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Hiatus

February 24, 2015

 

Studebaker Theatre Chicago, IL

Studebaker Theatre Chicago, IL

Hi Everyone – Just wanted to let you all know that I’m taking a short hiatus from posting while I finish my book on the Loew’s Kings Theatre. Don’t worry though – the site isn’t going anywhere. I have a backlog of 16 theaters that I haven’t posted yet and plans to photograph many more.  For updates during the hiatus check out the After the Final Curtain Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/Afterthefinalcurtain

Here’s a quick look at some of the upcoming theaters that will be featured on AFtC later this year:

UC

UC Theatre Berkeley, CA

Varsity2

Varsity Theatre Evanston, IL

Warner Huntington Park

Warner Theatre Huntington Park, CA

 

Fox Theatre Fullerton, CA

Fox Theatre Fullerton, CA

Photo Workshops 2015

February 3, 2015
View from the balcony of the Victory Theatre.

View from the balcony of the Victory Theatre.

I’m very excited to announce that I’ll once again be partnering with photographer/founder of Abandoned America, Matthew Christopher for some photo workshops in 2015!

First, we will be returning to the Victory Theatre in Holyoke, MA on March 28, 2015.  The Victory Theatre opened on December 30, 1920 and closed 58 years late on December 15, 1978. It is currently owned by the Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts, who plan to renovate the theater and reopen it as a performing arts center. A portion of the proceeds raised from the workshop will go to MIFA to help with maintenance and restoration.

More information as well as how to purchase tickets can be found at: http://www.abandonedamerica.us/after-the-final-curtain1abandoned-america1

View of the auditorium from the balcony.

Variety Theatre Cleveland, Ohio

Then we’ll be heading eight hours west to the Variety Theatre in Cleveland, Ohio on April 11, 2015. The Variety opened on November 24, 1927 and after a number of different uses (including a wrestling gym called the Cleveland Wrestleplex) closed in the late 1980s. The building was purchased by the Friends of the Historic Variety Theatre on June 12, 2009, and they plan to restore the theater as a multi-use venue. A portion of the proceeds from the workshop will go to the Friends of the Historic Variety Theatre to help with the maintenance of the theater.

For more information and to purchase tickets: http://www.abandonedamerica.us/the-variety-theatre-an-after

 

As always Matthew Christopher and I will be on hand during workshops to answer any questions you may have regarding lighting, composition in these spaces. We have a combined 20 years experience photographing abandoned buildings and welcome any questions. Both locations have lights that can be turned on, but are minimally lit so we recommend that you bring your own lights if possible.

Loew’s Canal Theatre

December 30, 2014
View of the auditorium from the balcony.

View of the auditorium from the balcony.

B&W Image from the Loew’s Collection, American Theatre Architecture Archive, Theatre Historical Society of America.

B&W Image from the Loew’s Collection, American Theatre Architecture Archive, Theatre Historical Society of America.

The Loew’s Canal Theatre opened in September of 1927 in New York, New York. The Loew’s Corporation contracted with Thomas W. Lamb, one of the foremost theater architects of the 20th century, to design a theater on Canal Street in Manhattan. The 2,314 seat theater was the second largest motion picture theater in the city when it opened. Even though it was a larger theater, it mostly showed “B” movies and serials. Loew’s sold the theater to the Greater M&S Circuit a little over a year after it opened, and bought it back when they went bankrupt in 1929.

Ceiling of the auditorium.

Ceiling of the auditorium.

Auditorium ceiling blueprint

Auditorium ceiling blueprint

On the morning of September 10, 1932, an explosion rocked the front of the Loew’s Canal, throwing the ticket booth into the street and shattering windows on a number of neighboring buildings. No one was injured in the blast, but Edward Brown, the theater’s night watchman, was thrown down a flight of stairs by it. A similar explosion destroyed the entrance of the Loew’s 46th Street Theatre an hour earlier. Both bombings were thought to be connected to the Motion Picture Operators’ Union Local 306, who were on strike at the time and protesting in front of both theaters, but nothing was ever proven.

A close up of the auditorium's chandelier.

A close up of the auditorium’s chandelier.

Loews_Canal_027

 

According to an article in the New York Post, Comedian Jerry Stiller grew up going to the theater. Stiller says, “we used to go on Saturday morning at the Loew’s Canal. At nine in the morning, they’d show things like the “Fitzpatrick Traveltalk,” cartoons and serials like “Flash Gordon.” By the time you got to 10:30, they’d get to the double-header, two pictures in a row. What happened was, your mother or father would drop you off at nine, and they didn’t have to pick you up until three. That’s where we got our education.

The lobby has been empty since the store that was occupying it closed in the late 2000s.

The lobby was decorated with ornate terracotta ornamentation.

 

Ceiling of the lobby.

Ceiling of the vestibule.

Blueprints of the vestibule and lobby areas.

Blueprints of the vestibule and lobby areas.

Eddie Cantor, who also grew up in the Lower East Side, had the world premiere of his film, “Forty Little Mothers” at the Loew’s Canal in April of 1940. The theater closed in the late 1950s, and by the early 1960s the lobby was converted to retail space, while the auditorium was used as a warehouse. The last occupant of the lobby space was an appliance store and repair shop that closed in the late 2000s.

Parts of the mezzanine were blocked off and used for storage while the lobby was occupied by a retail store.

Parts of the mezzanine were blocked off and used for storage while the lobby was occupied by a retail store.

There are ornate water fountains on both sides of the mezzanine balcony entrances.

There are ornate water fountains on both sides of the mezzanine balcony entrances.

The terracotta façade of the theater was designated a New York City Landmark by the Landmarks Preservation Committee in 2010. Later that year, the Committee to Revitalize and Enrich the Arts and Tomorrow’s Economy (CREATE) teamed up with the building’s owners to conduct a feasibility study to convert the space into a performing arts center. They received a $150,000 grant from the Lower Manhattan Development Corp., but ultimately the project never came to fruition. The building’s owners planned on converting the space into an 11-story condo complex, but the plan was rejected by the NYC Department of Buildings. Currently, the former auditorium is still used as a warehouse, while the lobby space is empty.

Loews_Canal_008

Lamb designed the interior of the theater in the Spanish Baroque style of architecture.

The fire escapes were closed off when the auditorium was converted into a warehouse.

The fire escapes were closed off when the auditorium was converted into a warehouse.

The theater was only mentioned in the news for minor incidents, such as fires or movie premieres.

The theater was only mentioned in the news for minor incidents, such as fires or movie premieres.

Loews_Canal_016

Loews_Canal_024

Lions were included in the design of many Loew's theaters.

Lions were included in the design of many Loew’s theaters.

Loews_Canal_013

A close up of the theater’s proscenium arch.

IMG_5497

Another view of the auditorium ceiling.

Another view of the auditorium ceiling.

A look back at the projection booth.

A look back at the projection booth.

The chandeliers still hang in the theater's inner lobby.

The chandeliers still hang in the theater’s inner lobby.

A close up of one of the chandeliers.

A close up of one of the chandeliers.

Ornate plaster-work on the wall of the inner lobby.

Ornate plaster-work on the wall of the inner lobby.

Loews_Canal_022

The contracting firm M. Shapiro & Son began construction on the theater in the fall of 1926.

If you’d like to help with my exploring/research efforts, please consider purchasing a print, all support is very appreciated.

 

© Matthew Lambros and After the Final Curtain, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Matthew Lambros and After the Final Curtain with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

Holiday Print Sale 2014

December 8, 2014
Studebaker Theatre Chicago, IL

Studebaker Theatre Chicago, IL

Happy Holidays! From now until December 31, 8×12, 12×18 and 16×24 prints are 50% off when you use the coupon code holiday2014 at checkout.

http://www.mlambrosphotography.com/prints

Don’t have time to get a print framed during this busy holiday season? No problem! As an added bonus I’m including eight framed prints for 50% off, too. Just use the same coupon code (holiday2014) at checkout.

http://www.mlambrosphotography.com/framedprints

If you have any questions feel free to email me at matt@mlambrosphotography.com

Adams Theatre

November 25, 2014
View of the auditorium from the main level.

View of the auditorium from the main level.

The Adams Theatre in Newark, New Jersey originally opened on January 12, 1912 as the Shubert Theatre. It was designed in the Beaux-Arts style by architect William E. Lehman, who also designed the Proctor’s Palace Theatre in Yonkers, NY. The 2,037 seat theater was originally used for theatrical productions, Broadway tryouts and revivals.

Read more…

Chicago Lecture

October 21, 2014
View from the stage Portage Theatre Chicago, IL

View from the stage Portage Theatre Chicago, IL

 

I’m very excited to announce that I’ll be giving a lecture on abandoned theaters in partnership with the Theatre Historical Society of America, at the Portage Theatre in Chicago, IL on Thursday November 13, 2014.

Doors open at 6:30 and the lecture starts at 7:00. Admission is free.

The lecture will be an updated version of “The Fall of the American Movie Palace” with some of my more recent work, including some photographs of the Loew’s Kings Theatre renovation.

Read more…

Franklin Park Theatre

October 8, 2014
View of the auditorium from the side of the balcony.

View of the auditorium from the side of the balcony.

The Franklin Park Theatre opened on December 8, 1914 in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts. Designed by Funk and Wilcox, who also designed the nearby Strand Theatre. The theater was originally operated by Jacob Lourie, who was a movie pioneer in Massachusetts and the original president of New England Theatres Operating Company (NETOC). NETOC was affiliated with Paramount Pictures, and many of the “famous players” performed at the Franklin Park. It cost $250,000 to build the theater, or $6 million when adjusted for inflation.

Read more…

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