Prince Theatre

231 East Main Street,
Pahokee, FL 33476

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 4, 2015 at 4:40 am

The original Prince Theatre was replaced in 1940. The April 5, 1940, issue of The Film Daily had this item:

“Dobrow to Erect New Theater Building, Refurnish Another

“Pahokee, Fla. — A call for bids is being made by Abe Dobrow of the Everglades and Prince Theaters, for a new structure to replace the present building housing the Prince theater. Bids will be opened April 8. Plans also call for complete refurnishing of the Everglades theater.”

This follow-up item is from the January 3, 1941, issue of The Film Daily:
“Open New Pahokee House

“Pahokee, Fla. — New $40,000 Prince theater, has been opened. The 600-seater is owned and operated by Gold & Dobrow. Don Hiller & Sons, Pahokee, were the contractors.”

Listings of the Prince Theatre in FDY’s from the 1930s consistently give it a capacity of 250, so it was less than half the size of the new house. It seems unlikely that the original Prince Theatre would have been demolished in 1940 if its building was only nine years old, so it’s likely that it was either an older theater that had operated under a different name earlier in its history, or it was in an older commercial building that had been converted into a theater in 1931.

Architect Chester A. Cone was still in practice at least as late as 1985, so it seems likely that it was the 1940 rebuilding of the Prince Theatre that he designed, rather than the original house.

In 1966, the Gold-Dobrow chain leased three of their five theaters, including the Prince, to a Miami-based chain. An article about the transfer in the December 21 issue of The Palm Beach Post said that the Gold-Dobrow chain had been “…organized about 35 years ago….” That would be consistent with the 1931 opening of the original Prince Theatre, whether it was a new operation or an old house renamed by the new owners.

amg2000
amg2000 on January 19, 2015 at 5:51 am

Even though the facade has been stripped, you can tell this must have been a beautiful Art Deco theatre in it’s day. Wonder what’s left of the interior?