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This is the same theater that’s also listed as the State Theater.
Just for the record, in case anyone’s confused: This theater closed with the original 1976 “Sparkle” starring Irene Cara and Philip Michael Thomas (later to become bigger stars via “Fame” and “Miami Vice,” respectively). Jordin Sparks, who starred in the 2012 remake alluded to above, wasn’t even born yet. :)
Also, I just learned that before it was “Delta Cinema” it was called the Tyson Theater. I don’t have the opening date or anything, but I’ve seen in an old city directory that this was its name in 1960.
This cinema appears to be out of business. As of April 2021, a poster for the 2018 film “12 Strong” was still hanging in the frames on the facade, and the marquee advertised a local event from the previous fall.
Planning to photograph a bunch of old theaters on a road trip and doing advance research…but I’m befuddled by this entry. Not sure what theater is featured in the above photo, but it’s certainly not the theater currently standing at the address of 954 Highland Av.–which is on a corner and not an angled intersection as shown. Also, the cars in the photo are from the late ‘50s or early '60s, by which time the Ritz–according to the caption–had long been renamed the Art. I’ll spend a little more time with the old city directories and see if I can help sort this out!
The theater was really at 118 12th Av. East, and it’s still standing as of 2021. 143 is a parking lot.
Demolished in 2018.
The actual address is 348 N. Marion Av., for anyone who’s trying to look it up on Google Street View.
Even the screen’s skeleton is gone now; a new housing project has occupied the site since around 2016.
The actual address is 215 S. Cedar. Freaked out for a minute and thought it had been demolished! :D
A photo of the Preston appears in the online guide to Salem’s walking tour: http://www.salemmo.com/walkingtour/location47.asp
1937 articles in Salem’s daily paper referred to a “New Lyric Theater” being built on Fourth Street. At this time, the older Lyric Theater was still in operation. The opening of the “New Lyric” was never mentioned in those pages, but the Preston Theater opened on Fourth Street in 1941. Perhaps it was a remodeled and renamed New Lyric, or the New Lyric’s completion was for some reason postponed for several years and never actually opened under that name, instead being named after its owners.
The January 23, 1941 edition of the Salem Post & Democrat-Bulletin announced that the Preston Theater would open for business the following day; the owners were Kenneth and Olive Mae Preston. The facade’s first floor was done in black structural glass, with a sunburst motif above the marquee. Inside, the color scheme was reported to be “blue, brown, cream, and soft rust.” There were 600 seats and no balcony. Projectors were by Simplex. The opening show was “Comrade X” starring Clark Gable and Hedy Lamarr.
Google Earth shows that the theater has now been demolished.
Sadly, this entire block has been demolished.
The Shindig is no more; long live the State Theater! The original name is back above the marquee and live performances are being presented. statetheatrelive.com
The address is wrong; the building that housed the Lyric (and, later, in 2015, an indoor beach!) is at 318 4th St.
The building housing the Strand last appeared on Google Street View in July 2013, but more recent aerial photos show that it has since been demolished.
The September 2013 Google Street View shows a crew working on the exterior of the theater!
When the church moved into the old theater, a bar owner purchased the huge cursive RITZ sign and intended to place it on the facade of his bar on Washington Avenue in nearby St. Louis. This never came to pass, and the Ritz bar went out of business. I wonder where that sign wound up!
There’s a bunch of 1999 Illiana photos in this set on FLickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/darrensnow/sets/72157605357779599
The tornado didn’t spell the end of the building. The library remained inside the old La Cosa until the ‘80s or '90s, when a new library was built behind it. Upon completion of its replacement, the La Cosa/library structure was demolished. (So that’s where it was, Chuck; right in front of the site of the present library, just a few feet from the street. I remember it well; it was the library I went to as a kid!)
One of my favorite things about this cinema is that the snack bar is accessible to mall-goers who aren’t theater customers. Extra income…pretty smart.
I’ll bet the architects were actually A.F. and Arthur Stauder, a team of brothers who were pretty active in the area.
Bigger multiplexes killed off the smaller theaters, for the most part. The Mark Twain and the Sunset Hills couldn’t compete with the shiny new cinemas at Crestwood Plaza and Ronnie’s Plaza. The AMC 12 was literally built just behind the instantly-doomed Creve Coeur, a Wehrenberg triplex that was the chain’s flagship when built as a single-screener in the ‘60s. I like the older theaters 'cause they had more character, but that’s just the way it goes. :(