The following newspaper article was published in the January 28, 1922 morning edition issue of The Waterbury Republican.
Wording of the article is as published.

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January 28, 1922 Headlines


Rich Beauty of Splendid New Playhouse Will Appeal to the Artistic Senses of Every Waterbury Theater-Goer.


     Only those who go to the Poli’s Palace theater which opens tonight will appreciate its beauty, because words are lacking to describe adequately the architectural grace of its design, the richness of its fittings and the completeness of its furnishings.  

     The broad sweep of the orchestra, the height of the proscenium arch, the colorful play of lights all combine to create a picture of richness, completeness and beauty in theatrical structure and setting which the patron can feel comfortable in.

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 Stage and lobby alike are perfect in design, artistic in finish, inviting in aspect.  Even the exits, so frequently mere doors indicated by red lights, are inviting gates thru which one almost expects to pass into another fairy scene.

The first impression one receives upon entering the Palace is that of size.  Not a pillar interrupts the view as the eye travels from the farthermost reaches of the auditorium to the stage.  The whole great dome is borne up without the aid of intervening support, so that the latest comer sees the whole broad expanse as well as he who is first to take his seat.

Poli Policy
Without doubt the claims made by Mr. Poli are borne out by the theater. It surely is the finest in the state and is one of the most perfect in the country.  Every care has been taken to provide for the patrons, from the private parlors and telephone booths to the luxuriousness of the boxes.  Nor have the employees of the theater been forgotten for there are rooms set aside for the use of the various craftsmen, the ushers and the other helpers, all of whom combine together to work for the comfort of the patrons.
For the opening of the Palace, Mrs. Sylvester Z. Poli, wife of the theatrical magnate and owner of the Palace, will occupy the lower box on the right of the auditorium with her guests and immediate family.  Mrs. Poli’s three daughters, Adelina Poli McLaughlin, Laurine Poli Noland and Julie Poli Sheehan will be with her, the younger daughter, Miss Lillian, being at school in Rome. She will send her felicitations by cable to her parents
Others of Mrs. Poli’s box party will include from New Haven, Mayor and Mrs. David E. Fitzgerald, Col. And Mrs. Charles W. Pickett, Postmaster and Mrs. Philip Troup, Sheriff and Mrs. Thomas L. Reilly, Agnes Reilly, Mr. And Mrs. Alexander Troup and Mrs. Arthur J. Sloane, Mr. and Mrs. Frank H. Smith, Mr. and Mrs. Hugh B. Kennedy, Mr. and Mrs. Frank H. Mason and the Misses Georgie and Grace Troup.

Sylvester Z. Poli

From Waterbury, Mrs. Poli’s box guests will be Mayor and Mrs. Francis P. Guilfoile, Mrs. Thomas Hayes, Frank Hayes and Mr. and Mrs. John Moriarty and Miss Marie Bauby.    Louis M. Segal, general manage of the Poli enterprises, will entertain a box party and other guests of Mr. and Mrs. Poli from New haven include his executive staff, Mr. and Mrs. P. Alonso, Mr. and Mrs. Richard C. Miller, Mr. and Mrs. Oliver C. Edwards, Mr. and Mrs. Lewis D. Garvey, Attorney and Mrs. Peter Trenchi, Mr. Poli’s secretary, P.J. Goode and Mrs. Goode, Mr. and Mrs. Louis A. Doty, Anna Maresca.
From Hartford, A. J. Vanni, nephew of Mr. Poli, will head a party of 40, and from Bridgeport will come Mr. and Mrs. Richard Howell, Mr. and Mrs. Louis Reilly, Mr. and Mrs. Matt Saunders, James P. McCarthy, Bill Steinke the Cartoonist, Mr. and Mrs. Loren Delbridge, former Mayor and Mrs. Glifford B. Wilson, Attorney and Mrs. Cullinan, Mr. and Mrs. Mullins.

From New York, James Thatcher, general manager of the Poli Stock enterprises, will head a party of 30 and Al Darling, manager of the Keith’s Royal theater will be in charge of another party.

     Representatives will be present from the office of George M Cohan and the delegation from the New York picture firms will be one of the largest present.

     After the evening show, a number of private dinner parties have been arranged for at the Elton and other places with reservations for every dinning room and every room on the hotel already made. 

Poli Palace - 1927

    The general tone of the entire main ceiling is carried out in warm gray tones and the various moldings forming the panels are executed in harmonizing tones of the same color.     All of the plain surfaces in the main ceiling are in gold leaf and the ornamental plaster relief work, picked out in white, gold and sepia tints. The plaster panels are treated in the same manner and the medallions in the ceiling are treated to bring out the rich cameo effect.     The vaulted spandrels over the proscenium box arches are made with a solid background and are identical in effect with the Poli’s Capitol, Hartford, prior to this rated as the most artistic effect yet, in theatrical decorations. The entire underside of the balcony is made in the same manner as the ceiling with respect to the paths, color harmonizing tones etc. 

     The first mezzanine promedade ceilings, the ceiling also of the vomitoriums, stair halls, stairs and passages to the boxes are likely treated on a par with a the main ceiling and the plaster walls are treated the same as the auditorium.  All the woodwork for the proscenium boxes, the inside fascias of the orchestra boxes rails and all the wood trim in both tiers of boxes is finished in harmonizing grey.


     The ornamented architrave around the proscenium arch, the figure panel at the key of the proscenium arch and the proscenium arch wainscot panels carry out the decorative scheme of the main ceiling especially in reference to the medallions thereon.

     The outer lobby and grand lobby ceilings are treated with strong variegated color and gold in all the panels, the combination of ivory black and gold being mostly of the Pompelian style.  In the outer and grand lobby all of the panels, cornices, caps, beams etc. are carried out in the same decorative scheme in relation likewise to mouldings and ornaments.

     The ladies rest rooms on the orchestra and mezzanine floors are finished in old ivory with a novel silver decoration and the wall panels are covered with genuine silk brocade.

     The first mezzanine doors are birch finished in the natural wood with a varnished surface. 

     All of the fire escapes, railings, doors, skylights, window frames, marquise, water tank frames, fire escape, canopies, ladders etc. are finished harmonizing colors and the wrought iron door frames and cornices are executed in a dull bronze to match the metal doors.

     All of the exposed pipes in basement under the stage house and dressing room section, boiler room, coal storage room and basement are asbestos covered, as well painted with three coats.


     The draperies, hangings, curtains and valances for the Poli Palace exactly conform to those at Poli’s Capitol in Hartford.  The velour act curtain revels tinted leather appliqué, fringed edge and tassels. Over the proscenium are valances, box pleated with appliqué edging and fringe.  The orchestra railing has a velour shirred curtain lined with mercerized satin and the valances and drapes of a similar order are found in the two entrances with five pairs of velour drapes with casement lining for the exits on the lower floor.

     For the large opening in the balcony entrance there are velour valances and drapes and there are mounted valances and drapes for the entrance to the ladies room on the lower floor.  The same velour effect is carried out for the two openings on either side of the large balcony entrance and the large opening leading to the ladies rest room in the balcony.  There are velour valances and drapes for the six circle-head mirrored windows in the grand lobby and foyer and six valances for the display cases in the front lobby.

     For the five entrance doors to the grand lobby there are silk curtains and for the windows in the rest room and in the rear of the lower floor. Silk valances and drapes give an artistic effect to the box office.  These draperies were installed by the L.A. Kichler Co. of Cleveland O.


     A motion picture operating room is to a theater what the engine room is to a ship—the works.

     Mr. Poli is almost a fanatic on the subject of projection for he realizes that in this day the big sign of progressiveness on the part of the manager of a playhouse who desires to give the greatest pleasure to his picture patrons is perfect projection.

     The projection room at the Poli Palace is divided into three parts – reviewing room, where the rewinding of film and the inspection of the same is made; the rheostat and the switchboard room where in is located the rheostat and electrical apparatus for the control of the board and the motion picture booth proper. In addition there is a rest room with conveniences for the operators. Incidentally the entire projection room is out of the building proper.


     In the operating room are many ingenious devices for the first time in any theater.  The equipment of the booth consists of three special projectors.  High speed revolving shutters eliminate flicker.  Special focusing devices and projection lenses and condensers built especially for this theater, project a picture free from unevenness of focus and other distortions prevalent when the customary stock lens is used.

     Realizing that the surface upon which the picture is to be projected is of paramount importance, a special screen was developed after considerable experimenting and close observation from large screens placed in a position to scale and under the same conditions that will prevail at the Palace. The distance from the screen to the operating room being so great in the Palace it was deemed advisable to install a system of lenses so that the operator could see instantly if the picture is sharply focused.  Such a device has been permanently placed in the front wall of the booth and by looking thru this, the operator sees a magnificent image of the picture.

     The motion picture machines were installed by Chief Electrician James Leverone of the Poli circuit.






As Published In The Waterbury Republican -  January 28, 1922 

     The immense pipe organ in the Palace was built by the Hall Organ Company of Stamford, Connecticut, one of the largest manufacturers of high grade pipe organs in the country, and the instrument contains many unique features introduced and perfected by this company.

      The entire organ is controlled at the console, in the orchestra pit, by thousands of electric wires, leading to the various units of the instrument, which are distributed in chambers on both sides of the proscenium arch.

     An organ is a complicated instrument and the average person does not realize that in its makeup there are literally thousands of mechanical appliances which must be used to guide the paths that are the tonal results, that are the ultimate object in building an organ. To build an organ of this size requires about six months.

     It is usually thought that the organ consists of the key-desk and the few pipes that show in the front, with probably a few more pipes in the back of the case.  In this organ there are over 1700 pipes, every one of which will sound a different tone. None of the pipes would be any value without the mechanism used to make them speak their tones.

      This mechanism consists of miles of wire, hundreds of magnets, thousands of pneumatics, all of which are used to obtain the fine tones from the pipes.

      This organ has four separate sections or more properly speaking, there are four different organs, any of which may be used alone, and when combined may be blended into one complete mass of tone.  The sections are as follows:  The Swell Organ, played from the upper set of keys, The Great Organ, played from the second set of keys, The Orchestral Organ, played from the third set, and finally the Pedal Organ, played with the feet upon the pedal keys.

    These four organs are assembled in four separate swell boxes so named because the tone “swells” out, when the balanced shutters in the front of the boxes are opened by means of the pedal shoes, under the control of the organist.


     What is called the most perfect method of fighting a fire is that which will operate as soon as a fire starts, will pour water on the heart of the fire and give the alarm at the same time.  That is just what the sprinkler system at the Poli Palace will do and Mr. Poli has refrained from depending solely on fire resistive construction to prevent the spread of fire that might occur, depending greatly upon the fire fighting activity of automatic sprinklers.  Strictly speaking there is no such thing as absolute fire presentation and there never can as long as the human element enters into the care and maintenance of a building. The purpose of those who know best on this subject is to supply a means to extinguish immediately upon its inception.

     It is a statement of absolute fact that there never has been a single loss of life by fire or panic in any building equipped with a proper system of automatic sprinklers.

     The sprinkling system was installed by the M. J. Daly and company of this city and so perfectly is the equipment arranged that should a fire occur on the stage, dressing rooms, engine room, in the scenery lofts or elsewhere the automatic sprinklers will immediately open and pour water on the fire under pressure and prevent the fire from assuming unusual proportions at the same time issuing an alarm by means of the ringing of large gong but what is more important the alarm is immediately received at the fire department headquarters.

     Incidentally in the matter of safety of patrons it might be mentioned that there are twelve direct exits from the balcony and auditorium exclusive of the eight doors in the grand lobby.

     The entire building is of reinforced concrete and steel with the floor of the auditorium of wood over reinforced concrete.  The wood making it easy on the feet and more comfortable.  Stand pipes with one hundred feet of hose are located on both sides of the stage, in the fly galleries, at the sides and rear of the main and mezzanine floor.  There is a sprinkler system in all dressing rooms, rooms under the stage, coal storage room, rook under the fly galleries, under the entire grid iron, paint bridge, entire stage and roof.  There is a sprinkler system over the proscenium arch and a water curtain directly in front of the asbestos curtain.  On the roof there is a 15,000 gallon tank of water thirty feet above the roof and 100 feet from the ground.  In a word, the entire theater can be flooded in an instant.  Likewise in every part of the theater proper, front and back there are fire appliances of every modern kind to conform with the law despite the 100 percent safety methods installed by Mr. Poli himself.


     Altho the Poli Palace, for such is its official name, has been inspected from time to time by Building Inspector Mraz and Fire Marshall Frank W. Holland, a final and official inspection will be made today by these two officials, together with Chief Henry Heitman of the fire department and Superintendent George M. Beach of the police department.  Chief Robert Hurley of the state police will also be a member of the party.

     All of these officials have from time to time expressed high approval of the construction of the theater and it was said yesterday that no fault could be found in any department.


     Sylvester Z. Poli is the sole owner of the Palace and his managing director is Pat F. Luddy.  The assistant manager is Frank D. Barberi and the treasure is Harry Parsons.

     The policy of Poli’s Palace is “quality vaudeville and augmented picture presentation.”  The program will be continuous from 1 o’clock p.m. daily, commencing Monday. On Sunday nights concerts will be held from 7 o’clock until 10:30 o’clock.

     The seating capacity of the Palace is 3524 divided as follows:  Orchestra 1,900; lower floor boxes 76; balcony 1372; loges 146; proscenium boxes, 30.


     Every member of the Poli staff was busy yesterday and last night getting ready for the opening today.  Mr. Poli himself was on the job directing many workmen to put the finishing touch on delicate jobs while Managing Director Liddy was busy with the interior and other official work.

     Throughout the day and late at night scores of scrub women and cleaners were at work polishing the floors, stairs, so that when the thousands enter the theater today it will be spotless for their inspection.

        Last night for the first time the great sign blazed across East Main Street, while within the theater every light was tested and found perfect.


     Plans for the Poli banquet at The Elton on Thursday evening, Feb 3 are practically completed and the tickets are now in the hands of the various chairmen for distribution.  Reservations can also be made at the Elton and the Chamber of Commerce offices.

     Prof. Luigi Ruggiero will present the bronze tablet, the gift of the Italian societies, to Mr. Poli on the Poli-Palace theater stage that evening.  This tablet will find a place in the main lobby, and the committee states it is indeed a fine piece of work in bronze.

     John Spain of the Poli forces will be on the speaking program at the banquet, and his really unusual oratorical powers will make his address a pleasing one.  The complete list of speakers will be announced shortly, as the various committee chairmen are selecting the names.




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