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