The latest movie theater news and updates
May 14, 2015
You can find information for architectural restoration, to help gain landmark status, or document performances and the history of a theatre in your community.
The American Theatre Architecture Archive (ATAA) are currently home to over 100,000 items documenting over 18,000 theatres in America.The largest holding of its kind, the resources available in our collections document the architectural heritage of theatres in America from the 1880s to present day.
Browse our ‘Finding Aides’ to learn about the collections in the archive and how they can help you. For example, you can learn about the Paul S. Moore Collection, the Michael Miller Collection, and the Chicago Architectural Photographing Company Collection.
May 13, 2015
Would you like a tour of King’s Theatre after its extensive renovation? Thirty THS members joined Executive Director Richard Fosbrink for a very special visit. https://youtu.be/ynGUJ-RHSOo
May 12, 2015
Explore the Ben Hall collection’s selection of stage show photos from the Roxy Theatre. When Samuel Lionel “Roxy” Rothafel built the Roxy Theatre in Times Square, he set out to make the most awe-inspiring viewing experience imaginable. This extraordinary movie palace featured more than the luxuries of an elaborately decorated auditorium and an expansive plush lobby (though it had those as well!). http://www.historictheatres.org/archival-collections/
May 11, 2015
Watch an engaging video about the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre with story tellers Andrew Dolkart, Architectural Historian at Columbia University, Jeffery Eric Jenkins, Lunt-Fontanne Theatre Historian, and composer Alan Menken. “The theatre is a living, breathing entity. There’s all these invisible artistic threads linking us to the people who came before us.” http://www.spotlightonbroadway.com/theater/lunt-fontanne
May 8, 2015
Two great San Francisco Historic Theatres, the Grand Theatre and the New Mission Theatre, are leading a new life as part of their community.
May 7, 2015
Besides being fun and interesting to browse, the THS archives can help you document the architectural, social and cultural history of the theatres you love! Information and materials in the archives can be used to help gain historic landmark status, accurately restore buildings to their former splendor, and provide a look at the cultural and social history of an era. Here’s a peak at the postcard collection in the THS archives.
The Postcard selection is an important one, because it illuminates a few issues related to theatre history research and archiving. For most of the 20th century, the postcard was a popular tourist purchase. Postcards were both a quick way for a traveler to share news of their journey, and a handy way for localities to advertise their attractions. Many of these towns saw their theatres as memorable locations and used their images to promote and memorialize their towns.
Many, if not most, of our postcards are from the latest era of postcard production, known as photochrom-style postcards. Photochrom-style postcards are the color cards with photographic appearance that most of us are familiar with today. From 1939, when photochrom-style postcards were first sold in Western gas stations, to the 1990s, when the popularity of email led to an overall downturn in postal communication, these colorful postcards were one of the easiest and most popular ways for travelers to share the sights of their latest journeys, like these postcards showing Oakland, California’s Grand Lake Theater.
While postcards are often praised for their self-contained, single card design, they could also reach high levels of complexity. This postcard, with its self-closing printed envelope, accordion-folded images, and full text backing, is a small feat of postcard engineering.
May 6, 2015
Happy 100th Birthday to the Maryland Theatre in Hagerstown! ‘The Maryland Theatre was built in 1915, at a cost of about $200,000 by the Potomac Realty Company. Designed by Harry E. Yessler of Hagerstown, who also designed the Colonial Theatre across the street, and renowned Thomas W. Lamb of New York. Mr. Lamb is recognized for his work on The Hippodrome Theatres as well as Madison Square Garden Theatre in NYC along with theatres in England, Egypt, India and South Africa.’ Maryland Theatre website
May 5, 2015
Is there a Cinerama theatre near you? Cinerama was a novel film process developed to create a unique experience at a time when movie theatres were beginning to feel the effects of television’s popularity.
The brainchild of engineer Fred Waller, Cinerama was devised as a viewing experience that would capture the full vision spectrum, immersing viewers in the film experience.
This diagram, published by Cinerama Films, Inc., gives the clearest idea of the complexities involved in the Cinerama experience. At the bottom you see a camera man recording on three film reels, capturing a broad view. At the same time, multiple microphones are placed to capture a wide range of sounds. At the top, a trio of projectors work to cover the curved three part screen.
May 4, 2015
Theatre Historical Society of America is blogging with Cinema Treasures. During the last few months we have welcomed a new Programs Director and a new Development and Marketing Director. We are also excited to share that our Archives Director and his wife have welcomed their first child. While the first quarter of 2015 has been a little quiet on the blog, it has been an exciting time of growth and opportunity at THS that we are thrilled to begin sharing today.
The THS archives and Cinema Treasures website are a wonderful combination of resources for historic theatre enthusiasts. Along with the beautiful photographs and overviews of so many theatres here at Cinema Treasures, you can find complimentary materials that celebrate and document historic theatres at the THS online archives.
April 19, 2015