The Show Begins on the Sidewalk: Movie Palace History - Atlas Obscura Experiences
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The Show Begins on the Sidewalk: Movie Palace History

$8 per device Online Experience
1 hour
See Dates
$8 per device
Chicago, Illinois
What We’ll Do

Let’s all go to the movies! Far from the failing neon multiplexes of today, movie theatres were once grand, opulent palaces, heralding the magic of the moving picture. Fine furnishings imported from Europe, uniformed ushers, white-glove service, low prices, and a panorama of entertainment with something for all. All of these were common features during  the golden age of the movie palace.  Going to the movies might be a much different experience today, but the memory of those opulent times are not forgotten.

Take a look around you – there’s a good chance that your city still has a movie palace hiding in plain sight! In this online lecture led by movie palace historian Leyla Royale, you’ll learn how silent film and society in the early 1900s led to the development of early movie palaces. The widespread adoption of television and mass migration of the population from cities led to the decline of the movie-going experience. We’ll explore the beauty and culture of this uniquely American architectural form that rose to prominence in the 1920s, and just as quickly faded away in the 1930s, while also looking at how these mammoth buildings have been repurposed for the 21st century.The show’s about to start, so grab a ticket, and find a seat!

About Your Host
Leyla Royale
Leyla Royale

Historian and movie palace expert Leyla Royale has worked in and studied movie palaces since 2008.

What Else You Should Know

Once registered, you'll receive a confirmation email with access to the Zoom room where this experience will take place.

This online experience is part of Atlas Obscura’s Wonder From Home initiative. At Atlas Obscura, our mission has always been to inspire wonder and curiosity about the incredible world we all share. Now, more than ever, there’s a need to stay connected—not only to our sense of wonder, but to each other. Follow and share the hashtag #wonderfromhome for inspiring stories, more incredible online experiences, and live streams with the Atlas Obscura community.

Dates and Availability
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