Recent live theatre conversions
posted by brizregent on April 23, 2008 at 7:50 am
Can anybody recommend web sites for theaters that have recently been converted to live performance venues, especially where the auditorium has been gutted or modernized to a 2000 seat-sized live hard top proscenium theater?
Happy to oblige you from America (if you can find it in that Australian heart of ours to stomach us) three websites I strongly recommend are http://www.robertsorpheum.com/ in St. Louis, Missouri, http://www.gettysburgmajestic.org/ in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania (yes, that Gettysburg) and http://www.apollotheater.org/ in Harlem, New York. I also recommend you check out this link View link which gives an in-depth look at all that went into the Gettysburg Majestic’s renovation. At the same time be forewarned that not all efforts to restore classic theaters go well. This Cinema Treasures' webpage for the DuPage Theater in Lombard, Illinois gives a classic example. The story of this theater restoration effort taking place in U.S. Senator Barack Obama’s district, the project began very well only to wind up being what I call the equivalent of Nazi Germany’s Krystal Knacht, with Obama playing a major role in this. Yes, we’re talking the same Barack Obama who’s now attempting to become America’s next president, while God help us and the rest of the world if it happens!!! Meantime, how’s Prime Minister Kevin Rudd been so far regarding Australia’s theaters?
Oops, here’s the link for the Cinema Treasures webpage giving the full rundown regarding the DuPage Theater in Lombard, Illinois:
P.S.: Here’s another great theater you should also check out — http://www.statetheatre.org/
They just hosted a Moody Blues concert to rave reviews!
Meantime, just as a point of curiosity, how come you Aussies always fall silent whenever we Americans try to open up communication with you? In my whole life I only met two Australians who weren’t afraid to converse with us, one being the former Minister of Technology and the Environment in Melbourne, and the other, a student of Melbourne University, and in her case it was only because her grandfather was an American. Maybe this isn’t the best place to ask this question, but it does have me curious.
Micheal, I would like to inform you that while the Orpheum is a good example of a live performance venue, it has been that way for many years. It was actually built as a vaudville house but it did spend some time as a movie theater. The Roberts Brothers purchased it several years ago, mainly because they owned the hotel next door. Nothing at all wrong with that, as the theater hadn’t seen much use in the years before they purchased it. I also don’t think it had been gutted at all.
TheaterBuff 1 is right: the Moody Blues put on a great show at the State Theater in Easton, PA. You never saw so many 60-year-olds rockin' out and dancing in the aisles. The theater itself is so spectacularly beautiful it’s hard to believe anyone could even think of demolishing it, but as we all know theaters just like it are being demolished even as we speak.
Many thanks folks for all your comments and advice.
I have found a theatre that is very similar in concept to what “may” happen in my home town of Brisbane, Australia. It is the Henry Miller’s Theatre in New York. See the latest news on www.savetheregent.com for this and our local campaign. Oh, and keep the suggestions coming in! You may also like to comment on the STR web site?
Mike, the official website for the State Theatre in Easton, Pennsylvania, which Bill sings high praises of, is http://www.statetheatre.org/, in case you’d still like to look into it. Beyond that, I wish you the best with your endeavor, and will make a special point to visit the website and perhaps even post a comment or two. Here in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where I’m currently residing, we only have one last movie palace still standing, the Boyd (/theaters/1209_0_2_0_C/), but under the current political/economic climate here it’s not clear how much longer it will be around. Designed in part by the same architect who designed the State, it’s been boarded up for nearly 6 straight years now and is currently up for sale. But no takers so far — hard to believe, given its magnificent interior elegance and what normally would be considered a great location.