417 E. 5th Street,
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The Drew Theatre Theatre was expertly designed in Art Moderne style by a black architect, and owned/operated by a successful black businessman. Pictures were booked to attract a black audience, but white patrons were welcomed.
Operating since the early-1940’s, the Drew Theatre sat on the Northside in the 500 block of E. 5th Street, between N. Delaware Avenue and N. Severs Avenue. The Art Moderne style boxy cream color stucco exterior, with its, moulded geometric accents, could almost be described as Cubist. Slender upper story windows were engineered in glass louver design. A v-shaped marquee held three lines of lighted letterboard. The center boxoffice sat inside a recessed cove, flanked by double sheetglass doors. The pretty lobby was dominated by a well stocked concession stand.
Inside the long auditorium two aisles seperated seating areas divided into three equal sections. Cream coloured walls carried the exterior theme of gray moulded accents. Plush draped closed over a good sized screen, with a stage large enough to host live acts.
Advertising could be kept meager since within the African American community word of mouth was the best source for promoting the current picture playing and coming attractions.
When the Love Theatre ceased operation in the early 1960s, it was converted to the Rex Billiard Parlor, offering pool, snooker, and card games. The lobby concession stand continued to thrive during those pool hall days.
Some sources say that after the 1970’s, the building was razed. Although other sources claim only the lobby portion was removed, leaving the auditorium area that now serves as an auto repair garage.
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