The Theatre Historical Society conducts an annual Conclave, or theatre tour, every summer in a different city or area of the country. Usually lasting four to five days, it includes visits to historic theatres and other activities.
The first evening is always a welcome reception and silent auction. Attendees enjoy renewing old friendships or making new ones as well as winning that special item.
Over the next few days there are visits to a variety of theatres, from neighborhood venues seating a few hundred to giant movie palaces seating thousands. Some have been lovingly rehabilitated by dedicated volunteers, while others have been restored to their original grandeur by master craftsmen for millions of dollars. Some others, however, have not been so fortunate but are nonetheless historically interesting, and the opportunity to see them is equally appreciated.
Attendees are usually allowed to go backstage and up to the projection booth, or crawl around the many other nooks and crannies. Managers or owners are generally on hand to give the history of the theatre. If there’s a pipe organ, it’s often played by the resident organist or even THS members!
The main Conclave concludes with a banquet in the host hotel or another unique location.
There’s usually an Afterglow tour following the regular Conclave to a nearby area of interest for those who wish to spend a little more time seeing the sights and a few more theatres. After the 1999 Western New York Conclave, the excursion was to the historic Chautauqua Institution; the 2005 Southern California Conclave toured theatres in San Diego, with brunch at the historic Hotel Del Coronado; and in 2008, the Afterglow journeyed from San Jose to the incredible Hearst Castle and along the beautiful Big Sur coast highway!
If you’ve never been on a Conclave, we invite you to join us! We’re sure you’ll enjoy it!
Previous THS Conclave locations:
1970 – New York City NY
1971 – Seattle WA
1972 – Washington DC
1973 – Chicago IL
1974 – Detroit MI
1975 – San Francisco CA
1976 – New York City NY
1977 – Chicago IL
1978 – San Antonio TX
1979 – Los Angeles CA
1980 – New York City NY
1981 – Milwaukee WI
1982 – Cleveland OH
1983 – Boston MA
1984 – St. Louis MO
1985 – Philadelphia PA
1986 – Chicago IL
1987 – Eugene OR to Seattle WA
1988 – Columbus and Ohio
1989 – London, England
1990 – New Haven and Connecticut
1991 – San Francisco CA
1992 – Washington DC and Richmond VA
1993 – New Orleans LA
1994 – Toronto, Canada
1995 – Detroit MI
1996 – Montreal and Quebec, Canada
1997 – Salt Lake City and Ogden UT
1998 – Los Angeles CA
1999 – Western New York
2000 – Cleveland, Columbus and
2001 – Portland OR to Seattle WA
2002 – New York City NY
2003 – Chicago IL
2004 – Kansas City MO
2005 – Los Angeles CA and
2006 – Boston MA and environs
2007 – Milwaukee WI to Minneapolis MN
2008 – San Jose CA and Greater San Francisco Bay Area
2009 – Philadelphia PA
and surrounding areas
2010 – Indianapolis IN
2011 – Grand Rapids and Western Michigan
2012 – Sacramento and
California’s Central Valley
Future Conclaves are scheduled for:
2013 – [June 18-22] – Schenectady NY-Albany NY-Berkshires MA region
2014 – [June 24-July 1] – Pittsburgh PA
2015- [Dates TBA] –