• November 11, 2016

    Athens, TX - Texan Theater renovation continues


    From The Athens Review: A clean-up, preliminary to construction at the Texan Theater location is underway this week.

    Athens Community Development Manager Thanasis “Nasi” Kombos said the current work is clean-up.

    “They’re doing some clean-up inside the theater,” Kombos said. “They’ll be wrapping up around the middle part of next week.”

    It will be after the first of the year before any construction begins on the project.

    “The architect is working right now on the construction documents, which are anticipated to be completed at the end of January,” Kombos said. “Assuming that funding is secured for the project, at that point, I would anticipate that we will be moving with construction.”

    David Chase of ArchiTexas told the Athens City Council in October construction of the project should last another nine months, making completion of the theater about a year away.

    The remaining structure of the theater, built in the 1940s, will be part of a new venue. But once patrons walk past the restored Texan sign, the venue will be quite different from the movie theater where a couple of generations of Athens area residents went for entertainment.

    The original Texan Theater had a sloping floor. The new venue will have a flat floor to make it more for multi-purpose use. The type of roof chosen was an enclosed overlapping structure. A mezzanine section will be located above the restrooms. Once imagined as an outdoor venue, it will now be enclosed and air conditioned.

    The south side of the building, where the neon Texan sign was located, will still be the main entry, but access will be possible from the back. The back masonry wall will be taken down, and replaced by a glass wall. A roll-up door will be located at the back.

  • November 7, 2016

    Centralia, WA - Nostalgic Fox Theatre Brings the Golden Days Back to Downtown Centralia


    From Thurston Talk: There is something magical about the glow of a Marquee sign. It brings fond memories of soda fountains and the golden age of Hollywood. If you grew up in the area, you may remember when the historic Fox Theatre lit up South Tower Avenue in Centralia. Nestled in amidst the old shops, it was a hub of activity when it opened in 1930 as part of the Fox West Coast Theatre chain. At the time, it was a 1,200 seat art-deco theatre that ran as a movie theater until 1999. But then the films stopped. The marquee went out, darkening the entire street. It was a stark reminder against the skyline that the city had seen better days.

    Almost a decade later, in 2008, Scott White moved back home to Centralia with one goal in mind: to do something about the darkened theater. He founded the non-profit Historic Fox Theatre Restorations and has been the President of the Board of Directors ever since. This is a 100-percent volunteer position for him.

    “After spending 20 years working in the entertainment industry, I hoped to use some of the experience I gathered along the way to make the project a success,” Scott says. “Having grown up in Centralia, the Fox Theatre was a very important part of my childhood and was the beginning of a lifelong love of theater and movies.”

    The group’s ultimate goal is a complete restoration of the building, inside and out, to its former 1930s glory. But, Scott, says, this doesn’t mean it won’t be able to handle today’s needs when it comes to technology.

  • Buffalo, NY - Shea’s Seneca Theatre destined for revival


    From The Buffalo News: A historic commercial building that was once part of Shea’s Seneca Theatre in South Buffalo is now destined for reuse, with developer Jake Schneider planning a mix of apartments, a theatre and performance art space in the 88-year-old structure.

    Schneider Development on Monday said it wants to spend $9 million to renovate the vacant and underused property at 2178 Seneca St., restoring its original architecture and bringing the building back to life as part of the latest adaptive reuse project in the city, and particularly along Seneca Street.

    “We’re very excited about the neighborhood. It’s a well-established and proud community with great assets to build upon,” he said. “It is our hope that this project will serve as a catalyst for the revitalization of the Seneca Street commercial corridor.”

    Located at the intersection of Seneca and Cazenovia streets, near Cazenovia Park, the historic two-story brick building was originally constructed in 1929 by well-known regional cinema icon Michael Shea, who built Shea’s Buffalo downtown, the North Park Theatre in North Buffalo, and several other iconic movie and entertainment houses that have since been demolished. With 2,500 seats, Shea’s Seneca was once said to be the largest community theater in the city, and grandly featured a colored marble lobby, ornamental plaster and arched windows. It also had a Wurlitzer theater organ, which was played on opening night in 1930 during the showing of The Mighty.

  • October 30, 2016

    Highland, IN - State providing $50,000 to restore Highland’s Town Theatre


    The state of Indiana is kicking in $50,000 to help pay for restoration of the historic Town Theatre in Highland.

    The lieutenant governor’s Office of Community and Rural Affairs and Office of Tourism Development announced Thursday they are providing the money as part of a matching grant program that promotes quality of place improvements across the state.

    “The intent of this fund is to reward creativity and resourcefulness,” said Mark Newman, state tourism director. “The impact to quality of life and ultimately tourism will be great.”

  • October 26, 2016

    Lockport, IL - Historic Lockport theater may undergo renovations


    From The Chicago Tribune: An historic downtown Lockport theater could soon be getting a face-lift to help restore it to its former glory.

    City officials recently discussed awarding a $10,000 grant to the owner of the Roxy Theatre building to pay for some of the renovations.

    “I know we’re all excited to see it happen,” Mayor Steve Streit said during Wednesday’s Committee of the Whole meeting.

    The grant would go toward helping with a facade improvement project costing more than $50,000. The project would include a new marquee sign with a design that had to be approved by the Heritage and Architecture Commission because the building is in the historic district.

  • October 14, 2016

    Atlanta, GA - Fox Theatre to add Moroccan-style lounge, rooftop bars


    From The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Imagine sipping a hand-crafted cocktail with the iconic Fox marquee glimmering behind you as you overlook the hustle and bustle of Atlanta’s Peachtree Street. Come fall 2017, it won’t just be a dream.

    The Fabulous Fox Theatre’s renovation of a 10,000-square-foot event space into the new Marquee Club lounge and rooftop marks its most significant expansion and its biggest financial undertaking since the popular theater opened in 1929.

    Patrons will have access to the club’s five bars: one on the main level of the club, one on the mezzanine level and three on the rooftop.

    With a server-to-guest ratio of 10-to-one, line-busting technology and intermission pre-ordering, members will be able to enjoy their shows with ease.

    The club will also offer hors d’oeuvres, self-serve desserts and coffee. Additional amenities include private restrooms, coat check and a dedicated lobby elevator for club patrons.

    The intricate Moorish grillwork and color palette of muted gold and earth tones throughout the club were chosen with the historic building in mind, Adina Erwin, Fox Theatre’s vice president and chief operating officer, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “The Fox was our muse,” she said.

    A hint of blue brings in the element of the sky and the Fox star can be found on both the carpeting and on the club’s main level ceiling.

  • October 11, 2016

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


    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

  • October 10, 2016

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


    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.

  • October 5, 2016

    Sayre, PA - Historic Sayre Theater Installs New Marquee


    From The long wait has finally come to an end for members of the Sayre community. Their local theater received its new marquee after raising nearly 200,000 dollars from the community.

    “We’ve had many many different donations from lumber companies and hardware stores and all over,” Board Member of the Bradford County Regional Arts Council, Jeff Paul said. “I mean, it’s just a very big thank you to everybody to get us to where we are today.”

    What began as an old opera house built during world war one, has evolved into a hot spot for movie enthusiasts.

    “We see about $300,000 of revenue from the movies with the concession included,” Executive Director of the Bradford County Regional Arts Council, Elaine Poost said. “I would say around about 70,000 people see a movie each year here at the Sayre.”

    “It is a hot spot,” Paul said. “It’s incredible. When I look at the numbers every month of how many people come here to the Sayre Theater and watch movies or the different shows that we have, it’s important because we are right across from the hospital and many times people will be visiting and they may come over just to watch a movie in between time.”

    The Arts Council also feels that its new marquee and other future renovations could bring more people to the area.

    “I’m hoping that it’ll bring more and more people in,” Paul said. “I mean, we do really well, I’m impressed at the attendance all the time but, I’m hoping that with all of this being done, that maybe we will bring in some people from other communities will show up.”

    Even though the new marquee is a step in the right direction for the theater, there is still a lot of renovating work to be done.

    “We had actually had it in the queue, re pointing of the building but, when this reared its little head we said ‘ok you can go first,’” Poost said. “So, now we are going to have this beautiful marquee but we still have $200,000 to raise for re pointing an old, historic building.”

    The Bradford County Regional Arts Council will hold a grand lighting ceremony on Saturday, October 29th, from 6p.m. – 7:30p.m.

  • September 29, 2016

    Aspen, CO -Metropolitan Theatres renovates Aspen’s historic Isis Theatre


    From Film Journal: Metropolitan Theatres announces renovation plans for the Isis Theatre located at 406 E. Hopkins Ave. in Aspen, Colorado. Named after the Egyptian goddess, the theatre was last renovated in the late 1990s, expanding the existing structure to allow for increased movie screens, state-of-the-art sound systems, soundproofing and stadium seating.

    Recent renovations concentrated on the completed construction of a craft beer and wine bar now in operation. Upgraded luxury reserved seating, new flooring, digital menu displays, and an expanded menu are all components of the overall renovation plans. In celebration of the new offerings, the Isis will run a promotion for the month of October offering a free popcorn with a purchase of wine or beer. The offer is valid for one transaction per guest, per movie.

    Phase one of the remodel established a new theatre bar located on the downstairs level. The bar offers a varied selection of both wine and craft beer, including two options from the local Aspen Brewing Company. Phase two includes installation of luxury seating with plush rockers and spacious recliners, as well as new carpeting and tile. Reserved seating will also roll out in phase two for all auditoriums. Completion of phase two is targeted for mid-December. The Isis remains open during the remodel as portions of the facility are converted.

    Dale Davison, senior VP of operations and development, stated, “The renovations that we have completed and set in motion at Aspen’s Isis will provide a more comfortable and enhanced entertaining moviegoing experience. The theatre’s expanded menu and bar addition, along with the luxury seating forthcoming, create an ideal atmosphere for enjoying movies in a more luxurious fashion.”

    The original 1892 H. Webber Building received Historic Landmark designation in 1995.