Friday, February 10, 2012

Schine's Auburn Theatre, 12-14 South Street, Auburn, NY 13021

Excerpts, Karen Colizzi Noonan, Theatre Historical Society Readboard, February 6, 2012:
"Locals have, once again, launched an all out assault to get the theatre into responsible hands with proactive leadership."
"The Center Stage: Restoring the Schine to the Spotlight Facebook page received almost 250 new followers in just 2 days."

Schine Auburn, October 2000 (copyright Betty Sword, all rights reserved)

Excerpts, Citizen-Advertiser, Auburn, New York, September 13, 1938:

"On entering the lobby, one is treated to a first glimpse of the symphony of blending colors in which the theatre is decorated. Riots of pastel colors blend and harmonize in exquisite patterns to carry out the central motif and reflect the artistry of the famous Rambusch Decorating Studios of New York City."

"The construction of the [auditorium] ceiling provides for a series of steps, each in a different color tapering from dark mauve through a series of rich pastel colors to a bright canary yellow in the rear of the auditorium. The first large panels of the ceiling and walls nearest to the stage are lavishly decorated with modernistic stars and moons." 

"Equally pleasing are the many other elements in the auditorium. The chairs are cases of upholstered ease. The carpets, many of them made in Auburn by the Firth Carpet Company, are thick and restful. The lighting is gentle and designed to give the most beautiful color effects. The indirect lighting fixtures were especially designed for the theater and give a new treatment of lighting never before used in any other theater."    

"The talking picture equipment embodies all the latest ideas for this apparatus, so that the finest presentation of all pictures is possible. Special attention was paid to the acoustical treatment so that all sound reverberations will be absorbed. Ceilings, wall coverings, carpets and seats have all been designed for acoustical perfection." 

The Citizen-Advertiser, September 13, 1938

Not mentioned in the above article, John Eberson, architect

The theatre entered a period of decline after the Schine circuit was dissolved in the mid-1960s with the screen finally going dark in 1978.  The lobby, with the auditorium closed-off, served as a video store from 1986-1992. The space has stood vacant since that date while various groups have made attempts  to restore and reopen the theatre. In 2000 the Schine Auburn was given landmark status.

On October 12, 2000, I gave a talk "The Local Movie House-Entertainment, Architecture and the Community" presented by the Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center and the Friends of the Auburn Schine Theatre (sponsored by the New York Council for the Humanities.).

Cezar Del Valle is the author of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, chosen 2010 Best Book of the Year by the Theatre Historical Society.

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