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1948-49 Theatre Catalog, 7th Edition, Page 25 (15)

1948-49 Theatre Catalog, 7th Edition
1948-49 Theatre Catalog
1948-49 Theatre Catalog, 7th Edition, Page 25
Page 25

1948-49 Theatre Catalog, 7th Edition, Page 25


THE I. P. HARRIS THEATRE. PITTSBURGH. was erected in 1938. Above may be seen the front carried out in enameled porcelain from the lobby to the top oi the facade and name sign. This modern structure is a standout between the two old brownstone and brick buildings.

The Penn, Beverly and Sheridan Theatres, Washington, D. C., for Warner Brothers were among the first which displayed these new Eberson adaptations. Others included Sidney Lustls Boro, Hyattsville, and Cheverly Theatres in the Washington, D. C., area. Lloyd J. Winelzmd, in association with U. Hollingsworth, also entrusted the architectural design and supervision of many of their successful neighborhood theatres in that area to the Eberson organization.

The architectural assignment for the design of the Harris Memorial Theatre in McKeeSport, Pa., was acquired by Eberson through Senator Frank Harris, of the successful and famous Harris Circuit, which was then under the guidance of the late Denny Harris and John Harris. The theatre, atmospheric in design, was erected by the family in honor of John Harris, Sr., who is actually credited with the erection of the first completely motion picture theatre in the Nation. As a result, the Harris Theatre interests employed the Eberson firm to construct the Perry, Pittsburgh, and a new house in Butler, Pa. A few years later the new Harris, Pittsburgh, went up on the site of the old Alvin Theatre.

From 1936 to 1940, the Shopping Center idea developed and became a Vogue for many outlying communities whose entertainment and shopping facilities were limited due to location or lack of transportation. The Ebersons were in the forefront with their developments


of this idea. One of their most outstanding is the Silver Spring Shopping Center built for W. A. Julian, Treasurer of the United States, for Warner Brothers operation.

As the predominantly independent neighborhood theatre expansion continued to develop, the Eberson oflice once again got its share, and set many trends for the effective utilization of small budgets. iA new modern theatre, compact and eiIicient in its operation, but theatrical in its plan and appointments, was the result. Color in lieu of ornamental plaster and expensive materials, and the gayness of the designs caught the fancy of the public after the drab depression years.

Individual owners found success and profit, building others in constantly expanding population spreads, and becoming small circuits in their own right. The theatre business was once again on the boom with the Eberson office busy with both old and new clients which included the Skirball Brothers, Sidney Lust, Phil Chakeres, The Schines, Abe Schwartz, of the Century Circuit, David Weinstock, J. M. Seider, Max Cohen, Charles Moses, F. C. Wood, Jr., S. F. Githens Newsreel theatres and many

others. In tune with the times and the average standard of living, great stress was laid on patron comfort and all equipment relating to it. More comfortable seats, better sight lines, better acoustics and sound, and real luxury in rest rooms, lounges and toilets, erather than ornately decorated interiors,-were the Eberson aim.

The standard of living throughout the United States gradually rose to its highest peak in American history until, in 1941, the appalling catastrophe at Pearl Harbor threw the United States into World War II. 1942 brought about the curtailment of theatre construction and Drew Eberson joined the Corps of Engineers, U, S. Army, while John became a member of the War Production Board, as a so-called ttdollar-a-year-manF The U. S. Government, aware of the reputation of the Ebersons, commissioned them to design and construct a 1500-bed hospital at Brentwood, Long Island, N. Y., Camp Hero at Montank Point, housing and other facilities for Fort Monmouth and work at the U. S. Military Academy, West Point.

Drew eventually rose to the rank of Colonel and acted as contracting oiiicer for hundreds of millions of dollars of

ONE OF EBERSON'S FOREIGN PROIECTS was the Hex, Paris in 1932. In making the design study of this house. the architect created a model and through it developed the use of mirror mosaics executed on the exterior facade. This theatre became the official entertainment center for Nazi G.I.'s during World War 11. Below can be seen the eiiects created by unusual day and night lighting behind the glass.
1948-49 Theatre Catalog, 7th Edition, Page 25