New Town Picture Gallery 41: Exeter, New Hampshire

New Hampshire Exeter Water Street 45

Commercial Building in Exeter, New Hampshire

The town of Exeter, New Hampshire has been added to the town picture gallery. Enjoy!

There are now 42 towns featured in the town picture gallery.

Also, a bonus Building History–The Ioka Theater

“The Ioka was built in 1915 in downtown, Exeter, New Hampshire, during the heyday of silent films and Vaudeville Theater. It was constructed on the site of the old Dow Building by Edward D. Mayer, a judge for Rockingham County, to a design by architect H. Gordon Robb, of Boston, MA, and built by the Kelly brothers from Haverhill, MA. The Kelly’s and Robb had both done work for Louis B. Mayer at his three theaters on River Street in Haverhill.”

“As built, the Ioka originally seated 725 people, with 425 seats on the main floor and an additional 300 in the balcony. The orchestra pit at the base of the stage held musicians who played accompanying music to the silent films. It opened on November 1 with the full-length controversial classic “Birth of a Nation,” directed by D.W. Griffith, which was considered Hollywood’s highest-grossing and first ‘blockbuster’ movie.”

Picture of The Ioka Theater in Exeter, New Hampshire

The Ioka Theater

“A short four months after opening, Mayer was in debt. His creditors wanted to keep the new theater running and named attorney John Scammon as the manager. When a petition for bankruptcy was served on March 21, 1916 to Mayer, his creditors discovered he had left town. The theater closed briefly, reopening on May 5, 1916 under the management of Charles W. Hodgson on behalf of the creditors. The profits of the theater would subsequently be paid back to the local businessmen and bank who were owed by Mayer.”

Source: Exeter Theater Company

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