Atmospheric theatre

Atmospheric theatre

An atmospheric theatre is a historical type of movie palace (cinema) that used design and architectural elements to convey an impression of being seated in a fantastic foreign setting, which might be anything from a palace or village square to a garden or outdoor auditorium at night, including the illusion of an open sky complete with twinkling stars. [ Auckland Civic Theatre] (database entry in the Historic Places Register New Zealand)] The first such cinema considered to fully feature the new style was the Majestic Theatre, built in 1923 in Houston, Texas in the USA. [ The Atmospheric Style of Theatre Design] - Mendiola, Sister Christine; Master's Thesis, University of Akron, 1974]

The style caught on quickly in the US and around the world, as it promised an escape from the often economically difficult times of the 1930s into a type of fantasy world, where not only the movie but also the building aided the transfer. The setting of an outdoor garden, or a palace with arts objects and statues, helped people forget reality for a time. The buildings were also cheaper to construct than the technically more grandiose cinemas of the time, which called for high vaulted arches or domes, with expensive chandeliers as opposed to projected clouds and a handful of low-wattage stars. However, many also included quite intricate elements, such as those built in the Art Deco style.

Main proponent of the style was John Eberson, who built the first cinema of its style, and before his death designed around 500 in the US and around the world, personally selecting the furnishings and art objects. While he had many competitors, none "had quite the same air of midsummer's night in dreamland as Eberson's originals".


*The Gateway Theatre in Chicago's Jefferson Park neighborhood is an atmospheric theatre designed by architect Mason Rapp of the prestigious firm of Rapp & Rapp in 1930. It was the first movie theatre in Chicago built exclusively for the talkies.
*7th Street Theatre in Hoquiam, Washington, USA. It is one of the few remaining examples of an atmospheric theatre that remain in the United States. It was built in 1928, seats over 950 people, and features an outdoor Spanish garden motif.

*Auckland Civic Theatre in Auckland, New Zealand. The largest surviving atmospheric cinema in Australasia, built in 1929 and featuring an India-inspired motif. Seating 2,750 viewers, it has recently (2000) been restored to near-original condition.

*Paradise Center for the Arts in Faribault, Minnesota, USA. Built in 1929 on the site of the former Faribault Opera House, the Paradise was recently renovated. The motif is one of a Moorish courtyard with Turkish caps over the doors, turrets and 'stonework' walls. Originally built to seat 915, the Paradise has been altered to seat 300.

*Uptown Theater in Kansas City, Missouri, USA. This John Eberson-designed Italian Renaissance atmospheric theater opened in 1928 and features an outdoor Mediterranean courtyard motif. It was built to seat 2,300, but the current configuration allows for 1,700.

*Lido Theatre in The Pas, Manitoba, CAN. Built in 1930 and designed by Max Blankstein. The Lido is Canada's oldest surviving atmospheric theatre and features an outdoor Mediterranean courtyard motif. It was built to seat 600 people but the current configuration allows for 350. The Lido has not endured major renovations and therefore remains in its true original design. The Lido is not only one of very few surviving theatres of its class, the Lido is also one of the only fourth generation cinemas in Canada and perhaps North America. Being that it is still owned by the Rivalin family. [ [ Lido Theatre] (official theatre website)]


External links

* [ Stanley Theater/Newark Gospel Tabernacle] (private website, including photos, about a former atmospheric theatre set in a palace courtyard)

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Поможем сделать НИР

Look at other dictionaries:

  • theatre — /thee euh teuhr, theeeu /, n. theater. * * * I Building or space in which performances are given before an audience. It contains an auditorium and stage. In ancient Greece, where Western theatre began (5th century BC), theatres were constructed… …   Universalium

  • Auckland Civic Theatre — The theatre from the front. The Auckland Civic Theatre is a large heritage theatre seating 2,378 people[1] in central Auckland, New Zealand. First opened on 20 December 1929, it was reopened in 2000 after a major renovation and conservation… …   Wikipedia

  • Majestic Theatre (San Antonio, Texas) — This article is about the San Antonio theater. For other uses, see Majestic Theatre (disambiguation). Majestic Theatre U.S. National Register of Historic Places …   Wikipedia

  • Orpheum Theatre (Wichita, Kansas) — Orpheum Theater and Office Building U.S. National Register of Historic Places …   Wikipedia

  • Runnymede Theatre — was a playhouse located in Bloor West Village, an affluent west end Toronto neighbourhood. In 1999, it ceased its operations as a movie theatre to become a Chapters bookstore. Its original address, before Chapters takeover, was 2223 Bloor Street… …   Wikipedia

  • Capitol Theatre (Port Hope) — The Capitol Theatre is located in Port Hope, Ontario, Canada, and is the last fully restored atmospheric movie theatres still in operation in Canada. Constructed in 1930, the interior of the auditorium was designed to resemble a walled medieval… …   Wikipedia

  • 7th Street Theatre — Infobox nrhp | name =7th Street Theatre nrhp type = caption = location= Hoquiam, Washington lat degrees = 46 lat minutes = 58 lat seconds = 40.55 lat direction = N long degrees = 123 long minutes = 53 long seconds = 7.02 long direction = W… …   Wikipedia

  • Redford Theatre — Infobox Venue name = Redford Theatre image caption = Redford Theatre Marquee nickname = location = 17360 Lahser Road Detroit, MI 48219 USA coordinates = type = Single Screen Atmospheric Theatre genre = broke ground = built = opened = January 27,… …   Wikipedia

  • The Majestic Theatre, San Antonio — Infobox nrhp | name =Majestic Theatre nrhp type = nhl caption = location= San Antonio, Texas lat degrees = 29 lat minutes = 25 lat seconds = 34 lat direction = N long degrees = 98 long minutes = 29 long seconds = 24 long direction = W locmapin =… …   Wikipedia

  • Oeuvre, Théâtre de l' — ▪ theatre, Paris, France       French Symbolist theatre (Symbolist movement) founded in Paris in 1893 by Aurélien Lugné Poë (Lugné Poë, Aurélien) and directed by him until 1929. An actor and stage manager with André Antoine s Théâtre Libre, Lugné …   Universalium

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”