According to a January 13 Philadelphia Inquirer article, the $5 million Pennsylvania appropriation for restoration of the Lansdowne Theater and surrounding business district survived budget cuts and was approved. (See 5/26/2010 posting.)
Another Inquire article from 10/17/2010 reports a small theater, Cinema 16:9, next door to the main theater, is running weekly cult movies, such as The Brain That Wouldn’t Die. It uses a few of the Lansdowne Theater’s old seats. From the accompanying photo, it looks like it seats about 30. Not much, but a start. They hope to eventually make the old Lansdowne Avenue area into something like Media or even Manayunk.
The article didn’t say, but I suspect the movies at Cinema 16:9 are shown either on a big-screen TV or by a TV projection system. The 16:9 in its name is the standard ratio of a HDTV screen size. A big-screen TV for showing movies to small groups was already being used about fifteen years ago at the Florida retirement community of my parents (and Jean Williamson’s parents). Saturday night was their movie night in the main assembly room, and it attracted about the same number of viewers as the Cinema 16:9. Many enjoyed the group experience of watching movies together, and all it required was for someone to pop a rented DVD into the player.