Play House Theater in Ridgewood, NJ

January 14, 2015 – 08:24 am

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The Play House Theater opened on November 22, 1913. The theater was equipped for both movies and live performances, but on opening it had only a piano for music. An organ was installed later. The parquet seated 800, and a balcony accommodated an additional 200 patrons. The Play House Theater originally presented feature films of the Famous Players Company, at prices of from ten to twenty cents.

Built by developer Walter W. Wilsey, the theater was part of an ensemble of structures which all featured similar architectural elements, including tiled pent roofs supported by brackets. The facade of the Play House Theater was simple, mostly stucco with a bit of tile trim, but the lobby and auditorium, while still restrained, were a bit more ornate.

Although the auditorium and stage house have been converted for office and retail use, the facade of the building, still sporting the name ‘The Play House’ below its pent roof, is largely unchanged in appearance from the time of its opening in 1913.

Contributed by Joe Vogel

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