African American Theater Buildings: An Illustrated Historical Directory, 1900-1955
By: Eric Ledell Smith (author)Paperback
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African American theater buildings were theaters owned or managed by blacks or whites for an African American audience. Such theaters included nickelodeons, vaudeville houses, musical houses and neighborhood movie theaters. Although nearly 2,000 African American theater buildings existed in the 20th century, very little has been written about them. In this book, the African American theater buildings from 1900 through 1955 are arranged by state, then by city, and then alphabetically under the name by which they were known. The street address, dates of operation, number of seats, architect, whether it was a member of TOBA (Theater Owners Booking Association), type of theater (nickelodeon, vaudeville, musical, drama or picture), alternate name(s), race and name of manager or owner, whether the audience was mixed, and the fate of the theater are provided where known. Commentary by theater historians is also provided.
The late Eric Ledell Smith was a historian specializing in African American history with the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. He lived in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
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