Curtains Up: Architectural Theatres

In light of Buffalo's 2015-2016 theatre season kickoff a few nights ago, we thought it would be appropriate if we published a post on theatrical architecture! 

Photo courtesy of Trip Advisor

Photo courtesy of Trip Advisor

1. Why not stick close to home to start off the list? Shea's Performing Arts Center here in Buffalo recently underwent a major restoration, restoring the proscenium arch, high walls, and ceiling area to bring back that "movie-palace grandeur" we Buffalonians have come to adore. 


Photo from January 1984, courtesy of Saenger Museum

Photo from January 1984, courtesy of Saenger Museum

2. Next up, on the National Register of Historic Places, the Saenger Theatre in New Orleans, LA survived multiple renovations, including one after Hurricane Katrina. Designed by Emile Weil with an atmospheric interior and Italian Baroque courtyard, this theatre is no stranger to special effects. 


Photo courtesy of Providence Center

Photo courtesy of Providence Center

3. Originally a home for silent movies, the Providence Performing Arts Center in Rhode Island sparkles like no other theatre, thanks to the "gilded, intricate plasterwork, columns of imported marble, and huge crystal chandeliers" [Architectural Digest]. Also on the National Register of Historic Places, this theatre managed to bypass demolition to allow for its renovation and modernization that we marvel at today. 


Photo courtesy of Historic Hutchinson

Photo courtesy of Historic Hutchinson

4. Designed by Carl and Robert Boller, the Art Deco stylings of Fox Theater in Hutchinson, KS are unparalleled. Opened in 1931, its "pressed-aluminum and metallic-glazed terra-cotta reliefs, door moldings, capitals and bases, cartouches, friezes, and other decorative features" [Architectural Digest] are reason enough for this structure to have deserved its spot on the National Register of Historic Places. 


Photo courtesy of San Diego Historic

Photo courtesy of San Diego Historic

5. Last but not least, the Balboa Theatre caught our attention by its name and kept our attention by its story. Constructed in 1924 and remodeled in 1934, this theatre was known for featuring Spanish-language films; however, it was also utilized for U.S Navy offices, housing, and it even starred in an action-film! 


If you have a theatre you think should be added to our list, let us know! We'd love to continue exploring these architectural beauties with you!