Friday, October 26, 2012

Flashback Friday: Butterfly Theater

Between 1911 and 1930, the picturesque Butterfly Theater greeted visitors to the Grand (now Wisconsin) Avenue in downtown Milwaukee.

The 1,200-seat movie house was a spectacular display of electric lighting capabilities. The butterfly design for the façade was delineated in 1,000 light bulbs spanning 27 feet from wingtip to wingtip.

With wings outstretched, the butterfly had a body of a woman draped in a Grecian gown. Atop the butterfly, at the apex of the façade, were volutes (scroll-like ornaments) that supported a pedestal surmounted by a lyre, bringing to 3,000 the total number light bulbs used to create the unique figure.

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