Great topic! We tried to generate some interest in this topic last year. I think that there is going to be a resurgence of interest in restoring and updating our older theatres, particularly in smaller urban areas that don't have access to a new multiplex. We have recently done several projects like this, and have won numerous awards for historical preservation.
We recently restored the Shaker Square Cinema in Cleveland, for Cleveland Cinemas, which was a 1937 Art Deco theatre designed by John Eberson. To make it economically viable, the auditorium was split into four cinemas, and the balcony into two. The lobby was fully restored and a new modern concession stand added. The auditoriums were all decorated in art deco style using the design motifs and colors of the lobby. When sensitively restored and reworked economically, older theatres can be revived successfully.
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