Main Street Looking West Batavia, New York
Built by the Mancuso Brothers, the Mancuso Theatre opened June 5, 1948 with Bing Crosby and Joan Fontaine in The Emperor Waltz.
Excerpts from the Perry Herald, Perry, New York, June 3, 1948:
"The most important theatrical event in Western New York in recent years will be the opening of the new Mancuso Theatre at Batavia on Saturday, June 5th."
"Situated in down-town Batavia, the new theatre combines all the features that science and art have developed over a period of 25 years of deluxe construction. Gone is the heavy baroque motif that characterized the gilded palaces of the early thirties. Soft indirect lighting diffused on pastel shades of grey, blue, gold, and green creates an interior of breath-taking beauty and design.
"The seats are all on one floor, and the entire building, including commercial space is air-conditioned. An added feature is a full-dressed stage with fly loft, capable of accommodating a full musical production, complete with turn table on the stage, electrically operated."
Perry Record, July 1, 1948:
"Louis Prima and his sensational orchestra open a 4 day engagement Sunday July 4th, at the new Mancusco Theatre, Batavia."
Wyoming County Gazette, September 16, 1948:
"Duke Ellington is coming to Batavia two days next week. The songs, solos and jazz forms you'll hear on Sept. 21-22 at the Mancuso Theatre in Batavia, as written by Duke Ellington and played by his famous orchestra, are a forecast of the trends of popular music for the next ten years."
Mancuso Theatre (copyright Betty Sword).The final films are on the marquee in this March 2001 photograph. A local church had just purchased the theatre. Painted over, the topless mermaid managed to survive.
Postcard: Theatre Talks LLC Collection
Cezar Del Valle is the author of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, chosen 2010 Best Book of the Year by the Theatre Historical Society.