Lawndale Theatre

The main level of the Lawndale Theatre.

When the Lawndale Theater of North Lawndale, IL closed permanently in the early 2000s, it had been in use primarily as a church.  This end to the theater very much resembles its beginning — after a series of architectural control changes, it is generally believed that the design responsibilities finally fell to William P. Whitney, a local architect known mostly for designing churches.  However, there is no hard evidence for Whitney’s involvement in the project.  The Lawndale’s resemblance to Whitney’s Symphony Theater in Chicago suggests his influence on the Lawndale’s design.
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Sattler Theatre

a close up of the front of the Sattler Theater now known as the Broadway Theater
The front of the Sattler Theatre

The Sattler Theatre opened in 1914 and was built on a site that had been used for other theaters in the past.  The Sattler Theatre was comissioned by John G. Sattler, the founder of Sattler’s, a local Buffalo department store.  It was designed by architect Henry L. Span,  who designed many of Buffalo’s theaters, including the North Park Theatre, which is still in use. Continue reading “Sattler Theatre”

Q & A with Paul Fagley, President of the Friends of the Embassy Theatre

View of the Embassy Theatre from the balcony

I recently spoke with Paul Fagley, the president of the Friends of the Embassy Theatre, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to reviving the theater.

Who are the Friends of The Embassy Theatre?

The Friends of the Embassy Theatre, Inc. is a 501c3 non-profit group dedicated to restoring and operating the historic Embassy Theatre. Continue reading “Q & A with Paul Fagley, President of the Friends of the Embassy Theatre”

Embassy Theatre

View of the Embassy Theatre from the balcony

The Embassy Theatre in Lewistown, PA opened on Monday, October 17, 1927.  Before the Embassy was built the National Theatre stood in the same location and was partially demolished in early 1927. The Embassy was designed by A. D. Hill of the Philadelphia firm H.C. Hodgens and A.D. Hill. The firm is known for its 1928 design of The Tower Theater in Upper Darby, PA, which is still in use. The Embassy was lavishly decorated and referred to as “the Radio City Music Hall” of Central Pennsylvania.

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Montauk Theatre

The Montauk Theatre during demolition

The Montauk Theatre opened on January 30, 1924 in Passaic, NJ on the site of a former vaudeville theater — also called the Montauk Theatre — that was popular in the early 1900’s. Designed by local architect Abram Presikel in the Adamesque style, the theater sat 2,638 people and was operated by the Fabian Enterprises theater chain (which was known for showing both First National Pictures and Warner Bros. films).   Continue reading “Montauk Theatre”

Center Theatre

The interior of the Center Theatre

The Center Theatre is an art deco theater that was designed by architect Abraham H. Okun and built in 1938. Okun was a prominent local architect at the time, known for many other buildings in the county (such as the Ohave Shalom Synagogue). Located in the hamlet of Woodbourne, NY in the Borscht Belt (an area of the Catskills known for being a popular vacation spot for Jewish people from the New York metropolitan area), it was the first air-conditioned theater in Sullivan county. Continue reading “Center Theatre”

Beacon Theatre

The Beacon Theatre was built in 1928 and was intended to be a vaudeville house. However, the Great Depression pushed the opening date back six years.  The Beacon finally opened as a movie theater in 1934.  It was built in the art deco style and was advertised as  “the most beautiful theater from New York City to Albany,” and sat 1,100 people.

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Keith-Albee Theatre, or RKO Keith’s Theater

balcony of keith's theatre
View from the balcony of the Keiths Theatre

The RKO Keith’s Theatre, originally called the Keith-Albee Theatre, opened Christmas Day, 1928 at 1:00 PM.  Located in Flushing, Queens, it was designed by Thomas W. Lamb, an architect known for his theater designs, which can also be seen in New York’s Ziegfeld Theatre and Proctor’s 58th Street (which was built simultaneously with the Keith’s).

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