The New Theatre in 1911
Ten years before the outbreak of the Civil War, the Old Red Mill stood on the future site of the New Theatre. The mill was used as a hospital during the Civil War, was damaged by the 1898 cyclone and finally disappeared around 1908. On the back section of the property the George T. Sparks estate built the 1,200 seat New Theatre in 1911. Designed as a Beaux Arts style playhouse by Kansas City architect Carl Boller, modeled after the New Amsterdam Theatre in New York City. The lavish interior featuring a proscenium stage was ideal for vaudeville shows and silent movies with orchestral accompaniment. In 1922, retail shops and a long Garrison Avenue entrance were built, nicknamed Peacock Alley, a place to see and be seen. In 1942, the theater was sold to Malco Theaters, Inc., who changed the name and modernized the interior space. The Malco Theater operated until the late 1970s when single screen theaters became passé.
Erected 2012 by City of Fort Smith and Others.
Location. 35° 23.074′ N, 94° 25.289′ W. Marker is in Fort Smith, Arkansas, in Sebastian County. Marker is on Garrison Avenue east of 10th Street, on the right when traveling east. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1004 Garrison Avenue, Fort Smith AR 72901, United States of America.
Other nearby markers.
More about this marker. The markers in this series are placed so that viewers can only read them from the sidewalk while facing the historical subject of the marker.
Also see . . .
1. The New Theatre on YouTube.
2. Historical plaques placed in downtown Fort Smith. (Submitted on January 24, 2016, by William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas.)
Categories. • Entertainment • Man-Made Features •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas. This page has been viewed 126 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.