Madison Theatre

32 Park Avenue West,
Mansfield, OH 44902

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The Madison Theatre, Park Avenue West, Mansfield, OH

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Built on the site of an earlier Madison Theatre (former Opera House) which was destroyed by an overnight fire on February 10, 1929. Two men were killed fighting the blaze. The new Madison Theatre was built by Paramount-Publix and opened September 15, 1931 with Nancy Carroll in “Personal Maid”. The Madison Theatre was one of John Eberson’s early Art Deco style theatres (this one in a Zigzag style). It was later operated by Warner Bros. Circuit Management. It was demolished in 1986.

Contributed by KenRoe

Recent comments (view all 14 comments)

Patsy
Patsy on September 28, 2005 at 1:09 am

Mansfield Ohio and Butler PA have something in common…they both demolished an Eberson art deco theatre!

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on December 26, 2006 at 9:29 pm

The predecessor to the Madison was called the Opera House and then the Madison until a fire in 1929:

Another costly fire that oldtimers remember destroyed the old Opera House, or Madison Theater, at Park Avenue West and Walnut Street on February 10, 1929. Two men lost their lives in that disaster when they were crushed following the collapse of the west wall of the theater.

The Opera House, later named the Madison, was the city’s leading theater for many years. The entrance was off Park Avenue West next to the Baptist Church which stood on the site of the Farmers Bank. Soon after the rubble of the theater fire was cleared away, the Madison Theater we know today was built on the site.

mjthom
mjthom on September 8, 2007 at 12:54 am

The theater must have reopened briefly after closing in 1975 because I saw “Twentieth Century” there in the winter of 1979. I think some of the local folks were trying to save it from the wrecking ball. They showed old films and cartoons. The theater was still in good shape – just a bit dusty. I remember the long staircase that lead to the balcony, the cavernous auditorium and the art deco lighting fixtures.

spectrum
spectrum on September 28, 2008 at 10:20 pm

The Madison (along with the Ohio Theatre) both closed in 1980. An attempt was made to restore the Madison but it failed. Attention was then turned to the Ohio which was renovated as the Renaissance Theatre. According to Marquee vol. 20:2, the Madison opened in 1931.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 7, 2011 at 10:49 am

Scott Schaut’s book “Historic Mansfield” says that the Madison Theatre was demolished in 1986.

The book also mentions a Majestic Theatre, located on Walnut Street, which was in operation by 1925, and says that the first permanent movie theaters in Mansfield, opened in 1908, were the Orpheum, the Arris, and the Alvin.

AndrewBarrett
AndrewBarrett on March 7, 2014 at 12:02 am

According to Peter Beames' Wurlitzer Opus List on the TheatreOrgans dot com website,

The Madison Theatre in Mansfield had a Wurlitzer style B X theatre pipe organ, opus 1822
(2 manuals, 4 ranks, two chambers) installed circa 1928 or 1929 (shipped from the Wurlitzer factory on December 23, 1927).

Given what kencmcintyre has written about the “Old Opera House” or “Madison Theatre” going up in smoke in February of 1929, could this organ have been destroyed in the fire? Did the later Madison Theatre have an organ, or not? (I wouldn’t think so, given that opened in 1930, by which time sound movies were underway). Does anybody know for sure what happened to this organ? Thanks!

Michael_Loris
Michael_Loris on August 23, 2014 at 2:23 am

The correct address of the Madison Theatre was 32-34 Park Avenue West, not “Park Street”.

The WurliTzer organ that burnt in 1929 was Opus 1822, a Style B X Sp of two manuals and five ranks; it was shipped from the factory on 23 December 1927. Source: The WurliTzer Pipe Organ / An Illustrated History, David L. Junchen and the ATOS, 2005, page 681).

I knew the Madison Theatre fairly well as its paperboy in the early 1950s, and there was no organ in the new (1930-1931) building.

AndrewBarrett
AndrewBarrett on October 5, 2014 at 1:40 am

Dear Mr. Loris, thank you for that information, it is must helpful!

rivest266
rivest266 on June 4, 2017 at 3:09 pm

Renamed Madison on August 28th, 1927. Ad in the photo section.

rivest266
rivest266 on June 4, 2017 at 3:19 pm

Rebuilt and reopened on September 15th, 1931. Grand opening ad in the photo section and below:

Found on News Journal powered by Newspapers.com

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