Columbia Theatre

500 Broadway Street,
Paducah, KY 42001

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Showing 1 - 25 of 57 comments

stormdog on January 25, 2013 at 4:55 pm

It’s odd since I planned my trips partly by using Cinema Treasures to see where theatres to photograph were located, but somehow I missed the Arcade. I’m afraid if they have done anything to that building, I didn’t notice it and didn’t realize it was there. Sorry.

stormdog on January 23, 2013 at 5:25 pm

I just shot some pictures of the Colombia while I was in town on a photography trip over the Summer. Here’s a link to the first of the set on my Flickr page.

While looking for into on this theatre online, I also found think like to a video interview of a city employee who’s part of a team that may be working to renovate the building.

jsherrod83 on August 23, 2010 at 5:33 pm

My name is Joe i am looking for any information on the Columbia Theater in Paducah KY. My wife and I are making a proposal to the city of Paducah in restoration of the theater. I am looking for pictures of the interior from when it was in full working order. We are looking to restore the theater in full working order and as close to the same as it was on April 18, 1927. I am also looking for anyone who would like to lend a hand in the restoration of the theater. I can be contacted at or 618 841 3129

ChrisB on August 9, 2010 at 3:43 am

Somewhat blurry shot of the Rialto marquee here:

View link

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 26, 2009 at 2:24 am

I think the first line of the introductory paragraph for the page is supposed to read “The Columbia Theatre stands as a testament to America’s love for the movies and theatre in the 1920’s and 1930’s.” It’s part of the text of the PDF Proposal for renovation of the Columbia and Arcade theaters, available at Paducah Main Street. (The PDF is essentially the same content as the web page, but of course you can make the photos a bit bigger.)

I’ve tried to find the year of the Art Moderne renovation but the closest I can come is an item in the June 21, 1952, issue of Boxoffice that said “The Columbia Amusement Company, Paducah, is doing extensive remodeling at its Columbia Theatre.” 1952 seems a bit late for the Skouras-esque swoops and swirls that were apparently appliqued to the original, restrained interior style (which looks Adamesque to my eye.) There might have been an earlier renovation, but if so Boxoffice isn’t telling me about it.

What I have found in Boxoffice is a few references to the Keiler family’s Columbia Amusement Company operating not only the Columbia, the Arcade, and the Kentucky Theatre, but also a house called the Rialto, currently not listed at Cinema Treasures. There was also one reference to an Orpheum Theatre operated by the Keilers at Paducah, but that might have been an aka for the missing Rialto.

MPol on November 25, 2009 at 3:59 pm

Thanks for the latest photo, Lost Memory. It’s heartrending to see such a handsome theatre shut down like that.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on November 25, 2009 at 2:41 pm

Here is an October 2009 photo.

MPol on July 26, 2009 at 10:00 pm

What a handsome-looking theatre! Are there any photos of the theatre’s interior available, btw? Again, just curious.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on July 24, 2009 at 4:53 pm

This is a July 2009 photo.

larry on June 8, 2009 at 11:34 am

Very sad to see what happens to many old grand theaters

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on June 8, 2009 at 10:29 am

Another photo of the Columbia is here.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on November 20, 2008 at 9:56 am

The date given for this photo from Life Magazine is August 1947. The link is courtesy of CT member “misterboo”.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on September 18, 2008 at 4:46 pm

That one works. Nice photo.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on September 18, 2008 at 4:31 pm

DEAD LINK-403 Forbidden

mollerman on July 21, 2008 at 11:16 pm

Thanks for your interest in the Barton Pipe Organ.

My email address is:
Phone # 731-587-6345
Mike W. Mount
117 Gardner Rd.
Martin, Tn. 38237-8220

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on July 19, 2008 at 8:10 pm

Here is a July 2008 photo.

Clayton on May 29, 2008 at 12:20 pm

Hey Mike,

What is the best way to get in contact with you in regards to the Columbia’s organ and the theatre’s history?

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on May 14, 2008 at 2:34 pm

That line comes from the Related Websites link above. Since they wrote it, maybe they can explain what it means. Contact Info.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on May 14, 2008 at 1:56 pm

The opening sentence of the introduction doesn’t make any sense to me. Could someone please explain the meaning of “The Columbia Theatre stands as a testament to America’s love for the 1920’s and 1930’s?”

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on May 14, 2008 at 12:10 pm

This is a more recent photo of the Columbia Theater.

mollerman on March 2, 2008 at 7:43 am

The organ chambers are located and the left and right side of the stage and about twenty feet above the stage. This kept the pipe chambers completely isolated from the water. The only thing lost was the console. The relay was in the left(Main) chamber and the contacts inside the chest looked like they were only five years old. The chest leather is perfect, probably due to being only ten years old when it was played last and the chest had not had any air in them in over fifty years. Dan Barton told me years ago that the leather he used was super high quality and he used egg white whipped up to seal the pores in the leather to make them more air tight—this is something that several companies did during this error. Everything that Barton built was very much oversized. If a ½" piece of wood would do, he would use 1 ¼". Dan told me that he only wanted to sell organs that was within a days ride on train from Oskosh but he had got on a boat and was thrown off in Paducah. He said he sure liked to drink and that he sold the two organs here and with the downpayment, had the money to get back home. Must say he was something else! I trained with M. P. Moller and have been a organ builder for thirty eight years. Most of my early work was restoring theater pipe organs in the 70’s and wished that I could have got the Columbia’s owner to have kept the organ in the theater. He wanted no part of it and more than glad to get rid of it. A couple of weeks after I removed it, the owner called me to say he found the super large bass drum in a dressing room along with the hand painted leather covered tom tom. When I went to get them, he showed me a filling cabinet drawer in his office full of black and white photos of the theater taken during the late 20’s and early 30’s. Wonder what became of these photos? They showed some very famous people on stage along with the organ console. Thanks for your interest in this organ. I forgot to mention that the other organ in a Paducah theater went to the landfill and I have the rosewood zylophone which is the only part that survived.