“Hipp, Hipp, Hooray!” On this day in 1919, our theatre opened as The New Hippodrome Theatre, or as many referred to it in those early years, “The New Hipp.” Our theatre at 222 Putnam Street replaced the original 650 seat Hippodrome on Second Street that burned in November 1917 and was one of five thriving theatres in downtown Marietta, presenting vaudeville variety shows, silent movies, and music concerts. On May 9, 1919, The New Hipp’s 1200 seats were filled to capacity for two showings of the silent film “Daddy Long Legs,” starring Mary Pickford, accompanied by the house organist and musicians. Seats were 20¢ downstairs and 15¢ upstairs “plus war tax.”
Much of the opening announcement in the Marietta Times rings true today after our recent restoration and grand reopening in January 2016 :
“After a year of almost ceaseless labor, we now present our handiwork and, as we view it, we are surprised ourselves that we have been able to erect such a fine commodious auditorium that ranks second to none in fireproofing, safety, and architectural design… We claim that we have given Marietta an amusement building that you can point to with pride. You can show your friends from the large cities that Marietta is modern on amusements. We are proud that this building which was not erected for competitive purposes, but to fill a long felt need for safety, comfort, and progress.”
Our restored fire curtain is the same one that those first theatre guests would have seen when they walked into the auditorium 98 years ago today.
With our grand reopening in January of 2016, we are excited to be able to continue our history of great entertainment into another century. Stay tuned for plans for our theatre’s centennial celebration coming in May of 2019. In the meantime, we invite you to join us for one of our upcoming events.