Airdome, 109th Street and Manhattan Aveue, New York, NY

The first of our summer series.

Many early movie houses  moved to an outdoor space during the sweltering summer months.  The owner may have started outdoors and proving  successful constructed a theatre building.

Known as airdromes (sometimes spelled airdome), these outdoor venues were part of the silent era of movie going.


The Moving Picture World, July  15, 1911:

airdrome_pe (Large)

“Rarely, though sometimes, a newcomer in the amusement world will make old timers sit up, take notice and also to some extent a rear seat.

Such it seems, is our friend Frank G. Cook, who three months ago knew nothing at all about the show business, but to-day has what is, in some ways, the best appointed airdome in all New York City.

Mr. Cook planned and built the airdome himself. It is situated at 109th Street and Manhattan Avenue. The ground lies several feet above the street, sloping gently back, thus forming a natural ampitheater.

Mr. Cook has several attendants, illuminated program announcer, a large clock over the entrance, in plain sight of the audience, and the projection is excellent.”

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 Historical Society.


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