03 3 / 2014
02 3 / 2014
We practice theater archaeological “digs” fairly often at the Hollywood. The rafters, walls, and crawlspaces occasionally hold interesting clues to the theater’s past. The early years of the theater in the 1920s and 30s are particularly mysterious to us, as no photographic evidence exists of the interior from that time period - and the renovations throughout the years erased a lot of what was here originally.
However, every once in a while we’ll find something that surprises us or shifts our sense of our history a bit. On a recent crawlspace excursion (thanks, Kevin & Nicole!) we discovered an object that confirmed a long-held suspicion. Here is that object:
Any guesses what it is?
Ok, we’ll tell you.
This is one of perhaps a few dozen star lights that fit into holes in our ceiling and collectively gave the illusion of an open night sky. This is the first real evidence we have that the Hollywood was an indeed an atmospheric theater.
The ceiling would also have had either painted clouds or a cloud projection machine to complete the sky effect. The star light fixture holes are still present in the ceiling, but we think just plastered over during the 1930s or 1940s renovations.
One of the first clues we had that the Hollywood might have been an atmospheric theater was from this 1927 advertisement in the Pittsburgh Press. The catchphrase of the Hollywood was “Where the Moon and Stars Shine.”
Now we just need to find that moon. And the gears are moving in our heads about a return of these historic stars to the ceiling of the Hollywood one day. It will take some work and money, but it is quite achievable. And in the meantime we’ll keep searching the rafters for more clues to our historic past.
If you have any information, photographs, memorabilia, anything from the Hollywood’s bygone years, please let us know! Contact us at the theater or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.