Author Topic: Old thearters in downtown Youngstown  (Read 5226 times)

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Towntalk

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Re: Old thearters in downtown Youngstown
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2015, 01:12:34 AM »
Cinema Treasures now lists 60 theaters that were in Youngstown, and this counts only the theaters that showed movies ... there were at least 5 other theaters that were vaudeville/burlesque/legitamate but Cinema Treasures does not catalogue theaters that didn't show movies. Of the 60 theaters, the Warner family was involved in 5 local theaters.
New Castle likes to say that the Warner brothers opened their first theater in that city, but that is a bald faced lie because the elder brother was involved in bringing movies to the Grand Opera House in which he was a partner before the New Castle theater was opened.

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Re: Old thearters in downtown Youngstown
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2015, 03:59:23 PM »
I goofed (shame on me) as to when the Park Theatre opened. It opened in 1901 and not 1907.

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Re: Old theaters in downtown Youngstown
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2007, 12:22:49 AM »
It would be fantastic if we could organize a small group of people who love the theater to gather all the information that they can get their hands on about the history of the theater in Youngstown which goes as far back as the mid 1800's. I have a scrap book that has ads for about 30 different theaters that dates back to the mid 1800's and represents only the theaters that were downtown.
The very first was located in the Excelsior Block and some of America's greatest actors and actresses of the 1800's appeared there.

There is a saying that a sign appeared in one of the leading New York theaters that said - "If you think you're good, try playing Youngstown, Ohio".

In the 1900's two theaters vied for audiences by bringing in famous performers ... The Grand Opera House and The Park Theater. The very first full length Opera that was performed live in Youngstown was at the Grand Opera House with the performance of "Madam Butterfly".

By 1910 Youngstown had so many live theaters downtown that not a week went by that there wasn't something special going on at at least one of the theaters the year around, and this continued into the 1930's when the big shows were limited to the Park Theatre and The Palace Theater, and the Stambaugh Auditorium, and from the 1930's thru 1960 just the Palace Theater and Stambaugh Auditorium.

The best resource that I've found was the theater pages of the local Youngstown newspapers that are available in microfilm form at the Main Branch of the Public Library and the best year to start is 1900.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2011, 08:14:38 PM by Towntalk »

Towntalk

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Re: Old thearters in downtown Youngstown
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2007, 01:24:21 AM »
I won't keep you guessing any longer:

East of the Square

Capitol - E. Federal and Champion
Park - South Champion
Princess - South Champion
Regent - E. Federal

Square

Palace
Strand

West Federal

Liberty/Paramount
State
Dome
Hippodrome
Cameo Theater

Actually there were 11 downtown theaters, not ten. I goofed on my count

The Hippodrome was a Vaudeville House that also ran movies.
The Cameo was a second run house that was across the street from where Ross Radio is today.
The Princess at that time was a Vaudeville/Burlesque house
The Park was live theater - Opera - Symphonies - Broadway Plays as well as movies
The Capitol was a Second run house that was short lived although it had the facilities for stage shows and it own orchestra

For a short time The Princess was known as the Grand Theater and featured modern Burlesque.

Of all the downtown theaters though, the Park Theater had the greatest history. Opened in 1907, it brought in the greats of the legitimate theater, some of Americas top symphony orchestras, ballet,  and every year was a stop for the San Carlos Opera Company as well as the Zigfield Follies and Earl Carol's Vanities. In the 1940's the same folks that owned the Paramount also owned the Park. Sadly, in the 1950's hard times hit it and it became a Burlesque until it finally closed in the 1960's.

Before it was torn down, the owner held an auction on all the historic memorabilia that brought in people from all over the United States.




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Re: Old thearters in downtown Youngstown
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2007, 05:19:18 PM »
According to Vindicator accounts, the Rayen-Wood Auditorium was able to seat 4000 people, making it a large venue.

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Re: Old thearters in downtown Youngstown
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2007, 04:53:40 PM »
Because I doubt that anyone will guess the auditoriums, I'll give the answer.

Central Auditorium - West Boardman - Mainly a sports program
Rayen Wood Auditorium - West Rayen - Sports - Auto shows - Political rallies - Revivle rallies
Moose Auditorium - West Boardman - Concerts - Public Affairs


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Re: Old thearters in downtown Youngstown
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2007, 04:07:41 PM »
Not Stambaugh Auditorium ...

Clue:

One of the Auditoriums featured sports events (West Boardman St.) the second sports events including professional boxing matches, car shows, and other public events. The third, while part of a social club had concerts and political events. It is the third that is still in use as a theater.

As to the theaters, one of them was the first to show talkies. It was a smaller theater. Another was the precurser to the Palace Theater and it's sign featured an elephant, and at night when the sign was lit, water in the form of lights would stream out of its trunk. The Zigfield Follies performed there on occassions. It was across the street from the State Theatre.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2007, 04:09:21 PM by Towntalk »

Offline marib43

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Re: Old thearters in downtown Youngstown
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2007, 03:42:41 PM »
Whoa--
You are a tough cookie! >:(   My Youngstown years are, say 1949 to 1963.  My family had a business on W. Boardman, but that was in the late forties and the fifties.   Was I right about the six theaters I gave?  ???  I will have to think about the others -- Stambaugh Auditorium is obvious as one of the auditoriums.  You are not counting highschool auditoriums I assume?  Just buildings that had a use as auditoriums?  I will get back to you. M.

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Re: Old thearters in downtown Youngstown
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2007, 01:07:05 PM »
What were the other 4 and what were the three auditoriums located in the immediate downtown area?

Clue: 2 were on West Boardman Street and 1 on West Wood Street.

Another clue 1 is still in use under a different name.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2007, 01:10:06 PM by Towntalk »

Offline marib43

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Re: Old thearters in downtown Youngstown
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2007, 12:34:03 PM »
That is a bit before my time and pure guess gives me only six -- Palace, Paramount, State, Strand, Park and Regent.  How Close am I!?  ???

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Old thearters in downtown Youngstown
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2007, 12:06:48 PM »
In 1929 - 1930 there were 10 downtown theaters 4 East of the Square - 2 on the Square and 4 West of the Square. Can you name them?

Clue: The Warner was not one of them. 
Another Clue:  Four of the West Federal theaters were on the North side of the street. 2 were located on South Champion Street with one having a second entrance on East Federal.

At the same time there were 3 auditoriums in downtown Youngstown - Name them.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2007, 12:09:54 PM by Towntalk »