The Royal Theatre 709 Vine Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202

In 1911, Moving Picture World paid a visit to the Royal Theatre in the Queen City of Cincinnati. They were not impressed.

Moving Picture World, January 14, 1911:

“While in the Queen City, my attention was called once more to a moving picture theater, ‘The Royal,’ a very expensive proposition entirely out of proportion and of rather poor taste.”


“The two side columns are a monstrosity, they are heavy enough to support a Chicago skyscraper, while they are out of proportion in a two-story building.

“The top is also heavy even for the big size of the columns, and the crowning butterfly is another monstrosity; in other words, the excellent design of said butterfly is lost in the out-of-proportion effect.

“Everything is too heavy, too rich in ornaments, and the ticket box, intended for a beautiful girl cashier, has been called by many persons a splendid specimen of a mausoleum.”

“One redeeming feature of the Royal Theater of Cincinnati is the neat appearance of the attendants.


“In winter they are well uniformed and in summer time they are provided with very neat and tasty white duck uniforms with caps to match.”

Despite the negative comments, the Royal lasted until 1979, the longest continuously operating movie theatre in downtown Cincinnati.

In this 1939 photo, butterfly and columns are still very much  intact.

Cezar Del Valle is available for theatre talks and walks in 2013.

He is the author of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, chosen 2010 Best Book of the Year by the Theatre Histoical Society.


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