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Buck’s Opera House launched in downtown Port Clinton in 1884. The second-floor operation hosted live events. Frank E. Fredericks of the Arcade Theatre took on the venue in 1911 remodeling it with the ground floor used to create a 900-seat movie theatre. Fredericks also created the Fredericks' auto-rewinder and marketed as a means by which a single projectionist could be utilized.
Rival Fred P. Reichert and George F. Meyer took over the venue renaming it as the Colonial Theatre for motion pictures. It launched on April 28, 1915. Projectionist Archie Windsor joined the operation in 1916. Reichert closed the theatre on March 30, 1930 for a major remodeling and wiring the venue for sound.
The new Madrid Theatre launched on April 19, 1930 with Jack Oakie in “Hit the Deck”. Popular Theatres and Entertainment Circuit took on the venue running it in tandem with the Erie Theatre locally. Associated Theatres of Cleveland took over the Madrid Theatre. It would build the new Clinton Theatre in 1947 and closed the venerable Madrid Theatre. Final shows were “Kind of the Wild Horses” and “Yankee Fakir” supported by a newsreel on June 8, 1947. Archie Windsor had served as the projectionist there for 31 years and moved to the Erie Theatre.
The building had a major incident in 1948 which led to structural changes. In 1949, Jack O'Connell took on the location and created a 400-seat auditorium as the new Port Theatre. It launched with a benefit screening on March 1, 1949 with Andrea Kin in “MY Wild Irish Rose.”
The Port Theatre closed suddenly on January 12, 1951 with a double feature of Ray Milland in “Golden Earrings” and short subjects. Advertised showings of “Hamlet” were not shown. The theatre was converted for use by Ohio Edison power and then by the city for its uses.
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