Cleveland, OH: N.p., 1944-1949. Archive of 204 black and white 4 x 5 inch inter-negatives from the Cleveland, Ohio branch of the Hearst-owned Telenews theater chain, dating from 1944 to 1949 and including images of some eventful days during the course of World War II, such as Victory Over Japan Day, August 14, 1945. The Telenews theaters were devoted exclusively to non-stop screening of newsreel footage before the advent of television, and the images in this archive feature rare insight into one such theater's function and purpose during the height of World War II, including its exhibitions, radio lounges, and architectural design.
One of the first iterations of a trend that would later foster the 24-hour news cycle, desire for the increased and up-to-date news coverage featured at Telenews theaters was brought about in no small part by the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and subsequent US involvement in World War II. Telenews theaters featured a single screen that played all-newsreel content, an in-house radio station that played to a seated audience and was simultaneously broadcasted to a separate listening lounge, and a teletype ticker in the lobby bringing in the latest news updates. This diverse range of formats also allowed the Telenews theaters to keep up with an increasing demand for visual content in an era of rapidly changing technology.
Cleveland's Telenews theater opened in February of 1941, having been designed by local architect George Howard Burrows, who was better known for his designs of suburban houses in the Cleveland Heights and Shaker Heights areas. By 1950 the theater had changed hands, operating as the Coronet and screening art films. The theatre was finally bought by the Hippodrome chain and renamed the Tower, showcasing second run films until it closed in February 1954.
The photographs in the archive highlight Cleveland's role as an epicenter for industrial manufacture during World War II, with photographs of Telenews lobby exhibitions featuring Ohio crankshafts used in war vehicles, Rayon thread and fabric being used in tires, train and life boat exhibitions, and images of Uncle Sam posters seeking recruitment for skilled labor work. The collection also contains inter-negatives showing large crowds at the theater for such events as the surrender of Japan on August 14, 1945, trials of German officers, footage of German atrocities, and live incoming election results for the 1944 presidential election between Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Thomas E. Dewey, in which the popular incumbent would win his fourth term only to die within six months of the successful run.
From the estate of the Cleveland Telenews theater manager Frank J. Koza, who would later go on to become a professional news cameraman, and likely the author of the photographs as well.
Most inter-negatives approximately 4 x 5 inches. Very Good plus to Near Fine.
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