Russell Theatre

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Russell Theatre
Russell Theatre is located in Kentucky
Russell Theatre
Russell Theatre is located in the US
Russell Theatre
Location 9 E. Third St.
Nearest city Maysville, Ky
Coordinates 38°38′48″N 83°45′53″W / 38.64667°N 83.76472°W / 38.64667; -83.76472Coordinates: 38°38′48″N 83°45′53″W / 38.64667°N 83.76472°W / 38.64667; -83.76472
Built 1930
Architect Frankel and Curtis
Architectural style Spanish Colonial Revival
NRHP Reference #


Added to NRHP March 31, 2006

Construction of the Russell Theatre was announced by Maysville, Kentucky businessman Col. J. Russell Barbour in 1928. The structure costing $125,000 opened on December 4, 1930 with a showing of the movie "Whoopee," starring Eddie Cantor.[2] The building site was previously occupied by wholesale grocery warehouses.[1]

The structure is a freestanding, three-story building with a 80 feet (24 m) by 165 feet (50 m) rectangular footprint with an area of about 13,000 square feet (1,200 m2). The exterior features a Spanish-Moorish Revival style with a tower on either end of the principal facade. The box office is finished in Rookwood tile.[1] Although constructed as a movie theater, the Russell did have dressing rooms for live performers and an orchestra pit. The auditorium was decorated as a Mediterranean garden complete with Lombardy poplar and literary busts set into wall niches. A rainbow would appear over the stage at the end of the movie.[1]

Col. Russell operated the theater until 1935 at which time operations were turned over to the Schine group. In 1953, the Russell theater presented the world premiere of Maysville native Rosemary Clooney's movie "The Stars are Singing". In the early 1970s, the Panther Group took over operations and repainted much of the jewel toned decoration with bright primary colors. The Panther Group continued to operate the theatre until 1983. In subsequent years, the building was used as a restaurant, a used furniture store, a used clothing store, and a newspaper utility building before its eventual close.

After its abandonment, strong storm winds ripped off a roof section and the damage was not immediately repaired. The interior plaster work was extensively damaged by subsequent exposure to rain. In 1995, a committee was formed to restore the building. The roof was repaired and the exterior appearance has been restored, but interior restoration is not complete.[3]


  1. ^ a b c d "National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form" (PDF). National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. Retrieved 2010-12-31. 
  2. ^ "The Russell Theatre". Russell Theatre Corporation. Retrieved 2011-01-03. 
  3. ^ "The Russell Theatre Progress". Russell Theatre Corporation. Retrieved 2011-01-03.