Broadway Theatre

117 W. Broad Street,
Statesville, NC 20677

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Functions: Beauty Salon

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The Broadway Theatre was in operation by 1921. Originally a reverse theatre, with the screen at the entrance end of the converted retail space it occupied, in 1923 it was remodeled and reconfigured to a conventional movie theatre form.

The Broadway Theatre survived the opening of new, rival theatres in the mid-1920’s, and then the early years of the depression, but was listed as closed in 1934 and vanished from the listings the next year, and was never reopened. The building it had occupied was returned to retail use. Today it continues to be a well-maintained part of Statesville’s lively historic downtown district, housing a tattoo parlor.

Contributed by Joe W. Vogel

Recent comments (view all 1 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 9, 2023 at 7:48 pm

I’ve found a 1918 Sanborn map of Statesville, and the only theater it shows is the Crescent. 117 Broad street was at that time occupied by a wholesale grocer. The 1911 reference to the Broadway I found (but have now lost track of) must have been to a different Broadway theatre, perhaps some short-lived storefront nickelodeon. The earliest reference to the Broadway I can find now is from the July 2, 1921 issue of Exhibitors Herald, which is one of several capsule movie reviews submitted to the magazine that year by the Broadway’s manager W. D. Van Derbergh. [sic] The description should be altered to say the house was in operation by 1921.

News of the Broadway’s 1923 remodeling appears in the March 10 issue of Motion Picture News, which ran this item:

“Broadway, Statesville, N.C., Being Remodeled

“K. E. Spencer, formerly of Monroe, N. C, has purchased the Broadway, Statesville, N. C, from W. D. Vanderberg. [sic] Mr. Spencer immediately closed the house for extensive alterations. The screen formerly in the front will be put in the rear, and the entire seating plan rearranged to give one hundred more seats.”

I don’t know which spelling of Van Derbergh Mr. Vanderberg (or vice-versa) actually used, but since he probably submitted the capsule reviews to EH in his own hand, and surely could have had any errors he saw in print corrected in later issues, I think Van Derbergh is, though unconventional, more likely correct.

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