Monday, April 9, 2012

Oakland Theatre

To call attention to the upcoming Summer Silent Film Festival that is planned for Sunday and Monday, July 29 and 30 at the A.W. Buckbee Center the following is reminiscent of Warwick's own silent film past. The Oakland Theatre served as not only a venue for silent films, but vaudeville, radio broadcasts, opera, and vivic fundraisers, to name a few.

The Warwick Valley Dispatch, November 26, 1913
Oakland Theatre
Work on Smith’s Opera House is Progressing Finely

Contractor A.C. Altman of Goshen is pushing along rapidly the construction of the “Oakland Avenue,” for Harry P. Smith, which is the first invasion of Oakland avenue by business enterprise in the history of the village. That it will be an ornate structure and a credit to the street and village is the belief of all familiar with the plans and purposes of the owner.

Strength and safety are the two essentials of its construction. The sidewalls are of hollow tile, cemented together. Substantial brick piers, firmly bedded, support the steel eye-beam girders that carry the weight of the roof. The exterior front will be of stucco, with red brick trim. The exterior side walls will be of stucco. The auditorium will be 45 x 100 feet; with a 25 foot ceiling. In front there will be a lobby, 10 x 20 feet, with two entrances and exits, each six feet wide; additional exits, one on each side, six feet wide, and a separate entrance and exit from the stage in the rear, will make it possible to empty the house in a few seconds.

There will be about 525 individual seats in the main auditorium and the gallery over the lobby and extending across the front corners of the building, will seat about 125 more, - all individual chairs. Several windows on each side, will afford light and air, the windows being well up from the floor level; and a large ventilator will be put in the roof.

On each side of the front lobby ladies and gentlemen’s check and cloak rooms will be provided. The stage will be 28 feet front and 20 feet deep, with commodious and handy dressing rooms on either side, fitted with modern conveniences.

A fire-proof wall will divide the auditorium from the stage.. Mr. Smith has yet decided as to the drop curtain. A complete outfit of stock scenery and stage apparatus will be installed. The moving picture machine, which will be placed in the centre of the gallery will be enclosed in a fire-proof booth; everything will be in strict conformity with the fire-safety laws. The indirect lighting system will be employed, which enables late arrivals to find their seats without inconvenience during the progress of the show.

The building of this modern theatre is being watched with great interest by our citizens, and the belief is general that it is one of the events that mark the era of a greater Warwick. An ever increasing population is reasonably certain, according to all the information at hand, and the demand for entertainment is on the increase. That the present fad for the “movies” is pretty sure to be a permanent feature of our life is reasonably certain. Millions of capital are invested in the production of films all over the world; the speaking movies are not so far off either.

No comments:

Post a Comment