Crescent Theatre

135 E. 4th Street,
Minster, OH 45865

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The Crescent Theatre was opened as a vaudeville theatre in 1912 and had seating for 365. Later silent movies were part of the program. In the late-1920’s ‘talkies came via sound on disc.

The Crescent Theatre was closed in the early-1990’s. It became a baton shop.

Contributed by Chuck

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

TLSLOEWS on July 10, 2010 at 12:55 pm

Nice photos Chuck and Ken,man what a cool looking marquee,is this theatre a Baton Studio now as in Kens 2005 photo?

Bill Eichelberger
Bill Eichelberger on August 26, 2010 at 8:35 pm

Address is 135 East 4th Street, Minster, Ohio.

gdahling on January 11, 2015 at 6:30 pm

The info under the picture is incorrect. I grew up in Minster, Ohio and worked as a projectionist in the Crescent Theater from 1974 through 1982. The theater opened in 1912 and was a vaudeville theater that later ran silent movies part time. It converted to sound early, and when I worked there still had one of those early sound record players that ran in sync with the projector in the building. In 1947, a very flashy, very cool neon marquee was mounted on the front of the building. It originally had around 365 seats, configured as two separate sections with three isles. An isle down the center and an isle along each wall. In the 1960’s the owner, Robert “Bob” Knostman, reconfigured the seats so that there was a center section and two side sections with two isles. This lowered the seating capacity to about 275. The theater was never anywhere near large enough to hold 611 seats. I don’t know where that came from, but it’s wrong.

Bob loved the wide-screen high resolution photography of the movies of the 50’s and 60’s, but the theater had a narrow stage proscenium that was better suited to present 1.85:1 standard widescreen than 2.35:1 cinema scope so he widened the proscenium in the 60’s to accommodate cinema scope. This was no easy task as the the proscenium was structural red brick about eighteen inches thick. he did most of the work himself and when he was finished it looked like the theater was built for widescreen. He installed a large curved screen onstage that could be flown up into the stage loft so that the theater could still be used for live shows. He also installed four-track magnetic sound with surround and always boasted in his ads in the paper that is was the only theater in the area with four track sound. Around 1980 he installed projection automation and Dolby Stereo.

In the 1970’s Bob installed air conditioning. Before that it only had a giant squirrel-cage type fan on the roof that recirculated air through the auditorium, so the theater was closed in the summer. Bob hired a local crane company to lift the squirrel-cage fan off the roof and replace it with the air conditioning unit, which he had purchased used. Weeks later, after he had completely installed the system, Bob realized that the compressor tank on the A/C unit had a small pinhole leak. He fixed this by putting a drop of super glue on a soda can tab and holding it on the pinhole for about ten minutes. The repair lasted for decades.

In it’s entire existence as a theater, the Crescent Theater was capable of presenting live shows, with a fully functioning stage and loft. Bob installed a full, professional stage lighting system in the theater that included a professional control board and two Super-Trouper spotlights. The theater was used frequently by a local community theater group called The Crescent Players, and Bob also frequently rented it out to touring production companies. The theater housed many well painted and drawn stage backdrops and curtains in the loft. Some were newer, some were antiques.

There were antiques literally laying all over the theater. Antique cylinder record players and records, glass merchant slides and a slide projector from the early 1900’s, early vaudeville lobby cards and posters, old movie posters. I heard that when the theater was converted into a baton studio they just brought in a giant trash bin and threw it all away.

The theater closed in the early 90’s, and Bob passed away a short time later. At that time it was sold and converted into a baton studio and the rusting marquee was removed. The baton studio has since closed. As of this date (1/10/2015) the Crescent Theater is for sale.

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