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Previously operated by: Marcus Theatres
Architects: Edward Tough
Previous Names: Lyric Theatre, New Richland Theatre
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The 200-seat Lyric Theatre was opened in 1908 and closed in 1916. The Richland Theatre opened on February 27, 1928 with William Boyd in “Dress Parade”. It was operated by George Gassen. The $35,000 500-seat house was designed by architect Edward Tough of Madison, Wisconsin. The theatre was purchased by rivals Jacob and Sarah Eskin. On September 29, 1929, Jacob made news by being thrown into jail - albeit briefly - for showing a movie on the Sabbath in violation of local blue law ordinances.
The theatre installed Vitaphone later that same year to transition to sound films. Sarah took on both Richland Center houses after a divorce from Jacob. The Orpheum Theatre was closed in favor of the new-build Eskin Theatre in 1937. She added a drive-in which she operated on the night of her death. All three theatres ended up in the portfolio of Marcus Theatres which would soon close the Richland Theatre in 1957.
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