Video – Happy Lancaster, PA

Happy Lancaster – Inspired by Pharrell Williams “Happy.”

Lancaster is Happy! Special thanks to featured dancers – Franklin & Marshall Dance Department, Heads Up kids, Mayor Rick Gray, Cylo and Lancaster Barnstormers, the Infantree, Iron Hill Brewery and Lancaster Central Market for putting up with our shenanigans and helping celebrate our extraordinary community!

Lancaster County Community Foundation – http://www.lancfound.org

Shirley Temple, Iconic Child Star, Dies At 85

Screenshot of Shirley Temple from the film The...

Screenshot of Shirley Temple from the film The Little Princess (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WOODSIDE, CA (AP) — Shirley Temple, the dimpled, curly-haired child star who sang, danced, sobbed and grinned her way into the hearts of Depression-era moviegoers, publicist Cheryl Kagan. She was 85.

Temple, known in private life as Shirley Temple Black, died at her home near San Francisco.

A talented and ultra-adorable entertainer, Shirley Temple was America’s top box-office draw from 1935 to 1938, a record no other child star has come near. She beat out such grown-ups as Clark Gable, Bing Crosby, Robert Taylor, Gary Cooper and Joan Crawford.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/local-news/1186586/Shirley-Temple-iconic-child-star-dies-at-85

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Groundbreaking Set For Reading Hotel And Convention Center

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Albert R. Boscov was excitedly making and receiving countless phone calls in his Exeter Township office Monday after getting word that the last of the financing for a downtown hotel and convention center was finally in place.

He immediately began making plans to break ground Friday at 11:30 a.m. in the 700 block of Penn Street across from the Santander Arena.

“It’s been a long wait but we got it,” Boscov said.

The renowned retailer has been working on the block-long, four-star hotel, which will cost at least $56 million, since 2007.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article/20131217/NEWS/312169896/1052#.UrDeuPRDsxI

Century III New Owner Seeks To Reverse Vacancy Trend With New Theater

Map of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, United ...

Map of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, United States with township and municipal boundaries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The owner of Century III is betting that a movie theater could help revitalize the struggling West Mifflin mall.

Las Vegas-based Moonbeam Capital Investments LLC, which bought the mall in May, said it is negotiating with two national chains with a Pittsburgh-area presence to open a first-run movie theater with stadium seating in Century III. Shawl L. Pryor, senior vice president of real estate, won’t name the companies because no lease has been signed.

Contending with a high vacancy rate, about 32 percent, and low foot traffic, the 34-year-old mall needs an entertainment component as part of its revitalization, Moonbeam said.

“We believe that it’s a very important aspect of why people go back to the mall. It’s not just to buy clothing anymore,” Moonbeam Chief Executive Officer Steven Maksin said.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/5157496-74/mall-iii-century#ixzz2nGz6riE4
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

Affleck To Play Batman In ‘Man Of Steel’ Sequel

Ben Affleck

Ben Affleck (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

LOS ANGELES, CA (AP) – Ben Affleck will don Batman’s cape and cowl.

Warner Bros. announced Thursday that the 41-year-old actor-director will star as a new incarnation of the Dark Knight in a film bringing Batman and Superman together.

The studio said Affleck will star opposite 30-year-old Henry Cavill, who will reprise his role as Superman from “Man of Steel.”  The movie will also feature “Man of Steel” stars Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Laurence Fishburne as Perry White and Diane Lane as Martha Kent.

The big-screen DC Comics superhero mash-up was first revealed by director Zack Snyder at last month’s Comic-Con International in San Diego.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/entertainment/movies/20130822_ap_4931ce2116f14802865d8b8dbfe506a4.html#A6uOEpT5icKfzKJ8.99

Phoenixville Prepares For Big Bike Race Crowds

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Chester County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Chester County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

PHOENIXVILLE — On the heels of West Chester’s successful Iron Hill Twilight Criterium, Phoenixville is ready for huge crowds for its own race, the Chesco Grand Prix Phoenixville Criterium.

“Last year there were hundreds of people,” said Borough Councilwoman Jen Mayo, who is set to volunteer in support of the race again.  “This year, we’re expecting much more.”

In its second year, the race will bring bikers from across the region and country, according to borough council meetings on the planning.

Mayo said planning for the event has gone on for almost a year, starting shortly after the inaugural race was held.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130709/NEWS01/130709442/phoenixville-prepares-for-big-bike-race-crowds#full_story

‘Man of Steel’ Takes Flight With $125 Million Debut

LOS ANGELES (AP) — “Man of Steel” leaped over box office expectations in a single weekend.

The Warner Bros. superhero file earned $113 million in its opening weekend at the box office, according to studio estimates Sunday.  The retelling of Superman’s back story earned an additional $12 million from Thursday screenings, bringing its domestic total to $125 million.  Original box-office expectations for “Man of Steel” ranged from $75 million to $130 million.

“They finally got the Superman formula right,” said Paul Dergarabedian, an analyst for box-office tracker Hollywood.com.  “Superhero movies really are the bread and butter of the summer box office.  The fact that ‘Iron Man 3’ has the biggest opening of the year so far and ‘Man of Steel’ has the second biggest opening of the year just proves that.”

Read more:  http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news/605571/Man-of-Steel-takes-flight-with-$125M-debut

‘Fast & Furious 6′ Fuels Record Weekend At Box-Office

The exhaust smoke hasn’t even cleared, and already Hollywood can brag about its biggest money-making Memorial Day Weekend ever.

Hollywood Reporter hit the accelerator with its gushing, declaring the expected four-day take of $316 million to be “absolutely monumental,” leaving previous late May holiday weekends choking in its dust.

“One of the biggest weekends of all-time!” writes Paul Dergarabedian.

Indeed, BoxOfficeMojo.com gives the previous champ as Dec 25-27, 2009 (led by Avatar), with a distant $259.9 million in total domestic ticket sales. Then again, add in the the $58.3 million from Monday, Dec. 28, 2009, and the comparable four-day total becomes an unsurpassed $318.2 million.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/breaking/20130527_Fast_Furious_6_fuels_record_weekend_at_box-office.html#L7vC5qrcf6jQuktw.99

Pittsburgh Native Zachary Quinto Revels In Spock Role

English: Zachary Quinto greets a soldier's dau...

English: Zachary Quinto greets a soldier’s daughter on the phone following a screening of Star Trek at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At one point during “Star Trek Into Darkness,” Kirk fumes, “Sometimes, I just want to rip the bangs off his head.”

But Kirk doesn’t do that, which is a good thing considering the amount of time consumed by the workday ritual of transforming Pittsburgh native Zachary Quinto into Spock, the half-Vulcan, half-human with a high-maintenance look.

By the time the movie finished shooting, the makeup artists had shaved a whopping 30 minutes from their application of the signature swooping ears, angled eyebrows and other facial flourishes.

Not a big deal? It started as 3 hours and 15 minutes — plus another 30 minutes in hair — so even an extra half-hour can be a luxury when you have to report to the set 2 1/2 to three hours ahead of everyone else who may be arriving at 6 a.m.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/ae/movies/pittsburgh-native-zachary-quinto-revels-in-spock-role-687961/#ixzz2TZUrYou9

Penn Cinema Partner Plans York Theater

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cinema entrepreneur Penn Ketchum is heeding the advice of 19th century American newspaper editor Horace Greeley.

“Go west, young man.”

Ketchum, managing partner of Penn Cinema, intends to develop a small, luxury two-screen movie theater in York city.

But he said Friday that he has no intention of going south into Lancaster city and doing the same kind of project there.

Ketchum’s $750,000 venture in York was disclosed Thursday by York Mayor Kim Bracey in her State of the City address.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/848107_Penn-Cinema-partner-plans-York-theater.html#ixzz2T2FcRToY

Amato Revs Up Downtown Wilkes-Barre

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WILKES-BARRE — Businessman and former dragster driver Joe Amato told his story Friday morning to about 100 people gathered at the Penn State Wilkes-Barre Executive Management Forum at Genetti Hotel and Conference Center in the city’s downtown.

And it was his $5 million downtown investment Amato talked about most.  He revealed that Judd Shoval of Kingston is moving his business — Ambit and Shoval — to the theater complex on East Northampton Street and that only three other retail spots remain vacant.

Shoval did not return messages left on his cellphone and at his business.  will release more information on his plans next week, Amato said.

“Downtown Wilkes-Barre has a pulse,” he said.  “It has a sense of direction.  More than 400,000 people go to the movies every year and use the parking garage.  We have to get them outside to the street and patronize the businesses there.”

Read more:  http://www.timesleader.com/news/local/465584/Amato-revs-up-downtown-W-B

Comcast Plans To Hike Rates, Start Charging For Adapters

Comcast Building new

Comcast Building new (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the spring of 2010, Comcast Cable required Lancaster and Elizabethtown subscribers of the “expanded basic package” (channels 25-78) to get digital TV adapters, and the first two adapters were free.

The cable provider, however, never said the adapters were free forever and, effective March 1, Comcast will charge Lancaster-area subscribers $1.99 per digital television adapter or digital transport adapter.

The price remains unchanged for “limited basic” (channels; 2-7, 9-13, 20-24 and 96) customers, who can get up to three adapters at no additional cost. The DTA price is unchanged.

The company previously charged subscribers $1.99 a month for each adapter beyond two.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/809857_Comcast-plans-to-hike-rates–start-charging-for-adapters.html#ixzz2Jf6eUFDP

Blockbuster To Close About 300 Stores In U.S.

Blockbuster said it will close about 300 of its U.S. stores in the coming weeks, thinning the once ubiquitous video rental chain’s bricks-and-mortar presence.

The closures will result in the loss of about 3,000 jobs and leave the company with about 500 stores in the nation, said John Hall, a spokesman for parent company Dish Network Corp. in Englewood, Colo.

Last week, Blockbuster’s British unit entered into administration, a version of bankruptcy, and said it would close 160 stores there, according to the administrator, accounting and consulting firm Deloitte.

Read more:  http://www.mcall.com/business/la-fi-blockbuster-stores-20130122,0,3591989.story

‘Hobbit’ Bests ‘Lord Of The Rings’ With $84.8 Million Opening

NEW YORK—Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit” led the box office with a haul of $84.8 million, a record-setting opening better than the three previous “Lord of the Rings” films.

The Warner Bros. Middle Earth epic was the biggest December opening ever, surpassing Will Smith‘s “I Am Legend,” which opened with $77.2 million in 2007, according to studio estimates Sunday.  “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” also passed the December opening of “Avatar,” which opened with $77 million. Internationally, “The Hobbit” also added $138.2 million, for an impressive global debut of $223 million.

Despite weak reviews, the 3-D adaptation of J. R. R. Tolkien’s first novel in the fantasy series was an even bigger draw than the last “Lord of the Rings” movie, “The Return of the King.”  That film opened with $72.6 million.  “The Hobbit” is the first of another planned trilogy, with two more films to be squeezed out of Tolkien’s book.

Read more:  http://www.flipsidepa.com/entertainment/ci_22204735/hobbit-tops-box-office-84-8-million

Pottstown Regional Public Library Holiday Party

Fun for the whole family.

Saturday, December 8th at 1 pm 

Musical performance, snacks, and fun activities recognizing Chanukah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa.

The event is FREE.  Please contact Leslie Stillings at 610-970-6551 for more details.

Pottstown Regional Public Library, 500 E. High St., Pottstown

Theaters, Playhouses Fear Financial Problems And Technical Demands Will Lower Their Curtains

At Oyster Mill Playhouse, the aging rooftop heating and air conditioning system is threatening to stage a death scene worthy of “King Lear.”

With audiences — and therefore revenues — down, there’s no money for a replacement, so managers of the not-for-profit community theater in East Pennsboro Twp. are hoping the community will donate about $25,000 to keep Oyster Mill going for another year.

“Like many other theaters, we are having our financial problems,” said Howard Hurwitz, vice president of the 91-seat theater’s board of directors. “This year has been kind of a bad year. We just haven’t been getting the attendance. We used to sell out on opening nights, but now we are lucky if we get the theater half-full.”

Oyster Mill is far from alone.

Read more:

http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2012/11/oyster_mill_playhouse_theaters.html

The Three Statistics That Every Downtown Should Live By

Editor’s note:  This is phenomenal advice for all downtown shopping districts and their umbrella organizations i.e. Pottstown Downtown Improvement District Authority.

Lancaster and its James Street Improvement District are prime examples of living by these three simple rules!  I suggest a field trip for any struggling downtown merchants or downtown organizations who want to see what is possible!

I call this the 7-8-7 rule because of the three most important statistics that make a downtown a successful and vibrant destination. Think of your favorite destination downtowns. Are they beautiful? Do they feel safe? Are there things to do after 6:00 pm?

Read more: http://www.rogerbrooks.org/2012/04/30/the-three-downtown-statistics/

More Blockbuster Stores Closing

Say farewell to Blockbuster, the video chain that was once one of the biggest brand names in America.

The chain’s new owner, Dish Network (DISH +1.58%), has said it will close 500 under-performing Blockbuster locations with expiring leases, and it may close more beyond that. There were only about 1,500 Blockbuster stores left, so the announcement is one of the final nails in the coffin for the former video powerhouse.

Not that many people are complaining. Former Blockbuster customers still grumble about the chain’s strict return policies.

Remember the days when you raced to the store to get that movie back on time?

Read more: http://money.msn.com/top-stocks/post.aspx?post=e4ad0423-bd75-4a2c-a689-2837c7ae6729

Hollywood’s War Of The Wages

Jennifer Lopez at ISC Miami.

Image via Wikipedia

The second season of a Simon Cowell-free “American Idol” started this week. Cowell ditched the popular talent show last year to launch a U.S. version of his British music competition “The X Factor,” which he vowed would attract 20 million viewers. It fell short, topping out at 12 million. Now there’s word that the new “American Idol” judges, Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez, had been joking backstage that they would be “devastated” if they didn’t get 20 million viewers. (They did for the season premiere, but just barely.)

Lopez may be winning the ratings war, but Cowell is winning the war of the wages. The music executive earned $90 million last year thanks to “The X Factor,” which he owns a share of, and his record label, Syco. Lopez earned $25 million. Most of that came from “Idol” but she also has several movies coming out and a new clothing line.

Read more: http://tv.msn.com/tv/article.aspx?news=697139

Blockbuster Closing More Stores

Blockbuster Video plans to shutter all but one of its remaining Lehigh Valley stores in the coming days, according to several sources.

The beleaguered movie rental chain plans to cease rentals as early as Monday, Dec. 26, at stores at 2221 Lehigh St., Allentown; 2918 William Penn Highway, Palmer Township; and 756 Memorial Parkway, Phillipsburg, according to employees who answered the store phones Wednesday.

Liquidations are planned to start next week, according to the clerks.

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/news/breaking/mc-allentown-blockbuster-closing-more-stores-story-20111221,0,4779144.story