July 20, 2017
This is The Majestic theater in downtown Dallas. The restored Majestic Theater at 1925 Elm Street in downtown Dallas reopened on January 16, 1983, after having been closed for ten years. It burned in 1916, and Hoblitzelle engaged renowned Chicago theater architect John Eberson to design its replacement. Until the new building was completed in 1921, the old Opera House at Main and St. Paul served as the second Majestic. Construction of the present Majestic Theatre, which cost nearly $2 million, began in February 1920. The cornerstone was laid on October 18 of that year. The cornerstone ceremony, with Mrs. Hoblitzelle officiating, was held on March 26, 1921. The Majestic, flagship theater of Hoblitzelle's Interstate chain, opened on April 11, 1921.
The Majestic, a twentieth-century interpretation of the Renaissance Revival style, is five stories tall. The interior was originally divided into theater and office space, with 20,000 square feet of the upper four floors used as the headquarters of the Interstate Amusement Company chain. The opulent and baroque main lobby and auditorium had decorative detailing of Corinthian columns, egg-and-dart molding, cartouches, and Roman swags and fretwork. The lobby was dominated by a magnificent black-and-white Italian-style Vermont marble floor and twin marble staircases. An ornate cage elevator, complete with a brass rail and carriage lamps on either side, served the two upper balconies. Adding to the "Roman gardens" theme of the theater were crystal chandeliers, brass mirrors, ferns, and a marble fountain copied from one in the Vatican gardens in Rome. During a remodeling in the late 1940s a concession stand was added to the lobby, and red carpet was laid over the marble floors. The 2,400-seat auditorium featured a ceiling "sky" of floating clouds and mechanically controlled twinkling stars. Seating was laid out in the shape of a fan, with seats of woven cane, each with its own hat rack for the gentlemen. Seating was provided on the main floor and in two balconies. Large paintings were set into panels on the auditorium walls, along with intricate latticework. The stage was set back beneath an arch flanked by massive Corinthian columns, with an orchestra pit in front. Backstage were twelve dressing rooms, a loft to accommodate scenery, and a set of wooden lighting controls. The stage curtain was decorated with a classical scene.
To read more about the history of The Majestic Theater, click here: https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/ccm04
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