Structures designed for viewing dramas, operas and other spectacles either on stage or on screen or both. Theatres were open-air in ancient Greece and Rome, but usually covered in Europe from the 16th century. An intermediate form was partially covered.
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American Picture Palaces
Illustrated history by the University of Virginia of the extravagant buildings that sprang up in the inter-war years to house the movies. Includes socio-economic background, guide to Art Deco.
Berkeley Playhouse, Berkeley, California
Redwood building designed by architect Julia Morgan in 1908 as the St. John's Presbyterian Church. Brief description, photographs, plan.
The Cerrito Theater
El Cerrito's historic theater with its Art Deco interior and murals is one of California's hidden treasures. History, photographs and progress on its restoration.
The Cinema Theatre Association
Promotes the study of old cinemas in the UK. Archives, publications, events, links.
Dedicated to saving classic movie theaters in the US. News, database, photographs, virtual tours and message boards. Also aims, founders, sponsors and volunteer staff of the web-site.
Drive In Theater
The American phenomenon which began in the 1930s: open-air cinemas, viewed from automobiles. An illustrated history and list of theaters both operating and closed.
Grand Vision Foundation
A non-profit organization to preserve and promote the Warner Grand Theater, an Art Deco movie palace in San Pedro, California. Includes a history of the theater, which opened in 1931.
Kilduff's Movie Theatre Survey
A survey of movie theatres in Maryland built between 1900 and 1950. Photographs, building dates and descriptions.
The Michigan Theater
Constructed in 1927 in Ann Arbour, Michigan, to the design of Detroit architect Maurice Finkel as a vaudeville and movie palace. The official site includes an illustrated history.
Movie House History: Classic Theaters of Kansas
Paul Salley lists theaters, opera houses and drive-in theaters in Kansas, with some history. Banners.
Paramount Theatre, Oakland, California
The official site offers photographs and a history (with source) of this extraordinary Art Deco theater. The 1930s movie palace was designed by San Francisco architect Timothy Pflueger.
This 1928 cinema in Detroit was designed with a Japanese motif. Includes an illustrated history and details of its restoration by the Motor City Theatre Organ Society.
The Rex Cinema, Berkhamsted
This Art Deco cinema in the UK, designed by David Nye in 1936, has been restored and re-opened. Includes photographs.
A study of the former Saenger organization and its theaters, mainly in the US. A list, with illustrated histories of selected theaters, some now gone.
Scottish Surviving Cinemas and Theatres
Historical archive of all surviving cinema buildings in Scotland and news on cinemas under threat of closure or demolition. A database with photographs and historical information on over 900 cinemas.
Great Buildings Online provides photographs, details and bibliographies for a number of significant theaters of all periods across the world.
Theatre Historical Society of America
Nonprofit educational organization dedicated to documenting and celebrating historic theatres of all types in the United States.
Theatre Royal, York, UK
The official site includes a brief history of the theater built in 1744 and re-modelled in the 19th century.
Features interactive walkthroughs of 3D models of present and past theatres, including those of ancient Greece and Rome. Requires Cosmo Player VRML Plug-in, Flash and Quicktime.