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Empress Theatre

Photo from the Columbus Metropolitan Library collection.
250 S High St
Columbus OH

Demolished 1983
Record #19372  
 Opened: November 2, 1914
 Closed: February 7, 1958
 Demolished: 1983
Capacity: 872 seats
Architectural Style(s):
National Register:
Current Organ: none
 Also Known As: Knickerbocker, Gayety

Empress Theater, opened 11/2/1914, was renamed the Knickerbocker Theater 1/15/1916, and the Gayety in 11/22/1946. Demolished in 1983. Roy Rogers made an appearance in the theater May 21, 1939.

A paragraph in the October 18, 1919, edition of the Cleveland Advocate describes racial segregation at the Knickerbocker Theater in Columbus:

Knickerbocker Theater Discriminates

COLUMBUS, O. -- The Knickerbocker theater here insists on charging Colored people 20 cents for balcony seats -- the only portion of the house to which they are admitted, while charging white patrons but 15 cents for balcony seats. Then, to add insult to injury, the management compels Colored patrons to enter the balcony via the alley way, while the whites enter from the front lobby. And still our folks go!

Cleveland Advocate, Vol. 6 No. 24 Page 1, October 18, 1919.

 Photos remain the property of the Member and may not be reproduced without the written consent of the Member.

Photos from the Columbus Metropolitan Library collection.

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Photos from the Columbus Metropolitan Library - Steven Ebert collection.

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Last featured 2002-12-27. Last edited 3/19/2009.

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