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Thanks for those interesting points. Yes, so many of those old postcards had that light brown sepia tone. And you’re right about the streets too. When I was living in Salem as a kid, there were several streets that had cobblestone or granite pavers in the downtown, e.g., around Central Street and some of Derby Street near the Salem Laundry and the First National supermarket (previously the old Federal Theater). I believe that Essex did as well. At that time the old trolley tracks of the Eastern Massachusetts Street Railway Co. were still embedded in the stones. I think that some of Washington Street down near the Boston & Maine Depot and up to Town House Square. That was years before Essex Street was closed to vehicular traffic.
David and DApril are both me.
You make a lot of very good points there. So many decades have passed that we may never know the answer for sure.
That’s great historical information on the predecessor theater to the Plaza. Given the date of the destructive fire at the Witch Theater and its later demise in 1913, and the opening of the Plaza Theatre in December of that same year, I wouldn’t rule out that the earlier information given above might have been in error. Possibly the theater that followed the Witch Theatre included safety improvements such as a fireproof stage curtain and water standpipes. But despite the innovations, the building still burned down! On the other hand, I do recall a little detail in smaller letters on the original marquee reading “New” Plaza Theater. It was the word “new” that implied that there had been an earlier Plaza Theater on that site. It seemed that the word “new” was to distinguish between two Plaza Theaters. My paternal grandfather was a lieutenant on the Salem Fire Department roster until his death in 1964. I’m sure that as a kid had I asked him about the fire(s)he would have known all about it. But… I never asked.