Popcorn Palaces: The Art Deco Movie Theatre Paintings of Davis Cone - Michael D. Kinerk & Dennis W. WilhelmNew York: Harry N. Abrams, 2001, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Very Good — in Good Dust Wrapper. Dust wrapper much sunned at the spine and onto the margins of the panels. The contents complete, clean and tight.
Signed, dated and dedicated by the author, on the title page - without provenance but from the library of a well-known author and his wife of the same name. Includes: Colour photographs (within the text); Colour frontispiece;
From the cover: “Glittery and colourful movie theatre facades and marquees have tempted Americans to step inside and see films since the early 1900s. In the late 1920s, however, as the talkies emerged, the old style of theatres — huge and exotic buildings designed like Moorish castles, Egyptian temples, and European mansions — gave way to smaller buildings in the new mode of the day, an Americanized version of the Art Deco style. Theatre owners in small towns and big cities alike built new showplaces in this style or renovated older buildings to catch the mood of the moment. Streamlined with flowing curves in gleaming metal, replete with geometric patterns and a wealth of frosted and mirrored glass, these ‘moderne’ theatres were the height of fashion through the 1930s and 1940s, and they remain cherished landmarks.
Noted realist painter Davis Cone found his muse in these classic movie theatres, and they are the subject of all of his paintings, 80 of which are reproduced here in stunning colour. Cone’s paintings bring to life these familiar facades and the magic they still lend to Main Streets across America.
Theatre historians Michael Kinerk and Dennis Wilhelm tell the story of those theatres, as well as of Davis Cone’s artistic involvement with them. The authors relate the changing economics of the movie business, tell how films were distributed, and describe the new architectural design, focusing on the Art Deco style of the post-Depression years. They also describe Davis Cone’s development as an artist and his exhibition history. An interview with the influential art dealer Ivan Karp adds personal and important art world details to the story.
Each of the paintings reproduced here will bring to life those familiar downtown sights and recall for many the thrill of going to the movies, whether at a Saturday matinee for children or in the evening with a date or a pal. Many of the theatres painted by Davis Cone still exist, some have been restored, others have been converted into multiplexes or fallen to the wrecking ball. But the spirit of all Popcorn Palaces remains preserved in these colourful paintings.”