824 Broadway Street,
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The Esquire Theater was an Art Deco/Streamline Moderne style house that was built in 1947 seating 1,106. It opened with “"Blue Skies” and “Two Years Before the Mast”. A two and a half story front facade with shadow boxes down the front till it met the marquee. The marquee stretched the entire front of the building from side to side. A free standing box office with entrance doors to each side. The lower part of the facade was done in a cream color tile with decorative art work around the two glass enclosed 40 x 60 psoter cases on each side of the entrance doors.
The lobby was a good sized lobby with terazzo floors. The concession was located against the back of the auditorium wall and two staircases one on each side of the lobby led to the balcony and the booth.
The auditorium was much in the same Art Deco/Streamline Moderne style as the front facade. There were designs and patterns painted on the walls and black lights from the corners of the ceiling lighted them. The Esquire Theatre had a stage, but it was seldom used. This was a great old theater for a college town but when the multiplexes started popping up in the shopping centers on the outskirts of town the downtown started on a downward trend and along with it the Esquire Theater. It closed in 1985 with Prince in “Purple Rain”.
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