New Hammond Theatre
6153 Columbia Avenue,
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Architects: W. Scott Armstrong
Styles: Spanish Renaissance
Previous Names: Maywood Theatre, Rio Theatre
The 900-seat Maywood Theatre, located in the Hammond neighborhood of the same name, opened on December 25, 1927 with John Bowers in “Ragtime” & Lloyd Hamilton in “His Better Half” plus Keith vaudeville on the stage.
Designed in Spanish Renaissance style, complete with an ornate, white terra-cotta facade, the Maywood Theatre cost over $250,000 to erect. It was equipped with a Geneva Grande organ which was opened by organist Louise Younger.
The auditorium of the theatre had a domed ceiling, lit by cove lights. The Maywood Theatre also contained a balcony and stage, which hosted vaudeville acts in its early years, and later, children’s shows during Saturday and Sunday matinees.
The building the Maywood Theatre was housed in also contained offices and apartments on its second floor, and several storefronts along Morton Avenue.
On September 30, 1936 the Maywood Theatre was renamed the Rio Theatre and the seating capacity had been reduced to 700-seats. By 1950 it had been renamed New Hammond Theatre. After being closed for many years, the old theatre was demolished in 1997 to make way for a new industrial park.
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