Monday, February 21, 2011

Windows to the Past: The Plaza Theatre

Boom Pop! is dedicated to the memory of my late father-in-law Anthony Mangano, and one of my missions here is to explore the many mementos and ephemera of 20th century popular culture that were found in Tony's attic shortly after his passing in early 2009.  Also relating to Tony is this wonderful Window to the Past that gives us a view of the Pittsburgh neighborhood where he grew up.

This photograph was snapped on August 1, 1937 and showcases the Plaza Theatre that was located on Liberty Avenue in Pittsburgh's "Little Italy," better known as Bloomfield.  The Plaza Theatre was located less than two blocks from Tony's home, and I have no doubt that he spent many Saturday afternoons there watching cartoons, serials and double features.  Tony would have been eight years old at the time of this photograph and I would love to think that he could be among the children pictured in the image.

The photograph is from the Historic Pittsburgh Images Collection and had the following annotation:
The Plaza Theater at 4765 Liberty Avenue, showing children waiting to attend a performance. Movie posters flank the ticket booth with their notices of films featuring "Charlie Chan at the Olympics," "Emperor's Candlesticks" with Luise Ranier and William Powell and Hal Roach's "Nobody's Baby". The theater, built circa 1905, features a Mansard roof, terra cotta tile, and tin ceilings inside.
Here is an earlier view if the Plaza Theatre, predating Tony's birth by twelve years. The photo was taken on October 29, 1917.