The Campus Theatre is a unique experience that tends to surprise those who enter into its doors for the first time. As commercial films continue to fill the screens of multiplexes that are ubiquitous to American communities, it becomes tougher and tougher to see anything that was produced outside of a Hollywood studio while “going out to the movies.”
What the Campus Theatre has offered patrons in recent years is something different.
People who have found themselves overcome by their own curiosity and susceptible to the gravitational pull of the building situated at 413 Market Street will tell you that the first thing that strikes them is the facade of the building. The vintage looking marquee gives the illusion that the theatre is stuck in the era in which it was built but upon stepping inside one can see that it is actually a capsule of modernity. The beautiful images that line the walls and ceiling of the interior of the theatre are only overshadowed by the images projected onto the singular screen in the auditorium.
Over the course of any given week, one may have a chance to see a number of classic, contemporary or even unheard of films. With the curatorial standard of the Campus Theatre being on such a high level, one can always be sure that whatever screens within the Campus Theatre will be quality.
These are only a few of the many reasons by which The Campus Theatre has been selected as the subject of research. It may come as no surprise that single-screen art deco theaters across the country are going out of business for a number of reasons with one of the main ones being the emergence of digital film streaming platforms. What the Campus Theatre offers is a space for individuals to congregate, appreciate film exhibition of the highest standard and to socialize. These things that are afforded by the Campus Theatre cannot be found in many other places.
This project aims to raise awareness of and to commemorate the Campus Theatre and its mission to “present programming that includes the screening of art, classic and modern films, live performance, and enhanced film programming experiences, all steeped in the rich atmosphere of the authentic Art Deco, single-screen American theatre experience.” To this end, the project presents a comprehensive historical context through which one may view the Campus Theatre and gain a better understanding of how it has transformed over the past seven decades.