December 7, 2015
The Nate Brandt Collection in the THS Archives – by Sean O’Malley
On December 30, 1903, the Iroquois Theater in Chicago caught fire. Much of the theater was very unsafe and not built with emergency situations such as fires in mind. Among the most glaring of its flaws was the fact that it lacked things like fire exits. As a result, over six hundred people died in the Iroquois Theater fire. This disaster was the single deadliest theater fire in United States history, and the event that spurred the creation of many of the fire and building codes that are in place today. In the aftermath of the fire, there were numerous investigations and trials as the authorities tried to piece together what happened, how it could have prevented, and who (if anyone) was to blame for the fire.
November 24, 2015
Leigh Ann Wilson, a student of Dominican University’s Master of Library Science Program,was inspired by her experience while processing the Eric Ellis Collection at the Theatre Historical Society of America archives. Enjoy her reflections about this wonderful collection!
Capturing the past has high appeal – each photograph, sound recording, or snippet of video footage gives us the opportunity to step once more into times gone by. Classic movie theatres, which by their nature have a whimsical, nostalgic appeal of their own, are intriguing to capture and preserve. The Eric Ellis collection, with its focus on Chicago and New York City, allows the researcher or casual browser to reach back and pull the cities’ past forward. The collection features approximately 2010 35mm color slides in cardboard or plastic mounts. The photographer, Eric Ellis, was a grandnephew to one of the Rapp brothers, Cornelius Ward Rapp (1861-1926) and George Leslie Rapp (1878-1942), who were leading theatre architects in the early 20th century. Combining his interest in his genealogical roots with a desire to preserve the work of Rapp & Rapp, Ellis travelled throughout Chicago taking photographs of movie theatres large and small, and took side journeys to New York City, Washington D.C., and Boston, Massachusetts to document what memories he could.
November 19, 2015
Birmingham Landmarks Inc. has both commissioned and collaborated with several different entities for development of studies and reports addressing the restored Lyric’s economic and artistic impacts upon the City of Birmingham, as well as the economic feasibility of restoration and operation of the future Lyric Performing Arts Center.
November 12, 2015
Iowa has a unique and interesting way to celebrate and document their historic theatres, including a gallery of theatre images and a map to locate them around the state. You can also enjoy a great slideshow of over 100 historic theatres in Iowa: http://www.preservationiowa.org/hollywood/
November 9, 2015
Classic Cinemas’s Woodstock Theatre received a plaque from the National Register of Historic Places by the U.S. Department of the Interior for the work on the historic theater, which opened in 1927, Willis Johnson said.
November 4, 2015
The Preservation Alliance of West Virginia is trying to help maintain historic theatres throughout the state with the West Virginia Historic Theatre Trail. Consisting of 24 theatres in 17 counties, it is looking to expand.
“A key thing about historic theatres is they really do serve as economic anchors, especially in the historic downtowns,” said Kelli Shapiro, with the Preservation Alliance of West Virginia. “If you come to see a movie or a play, you might stay and go shopping in the downtown before that, or you might go have dinner.”
October 29, 2015
October 28, 2015
The Theatre on Your Street: Saved! Houston’s Historic Heights Theater to be Reborn as Major Concert Venue
Preservation isn’t dead and bulldozed over in Houston just yet. A historic movie theater that was built in 1923 is being saved and reborn after years of false starts and idle hopes. Who says minor miracles don’t happen in the land of tear downs and start overs?
The Heights Theater — which continues to stand out on 19th Street with its striking art deco movie marquee — has been bought by the owner of the renowned, revitalized Kessler Theater in Dallas. And Edwin Cabaniss envisions a Kessler-style second life for the old theater.
October 27, 2015
Enjoy this amazing fly thru video of Detroit’s Fox Theatre! The Fox Theatre seats over 5,000 people and is Detroit’s largest movie palace. In 1988, the Fox underwent an $8.1-million restoration. Since the restoration, the Fox has become one of the most successful theaters in the country combining Broadway shows, concerts, special events and the occasional classic film.
October 23, 2015
The Theatre Historical Society of America is accepting applications for the 2016 DuBuque Research Fellowship.
The Thomas R. DuBuque Research Fellowship was created by the Theatre Historical Society of America Board of Directors in 2012 to honor the memory of past president, Conclave Theatre Tour planner, and dedicated volunteer Thomas “Tom” R. DuBuque. Tom had a lifelong interest in historic theatres and was a member of THS from 1979 until his death in 2011.
The DuBuque Fellowship supports scholars conducting research in the Theatre Historical Society of America Archives and Collections. The Fellowship was created to support research, increase awareness of the THS Archives, and encourage use of archive materials.