409 Main Street,
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Previously operated by: Southern Amusements
Firms: Hook & Rogers
Previous Names: Broadway Theater
Hailed as the east coast’s premiere vaudeville home, it was rivalled by none in luxury and comfort. The theater was constructed in 1907 to the designs of architectural firm Hook & Rogers of Charlotte, NC.
The theater façade resembled that of a French Palace with a touch of Egyptian flavor. The theater was 27 ½ ft wide and 200 ft deep. The theater was the first in America to offer a lounge and outside balcony. The theater included a balcony, mezzanine level, and main floor.
The floors were made from black marble and also decorated with colored tile. The murals depicted historical events in Greek history and plaster moldings depicted gargoyles. The stage was 20 ft. wide and 15 ft. deep with a orchestra pit to hold 10 members. The theater also contained 4 opera boxes.
The bathrooms were very ornate. Black and gold tiled flooring and marble sinks with gold faucets. The walls were made with mahogany wood, stained to a deep red.
The theater burned in 1920 and was restored fully, reopening November 15, 1920 with 750-seats. The theater was operated by Southern Amusement Company until 1940 when it was bought by R. Lea and became the Lea Theater.
It operated until May 18, 1964 when it suffered damage from a fire which permanently closed the theater. The building was then converted to retail space and became Elenores which closed shortly after. Today the property is owned by Edward Heard of Chapel Hill,NC. The state of the interior is not known.
Hackworth writes, “I do not know for sure if the property is for sale, but they always say everything has its price. The original blueprints exist with building instructions and pictures.
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