OLD PARKERSBURG AUDITORIUM
Mackey's Antiques & Clock
1249 Gihon Road
Parkersburg WV 26101
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History of the old Parkersburg Theaters
HISTORY OF THE OLD MOVIE THEATER'S IN PARKERSBURG WV
OLD PARKERSBURG AUDITORIUM
Auditorium Theater opened Here in 1896 One of Parkesburg's old theaters at the corner of 5th and Avery Streets. the building now occupied by the Parkersburg Office Supply Co. A newspaper of the day carried the following report of the coming event: "The beautiful new play house of which Parkersburg is more then justly proud will be formally dedicated on October 30 and 31. The opening will be a grand and memorable occasion. and well for the people. having had no theater for over a year are literally hungry for good shows.
When the old Academy of Music burned down, many said that it would be years before we would have another theater and it looked so for a time. But only for a short time. A number of prominent public spirited business men seeing the need of the people, and the town recognizing the fact that Parkersburg is a good show town and that a theater properly managed would be a good investment, took up the matter for investigation. The longer they looked into the matter the better were they impressed with the public until their plans were fully matured.
Then they announced through the local press that they intended the building of a new theater on the corner of Fifth and Avery streets. the site of the old Calvary Presbyterian church. This announcement created great rejoicing among the amusement loving people. It was not long before the old church building was torn down and the contract to build a new theatre. was awarded to J. H. Higgs of this city. Mr. Higgs in turn sub-let the contract for the brick work to J. H. Daniels. The architects: Crapsey and Brown, were also the architects of the new Presbyterian church and the new city building. The. contractors lost no time in beginning the work and they pushed -work on it rapidly until by the last of September they were about to turn it over to be equipped and finished. Both Mr. Higgs and Mr. Daniels did good in work and entirely satisfactory to as the company building the new theater The company consisted of J. N. McKinney, H. S. Wilson, J. W. Leese, W. H. Wolfe, Robert S. Wilson, J. M. Dare, Edward p McCreary and H. F. Harnish. Decorator William H. Patton serviced the work and saw that plans and specifications were adhered to. Consequently the building is substantial ,contains the best material and is large and commodious The fresco work in the interior is the finest work of its kind in the city.
There are about 800 incandescent lights and half as many gas jets. The wiring and fixtures were put in by D. J. Hause of Cincinnati. It was a big job but. well done. The switch board from. which the lights are operated is a wonderful piece of mechanism and worth seeing. There remains but one light to be put in and that is a most important one It is a lamp on the order of a search flight and is hung on the front of the balcony and from there throws different colored lights upon the stage. The lightning, rain and snow effects are all accomplished by this modern apparatus ,which is an expensive one. The scenery is by the brush of J. T. Tchudi of Chicago and is handsome and complete. The house is lighted through out by gas and electricity but it is heated by steam. The plumbing contract was done by the Parkersburg Supply and Plumbing the company.
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