The Solon Public Library has a new display, “Hollywood and Vine,” dedicated to the Hardacre Theater in Tipton, and celebrating all things cinema– the movies, the stars, the festivals and awards, the sound tracks, and of course, the food.
With the marquee lights on, the display recreates the lobby of an old opera house/theater and the faded grandeur of another time. The walls are shaded eggshell white with elaborate molding and touches of gold. Velvet curtains of a dusky plum color pull back to reveal the enormous screen. Potted palms fill the room, and the brass light fixtures add warmth and elegance.
The display features old film memorabilia– projectors, photos, magazines, stage lights, and even a collection of vintage popcorn boxes, filled with warm, buttery popcorn.
The display’s title comes from the famous intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street in Hollywood, Los Angeles, Calif. This area was a center of radio and movie-related business in the 1920s. In 1958, the intersection became the central point of the Hollywood Walk of Fame, which now runs 1.3 miles and comprises over 2,500 stars spaced at six foot intervals. The upper portion of each star holds the name of the honoree, inlaid in brass letters.
The Solon library is proud to dedicate this display to the Hardacre Theater in Tipton and the community effort to save this Midwestern landmark. Home to the Hardacre Film Festival– Iowa’s first film festival– the theater draws independent film makers and fans from all over the world to Tipton each August for quality film entertainment. Built in 1916, the theater was the vision of Tipton’s Jacob Hardacre, who wanted a community space to celebrate culture and improve quality of life for area residents. He left funds for the project, and in 1916, the Hardacre Theater opened in Tipton.
Used first as an opera house, then as a movie theater, it remained a mainstay of entertainment in the community for 97 years. When changes in movie technology required expensive investments to switch to a system playing digital movies, the theater was left in a bind and fell into disrepair. The owners decided to close the Hardacre.
The Hardacre Theater Preservation Association launched a fund-raising effort, which successfully raised $114,000 to buy the theater in January 2014. They are now focusing on funds to renovate the theater, hoping to reopen in 2016.
The library thanks Aero Rental, Sweet Livin’ Antiques and Riverside Theatre of Iowa City, for their generous assistance.
The display will run through March 15.