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Parking lots are so attractive – all in the name of progress. The images I have are not photos. they are 3d renderings of what I remember. (a set of floor plans helped and the STRAND sign is interpreted from an early 1920’s photo)You may go to Google’s 3D warehouse and search ithaca NY to view the model. I hope to have it ready for download later this spring.
As an aside about near-far and far-Near I would like to point out that there were/are several theaters in Ithaca that have not been mentioned and might fit. The Lyceum might have been the Far-near as it was around the corner on Cayuga Street from the State(Near-Far) and still existed uptil I believe 1957 when a fire more or less ruined the theater. I recall a photo of a 50’s style fire engine ladder truck spraying water on the facade.(If someone would go to the Tompkins County Library and look at the microfilm of old Ithaca Journals this date can br rectified) Although mostly performances were held there I believe there mere movieolas as well. The last performance was a cooking show and I think it is widely believed that this had nothing to do with the fire.
In the history of Ithaca there were many theaters in this area. I would say an inordinate amount but considering some movies were made in Ithaca at Wharton Studios it is not surprising.
Other theaters not mentioned in CT are the Crescent and Star theaters. Both existed in the ‘50’s and the Crescent building exists today. The Crescent was/is at the base of Buffalo St. hill on Aurora St. and would be a candidate for Near-Near although I do not know when the Crescent stopped showing movies and started showing basketball games. The Crescent did not have a stage. Many people might remeber the Crescent as the Arcade Night Club from the 70’s and 80’s. Today it has been converted to offices and apartments. At least it is not a parking lot. It may be oldest theater in Ithaca today.
The Star was located either right next to the Temple theater on Seneca St. or a block west and was the premier stage in Ithaca whereas the Lyceum was the premier house. The 2 were in heavy competition until April 1917 when the Strand Theatre opened. The Strand was the queen. It had it all. Full size stage, engineered acoustics, and not a bad seat in the house. And she wasn’t that bad to look at either with her simple elegance.
A more extensive list of theaters in Ithaca as my memory recollects.
The Manhattan Theatre. – late 1800’s vaudeville
The Little Theatre – Located in Clinton Hall around the turn of the century.-vaudeville (may be the oldest if it still exists in the building)
The Star Theatre – vaudeville/performing arts/movies
The Crescent Theater-Movies only
The Lyceum Theatre-vaudeville/performing arts/movies
The Temple-I do not know if the Temple had a stage. movies
The Strand Theater- Vaudeville/movies/performing arts – Of
The State Theater- half a stage. Vaudeville/movies
The Ithaca Theater- Movies
These theaters were all located in a 10 by 3 block strip in downtown.
Other area theaters include but are not limited to
Fall Creek Cinema – Movies – a converted grocery store.
The Hangar Theatre – Performing arts – A converted airplane hangar.
The Triphammer Theater – Movies, Located in Lansing
I have not been in Ithaca on a regular basis and have no information on the Kitchen Theater. In fact it has been so long since I did research on the Strand in old Ithaca Journals that I have to question some of my data.
Lastly, Since CT is making little, if any, progress on the photo data base I offer this link View link for a continuing forum on The Strand Theatre, Theaters of Ithaca, or my conservative politics.
Rick or Ron,
I would like some info on John Noble. You say in your Post his name was John A. Noble and I was wondering if his middle name was Arthur and did he perhaps go by his midddle name as I have, perhaps, some info relating to him. Inscribed on the side of an old wooden instrument locker in the orchestra cage under the stage at the Strand in rather elegant script including hand drawn scroll work and border was
“Here lies J. Arthur Noble
and following at the bottom someone added “Wowie Zimbo"
A term I had never heard before. This is as best my memory can recollect as I have not seen it since 1981 and I do not know if the cabinets survived the theater. I might be a little off on the date.
I was at the Strand in Oct., 2008 and took many photos of the theater.