"The Cathedral of The Motion Picture"
New York, NY
This large oil painting (measuring approximately 3 ½' x 4') was a rendering by the Rambusch Decorating Company of their proposed concept for the Roxy Theatre. Faintly visible in the lower left corner is the inscription “Walter W. Ahlschlager, Architect. Chicago,” which was subsequently painted out.
In its day, the image and line drawings based on it were often used in advertisements by purveyors to the Roxy. Interestingly, some of them show a lattice ceiling behind the dome instead of the beamed treatment actually built. So, originally, did the painting; upon close inspection, the “ghost” of the lattice is clearly visible beneath the overpainted beams. There are also a few other variations in architectural or decorative details between what’s shown in this rendering and what was actually built.
The painting was acquired long ago by THS founder Ben Hall from the Rambusch studios and is now part of the Ben Hall Collection on display at the American Theatre Architecture Archives at THS headquarters in Elmhurst, Illinois.
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