Atmospheric Theatre - Examples


  • 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.
  • Akron Civic Theatre in Akron, Ohio, USA. The theater was built in 1929 by Marcus Loew and designed by theater architect John Eberson. The interior structure was fashioned after a Moorish castle featuring Mediterranean decor, including medieval carvings, authentic European antiques, and Italian alabaster sculptures. The theatre closed for comprehensive restoration and expansion in 2001 and reopened in 2002.
  • 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, Peter Jackson used the Civic in his remake of the film King Kong.
  • The Fox Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia was built on 1929 and is the only surviving movie palace in Atlanta.The original architecture and décor can be roughly divided into two architectural styles: Islamic architecture (building exterior, auditorium, Grand Salon, mezzanine Gentlemen’s Lounge and lower Ladies Lounge) and Egyptian architecture (Egyptian Ballroom, mezzanine Ladies Lounge and lower Gentlemen’s Lounge). The 4,678-seat auditorium replicates an Arabian courtyard complete with a night sky of 96 embedded crystal "stars" (a third of which flicker) and a projection of clouds that slowly drift across the "sky."
  • The Fox Theatre in Visalia, California, built 1929-30, was designed to evoke the garden of a South Asian temple.
  • 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.
  • Lido Theatre in The Pas, Manitoba, CAN. Built in 1930 and designed by Max Blankstein. The Lido is the world's longest continuously operating atmospheric theatre (82 years straight as of 2012). The interior features an outdoor Mediterranean courtyard motif. It was built to seat 600 people but the current configuration allows for 350. The Lido has avoided major renovations, remaining close to its original design. A rare survivor in its class, one of the few cinemas to stay in the same family for four generations; It remains owned by the Rivalin family. Other atmospheric theatres in Canada include the Roxy Theatre in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and the Capitol Theatre in Port Hope, Ontario.
  • The Midwest Theatre (1931) was John Eberson's last atmospheric design, 17 N. Harvey Ave., Oklahoma City, OK 73103
  • The Palace Theatre in Marion, Ohio. A John Eberson-designed theatre built in 1928 and renovated in 1976. With a Moorish courtyard motif, the theatre features low voltage lighting in the ceiling to mimic stars and the original reconditioned cloud machine to similate moving clouds. Alcoves in the theatre contain stuffed birds, including Eberson's signature parrot.
  • 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.
  • Saenger Theatre (New Orleans, Louisiana). Built in 1927 for the Saenger Theatres chain by architect Emile Weil, Its interior evokes a baroque Florentine courtyard. Originally seating approximately 4000, in 1980 its seating was reduced to approximately 2,736 & it began to function as a performing arts center with occasional film screenings.
  • The Tampa Theatre in Tampa, Florida was built in 1926. Designed by John Eberson, the Tampa is a superior example of the atmospheric style featuring a an auditorium that resembles a Mediterranean courtyard under a nighttime sky. Featured on the theaer's oening night was the silent film The Ace of Cads starring Adolph Menjou.
  • 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.

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