Park Theatre

1000 Federal Street,
Hickory, NC 28602

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Hickory Amusements Co., Wilby-Kincey

Previous Names: Pastime Theatre

Nearby Theaters

Park Theatre

The Pastime Theatre was open as early as 1915. In 1928 J.W. Miller was the manager of the 400-seat theatre. In 1935, the Pastime Theatre was part of the Hickory Amusement Co.

On July 1, 1939 it was renamed Park Theatre and managed by Mr. Jas. W. Cole. The theatre could now seat 500 patrons. The theatre at that time was operated by Wilby-Kincey. By 1949 Mr. Thomas Robinson was the manager. The Park Theatre was open thru the mid-1950’s.

The address was listed as Federal Street but Federal will not map. I called the Chamber of Commerce and they said call the Post Office. The Post Office said they heard of Federal Street but have no idea what it was renamed.

Contributed by Stephen

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 28, 2013 at 12:20 pm

This weblog post about Hickory’s confusing streets has a 1919 Sanborn map of the downtown area. Federal Street was a short street running south from Union Square, and just west of what was then 13th Street but is now 2nd Street SW. Part of Federal Street appears to still exist, but shows up on Google Maps as 2nd St.Pl. SW. The Park Theatre might have been on that stretch, or might have been on the more northerly part of the street which has been removed.

It’s going to be difficult to find the right locations of a lot of Hickory’s vanished theaters, as the town not only renumbered lots but renamed most streets in 1951. Most addresses published prior to that are now way off from current addresses. The comment by Lew Powell on the weblog post I linked to quotes a newspaper article about how Hickory’s current numbering system came to be (an academic city planner was involved, alas.)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 30, 2013 at 12:44 am

It has just occurred to me that the address 1000 Federal Street had to have been north of 10th Avenue (now Main Avenue.) The only place that could have been is the lot that was also numbered as 1000 Union Square, which was the address of the Pastime Theatre. The Pastime must have been renamed the Park sometime before 1940.

The Sanborn map shows that the original east end of the square did line up with Federal Street. DocSouth has a listing for the Pastime Theatre, but the Park is represented only by “Name Unknown” at the same address as the Pastime (which DocSouth lists as 1002 Union Square, apparently due to the error on the Sanborn map.)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 30, 2013 at 1:59 pm

The Hickory theaters are a very useful contribution, Stephen. Please continue to submit theaters, and add whatever information you can find about theaters that are already listed. Many sources will turn out to be wrong (my contributions have been corrected by other members many times, and I’ve even had to to correct my own errors on some occasions when new sources have become available), but the information everybody contributes is necessary to puzzling out the history of each theater, and the contradictions and corrections are just part of that process.

As for puzzling out the location of the Park Theatre, while it is now rare in the United States, it is still common in some countries for lots facing all sides of a square to have addresses on that square. The Pastime Theatre page at DocSouth gives the address of the theater as 1002A Union Square, and displays the building note “located on the east end of the square,” clearly indicating that Hickory did at that time use Union Square numbers not just on the long side of the square but the east end as well.

The map on Page 3 at this link shows the lots with the address 1002 Union Square, and it has the notation “Moving Pictures 1st” (meaning the ground floor.) That was the Pastime. (I think the use of 1002

Hickory eventually abandoned the old system and, sometime prior whatever date your original source for the address of the Park Theatre had, gave the lot the address 1000 Federal Street. There is simply no other place that the addresses 1000 and 1002 Federal Street could have been than the same lots as the former addresses 1000 and 1002 Union Square. The east end of Union Square is the only block that would have had the 1000 numbers. The block of Federal Street south of 10th Avenue was the 900 block (see page 4 of the Sanborn maps.)

Later, when the numbering system throughout the town was changed, there would have been two-digit addresses for those lots, which is what they would have now if they had not been incorporated into the square.

It has actually turned out to be pretty easy to discover the locations of Hickory’s old theaters, thanks to the 1919 Sanborn maps that RidgewoodKen discovered were on display at DocSouth. I think we’ll be able to find the modern addresses for all of them, eventually.

Please don’t be put off by the appearance of controversy. It’s really only the way any crowd-sourced web site works. At Cinema Treasures, somebody posts a theater and then everybody adds whatever other information they can find about it, and sooner or later, in most cases we figure out what the facts are. I probably would never have found out about the Charles E. Jeffers Theatre if you hadn’t submitted it (under its earlier name Paramount Theatre), and I probably wouldn’t have figured out exactly where it was located if RidgewoodKen hadn’t found those Sanborn maps. Every little bit helps.

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