Colony Theatre Fire Curtain

Marietta, OH

The theater, originally known as the Hippodrome, was built in 1911 near Union Street located in historic downtown Marietta, Ohio. It was the home of both live performances and early silent movies. The structure was quickly claimed by fire in November of 1917. The C & M Amusement company purchased a new lot on Putnam Street with the intention of rebuilding the Hippodrome. The new building opened in 1919 and was equipped with a large vaudeville stage, which could also accommodate Broadway-sized productions; a 50-foot fly loft for scenery and lights; numerous dressing rooms; and a large fire curtain painted by the Twin City Scenic Studio based in Minneapolis, MN. The Hippodrome hosted vaudeville, Broadway plays, and silent movies until 1928 when it added the capability of showing “talking” movies, though they continued to host live productions.

In 1949 the structure was completely remodeled inside and out, and the name was changed to the Colony Cinema. Live productions continued to be hosted along with films until the late 1960s, when the theatre fully transitioned to a modern-day cinema; this update also came with numerous renovations. The theatre finally closed due to low attendance in 1985. In the early 2000s the Hippodrome/Colony Historical Theatre Association was formed to restore the theatre. After many years of fundraising and preservation efforts, the theatre reopened in 2016 under the new name the Peoples Bank Theatre. The theatre was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2001 as a part of a boundary increase for the Marietta Historic District. The theater currently operates under the name The Peoples Bank Theatre.

EverGreene  was contracted to restore the 1919 fire curtain. The scope included performing a brief conditions assessment, performing cleaning tests, cleaning the heavily soiled front and back, stabilizing the curtain structurally, encapsulating the asbestos substrate, and unifying the presenting layer by inpainting or re-implementing distracting losses.