Lacey Street Theatre - Fairbanks, Alaska
Posted by: BruceS
N 64° 50.619 W 147° 43.068
6W E 465953 N 7191222
Quick Description: Historic Art Deco styled former movie theater in Fairbanks, Alaska.
Location: Alaska, United States
Date Posted: 2/26/2011 8:59:38 PM
Waymark Code: WMAVA9
"The Lacey Street Theatre, built in 1939 by Austin E. "Cap" Lathrop, is significant for its Art Deco architecture and for its association with entertainment in Fairbanks. It is one of only three remaining Art Deco buildings in the downtown area that maintains architectural integrity. The others are public, non-commercial structures, the Federal Building (U.S. Post Office and Courthouse) completed in 1934, and Old Main School, built the same year. It is also one of the early reinforced concrete buildings constructed in Fairbanks. Lathrop's Lacey Street theatre was one of only two movie houses in Fairbanks (Lathrop also owned the other, the Empress) into the 1960s.
Austin E. "Cap" Lathrop had business interests around Alaska in shipping, transportation, and mineral extraction. These activities provided the capital for establishment of a chain of theatres and radio stations. Starting with the Empress in Cordova (1910, rebuilt 1915), Lathrop built an Empress in Anchorage in 1916, an Empress in Fairbanks in 1927, the Lacey Street Theatre in Fairbanks in 1939, and the Fourth Avenue Theatre in Anchorage in 1947. He considered motion pictures "the most eagerly devoured form of family entertainment in the frigid northland." Lathrop delighted in bringing happiness to children, and on holidays he frequently opened his theatres free to kids. Lathrop's entertainment ventures included being president of the Alaska Motion Picture Corporation, that in 1923 produced The Last of the Cheechakos, and several radio stations." - National Register Nomination form