A new display, Theatre Architecture: Tangible Illusion is available for viewing in the museum located in THS’s headquarters in Elmhurst, IL. The display looks at different types of theatres (i.e. opera house, drive-in and movie palace). Several of pieces in the exhibit are new donations or purchases which have not been displayed previously. Artifacts include drawings by Anthony F. Dumas (Thomas R. DuBuque Collection), a speaker from the Skylark Drive-In in Aurora, IL (gift of Al Hoekstra), a chair from the ladies lounge at the Chicago Theatre (Joseph R. DuciBella Collection) and a ‘star light’ from the Nortown Theatre in Chicago, IL used to create the twinkling sky in the atmospheric theatre (THS Collection).
The name for the exhibit is drawn from Bosley Crowther’s foreword to Ben Hall’s The Best Remaining Seats: The Golden Age of the Movie Palace. “Just as the run of the pictures that were the basic elements of their programs … provided the sensation hungry with illusions and fantasies, the great movie theatres did the same thing with their size and munificence. They were the tangible illusions in which the more shadowy illusions were contained. Thus they contributed greatly to the total experience of escape.”
The exhibit is an expansion of the information displayed at Elmhurst Public Library in Jan 2012. Thanks to THS intern Laura Russman (Aurora University) for her help in enlarging the exhibit.
Another new exhibit is coming soon… stay tuned for details!