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Bowling Green in Warren County, Kentucky — The American South (East South Central)
 

Princess Theatre

 
 
Princess Theatre Marker image. Click for full size.
By Tom Bosse, July 5, 2019
1. Princess Theatre Marker
Inscription.  
History
Bowling Green’s earliest “movie houses” were managed y John P. Masters and owned by Crescent Amusements of Nashville. The Elite Theatre opened in June, 1911 in what is now known as the Ogden Building on the corner of State and Main. It seated 200, offered nickelodeon and vaudeville acts and promised that “ladies and children will be protected from (the) rudeness and misconduct” that sometimes accompanied opposition to a theatre. The Crescent (present site of the Capitol Theatre) opened in October 1911 and advertised essentially the same advantages offered by the Elite; however, as the popularity and length of films rapidly increased, these small theatres ceased to accommodate the community’s growing demand. Thus, in 1914, Crescent Amusements constructed the Princess Theatre, Bowling Green’s third “movie house”. Some have claimed that the Princess was the first structure built in Kentucky for the expressed purpose of showing motion pictures.

Unlike its smaller predecessors that charged a nickel and seated patrons in cane-bottom chairs, admission to the Princess cost a dime (eventually

Princess Theatre Marker image. Click for full size.
By Tom Bosse, July 5, 2019
2. Princess Theatre Marker
increased to a quarter). The Princess Theatre provided comfortable upholstered seating for 550 (the balcony accommodated and additional 186) ad offered improved, state-of-the-art acoustics. The local paper assured, that “no city…has a better line of pictures” than those offered at the Princess. The Princess Theatre quickly became the area’s favorite place of entertainment. The young enjoyed Saturday afternoons watching films like the adventures of Tom Mix or the exploits of Fu Manchu and at night their parents viewed more sophisticated comedies and dramas while enjoying the aroma – and taste – of the salty buttered popcorn that permeated the theatre.

An imposing structure with a facade of white pressed brick, the Princess’ interior walls contained frescoes and were bedecked with attractive wall lights. The two story high ceiling provided excellent ventilation; electric fans created additional comfort in the summer-time. Unfortunately, no known photographs of the theatre’s interior have been found.

The Princess Theatre closed in 1957. A few years later, perhaps in attempt to complete with the fashionable new shopping malls, the brick façade was covered with a metal skin and the building was named “Fountain Square Mall”. A 1982 “face lift” removed the siding and reconstructed the canopy.
 
Location.

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36° 59.605′ N, 86° 26.452′ W. Marker is in Bowling Green, Kentucky, in Warren County. Marker is on East Main Street, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Bowling Green KY 42101, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Nahm Building (a few steps from this marker); Fountain Square (a few steps from this marker); Getty Building (within shouting distance of this marker); Barr Building (within shouting distance of this marker); Morris Jewelry (within shouting distance of this marker); Civil War Occupations (within shouting distance of this marker); Quigley-Younglove Building (within shouting distance of this marker); Williams Building (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Bowling Green.
 
Also see . . .  Downtown Heritage Walk. (Submitted on September 8, 2019, by Tom Bosse of Jefferson City, Tennessee.)
 
Categories. ArchitectureArts, Letters, Music
 

More. Search the internet for Princess Theatre.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 8, 2019. This page originally submitted on September 5, 2019, by Tom Bosse of Jefferson City, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 29 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on September 5, 2019, by Tom Bosse of Jefferson City, Tennessee. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
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