movie palaces history

The building is widely recognized for its marquee and 100-foot tower, which appeared in the opening credits of Siskel & Ebert & the Movies. In 1928, gilded mirrors, ornamental wall sconces, carved furniture, medieval-styled tapestries, four flowing water fountains and more than 500 statues filled the castle-like space, dazzling the patrons who welcomed the new theatre. This theater was built with a Wurlitzer installed at the time of its opening in 1928. John F. Kennedy made a stop at the Coronado during his 1960 presidential campaign. The building underwent extensive renovation in 2002 and still shows weekly midnight movies and a wide variety of big-budget and independent films. There are three architectural design types of movie palaces. Lamb's style was initially based on the more traditional, "hardtop" form patterned on opera houses, but was no less ornate. Built just a few months before the stock market crash in 1929, the Majestic was the second largest theater in the country. 1317 State Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101. The theater opened in 1939. Later stopped its movie operations and became the new home of the Academy Theatre, the oldest live professional theatre company in Georgia. Originally opened in 1924 and designed with a Spanish motif, the York changed to an Art Deco style in 1938. The late 1920s saw the peak of the movie palace, with hundreds opened every year between 1925 and 1930. These soon spread throughout the country as empty storefronts were equipped with chairs, a Vitascope projector, a muslin sheet on which the motion picture was exhibited, darkened windows, and a box by the door to service as a ticket office (literally, the "box office".) The Brauntex Theatre opened not long after the attack on Pearl Harbor. For a close-up demonstration of the organ, sign up for the Balcony-To-Backstage Tour to learn more about this theatre, built in 1926. According to the theater’s website, “An archeological dig was made by some of Classic Cinemas’ workers to uncover the original orchestra pit. It’s a confusing and unnerving time in our world. The Broadway Theatre opened in 1929 and now hosts concerts, classic films and a local community theater. The theater was redecorated in preparation for the 1933 World’s Fair—including repainting the fourteen murals. Spend an evening under the stars and clouds at this theater that's just three blocks from the Alamo. A large fire from an adjacent restaurant caused extensive damage to the building in 1987, and after five years of renovations, the theater reopened in 1992. Comfort was paramount, with upholstered seating and climate controls. The theater originally called “Alexander” opened in 1925. Proud to be the only movie theater in town with cool air, ads promised the temperature inside would be a comfortable 70 degrees. 104 N St. Mary’s Street, San Antonio, TX 78205. Built in 1906 as a church and redesigned as an Art Deco movie palace in 1933, this theater has been open to the public throughout the decades that followed. Naturally the city also had a role in development of the movie theater. Beaming a welcome to today’s audiences, the nearly six stories high “C-H-I-C-A-G-O” vertical marquee is a cherished landmark. The movie palace's signature look was one of extravagant ornamentation. The venue hosts many events related to the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. The sign is 52-feet high, 72-feet wide and consists of 2,800 colored bulbs. Granted, that was 82 years ago, so it probably doesn’t affect the modern moviegoer. The theater’s ceiling is “leatherette” and is the last known ceiling of its type in the USA. [7] However, as more sophisticated, complex, and longer films featuring prominent stage actors were developed, the upperclass desires to attend the movies began to increase and a demand for higher class theaters began to develop. When State Theatre made its debut in 1921, one reporter called it “a gilded pleasure palace.” Designed in Italian Renaissance style, the stage floor was made of glass and illuminated from below to create sparkling special effects. The 90-foot lobby with rows of flanking columns and terrazzo floor is reminiscent of a Buddhist monastery. 233 E Front Street Traverse City, MI 49684. There were also real concerns over the physical safety of the nickelodeon theaters themselves as they were often cramped with little ventilation and the nitrate film stock used at the time was extremely flammable. Dropping a nickel in a machine allowed a viewer to see a short motion picture, devoid of plot. [11] The closing of most movie palaces occurred after United States v. Paramount Pictures, Inc. in 1948, which ordered all of the major film studios to sell their theaters. Closed in 2007 for eight million dollars’ worth of renovations, the Franklin Theatre is the community’s first LEED-certified historic restoration project. Built in 1903, the vaudeville house was even featured in The Blob with Steve McQueen; each July, the theater hosts ‘Blobfest.’” —Susan B. Barnes, USA Today, 111 West 1st Street, Kannapolis, NC 28081. At the time of its opening in 1931, this theater was the largest on the West Coast, seating close to 3,500. A 1940s architectural renovation by famed architect S. Charles Lee included the addition of the Art Deco column with neon lights and a starburst at the top. These theatres exhibited a motion picture at a specific time during the day. The theater closed in the 1980s and was later a gymnastics studio. Originally built in 1929 to accommodate vaudeville acts and live animals, this theater was later purchased by Warner Brothers and became the second West Coast city to have a Warner Brothers motion picture theater. Between 1914 and 1922 over 4,000 movie palaces were opened. Oprah Winfrey filmed the introduction to her television show in the lobby of the theater, which is currently being restored with the goal of re-opening by 2017. The venue now serves as a space for live productions. Ushers, dressed in cadet uniforms, bowed to each audience member as they were seated. His first, of the five hundred in his career, was the 1923 Majestic in Houston, Texas. The film industry was one of the fastest growing forms of entertainment in the early twentieth century. The 2,600-seat theatre still draws the crowds. Atmospheric style refers to a design meant to transport viewers to an exotic location rather than a formal box-like setting for viewing films. Following World War II movie ticket sales began to rapidly decline due to the widespread adoption of television and mass migration of the population from the cities, where all the movie palaces had been built, into the suburbs. writes about travel, lifestyle and boomer topics from the New Orleans area. Most of the newly independent theaters could not continue to operate on the low admissions sales of the time without the financial support of the major studios and were forced to close. 429 Castro Street, San Francisco, CA 94114. The Uptown Theatre opened as the “Lagoon Theater” in 1916 and is one of the oldest theaters in the Twin Cities area. The nickelodeons were like simple storefront theatres, but differed in the continuous showings and the marketing to women and families. This iconic movie palace opened in May 1927 with the premiere of Cecil B. DeMille’s The King of Kings. Designed by architect John Eberson with the design concept of a garden in old Andalusia, this movie theater was opened in 1922 and served as an adult film venue in the ’70s and as a theater for Spanish films. This 3,000-seat theater opened in 1921 and was the first theater in Kansas City to contain a nursery for parents in attendance. These theatres were designed much like legitimate theatres. Look for handprints and footprints of stars from yesterday and today in the Forecourt to the Stars. The Fox Theatre of Detroit was the studio’s midwestern flagship movie palace, built in 1928 at the dawn of sound films; it was the first theatre to include a speaker system. The 3,880 seat theater opened in 1921 and was promoted as the “Wonder Theatre of the World.” Crowds often packed the theater to capacity and mounted police were required for crowd control. Among the glories of the Warner Brothers movie palaces are the Warner Hollywood Theatre, built in 1928 and today known as the Hollywood Pacific Theatre. [9], The demand for an upscale film theater, suitable to exhibit films to the upperclass, was first met when the Regent Theater, designed by Thomas Lamb, was opened in February 1913, becoming the first ever movie palace. In the course of its 106 years, the theater has hosted virtually every variant of the form. Pleasant, MI 48858. El Capitan opened on May 3, 1926. "Roxy" Rothafel, originated the deluxe presentation of films with themed stage shows. This theater designed in the Art Deco style opened in 1932 with an original seating capacity of 2,168. This summer, audiences can watch The Wizard of Oz, Dial M for Murder and Edward Scissorhands in the historic movie palace. The concessions and drinks are cash only (with no ATM inside), and the organist plays before each show. Rather than exhibiting one program a night, the nickelodeon offered continuous motion picture entertainment for five cents. Not only did it show movies, but the Majestic also featured vaudevillian acts and stars such as Bob Hope, Jack Benny and George Burns. [1], Around 1900, motion pictures became a small part of vaudeville theatres. Shortly after the tragedy, in 1949, the building was completely remodeled and revamped to its current form as the art deco Crest Theatre. The design is a mix of Egyptian and Neo-Classical Greek architecture. Hollywood, Calif. A Hollywood and American icon, the pagoda-shaped roof rising 90-feet up in the air is supported by two coral red columns, and a 30-foot tall carved dragon sits between them. The Art Deco, 195-seat main theater opened in 1947, and today includes two smaller theaters (45 people each) and the latest 3D technology.” —Susan B. Barnes, USA Today. This “Movie Palace” was the first cinema in Virginia to be built with a … Here are nine impressive historic movie palaces still warmly welcoming new patrons: Paramount Studios built Alabama Theatre in 1927 to showcase its silent films, which were accompanied by Big Bertha — a Mighty Wurlitzer Organ. Touted as the “oldest continuously operated cinema in the United States, and the second oldest in the world,” the Roxie opened in 1909. It was the last movie palace built in the Bay Area. The auditorium of the Akron Civic Theatre is meant to “resemble a night in a Moorish garden.” The building was renovated in 2002 at a cost of 22.5 million dollars. Design elements inspired by far Eastern, Moorish, Babylonian, Indian, and Egyptian themes came together in 1929 to create an imaginary place beyond the audience’s most fantastical dreams. Feeling very Art Deco, we’ve compiled a list of 50 great movie palaces where you can still see films (or some type of production) and experience the atmosphere that fostered filmgoing. The six chandeliers and murals are original.

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