Arc, Schenectady, “Modern Electric Theatre”

The Film Index, April 9, 1911:


“The rectifier, enclosed in a neat glass case, is located at the entrance, directly opposite the ticket booth, where it can be seen by the passerby. The sign attached to the case and reading ‘Part of our electrical equipment that helps to make perfect motion pictures,’ is of unique significance.

“When the apparatus is in operation, the beautiful blue-green light radiating from the rectifier tube positively announces that the play is on and also furnishes an element of activity which attracts attention on both sides of the street fully as much as the elaborate electric signs.

“It really is interesting to note the drawing power  or advertising value of the rectifier thus displayed–a glance at the entrance shows there’s something doing, and that’s enough to draw a crowd.

“The brilliant pool of bubbling mercury a the bottom of the rectifier draws like a magnet, and the flood of dazzling blue-green light is mesmerizing.”

A Tale of Two Cities 

The above photo in an ad for the G. E. Rectifier, Film Index, April 22, 1911:



Since 1996, legendary theatre historian,  Cezar Del Valle has been conducting a popular series theatre talks and walks. Currently accepting bookings for 2017:  historical societies, libraries , senior centers, etc.

Del Valle has also joined with Local Expeditions to present a series of walking tours.

He is the author of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, a three-volume history of borough theatres. The first two chosen 2010 OUTSTANDING BOOK OF THE YEAR by the Theatre Historical Society. Final volume published in September 2014.

Currently editing and updating the third edition of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, Volume I.





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