525 Walnut Street,
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Previously operated by: Keith-Albee
Firms: Rapp & Rapp
Previous Names: Fountain Square Theatre, Columbia Theatre, B.F. Keith's Columbia Theatre, B.F. Keith Theatre
Located on the corner of 5th Street East and Walnut Street. Originally opened on November 21 1892 as the 1,800-seat Fountain Square Theatre, it was designed by an architect James W. McLaughlin. It closed in 1899. It was redesigned by architect James M. Wood and reopened as the Columbia Theatre on October 15, 1899 which operated until 1909. It was taken over by B.F. Keith and he employed architect James M. Wood to redesign the theatre which reopened on October 10, 1909.
It was sold to Benjamin Franklin Keith and reopened on September 9, 1910 as B.F. Keith’s Columbia Theatre. In 1912 it was renamed B.F. Keith Theatre.
In 1921 architectural firm Rapp & Rapp designed an office building which wrapped around the theatre and the theatre was renamed as Keith’s Theatre. Vaudeville closed the theatre on February 24, 1928. Three weeks later it reopened as a movie palace with Charlie Chaplin in “The Circus”. It had been equipped with a Wurlitzer 3 manual 13 ranks organ and a modern projection booth. The theatre was modernized in 1932 and again in 1946.
In 1959 it was equipped with a Todd-AO curved screen and 70mm projectors.
Keith’s Theatre was closed on September 5, 1965 and the building was demolished in July 1966 to make Fountain Square.
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