THSA to re-publish “American Theaters of Today” and seeks sponsorship support

posted by theatrehistoricalsociety on October 15, 2008 at 11:00 am

The Theatre Historical Society of America will publish a new limited edition of the classic book, “American Theatres of Today,” in connection with the organization’s 40th anniversary next year, and it is seeking Sponsors to help support the project.

Originally issued as two volumes in 1927 and 1931, the book by R.W. Sexton and B.F. Betts is one of the very few theatre reference works published when movie palaces were still being built. It features hundreds of wonderful theatre photographs, plans and descriptions, and an introduction by famed showman S. L. “Roxy” Rothafel. Original copies are extremely rare and sell for many hundreds of dollars. Even the 1977 single-volume reissue, also long out of print, is hard to find and expensive.

The special THSA edition will be published in a single hard-bound volume on heavy acid-free paper, with pages in the original large format. There will be a new introduction by theatre historian and THSA founding member, the late Joseph DuciBella. The book will be limited to 500 numbered copies, and publication is anticipated in December, 2008.

“Obviously, a project like this is a major undertaking and we seek the support of those who love historic theatres,” said THSA president Karen Colizzi Noonan. “We are looking for some ‘angels’ to help sponsor this exciting publication project.” Anything raised over and above production costs, as well as all proceeds from the sale of the book, will further THSA’s mission to document, preserve and celebrate the rich heritage of America’s historic theatres.

Sponsorships begin as low as $25. As a non-profit educational organization, contributions to THSA are tax-deductible, as allowed by law. All donors whose commitment is received by October 31, 2008, will be listed on a special page permanently bound into the book. Major sponsors will also receive a complimentary copy of the volume. All Sponsors will have first priority in purchasing copies.

Sponsorship levels are: Friends $25-$99; Opal $100-$249; Topaz $250-$499; Pearl $500-$999; Sapphire $1,000-$2,499; Ruby $2,500-$4,999; Emerald $5,000-$9,999; Diamond $10,000 or more.

The Theatre Historical Society was founded in 1969 by Ben Hall, author of the first fond tribute to movie palaces, “The Best Remaining Seats.” THSA’s archive contains material on more than 15,000 theatres nationwide “the largest collection of its kind in the country” — and its publications, the quarterly journal Marquee and an Annual, are now in their fourth decade. THSA also operates the American Movie Palace Museum at its headquarters in Elmhurst, Illinois, 15 miles west of Chicago; and it conducts an annual Conclave, or theatre tour, in a different part of the country each summer. Membership is open to individuals and organizations.

For complete information on the book project and a Sponsorship form, please visit the THSA website or .

Comments (1)

GaryParks on October 15, 2008 at 11:46 pm

As a Board member of THSA, I have gotten the chance to see sample printed pages of this wonderful re-publication. It is going to be First Class.
I’ve made my contribution to this project, how about YOU?

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