New Phillips Theatre
606 E. Main Street,
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Previous Names: Phillips Opera House
This large theatre was constructed sometime before 1886 as the Phillips Opera House. It was a large 3-story brick structure with a hipped roof.
The ground floor was divided into two large retail spaces, and the theatre occupied the upper floors, and was accessed by a wide central stair. The balcony was quite deep, and had an elegantly curved ‘U’ shape.
A three story section at the rear ran behind the building on the corner, and had retail spaces fronting N. 6th Street in the section that protruded from the side. One of these was a bill poster, important for the theatre business. The southern wall of this section contained another large staircase for entry to the auditorium. The rear of the addition was used to store scenery, etc.
By at least 1893, the theatre was operated by Omar G. Murray, later the founder of the eponymous theatre listed separately. The capacity is as given in the 1905-6 Cahn Guide.
By 1914, films had begun to be shown. By then the building was probably a bit old and weary, and it seems to have gone out of business before 1926. The rather messy later map shows that by the 1950 at least, the theatre and neighboring building to the west had been replaced by a large blocky store, which probably remains under a very ugly remodel.
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