La Porte Theatre
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Opened on July 23, 1923 as a movie theatre and playhouse, the elegant French Renaissance style auditorium originally seated 1,576 on one floor with no balcony. The building took up a whole city block and the facade was dominated by a large tower that was once lighted by multiple glass panes. It was equipped with a Wurlitzer-Hope-Jones Unit organ opened by organist Ambrose J. Larson of the Wurlitzer Company.
Over the years as a movie theatre, the stage was also well used for vaudeville, and by the Civic Concert Club. Otis Skinner played Shylock in “The Merchant of Venice” and Ethel Barrymore did a one night stand appearance in “The Constant Wife”. Another famous artist who appeared on the stage was Madame Schumann-Heinke.
By 1976 the La Porte Theatre was running as an adult porn cinema and was up for sale. The theatre was demolished in December 1977.
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