246-54 S. High Street,
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Opened as the Empress Theatre in 1914, by 1915-16 it had been renamed Knickerbocker Theatre. This long-time fixture of downtown Columbus originally featured both vaudeville acts and motion pictures.
The highlight of the theater was its facade, with three arched bays of multi-colored terra cotta, seperated by pillasters topped with realistic-looking lion’s heads.
In the 1940’s and 1950’s, the Knickerbocker Theatre became a burlesque house, and was renamed the Gayety Theatre.
The theatre was closed in 1955, and its auditorium razed in 1960 to make way for a parking lot.
Various businesses operated from the former lobby space and upstairs offices into the 1970’s.
Unfortunately, the remains of the Gayety Theatre was demolished in 1980, along with its still-elegant terra-cotta facade, as part of an urban renewal project.
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