Friday, December 17, 2010

Deja vu

Loew’s [Century] Theatre, London, rear of auditorium, 1938
"Century Theatre gets new lease on life" read the headline in The London Free Press. "An old downtown movie palace could soon be reborn," claimed the lede. But please read on . . .

Farther into the news story we're told, "The Century closed as a movie theatre in 1987, and plans to turn it into a performing arts centre failed. . . . the Century Theatre building is in poor shape and the auditorium has been demolished . . . " The auditorium is demolished!

When did we last read such silliness? When the Capitol Theatre was claimed to be restored is when. That theatre was restored sans auditorium, sans lobby and sans marquee.

It was opened as a Loew's vaudeville theatre in 1920, then it was sold, twinned and renamed the Century Theatre in 1964, and finally it was closed in 1987. A few years later, in the early 1990s the auditorium was demolished. I doubt very much this "movie palace" will be reborn in 2011.

That said, the LFP article promises "the lobby portion will be restored as much as possible, including two original chandeliers." I'm not holding my breath.

Loew’s [Century] Theatre, London, entrance hall, 1938
This is the entrance to the "restored" Capitol Theatre. It even lost its lobby.

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