817 Central Avenue,
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Previously operated by: Malco Theatres Inc.
Firms: Brueggeman, Swaim & Allen
Functions: Live Performances
Styles: Streamline Moderne
Previous Names: Princess Theatre, Maxwell Blade Theatre of Magic
The Malco Theatre opened in 1935 in elegant Art Moderne style, including a fantastic large marquee with the Malco name in graceful script lettering and the stylized intertwined letters M and T for Malco Theatres on the front panel of the marquee. The facade features pale brick highlighted by various colored tiles. The main entrance is covered in candy apple red tile in the same color as the marquee.
The Malco Theatre was built in the shell of the Princess Theatre, a vaudeville house which dated to the 1880’s but was heavily damaged by a fire in 1935. The Malco Theatre was remodeled in 1962, and again in 1995 when it was acquired by illusionist Maxwell Blade.
Since 1996, the theatre became the setting for Blade’s magic shows. Later the Maxwell Blade Theatre of Magic, the former Malco Theatre, which was frequented by former President Bill Clinton as a boy, also played host to the Hot Springs Documentary Film Institute, as well as to ocassional film festivals. It had closed around 2015. It reopened for live performances and it was announced in June 2019 that movie screening would begin in September 2019.
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