THEATRE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA PRESERVES MELBA THEATER IN THE AMERICAN THEATRE ARCHITECTURE ARCHIVES (Posted by Ginger Smith)
PITTSBURGH, PA – Theatre Historical Society of America (THS) proudly announces that the Melba Theater has been selected as an Affiliate of Theatre Historical Society of America.
For nearly fifty years, THS has been the guardian of the architectural, cultural, and social relevance of historic theatres in the United States. In that time THS has documented nearly 18,000 theatres in the American Theatre Archives; many of which have been lost to the wrecking ball. As an affiliate of THS, the Melba Theater will be forever preserved in the THS Archives.
PHOTOS OF VENUE (above):
Photo: Pictured from left: Adam Curtwright, Mandi Curtwright, Janelle Shell, and Joe Shell – Owners of the Melba Theater in Batesville, AR
The current location of the Melba theater was originally constructed as a mercantile store. It was eventually remodeled in Art deco style, reopened in 1940 and became one of Arkansas’ first cinema-scope theaters. Though the theater closed in the early 1990’s, repairs and alterations were made and it reopened in 2000. In 2015, just before the theater had to close its doors again, two ambitious couples partnered together to purchase the historic treasure. “We saw so much potential to breathe new life into the Melba Theater knowing it means so much to our town. Our goal was that reopening the Theater would, once again, bring energy and excitement and preserve The downtown Main Street business district,” says Janelle Shell, Co-Owner. The Melba Theater anchors the lower end of Main Street in Batesville and is included in the National Register of Historic Places.
“We are thrilled to add the Melba Theater as a theatre affiliate and to permanently document this amazing theater in our archives,” said Executive Director Richard L. Fosbrink.
ABOUT THE THEATRE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA:
Founded in 1969 as a non-profit organization dedicated to celebrating the rich history of America’s historic theatres, the Theatre Historical Society of America (THS) exists today as a common ground for all who value the role of these historic structures in our architectural, cultural and social history. Through preservation of the collections in the American Theatre Architecture Archive and our educational programming, including our flagship publication Marquee™ and Conclave Theatre Tour, THS increases awareness, appreciation and scholarly study of America’s theatres. Visit THS online at historictheatres.org.
ABOUT THE COLLECTIONS:
Visitors to Theatre Historical Society of America have the opportunity to explore in the greatest theatre architecture-related archive of its kind, the American Theatre Architecture Archive (ATAA). The collections housed in the ATAA contain information on over 18,000 theatres (both domestic and international) and span nearly every style and period of theatre architecture. Composed of photographs, negatives, slides, postcards, artists’ renderings, scrapbooks, books, periodicals, business records, blueprints and architectural drawings, supplier and trade catalogs, architectural artifacts, theatre furnishings, ushers’ uniforms, and numerous other items, the collections exist to document and preserve the cultural and social history of America’s theatre buildings. Find out more and explore our collections online at historictheatres.org.