6839 S. Wentworth Avenue,
6839 S. Wentworth Avenue,Chicago, IL 60621
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One of tne screens(screen 3?) in the now closed Picadilly Theatre in Perth, Western Australia, Australia was a reverse theatre too.
Found a photo from my Dad’s collection of most of the Chicago area theatres. He was the salesman who sold most of them. He worked for Whiteway Sign Company
Found a photo of the E.A.R. Theater just now while looking for something else. Apparently the building lasted well beyond 1952…this collection is from a photographer employed by the Chicago Department of Buildings to document structured officially condemned by the city.
The principals of Pereira & Pereira, the firm that did the 1934 remodeling of the E.A.R. Theatre, were William Pereira and Hal Pereira. Percival Pereira was an older architect who was never a member of this firm.
Here is a January 1915 ad from the Suburbanite Economist:
According The Englewood Times, the E.A.R. Theatre opened on Saturday, January 17, 1914 with a 2 o'clock matinee, followed by their regular program at 7 p.m.
Remodeling was in late 1934, by Pereira & Pereira.
“This $15,000 job was carried on without interfering with the regular daily programs. It was started two months ago and completed yesterday. Nine hundred new seats and a new screen have been installed. The interior has been redecorated in dark blue and French gray, with the new lobby done in light blue and tan.”
On the subject of ‘reverse’ theatres, there are several more which come to mind in England, United Kingdom:
Picture House, Granby Street, Leicester (1910-1973 demolished)
Cameo Moulin, Great Windmill Street, London (1910-1990 restaurant)
Cameo Royal, Charing Cross Road, London (1910-1984 demolished)
Eros Cinema, Piccadilly Circus, London, (1934-1985 retail)
The architect appears to have been F.E. Higgins.
Although not originally built as “reverse” theatres, remodels at two Cleveland, OH area theatres, the Shaker Square Cinema (formerly the Colony Theatre) has two screens that are “reverse” when you walk in, and the now-closed Centrum Theatre (formerly the Heights Art Theatre) had one “reverse” screen. In both cases, these were both old single screen theatres that were cut up…in Shaker Square’s case, six (the main floor became four screens and the balcony two screens), and the Centrum, three screens (two on the main floor and one in the balcony). I am guessing that “reverse” screens are common in older theatres that are megaplexed from their original auditoriums.
This is one of the few “Reverse” or ‘backwards’ theatres in the world, of which 9 were in the USA and 2 in England, of those that are known. This unusual format had the audience entering the front as usual, but the screen was at their backs as they entered, and the projection room/booth faced them! In some cases it was a construction demanded by the topography, as when the land at the rear sloped up sharply at the rear of the building (as with the DARRESS ( /theaters/1645/ ) and the little LINCOLN in Limon Colorado), but for others as with the WHITEHOUSE in Milwaukee ( /theaters/2642/ ), it was purely a gimmick to make the place memorable in competition with the dozens of other show houses in most communities in the ‘golden days!’ The known Reverse Theatres are:
Existing in the USA, if not also operating:
1) The SEBASTIAN, Ft. Smith, AR ( /theaters/257/ )
2) The DARRESS, Boonton, NJ ( /theaters/1645/ )
3) The LINCOLN, Limon, CO ( /theaters/7595/ )
No longer existing as a theatre, if still standing at all (USA):
4) The PHIEL, St. Petersburg, FL
5) The METROPOLITAN, 3308 W. Lawrence, Chicago, IL (later TERMINAL, METRO)
6) The E.A.R. (for Earl A. Reisden), Chicago, IL ( /theaters/7597/ )
7) The FAMILY, Quincy, IL
8) The HAPPY HOUR, New Orleans, LA
9) The WHITEHOUSE, Milwaukee, WI ( /theaters/2642/ )
These two are known of in England, but status unknown (courtesy of Louis Barfe):
10) The CINEMA ROYAL, Epsom, Surrey (1910—1938)
11) The CINEMA LUXE, Lake, Isle of Wight (1989—?)
And then there is the FOX Theatre, Taft, CA, ( /theaters/7564/ )where one “entered on the side, the back corner, actually,” to round out our little list of eccentric theatres.