History of The Columbia Theater:
The Columbia Theater was erected in 1925 as a Vaudeville Theater. Notable Artists who played the Columbia include master Magician Harry Houdini and The Three Stooges. However, by the time the theater was operable, vaudeville was on the wane. In the early 1930's the Columbia was converted into an Art Deco styled movie theater.
In 1957, the theater underwent an extensive conversion into a racquet club. Then in the 1970s the building was the scene of a fire which resulted in it's closing. Purchased at auction in 1987, the burned, derelict building was renovated by Frank H. Schwaiger. Inspired by Mediterranean cultures, the Columbia Theater is imbued with an atmosphere reminiscent of Pompeii. Arranged around an open garden court, the living and work spaces allow a wide range of activities. The Theater stage serves for outdoor performance venues, while the "Fly Tower" is now a vast Greenhouse. Reflecting clouds and moon, a pool animates the cloistered space.
The Columbia is that rarest thing: A complete environment at once personal and universal. Created out of ruin, the old theater is alive again. Ornamented with art and objects from the world, this architectural gem preserves for us the culture of an era.