Filmed entirely in downtown Washington Court House, Toadstool Shadow’s new video premieres on its YouTube channel this Friday, May 27. Toadstool Shadow is a music and arts collective from Chillicothe, best known for its 2021 album, “Folk Songs of the American Wood Elf.”
Titled “Lost Movie Palaces of Southern Ohio,” the new video is half documentary and half original music video.
“It combines two of my big passions,” said Toadstool Shadow’s director and composer Chris Till, “American entertainment history and original music.”
The documentary half focuses on Washington Court House’s once-grand Fayette Theatre movie palace. In their heyday in the 1920s and 1930s, movie palaces were grandly designed in exotic architectural styles like Egyptian Revival, Mayan Temple, and Neo Moorish. The strange building styles were an effort to transport moviegoers into a fantasy storybook world.
Upon the Fayette Theatre’s opening in 1928, the Record-Herald published a special eight-page supplement. According to it, the theater had a majestic interior with multi-colored reliefs on the walls and ceiling, ornate lighting copied from 16th century designs, and seats of Spanish leather.
“Unfortunately,” said Till, “the interior was entirely gutted when it was converted to a discotheque in 1974.”
There are no known surviving photographs of its original opulent interior.
The building now houses the successful firm of Jason Langley Realty & Auctioneers. The exterior still shows elements of its original Spanish Colonial Revival architecture.
The second half is a music video for Toadstool Shadow’s new original song “If You Were the One for Me.” It stars four musical gnomes, one dancing fairy girl, and a regular American boy.
”The song sounds like something from the 1920s, but with a modern psychedelic country twist,” said Till.
A song about love, fate, and anxiety, it is sung in gorgeous two-part harmony by Ellie DeGarmo of Chillicothe and Brittney Fuller of South Salem.
To watch the video, Toadstool Shadow’s YouTube channel is www.youtube.com/toadstoolshadow.