2405 NW Thurman Street,
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From the plaque-like signage posted in one of the old poster boxes by the front door:
“The Ideal Theater Building – Est. 1912
1912 – The Ideal Theater was commissioned by Conrad LeBlanc, and designed by Emil Schachts & Sons, authors of the famed Oriental Pavilion at the Lewis and Clark Exposition of 1906. It opened for business as a silent era movie house in 1912.
1927 – Originally, the Ideal Theater’s ticket booth was located in the center of the lobby, which also featured a vaulted ceiling and plaster relief of angels. The facade was remodeled in 1927. A sound projection booth and manager’s office replaced the vaulted ceiling.
1940 – A true neighborhood cinema, it defined lower 23rd Avenue alongside such storied landmarks as the Vaughn Street Ballpark and Besaw’s Cafe. It’s corner retail space once housed the Senate Barber Shop. The Ideal was also called the Blue Bird and the Elmo.
1996 – The retired theater player a minor role in movie history when longtime projectionist, Bill Buffum, donated the oldest feature length American film, James Keane’s Richard III, to the American Film Institute. The New York Times photographed Bill here in his old projection booth.
2004 – The Ideal Theater was closed as a neighborhood movie house in the late 1950s. It then served as a warehouse for thirty years. In 1986, The Ideal building was purchased by James Lommasson and Stewart Harvey, who remodeled it into a photography and design studio."
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