"Born in Dundee, Scotland, Thomas W. Lamb came to the United States at the age of 12. He studied architecture at the Cooper Unionschool in New York and initially worked for the City of New York as an inspector. His architecture firm, Thomas W. Lamb, Inc., was located at 36 West 40th Street in Manhattan, New York.
Lamb achieved recognition as one of the leading architects of the boom in movie theaterconstruction of the 1910s and 1920s. Particularly associated with the Fox Theaters, Loew's theaters and Keith-Albeechains of vaudeville and film theaters, Lamb was instrumental in establishing and developing the design and construction of the large, lavishly decorated theaters, known as "movie palaces", as showcases for the films of the emerging Hollywood studios. His first theater design was the City Theatre, built in New York in 1909 for film mogul William Fox. His designs for the 1914 Mark Strand Theater, the 1916 Rialto Theatre and the 1917 Rivoli Theatre, all in New York's Times Square, set the template for what would become the American movie palace.
Among his most notable theaters are the 1929 Fox Theaterin San Francisco and the 1919 Capitol Theaterin New York, both now demolished. Among his most noted designs that have been preserved and restored are the B.F. Keith Memorial Theatre in Boston (1928) (now the Boston Opera House), Warner's Hollywood Theatre(1930) in New York (now the Times Square Church), and the Loew's Ohio Theatre(1928) in Columbus, Ohio. Among Lamb's Canadian theaters that have been preserved is the Pantages Theatre in Toronto (1920) (now the Ed Mirvish Theatre). The Cinema Treasures website, which documents the history of film theaters, lists 174 theaters designed by Lamb's company.
Aside from movie theaters, Lamb is noted for designing (with Joseph Urban) New York's Ziegfeld Theatre, a legitimate theater, as well as the third Madison Square Garden (1925)and the Paramount Hotelin midtown Manhattan.
Lamb died in 1942 in New York City at the age of 71. His architectural archive is held by the Drawings and Archives Department of Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Libraryat Columbia University."
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