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419 S CENTRAL AVE | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society

Property Record

419 S CENTRAL AVE

Architecture and History Inventory
419 S CENTRAL AVE | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
NAMES
Historic Name:John P. Adler Theatre
Other Name:Paul Roger's Cinema
Contributing:
Reference Number:55534
PROPERTY LOCATION
Location (Address):419 S CENTRAL AVE
County:Wood
City:Marshfield
Township/Village:
Unincorporated Community:
Town:
Range:
Direction:
Section:
Quarter Section:
Quarter/Quarter Section:
PROPERTY FEATURES
Year Built:1937
Additions:
Survey Date:2007
Historic Use:theater
Architectural Style:Art Deco
Structural System:
Wall Material:Stone - Unspecified
Architect:Perry CrosierGus A. Krasin
Other Buildings On Site:0
Demolished?:No
Demolished Date:
DESIGNATIONS
NOTES
Additional Information:Previously surveyed in 2005. The Adler Theatre at 419 S. Central Ave. (WO 10/15) is an Art Deco building. Constructed in 1937 for Philip Adler, it features a grand facade with concrete banding at the cornice, fluted metal panels and a projecting marque. An original vertical sign - readable from street traffic - has been removed. The doors feature typical Deco streamlining, and the street level walls are covered in black and green marbleized structural glass.

The theatre was designed by Perry Crosier of Minneapolis, an architect who was well known in that city for his Art Deco style buildings. His supervising architect for this project was Marshfield architect Gus A. Krasin. In 1885, Gus Krasin was born in Volnia, Russia, and he moved to southern Arkansas when he was seven years old. He left home at age nineteen to be a carpenter. By 1907, he had moved to Marhsfield, and began the contracting and architectural firm of Krasin Brothers with his brother J.F. Krasin. He registered with the Wisconsin State Licensing Board in 1918, at which time he indicated that he had been practicing since 1910, and specialized in school and church design. In 1918, his office was located at 121 S. Central Ave. (143-145 S. Central Ave. [WO 11/27]). He was listed individually as an architect in the 1921 City Directory. Krasin Brothers Contractors was also listed in the 1921 and 1928 City Directories. In 1932 Krasin Brothers ceased operations, at which time Gus Krasin devoted more of his time to architecture and the supervision of construction projects. He designed the New Adler Theater (419 S. Central [WO 10/15]) in 1937, and advertised as "Registered Architect, Public Buildings, Schools, Commercial and Residential Buildings." In 1937 Krasin's office was located at 202 1/2 S. Central Ave. [200 S. Central Ave. [WO 10/34]).

ARCHITECTURAL SIGNIFICANCE:
It is an example of the use of Art Deco to surround the experience of movie-going at the height of movie popularity.

HISTORIC BACKGROUND:
Marshfield's first theater was the Korth Opera House, built in 1890 and located on the west side of Maple St. between Second and Third streets. It burned in 1894, after providing the community with space for gala events for only four years.

In 1897, Philip Adler built the Adler Hall on the north side of Second St., between S. Central Ave. and Maple Ave. [not extant]. Entertainment consisted primarily of traveling shows featuring a variety of acts. In 1904, Philip Adler added a stage to the building, making it distinct from the other halls in town which were primarily open spaces for meeting places and dances. At that time, the building was renamed the Adler Opera House.

In 1908, the Unique Familt Theatre advertised "Devoted to patronage of ladies, Gentlemen and Children. High Class Vaudeville Comedy, Musical Features, Edison Improved Moving Pictures, Beautiful Dissolving Illustrated Songs. The location of this theatre is unknown, although it may have been related to one indicated on the Sanborn Insurance Maps for 1912 at 126 S. Central Ave. (154-156 S. Central Ave. [WO 11/5]).

Also in 1908, Philip's son John P. Adler began managing the Opera House. In 1909, J.P. Adler scheduled the first showing of a full reel film. When he bought the Trio Theatre (212-216 S. Central Ave. [WO 14/ ]) in 1918 Adler secured his position as the most prominent entertainment figure in Marshfield. In 1927 Adler remodeled the Trio and renamed it the Relda (Adler backwards).

In 1937 Adler constructed the New Adler Theatre at 419 S. Central Ave. [WO 10/15]. At the time, movie houses were treated with respect and there was no food and drink available in the building. Adler held a grand opening on September 28, 1937 featuring Louise Rainer and Spencer Tract in the movie "Big City." The new building was an Art Deco extravanganza, and was equipped with "love seats" which "in addition to their popularity with love-birds...are a haven for patrons who scale 250 pounds and up, who are able to breathe and stretch in unrestrained comfort."

Adler closed the "old" Adler Opera House in 1952, and the Relda in 1956. J.P. Adler died in 1957, having seen his investment in movie houses swell and shrink following the popularity of movie going itself. Over time, thirteen theaters had been in downtown Marshfield. In 1991, the only operating theatre is in this building at 419 S. Central Ave. [WO 10/15], now known as Roger's Cinema, which was expanded in 1996 when the two adjacent buildings at 409 and 413 S. Central Ave. were purchased and remodeled to provide extra screens.

Marshfield Construction Co. was the original builder.
Bibliographic References:(A) Sanborn Insurance Maps: Marshfield, Wisconsin - 1884, 1887, 1891, 1898, 1904, 1912, 1925, 1946, 1960. (B) Jan Coombs, Lecture "J.P. Adler, Lives in Parallel", 14 March, 1991, Marshfield, Wisconsin. (C) Marshfield News-Herald, 15 May, 1937, p. 5. (D) Brochure "New Adler Theatre, Marshfield, Wisconsin" privately printed, 28 September, 1937. (E) "Architects File" at Division of Historic Preservation Office, State Historical Society of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin. (F) Marshfield, Wisconsin, Highlights of History, 1872-1972, Marshfield, Wisconsin, 1972. (G) Marshfield City Directories. (H) SCHNITZLER, DONALD H. (ED.) THE MARSHFIELD STORY. VOL. 1., AMHERST, WI, 1997, PP. 306-307.
RECORD LOCATION
Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory, State Historic Preservation Office, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin

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