|Courtesy, Roger Brett|
Before the internet, technical specifications for theatres (for use by touring professionals) were collected into a thick published book, the 1980 Stage Specs. Stage Specs provided a page or two for each theatre and a simplified stage plan.
At the time, I believed Specs to be the first of its kind, but Roger Brett, a longtime IA hand and author, told me of the existence of this 1949 ATPAM book, and he was kind enough to provide me with a copy.
Although the ATPAM book provides only a technical thumbnail of the theatre stages, it was useful in a much broader sense. It served as a guide for the members of ATPAM, who are General Managers, Company Managers, and Press Agents. A typical city entry, below:
Interestingly "Colored Hotels" are listed for all the forty-eight states, except New Hampshire, North Dakota, Wisconsin and Wyoming, and Vermont which was omitted. Even Canada's listing includes "Colored Hotels."
Besides the theatre descriptions, there is a lengthy advertising section, which gives a taste of the times.
The theatre listings are most notable because they do not include the majority of the houses which are played today. In 1949, Movie Palaces, which now comprise a large share of the prestige venues, were still hugely profitable film houses, and to them, " playing legit" meant an interruption of revenue. The Atlanta Fox, for instance, would not permit any stage attraction except for the annual week-long engagement of The Metropolitan Opera.
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New York City
USA By State, alphabetical:
Alabama - Arizona -Arkansas
California - Colorado
Connecticut - Delaware - D.C.
Florida - Georgia - Idaho
Illinois - Indiana - Iowa
Kansas - Kentucky - Louisiana
Maine - Maryland - Massachusetts
Michigan - Minnesota
Mississippi - Missouri -Montana
Nebraska - Nevada
New Hampshire - New Jersey - New Mexico
New York State (see also New York City)
North Carolina - North Dakota - Ohio
Oklahoma - Oregon
Pennsylvania - Rhode Island
South Carolina - South Dakota - Tennessee
Texas - Utah
Virginia - Washington State - West Virginia
Other theatres including Summer Theatres
Informational Section: TV stations, Railroad Agents, Theatre circuits, taxes, IAAM, Producers and Newspaper critics.