Paducah’s attractive downtown is a key part of the allure for visitors from around the region. Not only will you find distinctive buildings, lively streets, and architecture of historical significance, but also memorable shopping and dining experiences from locally-owned retail businesses, that display their specialty goods proudly, to fine dining restaurants serving fresh, local food and wines. Overlooking the banks of the Ohio River, Paducah is a town proud of its river heritage, cultural diversity and full embrace of the arts. Downtown Paducah offers a wide variety of venues for arts and history, such as the nationally recognized Market House Theater, Yeiser Art Center, the Carson Center, Paducah Symphony Orchestra, the ‘PAPA’ Gallery, The River Discovery Center and the National Quilt Museum.
Our downtown also offers examples of many architectural treasures reminiscent of the local and national design trends that affected Paducah’s built environment.
The Columbia Theatre constructed in 1927 is one of Paducah’s unique gems on Broadway. As stated in the Columbia Theatre Concept Study, “Theatres such as the Columbia speak to the spirit of a place, helping tell the unique story of Paducah and its inhabitants. Generations of patrons hold these cherished memories close to their hearts and are willing to make great efforts to assure that the physical touchstone to these memories, the theatre itself, is not lost.”
Paducah’s theatre proudly displays architectural elements from the Adamesque or “Style of the Brothers Adam” a style made popular the three Adam brothers (primarily Robert and James) of Scotland in the 1760’s and the “Skouras Style”, made popular by the three Skouras brothers (primarily Charles) of Greece in the 1940’s and 1950’s. An eclectic approach to design that used elements of baroque, art deco, and Spanish Colonial styles to create a lavish contrast to the modernization of theatres that was becoming popular at the time. The Columbia theatre is one of few theatres in the country that have the combination of these two styles extant. The Columbia Club, non-profit owner of the theatre, is actively beginning the rehabilitation of the theatre to a new vital function and contributing member of the community. For more information please go to http://www.facebook.com//ColumbiaTheatrePaducah.