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roof replaced in early 1990’s & 29 years ago, btw
If one compares the 1983 photo against the 2004 photos above, you notice the terra cotta parapet ornamentation and the deco tower capitals above the front entry were removed. This occurred the early 2000’s when the roof was replaced. there was dumpsters full of broken terra cotta scrolls and zig-zag pieces that were simply discarded. The white capitols of the towers reportedly set in some local private garden, but that was 2900 years ago. All of the ornament, except for the glazed white capitols, was the same buff color as the remaining terra cotta on the building. This monochromatic facade contrasts to the colorful terra cotta of the across town Latonia theatre. The Oil City Playhouse briefly reopened the Drake for a year or two in the mid 1990’s as a performance theatre.
I was fortunate to perform on the Drake’s stage in the performance of “Melba, The Toast of Pithole”, a melodrama written about the local oil boomtown and a colorful cast of characters. I played Danny Sweetapple, the hero of the story.
I was impressed with the ornamental plater and murals depicting oil, hunting themes each in stylized art deco fashion, which never was too apparent when I watched movies there as a child. All of the lighting including wall sconces throughout and facetted central chendalier were still intact and operational at that time.
I am not aware of the state of the interior today, although I am pessimistic. The entire building is vacant now after the departure of a marketing call center which occupied the adjacent office and retail space of the complex. I believe this fantatic historic building is currently for sale.