The Madison Theatre opened on October 16, 1920 in Peoria, Illinois. It was built by architect Frederic J. Klein (known for Rockford, Illinois’ Coronado Theatre) for the Robinson Amusement Company. The 1,739 seat theater was originally designed in the Adamesque style and was remodeled in 1936 in the simpler art deco style to ease the maintenance of the building.
Proctor’s Palace Theatre opened on January 31, 1916 in Yonkers, New York. The 2,300 seat theater was designed by William E. Lehman who is also known for the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, New Jersey. It was built for theater magnate F.F. Proctor. Lehman designed the auditorium with a mix of French, Flemish and Italian style architecture. He is quoted as saying, “I wanted to create a building that will wear well.” The complex also included a six story office building.
Just a quick reminder – there are still tickets available to my lecture at the Observatory in Brooklyn on December 3 at 7:30PM.
Tickets can be purchased at http://www.eventbrite.com/event/4687750187?ref=elink
On December 3, I’ll be giving another lecture on the Fall of the American Movie Palace as part of the Atlas Obscura Speakers series at the Observatory in Brooklyn. I’ll be adding some new images and information, so if you came to the first one, there’s still a reason to check it out.
Here’s some information about it from the Observatory’s website:
There’s nothing remarkable about a movie theater today, but there used to be. When the great American Movie Palaces opened, they were some of the most lavish, stunning buildings anyone had ever seen. With the birth of the multiplex, theater companies found it harder and harder to keep these buildings open. Some were demolished, some were converted, and some remain to this day. “The Fall of the American Movie Palace” will take you through the history of these magnificent buildings, from their opening in the early 1900s to years after the final curtain.
Tickets can also be purchased at http://www.eventbrite.com/event/4687750187/eorg
The Ramova Theatre opened on August 21, 1929 in the Bridgeport neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois. The 1,500 seat theater was designed by architect Meyer O. Nathan in the Spanish Revival style. An atmospheric theater, the ceiling was painted blue to resemble the night sky. A contest was held to name the theater while it was being built, and the winner named it after the Lithuanian word for “peaceful place.”
The Majestic Theatre opened on February 26, 1928 in East St. Louis, Illinois. It was designed by the Boller Brothers for Harry Redmon and Fred Leber. The Boller Brothers were known for the Missouri Theatre in St Joseph, Missouri. The Majestic was nicknamed “The Million Dollar Theatre” due to the high costs of building the theater.
The Uptown Theatre opened as the Majestic Theatre on May 2, 1928 in Racine, Wisconsin. The 1,300 seat theater was designed by local architect B. Wade Denham for owner Ernst Klinkert. The interior was designed in the Gothic style — as many theaters at the time were in the Adamesque style, Gothic, a style usually used in churches, was an unusual choice. Denham was praised for using a hillside location to achieve full stage visibility from any seat in the auditorium. In addition to the theater itself, the building also had eight apartments to house the actors when the theater was showing plays and musicals. The Majestic closed in 1930, two years after it opened.