My uncle Pat took us on a tour. We’d been before, but only when he was doing a play there. He was pretty excited about the place then, so you can imagine how nice it was to be the Director, and he could give us the whole tour. We also learned about the ins and outs of running an operation like this. There are a lot of different groups to keep happy: board members, sponsors, volunteers, not to mention actors, directors and I don’t know who all. Sounds like it requires far more patience than I'm likely to ever have.
|It's at its romantic best at night,but then it's tough to get good photos.|
Also, a building this old needs constant attention. The interior is something Italianate and seems like a theatre prop itself, never mind what’s on stage.
It sounds like a juggling act to me, but he seems really happy with it all. Short of perhaps becoming a world famous, rich movie or stage star, I’m thinking this is perhaps his dream job.
|Helen Ferguson; never heard of her, but she was a beauty - and check out her stationery!|
Pat pointed out a number of the wonderful old movie posters, unusual in that they are double printed to look better in the lit boxes.
|I so loved Loretta Young when I was a child!|
There are hundreds of such posters – mostly more modern ones – up in the attic. No one seems to know what to do with them.
|This photo of Ginger Rogers sure makes me think of |Meg Ryan (with different hair, of course).|
He showed us the special closet used for a ticket office and the twelve seats in the balcony allocated for persons of colour. The twelve seats were the same as all the others, just that section at the back on the left side was the allocated space.
|1932: Edmund Lowe|
Bill was aghast that they would go to the expense of building a separate entrance and stair well for the purpose segregation, and for no more profit than one could make from twelve tickets.
|A 1931 comedy...|
Clearly the principle was larger than the profit motive. It’s completely crazy, but that was how things were back then. I can't eve begin to imagine what life in in that time with that frame of mind would have been like.
|Another 1931 film: pre-code, as in before censorship!|
This is more of the official version:
|One more poster; you know this lady, Gloria Stuart, even though you may not recognise her.|
Costing $280,000 to build, the theatre initially had special lighting effects and equipment used for vaudeville, singing, opera, drama and dancing in addition to silent movies. There was also a $22,500 Wurlitzer organ, two concert pianos and an orchestra.
|Gloria Stuart played Kate Winslett's older self in Titanic!|
Do you have any amazing historic buildings in your area?