I’m learning something about photography and that is that if you want the really cool shots, you have to keep returning to the really cool places. Everytime I return to Shawnee, Ohio, I meet more people and learn more things.
This Winter I went to Shawnee a few times. I met Jason, a friendly native of Shawnee a few times. He keeps a good an eye on things and is quick to direct you to whoever you need to talk to if you want more information. He said he left Shawnee for a while, but returned and bought the house he grew up in. Then there’s Charlie and his friendly(and very large) Burmese Mountain Dog. This last visit, there was George Biggs. He gave us the grand tour of the interior of The Tecumseh Theater.
George Biggs gave me so much information that I’m not sure I got it all straight. A can refer you to the Tecumseh Theater website or the Tecumseh Commons Facebook page for more information. The rest of this post is a collection of photos I took of the interior.
The first big site George showed us was the old marquee for The New Linda Theater.
The Tecumseh as a lot of antiques from around the town too. There is a wall of bottles that were from the drugstore that closed across the street. Corby’s Whiskey was probably a stable of the working man then too.
Leaving the main floor, we headed up a flight of stairs to the ticket booth. 35 Cents per couple for admission.
As we entered, the antique remnants of the film days were displayed. These are the old film reels and canisters. Each one could hold about 20 minutes of a movie. The plastic reels were used for shipping for cheap shipping weights and the metal were used during the operation of the projector.
This is an old Peerless Magnarc movie projector. The “arc” in the name Magnarc comes from the fact that the old movie projectors operated by arcing 2 welding rods together to create light for the projection. The pipe on top was needed to vent out the gasses from the burning welding rods.
The RCA Photophone Super Simplex soundhead worked with the project to play the soundtrack with the movie.
The stage was in bad shape. The curtain is stuck half way down. Props were still there and an old antique sign were laying around on it.
It wasn’t hard to imagine events in the theater when I turned around to look at the balcony. Movies were only part of the theater’s use. Basketball and dancing were common too.
The balcony view gives a good feel of what a show might have been like so long ago. It also shows more detail of the work that needs to be done and the work that has been done.
I thank George Biggs for his hospitality and the tour. The Tecumseh Theater is an ongoing project that history buffs may want to take more interest in. George explained that the geographic location of the town kind of keeps it off the radar for many and they’re working to change that.
If you’re in the area, stop and do some exploring of your own in Shawnee. The Tecumseh is just one building in a group of that are worth exploring.