Theater Historian David Naylor Passes Away

posted by Ross Melnick on March 1, 2013 at 3:36 pm


The Theatre Historical Society of America has announced the death of theater historian, David Naylor. Naylor was the author of numerous books including “Great American Movie Theaters” and “American Picture Palaces.” He was also a tremendous influence on Cinema Treasures. This site was created, in part, as a way for users to keep his 1987 book alive with updates in perpetuity.

RIP, Mr. Naylor and thank you.

Comments (7)

KenLayton on March 1, 2013 at 8:48 pm

That’s sad. I have purchased all his books over the years and they are nothing short of EXCELLENT. I still refer to pictures in those books!

JohnRice on March 1, 2013 at 9:05 pm

Sorry to hear of Mr. Naylor’s passing. His books will always have a prominent and valued place in my library!

Scott on March 2, 2013 at 6:57 am

This is very sad news. His “American Picture Palaces” book was the impetus for my interest in the study of American movie palaces. It really opened my eyes to the magic of America’s grand theaters. As Ken noted, his other books were excellent as well. May he rest in peace.

Edward Havens
Edward Havens on March 2, 2013 at 1:28 pm

Add me to the list of people whose purchase of American Picture Palaces began a life-long love of movie palaces. Thank you, Mr. Naylor.

HowardBHaas on March 3, 2013 at 5:08 am

“Great American Theaters” was the 1st book that I purchased about historic movie theaters. I learned about the design & history of movie palaces and how other cities saved them. It educated me to step for Philadelphia’s Boyd, an effort that continues. Of course, Ross Melnick & Andreas Fuchs are among the world’s leading chroniclers today of historic movie theaters!

HowardBHaas on March 3, 2013 at 5:10 am

Oops, meant to write “step forth for”

RSM3853 on January 6, 2014 at 1:51 pm

Sad to hear this. I have this book and refer to it often.

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