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The Hershey Theatre
The Hershey Theatre building sings before the red velvet curtain rises.
The 80-year-old Hershey Theatre in downtown Hershey continues to delight patrons from its grand lobby floor to ceiling tile work, inlaid polished Italian lava rock floor and four different types of marble to relief images of wheat sheaves, bee hives, swans, pastoral scenes ancient Greek and Assyrian war chariots.
The arched tile ceiling, patterned after St. Mark’s Cathedral in Venice Italy, is located in the inner foyer.
Imagine the, time, craft, artistry and attention it took to build the Hershey Theatre, a masterpiece of ingenuity during America’s Great Depression, and a project giving hundreds of out-of-work crafts people jobs.
The 1,904-seat theatre, located at 15 East Caracas Avenue, is the result of Milton S. Hershey’s vision and philanthropy, during his Great Building Campaign of the Depression. It opened in 1933.
Backstage, five elevators travel below stage level to move scenery and props. An 18 X 44 foot, six-inch movie screen, features vinyl fabric with millions of small, discrete holes, to allow robust sound to reach audiences.
The organ includes four-manual (keyboards) and 78-ranks (pipes of the same sound and timbre). An Aeolian-Skinner concert organ, it was commission by Hershey. Outfitted with optimal sound and vast lighting systems, including “super trouper” spotlights, and with five floors of dressing rooms, there is no shortage for performers at the Hershey Theatre.