The National Trust for Historic Preservation is encouraging us to join #thisplacematters during Preservation Month, September 2016. The idea is to post a photo of your favorite historic place, and tell about places that matter to you. (See more at https://savingplaces.org/this-place-matters#.V9C9mhQ6W1Q.)
Cap Lathrop, a prominent Alaskan, started construction of the movie theater in 1941, but World War II postponed the project, and it was completed in 1947. It is also known as the Lathrop Building, in his honor. Designed in Art Deco style by B.Marcus Priteca in association with architect A. A. Porreca, it was the most opulent building in town, especially in a town that is not known for its artistic sensibility. I love the artwork inside the building, which no one gets to see anymore, so here are some old photos from the Library of Congress:
I have many happy memories of the theatre. I saw movies there as I was growing up, and my first date with my husband was there.
It is owned by a private company and the future plans for the building are up in the air. I hope that having the 4th Avenue Theatre on the Alaska Association for Historic Preservation’s 10 Most Endangered Historic Properties list and featured in #thisplacematters will help preserve it for the next generation.