“Upper floor public assembly halls were once a feature of social and political life on Bank Street. At their peak, around 1900, there were at least half a dozen public halls on top of commercial storefronts. These halls were rented out for entertainments, social functions, public lectures, and political rallies.They were built in this way in order to create large open spaces which wouldn’t be interrupted by support columns for floors above, and were generally lit by large windows. You had to climb several flights of stairs to get to them and, as they declined, their function was replaced by the newer movie-houses.”
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