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
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.
Topics and series. This historical
Location. 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.)
Credits. This page was last revised on September 8, 2019. It was originally submitted on September 5, 2019, by Tom Bosse of Jefferson City, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 46 times since then and 11 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on September 5, 2019, by Tom Bosse of Jefferson City, Tennessee. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.