Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Broadway Theatre 1930




It was on January 16, 1930 that The Siskiyou News ran an article announcing that there was to be a new theatre in Yreka! It was advertised to be "equal to any theater in the larger cities and superior of any now in northern California or southern Oregon." It was also announced that the cost was expected to be $70,000.

Bernice M. Warrens (sister to Victor E. Warrens, financial investor and builder of Yreka's once famous Warrens Building) was the owner of the theatre and she leased the proposed theatre to a Walter H. Leverette of Medford who was the owner of a chain of theaters operating in Southern Oregon.

It was reported that construction would begin no later than March 1st and it was expected that the Grand Opening would be June 1, 1930. The Theatre would be called the "Broadway". The expected seating capacity was to be approximately 1,000 people. It was designed not only to show movies, but had a full stage complement. The floor was carpeted in the "finest of carpeting" and a large foyer and well appointed rest rooms would be included. It also was to have a box office located on the sidewalk in a small booth as was the general custom of the day. Over the street it was planned for a huge electric sign to be suspended bearing the word Broadway!

It may be of interest to note that originally the building had a Moorish design, very popular at the time ~ but before long the exterior was rennovated to a more "modern" Art Deco design and the once familiar large neon sign that read Broadway (partially viewed in image above) appeared. In our book, Yreka, Images of America one can see the original view of the building on page 43. Additionally, sometime between 1929 and 1933 the name of the road that is in front of the theatre was changed from Second Street to Broadway.

The Broadway was changed sometime in the late 1970's (to my fuzzy recollection) to the Broadway Twin when multi-plex theatres became the more profitable way to run the business.
Copyright: Claudia East, 2008

5 comments:

Don East said...

It would be so cool if someone would redo the theater to the Art Deco design with the Broadway sign. But of course I'm a Deco fan. I attend the movies quite frequently and am glad we have a theater in town.
Don

Don East said...

The fellow who runs the framing shop down stairs today has done some framing for me. His work is excellent.
Don

George Kramer said...

Hi. Do you have any photos of the original "Moorish" interior?

George Kramer said...

Hello...do you know if there are any photos of the original interior? This theater was designed and supposed to have shared some elements with the Holly Theatre, in Medford, which we are planning to restore.

Claudia East said...

Thank you for post and question. I do not personally have any photos of the original interior. There is a photo of the exterior in its "Moorish style" in our book, Yreka Images of America by Arcadia Publishing on page 43. You might contact the Siskiyou County Museum as they have a large collection of photographs of our area. Contact information can be found at their website: http://www.siskiyoucountyhistoricalsociety.org