3202 Thomas Street,
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Firms: Union Reality Company
The Northgate Theatre was opened in 1956. The September 29, 1956 edition of Boxoffice gave the opening day as Thursday, which (assuming it was the previous Thursday) would have been September 13, 1956. The 1,000-seat, stadium-style theatre was operated for its first seven years under lease by Augustine Cianciolo, who also operated the Plaza Theatre, Rosemary Theatre, Luciann Theatre and Rosewood Theatre.
An article about the Northgate Theatre in the March 2, 1957 issue of Boxoffice credits the Union Reality Company as the architect of the theatre. A photograph of the auditorium shows the 47-foot screen almost filling the 50-foot width of the theatre, which probably made one of the first movie houses with a wall to wall screen. Thoughtfully, the designers also provided a wheelchair section in the theatre, long before such accommodation was required by law. There was also a drive-up entry which faced the rear of the shopping center (as shown in the photo). It never made a profit for its builders.
The December 16, 1963 edition of Boxoffice reported that Nat Reiss would take over full operation of the Northgate Theatre on December 20, 1963. The item said that Cianciolo Theatres had operated the house until December 1, 1963, so perhaps it was closed for a few days. The theatre was owned by the Belz family, owners of the Northgate Shopping Center. It was closed in 1973. The building still exists and has had a variety of uses.
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