Beautiful New Russell Theatre Opened Thursday

Magnificent Show House Has Formal Opening;


Col. Russell Deluged With Floral Compliments


After days of anticipation by hundreds of movie fans in this city and its environs, the handsome Russell Theatre in East Third Street opened to the public for the first time Thursday afternoon – and an auspicious occasion it was!  Ejaculations of delight at the magnificence of the Russell and an outpouring of praise for the man who gave it to Maysville followed the throng leaving the show house after seeing one of the most gorgeous films ever screened.

 Words are inadequate in drawing a picture if the splendor, the enchantment, and the magnificence of Maysville’s new talking picture house.  We can only describe its beauty in our artless way and urge our readers to attend the grand formal opening this evening.  The doors will open at 6 o’clock and the picture will be run continuously until the crowds have been served.

 After one purchases his ticket from Miss Martha Archbold at the booth in the beautifully tiled lobby, where on either side are entrances to the colored balcony, one enters the foyer, a treat to the eyes.  Designed by Mr. Ralph S. Clevenger, interior decorator from Columbus, O., it presents a beautiful sight.  A Spanish hanging damask is in true Spanish red and the table is a direct reproduction of an Alhambra console table.  The combination is typically Spanish – woods, hand-wrought iron and brass.  The mirror and formal chairs are again a combination of metals and wood with the addition of Spanish hand-buffed leather while the lamp is imported Antole pottery, equipped to meet the modern needs of illumination, with a hand-decorated shade picking up the design in the pottery.

 Stairs on each side of the foyer lead to the white balcony.  On the right is one of the most luxurious ladies’ rooms in any theatre, carrying out the Spanish design in a most feminine way.  The chaise lounge is Spanish, covered in metallic leather and the powder table is typically Spanish with the colors of red and green, combining wood with wrought-iron.  The benches are unusual in that they have hand-wrought iron bases with leather seats and the occasional chair is a faithful reproduction of a chestnut chair in the Palace of Madrid, covered in a hand-loom.

 From the foyer, one enters the entrancing Spanish atmospheric stadium, where overhead shine myriad stars, now and then hidden in rolling clouds.  The Russell is said to be the only show house in the United States that boasts of a moon and rainbow in addition to the stars and clouds in the “sky.”

 The loveliness of the main auditorium is beyond description, but particularly impressive is the fact that the beauty of the theatre is wholly apparent at any time one might enter during a performance.  The marvelous electrical effects enable one to enjoy the magnificence of the house during elimination of the bright lights.  On either side of the rear of the auditorium is a box, each sitting six.  All of the 750 seats in the house are upholstered in green velour and the floors throughout are handsomely covered with Mohawk carpets of red background, with blue and black design.

 Elaborate minarets and statuary, occupying various coigns of vantage in the impoverished windows and balconies, enhances the beauty of the interior.  Hanging vines and evergreens also add to the effectiveness of the scene.

 The stage and the foyer were lent additional beauty in the elaborate baskets of flowers and gorgeous floral designs, sent to Col. J. Barbour Russell, whose long-cherished dream was realized in the erection of this theatre, by his countless friends.  Cards bore the names of the National Theatre Supply Company of Chicago; L. B. Miller, of Springfield, O.; Dr. George C. Devine; Mr. and Mrs. C. f. Kilgus; Mrs. Howard Hart; Mr. and Mrs. Claude Watkins, and daughter; Mr. and Mrs.Alex Holzman; The Daily Public Ledger; Mr. and Mrs. Evan Davidson; D. Hechinger & Co.; Maysville Rotary Club; State National Bank; S. P. Browning; Kentucky Power & Light Co.; C. P. Dietrich, Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Merz; Carnation Milk Products Co.; and Muss Lucy Baldwin.

 Mr. Russell and his son, Mr. J. B. Russell Jr., who is manager of the theatre, also were the recipients of many telegrams conveying congratulations and best wishes.  A cablegram also carried greetings.

 To insure the fact that the featured film, Whoopee!, starring the inimitable Eddie Cantor would be the best presentation possible in the moving picture industry, the following were on hand for the opening:  Mr. Jack Stalgings of the National Theatre Supply Co.; Mr. J. H. Gellman, booth equipment; Mr. Joe Smith, drapery representative; S. P. McMillan, inventor of the Vitoscopic screen, “the wonder of the age;” J. A. Pfau, chief of all operators for the Western Electric Company, P. V. Wooley and R. H. Glanville, Wester Electric Operators; Roy Nunnelly; Evan Davidson, regular operator, and his assistant, Elwood Davidson, of Welch, West Virginia.

 The sound equipment, the electrical equipment with its Peerless high intensive lamps, and the Vitascope screen are the latest and finest in the moving picture industry, insuring to movie fans of this section, the best that is available.

 Greeting the first patrons of the Russell Thursday afternoon were Colonel Russell and Mrs. Russell; and Manager J. Barbour Russell, Jr., and his wife, all wearing badges with the slogan of the picture house: “Glad To See You.”

 Colonel Russell is deserving of the gratitude of every Maysvillian for the progressive so concretely manifested in the erection of this wonderful theatre, and for his unselfishness in building for the future and a greater Maysville.


From The Maysville Public Ledger, Thursday, December 4, 1930.