Side A: The Peoples Bank Theatre, built in 1919 and called the Hippodrome, marks an age when movies transitioned from silent films and nickelodeons into a major national industry and pastime. Designed by Columbus architect Fred Elliott for the C&M (Cambridge and Marietta) Amusement Company, the theatre featured a granite archway, 1,200 seats, a 35-by-55-foot stage, an orchestra pit, and the first air conditioning of its kind in Marietta. The Hippodrome opened May 9, 1919 with the silent film Daddy Long Legs, starring Mary Pickford. Shea Theatres of New York bought the Hippodrome and remodeled it in 1949, replacing the Hippodrome’s distinctive stone archway with a two-story southern colonial-style facade. Renamed the “Colony,” it opened June 25, 1949, showing the Esther Williams’ musical Neptune’s Daughter. (Continued on other side)
Side B: (Continued from other side) The theatre hosted stars including Boris Karloff, Kitty Wells, and Ernest Tubb. Rock Hudson appeared here for the world premiere of the 1957 film Battle Hymn, in which he portrayed Marietta native, Lt. Col. Dean Hess. Low attendance and high utility bills closed the theatre in December 1985. Local philanthropist Dan Stephan Sr. purchased the building in 1988 and donated it to the Hippodrome/Colony Historical Theatre Association in 2004. The goal of reopening the theatre was realized on January 8, 2016, thanks to the project’s largest single donor, Peoples Bank, as well as gifts from the community, historic preservation tax credits (for rehabilitation work in 2016) and local, state, and federal grants and appropriations. The theatre is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a part of the Marietta Historic District.