees, donations to churches etc). Most theatres allow tours for no charge at all.

Allowances are made for non-UK residents to make their own travel arrangements to to country to be visited, or if it’s in the USA, then own arrangements to the city to be visited. Of course if a visit happens to be coming to your own city of residence, then you get to do the visit for practically nothing!

Not included in the costings of a visit are travel insurance, transportation by public transport (ie. a 7 days travel pass) we do most of our visits using public transport (metro and rail) and only hire a coach when absolutely neccessary and this would be included in the visit cost. Meals and spending money are of course not included.

To give you an idea, our most ambitious visit to date was the recent February/March 2006 visit I organised to Australia for 3 weeks(20 nights accomodation), including international air travel and internal travel Melbourne to Sydney, visit notes and hire of a vintage bus on a couple of days and payment of fees for an Australian Visa entry came to US$3,000 per person sharing and US$4,000 person in single occupancy. Total number in the group was 54 persons and we visited over 70 theatres/cinemas including the first ever visit by the CTA to a Drive-in Theatre, which was a triple screen and where we got to see the movie of personal choice, free popcorn, drinks and hotdogs provided by the owner! What more could you ask for! LOL

The duration of most International visits varies from 7, 10 or 14 days depending on the number of theatres a city or area can offer.

mikemorano on June 26, 2006 at 3:19 am

KenRoe; Very much appreciated the detailed explanation. I will make sure my schedule is free so I can be part of your next New York City tour. I would enjoy seeing many of the theatres that I have read about on Cinema Treasures.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on June 26, 2006 at 3:31 am

I agree with longislandmovies and KenRoe in regards to CT becoming a pay-site in order to defray operating expenses. A few of us raised this very topic last year when the site buckled under its own weight for a number of days and Patrick responded that it was under consideration. It would certainly be preferable to CT becoming a sponsored site and members having to brook annoying pop-up ads and such. Whatever the nature of the current problem, I trust Patrick, Ross and Bryan can soon have it sorted out. And frankly, I’m impressed and eternally grateful that a FREE database of this size has been maintained so beautifully for as long as it has. Kudos to all involved.

Ken… I hope I can be a part of your NYC tour as well. I’ll email you shortly with my contact information.

Bway on June 26, 2006 at 4:50 am

I like and thoughoughly enjoy the site, but part of what makes it so great is that random people can add or comment about a theater. It would in fact turn into a site of “elites” and “geeks”, without input from the average person. This is one of the reasons I much, much prefer this site to the site forum, which I wouldn’t even consider posting it, as the people involved in those forums are WAY to “into” it, and probably too intimidating for the average person.
Obviously, the webmasters know there is a problem, but for whatever reason chose to be silent at this time. Either it is so big a problem that it is hard or timely to fix, or they just haven’t had the time to address it.

Perhaps they should consider an ad banner or something first. I certainly don’t mean “pop-ups”, but maybe an ad banner at top or something. That is a source of income that would not be too imposing. Other sites also offer a voluntary “Amazon” support banner where people could donate money voluntarily through pay pal.

Bway on June 26, 2006 at 4:56 am

Lost Memory and I must have been typing at the same time, so I didn’t read his post before I posted, but just to comment on his comments, as we both brought up, perhaps some sort of ad banner would be a solution. Again, it’s not too imposing, and many other sites use that. it’s not an annoying pop-up, but at least would be tolerable at the top, and would also not be imposing.

A pay site is bad for the reasons I mentioned, (such as the average person commenting or reasearching). Those too bring a human-ness to the site, that would be all but lost on a pay site which would turn the site into an elite theater geek site, as opposed to a valuable resourse site for the average person.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on June 26, 2006 at 10:12 am

Well argued, gentlemen. Definitely food for thought. I surely wouldn’t want to upset the mix of contributors we have right now. Whatever happens, I’m sure Patrick and Ross will consider these viewpoints (and indeed may have already) when time comes to address the situation.

zoetmb on July 23, 2006 at 1:25 pm

“Currently I am in New York City setting up a 10 days tour of N.Y.C. theatres (and former movie houses/theatres) which will take place in late October/early November 2007. ”

Unless your tour will mainly involve legit houses, I have to wonder what is it that you’re going to tour because there is very little that is left. In Manhattan, there’s a bit of the Embassy left in the Times Square Visitor’s Center, Radio City Music Hall and I think the former Loew’s 175th St is still standing as a church. Not sure about the Bunny/Nova. In Brooklyn, the Loew’s Kings is closed and vandalized, but still standing. In Queens, the Valencia is operating as a Church and in The Bronx, the Loews Paradise has been restored as a concert center, but isn’t open much. Nearby in New Jersey, the Loews Jersey opens for occasional revival showings. I’m sure that others will think of one or two other houses, but unfortunately, there’s not much to tour in NYC any longer.

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