The Landis Theater, in Vineland, NJ, had its grand opening in March of 1937. Originally, an Art Deco style movie theater, the Landis Theater also showcased many Vaudeville acts including Abbott and Costello. In 1987, after many years serving the Vineland community, the Theater closed its doors.
The restoration of the Landis Theater is the cornerstone of a major redevelopment plan for Main Street Vineland. Through the efforts of Vineland’s Redevelopment Plan, the Landis Theater has been returned to its original splendor.
The Landis Theater Performing Arts Center seats 750 patrons and includes an elevator to the luxurious mezzanine. An expanded stage and fly area can accommodate all types of performing arts productions. The back stage expansion provides support areas for the Theater including dressing rooms, bathrooms with showers, rehearsal space, theater support area, and a Green Room. Additionally, The Theater lobby can accommodate corporate and community events.
Dining venues include Mauro’s On The Ave, that can serve up to 160 guests including an exciting outdoor dining area. Upstairs is an exquisite banquet hall which can accommodate up to 250 people. There is ample parking for the Theater, Banquet facility and restaurant within a one block radius.
The Landis Theater Performing Arts Center and Mauro’s On The Ave serve as the perfect venue for local organizations to rent and host their special events. Local groups will find our Theater, restaurant and banquet facility the ideal place.
In addition, The Landis Theater Performing Arts Center will host its own season of events including professional entertainment, national touring artists, cultural and multi-cultural enrichment programs, dance, classical music, jazz, doo-wop, musicals, drama, local talent, productions by The Landis Theater Actors and much more.
This is the original press release from March 12, 1937, announcing the formal opening of the Landis Theater as a movie and vaudeville house
Public Officals To Formally Open Landis Theater
First Performance At New Theater At East and Landis, Tonight
DOORS OPEN 6:30 P.M!
The Landis Theater, East and Landis avenues, will be formally opened tonight, at 7 o’clock.
A brief, inaugural program will be held prior to the first performance, in which public officals will participate. The ceremonies will also be attended by the heads of Vineland’s many civic business and labor organizations.
The program as announced today will be as follows:
“Welcome” – brief address by Herbert Lubin, manager of the Landis Theater.
“Remarks” – by Mayor Samuel L. Gassel, speaking for the Borough of Vineland; John H. Weed, Chairman of the Landis Township Committee, representing Landis Township; and Representative Elmer H. Wene.
The speakers will be introduced by Sylvan D. Einstein, director of the Cumberland Holding Company, of Vineland, which built the theater and will operate it.
The doors of the theater will open at 6:30 P.M., when the sale of tickets for the first performance will begin.
All was in readiness this afternoon for the formal opening.
Constructed from the plans drawn by Williams H. Lees, reowned architect, of New York and Philadelphia, the Landis Theater represents the most advanced design in motion picture theater buildings. Provision has been made for future innovations in film projection and sound, including television, according to Lee.
The theater has a seating capacity of 1200. The chairs with red….covered backs and leather covered air cushion seats, are 121 inches wide and are set in semi-circle formation, with aisles of 32 inches: A silver stripe of stainless steel borders each chair. A cross-center aisle is six feet wide, permitting easy access to exits.
As one enters the theater, it is seen that the lobby or outer foyer is a combination of blue and white, arranged in circular design. Blue mirrors are framed in stainless steel, and the doors are of brown stained gumwood, highly granted.
The main foyer is fifteen feet in depth and extends the width of the theater building. At either end of the foyer are two large louvres, which serve doubly for illumination and as ducts in the air conditioning system. Flower boxes are to be placed at the bottom of the louvres. The walls are paneled in grained gumwood, and the ceilings are painted in deep aquamarine. Lounges, modernly equipped are at either end of the main foyer.
Two “Powder Rooms”
At either end of the main foyer are rest rooms for men and women. The womens rooms include “powder rooms,” completely equipped with modern fixtures and furnishings. The walls and complements of the “powder rooms” are finished in bird’s eye maple. A telephone booth is also to be found in the main foyer.
The standing space directly in the rear of the auditorium proper is ten feet in depth and extends the width of the theater. The carpeting of both the interior foyer is of red and gray, in a modern whirligig design. A windbreak glass will be installed at the rear of the seats. The three foyers will “stand” nearly as many persons as can be seated in the auditorium.
The design of the auditorium is new to this section of South Jersey. The ceiling has six levels, which serve to break the velocity of sound and to permit the elimination of echoes without padding the side or rear walls. The sounds travels along about sixty feet until it is absorbed in a special acoustic material, set in white blocks in the ceiling immediately in front of the mezzanine level. Each of the “breaks” in the ceiling are designed in wide, graceful curves, and are finished in bronze. The ceiling is light peach.
The air conditioning vents are placed along the ceiling levels, and appear as portholes in a ship. In the ceiling proper, the air conditioning vents are screened by a silver finish grillwork.
Aid For Deaf
Western Electric “Mirrophonic” sound equipment has been installed in the big projection booth. An innovation here is a block of seats equipped with Western Electric earphones, attached to the chairs, for those who are hard of hearing. The attachments must be secured by applying at the box office, and are limited in number.
The side walls are a combination of raspberry striped with wide bands of aquamarine and bronze, and finished in “Duali,” an importation of veneer from Hawaii. Rainbow illumination is obtained from a battery of glass shielded lights lined in the mezzanine level on either side of the projection booth. Four exquisitely beautiful soft glow lights, mode of glass bars manufactured at the Kimball Glass Company, are to be seen at the rear of the auditorium. Colored lights flood the two striped pillars that form each side of the proscenium arch, and footlights and suspended stage lights complete the illumination system all controlled from the projection booth to give any effect desired by the operator.
The proscenium arch is 24 feet above the stage floor. The curtain is of rust colored plush, matching the finish of the “Sounding board.”
The theater building is 165 feet deep and 75 feet wide. The marquee is 37 feet wide and extends 20 feet over the sidewalk. The vertical sign is 26 feet high. There are about 800 bulbs used in the outdoor illumination and nearly a mile of neon tubing. The color motive of the sign and marquee is red and blue.
Construction of the theater was begun last November, and an average of 75 men daily were employed.
The opening attraction is “Hats Off,” starring Mae Clarke.