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I’ve been in contact with a friend who went to the Patterson Library and was able to locate a few b/w photos and some written material
about the Grand. It seems that it was demolished in August of 1992 and that the town raised $60,000 to purchase the theatre from its owner at the time, Theodore Blakley of Erie PA. The town wanted to rid themselves of an “eyesore” and replace the theatre with a corner park which eventually is known today as being the site of a President Lincoln and Grace Bedell statue along with memorial bricks, trees and benches. The photos I rec’d are dark, but they do show the lighted art deco marquee featuring The Great O'Malley with Pat O'Brien, Sybil Jason and Humphrey Bogart. Also, the front doors with slanted brass door handles can be seen in the photos.
Gina: Thanks for the FRT information!
I was recently in Raleigh for the annual State Tree Lighting Ceremony and visited the Museum of History’s gift shop. I found a book on Charlotte with mention of the Carolina Theatre, but no photos. I’m hoping that Santa will bring this book on Christmas morning! HO HO HO!
The fact that this theatre was built by architect Louis Sullivan and the firm, Adler and Sullivan makes this a very special theatre thought they all are in their own right, but the name Sullivan is as prominent as the well-known name, Frank Lloyd Wright. I was looking through the list of architects and found the Sullivan name and one theatre connected with that prominent name. To read that the City of Chicago closed and demolished it is a real Chicago ‘crime’! It was interesting to read that Rapp & Rapp came onto the scene during the 30’s to remodel the theatre in the art deco style. And then to read that the theatre was replaced with a parking garage only to be torn down in the late 90’s was unbelievable! I found it most interesting to read the when the Garrick was to be demolished “there was one of the earliest organized public outcries in Chicago to save an historic building, but to no avail”….so very sad! If you want to see a beautiful building that Sullivan left his mark on and one that is still standing travel to Buffalo NY and visit the Guaranty Building.
Gary Flinn: The wagnersign.com site is wonderful. Thanks.
Robby: Thanks for the additional Plaza Theatre information. Just wondered also if you have followed the Charlotte Carolina Theatre saga? I am a fairly new resident, but have alot of concern over the future of this theatre in ruins. It must be restored for future generations! If you go to the site about this threatre you’ll read my comments and those of many others which you might find interesting. There are a couple of organizations that have been working for over 10 years on restoring the Carolina….Metrolina Theatre Organ Society (www.mtos.org) and Carolina Theatre Preservation Society founded by Charlie Clayton (charlie c).
This book just arrived at my front door and I am thrilled and proud to now include it in my personal book collection. The cover is so beautiful and it will be placed on our coffee table for all to see and for all to enjoy! Thank you.
The event each June to help raise monies for the Hollywood is called Happening at the Hollywood and the website is www.hollywoodtheater.org
C.C. Hook is a prominent name in the history of Charlotte. I first came upon this name in connection with a beautiful fire station on S. Laurel Avenue. I went to the address and took a photo of this station and saw the brass plate on the wall with his name along with the year of construction. After speaking with the commander he told me that it had been one of the featured Dept. 56 stations and for good reason! While there they rec’d a call and the fire trucks rolled even though no men came down the brass poles that are still intact at the station! I know this isn’t theatre chat, so forgive me for getting off the main topic for a brief moment.
Thanks KenRoe for the information you have on the Carolina. I read it through and what came back at me when describing the interior were…….“made all parts of Charlotte’s Carolina a feast for the eyes”. That interior is either gone or ruined beyond belief. I will have the rare opportunity to see inside the Carolina in the coming days thanks to Charlie Clayton, Carolina Theater Preservation Society so will see for myself then, but I’m sure a tear will form as I stand and gaze at what is before me. This theater MUST be saved and restored!
I now have found on this site that R.E. Hall was the engineer for 2 theatres, Eastman Theatre in Rochester NY and Florida Theatre in Jacksonville FL, and was not the architect so the mystery still remains as to who was the architect for the Carolina Theatre?
KenRoe: Thanks for providing us with the Carolina Theatre architect information, but was wondering what you source was as I see you are in the UK?
Falonia: Are you a local Charlotte resident? If so, you might be interested in joining the Carolina Theatre Preservation Society founded by Charlie Clayton (charlie c).
Phanton: Please keep us posted on this sad news story!
Thanks Charlie for your call and hopefully others will join the Carolina Theatre bandwagon! I’ve learned through more research tonight that the next door, Mint Museum has been allowed to use the theatre for STORAGE!?!
If they had a fundraiser in 2002, why not another one since it was so successful then. The interest is out there and should be ‘tapped’! On the following site: View link there is a story about the event that was held in the ruined auditorium in 1996 that is well worth reading and seeing!! I would love to see the inside of the auditorium though the website photos really help to give you a glimpse of what it really looks like today! The ability to see the past and present photos as a comparison really helps see what was and what isn’t anymore. I truly feel this theatre should be a community effort and the restoration of this once beautiful theatre become a beautiful reality! There are many theatres on this site, but none as worthy as this one to be restored and enjoyed once again by the citizens of Charlotte, North Carolina! If anyone reading this is in the Charotte area, please let me know what one voice can do and in the end if many voices speak out it will and can make a difference!
Falonia: “If Nations can buy Bank of America and completely change the face of downtown why can’t they save this theatre? They owe it to the people of Charlotte? Well written and my thoughts completely. And I repeat…..this theatre needs to be given back to the citizens of Charlotte!!
While looking through FL theatres I don’t see the restored Lyric Theatre listed. It is in Stewart FL.
This is a wonderful theatre in downtown Erie and thank goodness this one was saved as so many in that city were not saved including a Shea’s!
I had no idea that the City of Erie had so many theatres throughout the years….truly amazing!
I am near Erie in the summertime so will have to check out this antique store/former theatre! Do you know the name of the antique store or the number on West 26th?
I have been in the Erie Playhouse to see a production, but at the time didn’t realize its Strand history! And I didn’t know that Erie had a Shea’s. There is a Shea’s in Buffalo which has been restored and tours are given.
My father and step-mother lived near Deland in Deltona and during all of the many years we visited them I don’t recall the Athens in downtown Deland, but am so glad to read that it is being restored to its former glory, inside and out!
Does anyone know the architect or architects who were involved in buildng the Grand Theatre in Westfield NY? I have sent a letter to the last theatre manager and so I hope to hear back from him later this month. I may contact the local historical society for their help, as well.
While looking at theatres, by state, I decided to click on CT and found this one in Litchfield. The town has been in the news as it is the home of Dick and Susan Ebersol who recently lost their 13 year old son to a plane crash that involved both her older son and husband, NBC executive Dick Ebersol. May our thoughts be with them at this most difficult time.