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Atmospheric Theatres

Atmospheric Theatres

Mike Hume, creator of Historic Theatre Photos, has spent considerable time researching atmospheric theatres, a theatre style which flourished around the world but was particularly popular in the United States from the early to late 1920s.

New visitor? Read more about Mike here, or visit Mike’s main Historic Theatre Photography website here. Continue below for the full roundup on Mike’s passion project: Atmospheric Theatres!



The atmospheric theatre style was designed to evoke the sense of being transported to an exotic outdoor location. Far-away places were considered exotic and so in America that often meant European cities, places which most Americans would never have the chance to visit.

Arlington Theatre<br/>Santa Barbara (California)
Arlington Theatre
Santa Barbara (California)

Atmospheric theatres were a phase in the evolution of theatre design which followed the grand American theatres and movie palaces of the 1910s and early 1920s, largely modeled on the design of European opera houses; but before the Great Depression took hold leading to increased levels of austerity coupled with the desire to shun opulence, and instead embrace a streamlined modernistic approach with an eye to the future.

Majestic Theatre<br/>San Antonio (Texas)
Majestic Theatre
San Antonio (Texas)

The atmospheric theatre style eschewed the formal, box-like symmetrical designs of traditional theatre auditoria. Atmospheric theatres were typically asymmetrical and far more playful in their design. Atmospherics were most commonly Mediterranean or Spanish courtyards or garden settings, above which soared a cerulean or azure blue starlit sky, often with clouds drifting lazily past thanks to new technologies for the 1920s enabling the projection of moving cloud effects using light.

But the atmospheric theatre style wasn’t just about creating dazzling effects for the patron: atmospherics were also very much about the economics of running a theatre. Atmospherics cost less to build than traditional theatres – which were differentiated from atmospheric theatres by being called “hard tops” in the United States, usually sporting an expensive central chandelier, a richly detailed plastered classical ceiling perhaps with gilded lines and accents, cherubs and caryatids adorning and supporting the balconies and boxes, and classical detailed murals.

In contrast, the atmospheric theatre style called for a simple rounded plaster dome ceiling at a time when construction costs had escalated after the First World War and wages for ornamental plasterers had reached an all-time high.

Atmospherics Built By Year

The first atmospheric theatre was built in early 1923, although experimentation with the emergent style was taking place as early as 1921. Accordingly, these proto-atmospheric theatres which helped define and inform the atmospheric style as it was being developed, are included in our listings of atmospheric theatres.

The atmospheric theatre style hit its stride in the mid-1920s and then peaked in 1928 and 1929. The style gradually tailed-off in the early 1930s as the Great Depression took hold and audiences clamored for more austere and less opulent surroundings.

The few atmospheric theatres built after the mid-1930s were a design choice generally paying homage to the opulent 1920s style, and deliberately eschewing the early 1930s austere and streamlined approach to movie theatre design.


John Eberson and the development of the Atmospheric style

Visalia Fox Theatre<br/>(California)
Visalia Fox Theatre
(California)

The pioneer of the atmospheric theatre style was prolific theatre architect John Eberson. At the opening of the Tampa Theatre in Florida in October 1926, Eberson stated:

“My idea for the atmospheric theater was born in Florida. I saw the value of putting nature to work and so have borrowed the color and design that are found in the flowers and the trees. The inhabitants of Spain and southern Italy live under the sun and enjoy the happiness nature affords them. So I decided their architecture probably would provide the firm foundation for a theater.”

Eberson was probably also influenced by other experiences, including visiting the St. Louis Word’s Fair in 1904 which would have demonstrated the solid and permanent appearance of plasterwork while being used as an impermanent construction material, and Chicago’s Cort Theater Link opens in new window (opened 1909, demolished 1934) designed by John E.O. Pridmore which featured a Roman pergola with vine-clad beams and a blue sky ceiling above; an outdoor overhead setting for what was otherwise a traditional traditional auditorium design.

Eberson devised a business model which saw his own centralized studio – the Michael Angelo Studios in New York – mass produce works for the theatres he designed. The studio, overseen by Eberson’s wife Beatrice (Beatty) Lamb, was staffed with dedicated master plasterers and created statuary, moldings, and architectural components which Eberson would then re-use across multiple theatre designs, rearranging the separate elements into different settings, thereby reducing the cost of building a theatre simply through the economics of reuse.

Orpheum Theatre<br/>(Phoenix, Arizona)
Orpheum Theatre
(Phoenix, Arizona)

The model also meant that Eberson could control the quality of product from start to finish by using his own master plasterers and installation crews. Construction on-site was simplified and therefore costs reduced because ready-made statuary and architectural elements arrived in crated packages and just needed assembled on-site, and then painted, by Eberson’s traveling theatre installation teams.

Eberson declared the Majestic Theatre in Houston, Texas (demolished in 1971), as his first atmospheric theatre. The evolution of Eberson’s atmospheric theatre designs leading up to this point seems clear from his earlier projects prior to the Majestic, which we will refer to as his proto-atmospherics.

The Majestic Theatre in Dallas, Texas, was Eberson’s first proto-atmospheric. Opened April 1921, it sports a mix of formal Corinthian columns surrounding a triumphal proscenium arch, with symmetrical organ grilles giving way to latticework with a plain blue-lit ceiling behind...perhaps suggestive of a cerulean blue night sky?

Majestic Theatre<br/>(Houston, Texas)
Majestic Theatre
(Houston, Texas)

Eberson’s second proto-atmospheric theatre was the Indiana Theatre in Terre Haute, Indiana (opened January 1922), designed in a Moorish style featuring false balconies on the sidewalls with the organ grilles designed to look like backlit windows. The theatre design was developing into something which made it feel like the audience was sitting inside a village or community.

Eberson’s third and final proto-atmospheric theatre was the Orpheum Theatre in Wichita, Kansas (opened September 1922). While still a symmetrical auditorium design, it features statuary, niches, and window-like openings which would go on to become staple features of Eberson’s atmospherics theatres. Notably the theatre also features a smooth blue-sky ceiling bordered by faux tilework roofs in the balcony combined with cove lighting. The ceiling currently contains stars, and if these are original this is hugely significant and adds significant strength to the theory of the theatre being one of Eberson’s proto-atmospheric designs.

Eberson’s first self-proclaimed atmospheric theatre, the Majestic in Houston, garnered much attention with the press noting:

“Revolutionary developments in theatre design have been few since the beginning. Unquestionably the most innovational is the Majestic, Houston, Texas, designed by Architect John Eberson of Chicago.”

Everyone agreed, and the movie and theatre-going public flocked toward this new escape into exoticism. Theatre owners loved the lower cost and faster time to build, Eberson had no end of commissions to take up, and thus the fascination with Atmospheric Theatres was born!

Eberson was a showman, a showman whose designs glorified romantic architecture.

In June 1926, industry publication Motion Picture News printed an interview with Eberson as interest in atmospheric theatres was taking hold of the movie-going audience and theatre managers alike. You can read a web-friendly version of the article, complete with color sketches by Eberson and photos of some early atmospheric theatres, by clicking on the banner below:

The Atmospheric Theatre - an interview with John Eberson

The Atmospheric Theatre - an interview with John Eberson


The mid-1926 article was followed-up 18 months later with another major article in Motion Picture News: a second and lengthy interview with Eberson, illustrated with more color sketches from Eberson’s sketch book alongside black-and-white photographs of the increasing number of atmospheric theatres across the United States. You can read a web-friendly version of the article, complete with all its glorious color sketches, by clicking on the banner below:

New Theatres For Old by John Eberson

New Theatres For Old, by John Eberson


Researching Atmospheric Styles

Fox Theatre<br/>(Hanford, California)
Fox Theatre
(Hanford, California)

The term “atmospheric theatre” can be used rather loosely and at times incorrectly, so let us define the criteria used on this website for a theatre to be an atmospheric:

  1. An Outdoor Setting: whereas the auditorium design need not be asymmetrical (although such designs do tend to feature in the best and most elaborate atmospheric theatre examples), the auditorium does need to represent an outdoor setting.
  2. Stars and Sky: a blue smooth plaster dome ceiling with no straight lines at the edges, featuring twinkling stars.
  3. Fleecy Clouds: definitely a plus but not a requirement. The most elaborate atmospheric theatres all featured moving clouds projected by light onto the sky ceiling (some even featured a moving Moon effect) but smaller theatres simply relied on painted ceilings for a similar effect.

Theatres which are not full atmospherics are included here under the umbrella style of Pseudo-Atmospheric, which includes substyles such as Maverick Atmospheric, Abstract Atmospheric, and Semi-Atmospheric.

Atmospheric Theatre Styles

By far the most popular atmospheric style was Spanish, accounting for 54% of all atmospheric theatres thus far surveyed on this website.

The popularity of Spanish themes likely reflects the fact that atmospheric theatre styles were most popular in the United States during the 1920s, at the same time as Spain was particularly alluring to Americans. Europe seemed mystical, coupled with the fact that most American theatre-goers were unlikely to have the means to visit these exotic European lands. Spanish, and to a lesser extent Italian, landscapes typified the mystic allure of Europe for Americans.

There were also a wide range of more obscure styles such as Dutch villages, Japanese tea gardens, Medieval villages, Mesoamerican temples, and even a theatre design modeled on a 16th century French chateau.

There are yet more atmospheric styles to be found in the records of lost theatres, including examples such as underwater themes featuring Neptune and seahorses!

Spanish Atmospheric Styles

The popular Spanish atmospheric style, accounting for 54% of all atmospheric theatres thus far surveyed, can be broken down into numerous sub-styles.

While many scholars would happily argue whether a particular auditorium interior is a Spanish garden or a Spanish courtyard, Mike has researched the sub-styles listed on this website back as close to the original source as possible. When no historic direction on style is available for a particular theatre Mike has used his experience surveying atmospheric theatre designs across the globe to decide upon a specific sub-style.

In many cases the Italian or Spanish sub-style is as quoted by the architect, however some Spanish styles are represented by how the local media interpreted the theatre at the time of reporting theatre openings. Whereas this may have been based upon interviews with the theatre’s design team Mike concedes it may in part be down to the interpretation of the reporter, and therefore potentially unreliable.

In cases where no sub-style has come to light during the research process, Mike has categorized theatres into one of the existing Spanish sub-styles. This data continues to be reviewed as additional information comes to light.


Atmospherics: the late 20th century and beyond

The atmospheric-styled shopping promenade of the Venetian Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas
The atmospheric-styled shopping promenade of the Venetian Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas

The last great atmospheric theatre was built in the early 1940s, however the style has resurfaced at times throughout the decades. In the late 1980s Disney partnered with Pacific Theatres to renovate a single screen neighborhood theatre in Los Angeles, the Crest Theatre.

Theatre designer Joseph (Joe) J. Musil headed-up the project and designed a Hollywood Revival atmospheric interior for the renovated theatre. The auditorium sidewalls featured stylized Hollywood and Los Angeles buildings highlighted with fluorescent paint excited by black/ultraviolet light. The auditorium ceiling was painted to look like the night sky with lights representing stars, and a “shooting star” lighting effect which was triggered just as the main feature got underway.

The theatrical atmosheric design style can be seen in some building designs of the late 20th century, the most obvious example being the Venetian-styled shopping promenades of The Venetian Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas Link opens in new window. The style was copied by other Las Vegas casinos to afford patrons the feeling that they were shopping outside.


Atmospherics: further education

Atmospheric Theatres presentation for the Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation
Atmospheric Theatres presentation for the Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation

Mike has lectured extensively on atmospheric theatre styles, and has also created an 80-minute video documentary all about the atmospheric theatre style, its background, development, history, prolific architects, and legacy.

Unfortunately we cannot provide the documentary for free download here due to copyright but please contact Mike here Link opens in new window if you’re interested in seeing the video!

In addition to the database of atmospheric theatres listed further down this page Mike also maintains a public Google Map of atmospheric theatres which is searchable by atmospheric style plus former and current theatre names. Each theatre also includes a thumbnail photo for easy reference.


Atmospheric Theatres Global Map

You can interact with the map by clicking here to open the map in a new window Link opens in new window, or by using the map below:





Atmospheric Theatres Timeline


The timeline does not display well on small devices. Click here to open the timeline in a new window.


Additional Atmospheric Theatre Resources


Atmospheric theatres featured in-depth on this website:













Global Atmospheric Theatres List

Below we present an ever-expanding list of extant and demolished atmospheric theatres from around the world. Hover over a theatre to see if it’s a link to further information – atmospheric theatre data is being added regularly (currently 56% complete).

Total number of theatres on the list: 143

Number of theatres on the list “linked” with underlying information: 80 (56%)

Theatres featured in-depth on our Historic Theatre Photos website (see links above): 9, with 2 in development

This is a work in progress and there is much data to include such as architect information, photos, and details of current usage for those theatres not operating as originally intended. Please get in touch Contact Us if you have any data to share!


Chinese
Alongisde the few Atmospheric theatres designed with a Chinese theme, at least one Atmospheric theatre was described as having an “Oriental” theme: the Pekin Theatre in Pekin, Illinois. The outdated and perjorative term Oriental was commonly used throughout the Western world in the early 20th century to refer to the Eastern world, as it was in relation to Europe, and in the case of Atmospheric theatres appears to have referred to a predominantly Chinese theme with influences from nearby regions.
Cine Elizondo Cine Elizondo (Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico) [Demolished]
Cinemex Real Cinemex Real (Mexico City, Mexico) former name: Palacio Chino
Oriental Theatre Oriental Theatre (Boston, Massachusetts, USA)
Pekin Theatre Pekin Theatre (Pekin, Illinois, USA) [Demolished]
Dutch Village
Only one Dutch themed atmospheric theatre is known to exist, and includes two working windmills within the auditorium!
Holland Theatre Holland Theatre (Bellefontaine, Ohio, USA) former name: Schine’s Holland Theatre
Egyptian
Egyptian styles became fashionable and hugely popular in the United States, and other countries, following Howard Carter's discovery of the tomb of King Tutankhamen in late 1922. Theatres such as Sid Grauman's Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood capitalized on the interest in all things Egyptian, and when combined with atmospheric theatre styles popularized in the years following, several Egyptian-themed atmospheric theatres were built in the US.
Egyptian Theatre Egyptian Theatre (DeKalb, Illinois, USA)
Odeon Streatham Odeon Streatham (London, England, UK) former name: Streatham Astoria
Parkway Theater Parkway Theater (Oakland, California, USA)
Peery’s Egyptian Theater Peery’s Egyptian Theater (Ogden, Utah, USA)
French
A very rare atmospheric style, so far our research has only uncovered substyles of a French chateau and a French garden.
French Chateau
Varsity Theatre Varsity Theatre (Evanston, Illinois, USA)
French Garden
Paradise Theater Paradise Theater (Chicago, Illinois, USA) [Demolished]
Greek
Greek atmospheric theatre styles, or more correctly Grecian styles, all revolve around courtyards. A very specific Greek sub-style is the Greek Agora, agora being the central public space in ancient Greek city-states.
Greek Agora
Peristyle Theater Peristyle Theater (Toledo, Ohio, USA)
Greek Courtyard
Alex Theatre Alex Theatre (Glendale, California, USA) former name: Alexander Theatre
Latchis Theatre Latchis Theatre (Brattleboro, Vermont, USA) former names: Latchis Opera House, Latchis Memorial Theatre
Hispano-Italian
The fusion of Spanish and Italian styles was generally described as Hispano-Italian, although oftentimes it was more of a concept than rooted in practically fusing these disparate styles together. Sometimes it referred to ancient European styles being combined into a more generic European Mediterranean theme, however more likely it was a catch-all for combination styles where architects had less knowledge of the original styles begin referenced.
Coronado Performing Arts Center Coronado Performing Arts Center (Rockford, Illinois, USA) former name: Coronado Theatre
Paramount Theatre Paramount Theatre (Abilene, Texas, USA)
Rose Blumkin Performing Arts Center Rose Blumkin Performing Arts Center (Omaha, Nebraska, USA) former names: Astro Theatre, Riviera Theatre
Indian
Indian and Hindu themes were popular in the 1920s (an example being the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood) however it seems only two extant atmospheric theatres survive to exemplify the style.
Civic Theatre Civic Theatre (Auckland, New Zealand)
Visalia Fox Theatre Visalia Fox Theatre (Visalia, California, USA) former name: Fox Theatre
Islamic
Atmospheric theatres described as “Islamic” in the 1920s were likely directly comparable with Moorish designs with just different words used to describe them. See Moorish, below.
Fox Theatre Fox Theatre (Atlanta, Georgia, USA)
Italian
Italian atmospheric theatre styles were easily the most popular after Spanish styles, probably due to the similarly impressive architecture styles of both countries, and perceived exoticism from far-distant countries such as the United States.
Italian Courtyard
Capitol Theatre Capitol Theatre (Pretoria, South Africa)
Capitol Theatre Capitol Theatre (Filnt, Michigan, USA)
Copernicus Center Copernicus Center (Chicago, Illinois, USA) former name: Gateway Theatre
Hershey Theatre Hershey Theatre (Hershey, Pennsylvania, USA)
O2 Academy Brixton O2 Academy Brixton (London, England, UK) former names: Brixton Astoria, Astoria Variety Cinema, Sundown Centre, Carling Academy Brixton
Paradise Theater Paradise Theater (New York - The Bronx, New York, USA) former names: Venetian Theatre, Loew’s Paradise
Patio Theater Patio Theater (Chicago, Illinois, USA)
Riviera Theatre Riviera Theatre (Detroit, Michigan, USA) former name: Grand Riviera Theatre [Demolished]
Saenger Theatre Saenger Theatre (New Orleans, Louisiana, USA)
Savoy Cinema Savoy Cinema (Dublin, Ireland)
Stanley Theater Stanley Theater (Jersey City, New Jersey, USA)
State Theatre State Theatre (Stoughton, Massachusetts, USA)
Italian Garden
Ambassador’s Theatre Ambassador’s Theatre (Perth, Western Australia, Australia) [Demolished]
Capitol Theatre Capitol Theatre (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia)
Capitol Theatre Capitol Theatre (Chicago, Illinois, USA) [Demolished]
Forum Melbourne Forum Melbourne (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia) former name: State Theatre
Fountain Square Theatre Fountain Square Theatre (Indianapolis, Indiana, USA)
Loew’s 46th Street Theatre Loew’s 46th Street Theatre (New York - Brooklyn, New York, USA) former name: Universal Theatre [Demolished]
Majestic Theatre Majestic Theatre (Houston, Texas, USA) [Demolished]
Odeon Theatre Odeon Theatre (Goulburn, New South Wales, Australia) former name: Empire Theatre [Demolished]
Venetian Theatre Venetian Theatre (Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA) [Demolished]
Italian Village
Uptown Theatre Uptown Theatre (Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA) former name: Oxford Theatre [Demolished]
Japanese
Only one Japanese-themed atmospheric theatre is known to exist, and it is styled on a Japanese [Tea] Garden.
Redford Theatre Redford Theatre (Detroit, Michigan, USA)
Medieval
Although only one extant Medieval atmospheric theatre was initially known, there are additional atmospheric theatres built with a Medieval theme which have come to light over time, one of which spent nearly 20 years as a bookstore!
Medieval Courtyard
Cameco Capitol Arts Centre Cameco Capitol Arts Centre (Port Hope, Ontario, Canada) former name: Capitol Theatre
Ramona Theatre Ramona Theatre (Frederick, Oklahoma, USA)
Uptown Theater Uptown Theater (Kansas City, Missouri, USA)
Medieval Village
Chateau Theatre Chateau Theatre (Rochester, Minnesota, USA) former name: Chateau-Dodge Theatre
Mesoamerican
The Mesoamerican atmospheric theatres identified to date all combine elements from various cultures generally located in the extreme south of North America and much of Central America. Examples include the Aztec, Mayan, Mixtec, Toltec, and Zapotec cultures.
Aztec Theatre Aztec Theatre (San Antonio, Texas, USA)
Teatro Sierra Maestra Teatro Sierra Maestra (Havana, Cuba) former name: Teatro Lutgardita
Mexican
Despite the large Mexican population throughout the United States, only one extent Mexican-themed atmospheric theatre has so far been identified.
Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center (Huntington, West Virginia, USA) former name: Keith-Albee Theatre
Moorish
Atmospheric theatres described as “Moorish” in the 1920s were likely directly comparable with Islamic designs with just different words used to describe them. See Islamic, above.
Avalon Regal Theater Avalon Regal Theater (Chicago, Illinois, USA) former names: Avalon Theater, Miracle Temple Church, New Regal Theater
Missouri Theater Missouri Theater (St Joseph, Missouri, USA)
Paradise Center for the Arts Paradise Center for the Arts (Faribault, Minnesota, USA) former name: Faribault Opera House
Rialto Cinema Rialto Cinema (Dunedin, New Zealand)
Proto-Atmospheric
Three theatres in the US feature separate architectural design elements which would go on to be combined into a single cohesive design, giving us Eberson's signature atmospheric theatre style, first seen in the Majestic Theatre in Houston, Texas.
Indiana Theatre Event Center Indiana Theatre Event Center (Terre Haute, Indiana, USA) former name: Indiana Theatre
Majestic Theatre Majestic Theatre (Dallas, Texas, USA)
Orpheum Theatre Orpheum Theatre (Wichita, Kansas, USA)
Pseudo-Atmospheric
Many theatres were built in a somewhat atmospheric style but do not fully conform to the “stars and clouds” standard. We introduce our own terms here, such as Hollywood/Revival-Atmospheric, Semi-/Half-Atmospheric, and one from Wikipedia: Budget Atmospheric.
Abstract Atmospheric
Avalon Theatre Avalon Theatre (Avalon, California, USA)
Maverick Atmospheric
Kelvin Cinema Kelvin Cinema (Glasgow, Scotland, UK) [Demolished]
Orient Cinema Orient Cinema (Glasgow, Scotland, UK) [Demolished]
Revival Atmospheric
Crest Westwood Crest Westwood (Los Angeles, California, USA) former names: UCLAN Theatre, Crest Theatre, Loew’s Crest, Metro Theatre, Pacific’s Crest
Semi-Atmospheric
Avenue Theatre Avenue Theatre (London, England, UK) former names: Spanish City Cinema, Odeon Theatre Northfields, Coronet Cinema
New Victoria Cinema New Victoria Cinema (Edinburgh, Scotland, UK) former name: Odeon Edinburgh
Poncan Theatre Poncan Theatre (Ponca City, Oklahoma, USA)
Southtown Theatre Southtown Theatre (Chicago, Illinois, USA) [Demolished]
Spanish
Spanish was, by far, the most popular atmospheric theatre style, accounting for approximately half of extant atmospheric theatres – more if demolished theatres are included. Spanish sub-styles were wide and varied, and one person's definition of a Spanish Courtyard may challenge another person's definition of a Spanish Garden. Accordingly we present all Spanish styles grouped together, with sub-styles as identified by the architect and/or newspaper reports at theatre openings.
Andalusian Courtyard
Boulevard Picture House Boulevard Picture House (Glasgow, Scotland, UK) former name: Vogue Cinema [Demolished]
Andalusian Garden
Akron Civic Theatre Akron Civic Theatre (Akron, Ohio, USA) former name: Loew’s Akron
Andalusian Village
Arlington Theatre Arlington Theatre (Santa Barbara, California, USA)
Spanish Hall Spanish Hall (Blackpool, England, UK)
Mediterranean Courtyard
Bama Theatre Bama Theatre (Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA)
Campbeltown Picture House Campbeltown Picture House (Campbeltown, Scotland, UK)
Lido Theatre Lido Theatre (The Pas, Manitoba, Canada)
Majestic Theatre Majestic Theatre (Nampa, Idaho, USA) former names: Nampa Opera House, Nampa Theatre [Demolished]
Tampa Theatre Tampa Theatre (Tampa, Florida, USA)
Mediterranean Garden
Arcadia Theatre Arcadia Theatre (Dallas, Texas, USA) [Demolished]
Carpenter Theatre Carpenter Theatre (Richmond, Virginia, USA) former name: Loew’s Theatre
Russell Theatre Russell Theatre (Maysville, Kentucky, USA)
Mediterranean Village
Indiana Roof Ballroom Indiana Roof Ballroom (Indianapolis, Indiana, USA)
Polk Theatre Polk Theatre (Lakeland, Florida, USA)
Uptown Theatre Uptown Theatre (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada)
Spanish Baroque
Louisville Palace Theatre Louisville Palace Theatre (Louisville, Kentucky, USA)
RKO Keith’s Theater RKO Keith’s Theater (New York - Queens, New York, USA) [Demolished]
Smith Opera House Smith Opera House (Geneva, New York, USA) former names: Geneva Theatre, Smith’s Opera House
Spanish Castle
Annex Theatre Annex Theatre (Detroit, Michigan, USA) former name: Riviera Annex Theatre [Demolished]
El Raton Theatre El Raton Theatre (Raton, New Mexico, USA)
Elmwood Theatre Elmwood Theatre (Elmhurst, New York, USA) former names: Queensboro Theatre, Loews Cineplex Elmwood
Golden State Theatre Golden State Theatre (Monterey, California, USA)
Ritz Cinema Ritz Cinema (Cambuslang, Scotland, UK) [Demolished]
State Theatre State Theatre (Lexington, Kentucky, USA)
Spanish Courtyard
Alhambra Theatre Alhambra Theatre (Hopkinsville, Kentucky, USA)
Avon Theatre Avon Theatre (Medford, Wisconsin, USA)
Canton Palace Theatre Canton Palace Theatre (Canton, Ohio, USA)
Capitol Theatre Capitol Theatre (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada) [Demolished]
Cineteca Alameda Cineteca Alameda (San Luis Potosi, Mexico) former name: Cine Teatro Alameda
Crown Uptown Theatre Crown Uptown Theatre (Wichita, Kansas, USA) former name: Uptown Theatre
Emanuel Evangelist Temple Emanuel Evangelist Temple (Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA) former name: Zenith Theatre
Garden Theatre Garden Theatre (Winter Garden, Florida, USA) former name: Winter Garden Theater
Granada Theater Granada Theater (Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA)
Granada Theatre Granada Theatre (Sherbrooke, Quebec City, Canada)
Hanford Fox Theatre Hanford Fox Theatre (Hanford, California, USA) former name: Hanford Theatre
Kenosha Theatre Kenosha Theatre (Kenosha, Wisconsin, USA)
Merced Theatre Merced Theatre (Merced, California, USA) former names: Elite Theatre, Strand Theatre, Rio Theatre, United Artists Merced Movies 4
Music Box Theatre Music Box Theatre (Chicago, Illinois, USA)
Newark Gospel Tabernacle Newark Gospel Tabernacle (Newark, New Jersey, USA) former name: Stanley Theatre
Odeon Richmond Odeon Richmond (Richmond, England, UK) former names: Richmond Kinema, Premier Cinema
Palace Theatre Palace Theatre (Marion, Ohio, USA)
Paramount Theatre Center and Ballroom Paramount Theatre Center and Ballroom (Anderson, Indiana, USA) former name: Paramount Theatre
Plaza Theatre Plaza Theatre (Brisbane, Queensland, Australia)
Plaza Theatre Plaza Theatre (Glasgow, Kentucky, USA)
Ramova Theatre Ramova Theatre (Chicago, Illinois, USA)
Ritz Ybor Ritz Ybor (Tampa, Florida, USA) former names: Rivoli Theatre, Ritz Theatre
Rivoli Theatre & Pizzeria Rivoli Theatre & Pizzeria (La Crosse, Wisconsin, USA) former name: Rivoli Theatre
Runnymede Theatre Runnymede Theatre (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
State Theater State Theater (South San Francisco, California, USA)
State Theatre State Theatre (Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA)
Tabernacle of Prayer Lifeline Tabernacle of Prayer Lifeline (New York - Queens, New York, USA) former name: Loew’s Valencia Theatre
Tivoli Theatre Tivoli Theatre (Spencer, Indiana, USA)
Toledo Theatre Toledo Theatre (Glasgow, Scotland, UK) [Demolished]
Uptown Theater Uptown Theater (San Francisco, California, USA) former names: New Alcazar Theatre, Republic Theatre, Sutter Theatre, Lloyd Downton’s Uptown [Demolished]
Whittier Theatre Whittier Theatre (Whittier, California, USA) former names: McNees Theatre, Warner Bros. Whittier, Bruen’s Whittier [Demolished]
Spanish Deco
Le Grand Rex Le Grand Rex (Paris, France)
Spanish Garden
7th Street Theatre 7th Street Theatre (Hoquiam, Washington, USA) former name: Seventh Street Theatre
Avalon Atmospheric Theater Avalon Atmospheric Theater (Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA) former names: Garden Theater, Avalon Theater
Capitol Theater Capitol Theater (Rockford, Illinois, USA)
Cinemax Cinema Cinemax Cinema (Edgware, England, UK) former names: Ritz Cinema, ABC, Cannon, Belle-Vue Cinema [Demolished]
DuPage Theater DuPage Theater (Lombard, Illinois, USA) [Demolished]
Lensic Performing Arts Center Lensic Performing Arts Center (Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA) former name: Lensic Theatre
Meyer Theatre Meyer Theatre (Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA) former names: Fox Theatre, Bay Theatre
Olympia Theater Olympia Theater (Miami, Florida, USA)
Plaza Theatre Plaza Theatre (El Paso, Texas, USA)
Stefanie H. Weill Center for the Performing Arts Stefanie H. Weill Center for the Performing Arts (Sheboygan, Wisconsin, USA) former name: Sheboygan Theatre
Texas Theatre Texas Theatre (San Angelo, Texas, USA)
Warner Hollywood Warner Hollywood (Hollywood, California, USA) former name: Hollywood Pacific
Spanish Renaissance
Orpheum Theatre Orpheum Theatre (Phoenix, Arizona, USA)
Spanish Revival
Mayfair Theatre Mayfair Theatre (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada)
Spanish Villa
Majestic Theatre Majestic Theatre (San Antonio, Texas, USA)
Paramount Theatre Paramount Theatre (Austin, Minnesota, USA)
Roxy Theatre Roxy Theatre (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada) former name: Towne Cinema
Spanish Village
Aragon Ballroom Aragon Ballroom (Chicago, Illinois, USA)
Palace Theater Palace Theater (Oakland, California, USA)
Plaza Theatre Plaza Theatre (Palm Springs, California, USA)
Rainbow Theatre Rainbow Theatre (London, England, UK) former name: Finsbury Park Astoria
Undersea
Only one known undersea-themed atmospheric was built, featuring sea horse, mermaid, and zodiac motifs. Sadly it was demolished in 2007.
Nortown Theater Nortown Theater (Chicago, Illinois, USA) [Demolished]
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Photographs copyright © 2002-2022 Mike Hume / Historic Theatre Photos unless otherwise noted.

Text copyright © 2017-2022 Mike Hume / Historic Theatre Photos.

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