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F. M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts (Comerford Movie Theatre)

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Comerford Movie Theatre
1937, Charles M. Ryan; 1986 restored, Quad Three Group. 71 Public Sq.

Wilkes-Barre's only surviving historic movie palace—an Art Deco ziggurat faced with glittering terra-cotta tile and green marble—was handsomely restored by local benefactors as the city's principal cultural venue. When it was built as the flagship of a local chain, its Modern Egyptoid approach to theater decoration gave it national note: indeed, the octagonal rotunda lobby and the auditorium are grandly atmospheric spaces, their pendant chandeliers, fluted pilasters, and walnut panels a genuine contrast to the ornament of an earlier era. Its technological features—seats with earphones for the hard-of-hearing, a graded sequence of progressively dimmer lobbies to allow patrons’ eyes a chance to adjust, and air-conditioning—were equally advanced.

Writing Credits

Author: 
George E. Thomas
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Citation

George E. Thomas, "F. M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts (Comerford Movie Theatre)", [Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/PA-02-LU6.

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of PA vol 2

Buildings of Pennsylvania: Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania, George E. Thomas, with Patricia Likos Ricci, Richard J. Webster, Lawrence M. Newman, Robert Janosov, and Bruce Thomas. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2012, 462-462.

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