The Matoaka Theatre was located in Matoaka Park at the College of William and Mary on the first trail coming down from Jamestown Road (Loop Trail). Work began in 1934. "The approach to the theatre is by a long avenue, which has been referred to as 'Players Dell.' It arises from a large, very slight circle, which might be compared with a lobby." The work was done by the Civilian Conservation Corps. The stage was 40' wide and 30' long with split log seats seating 500 people and dressing rooms. It was dedicated on October 20, 1934 as part of the opening of Matoaka Park and the inauguration of President John Stewart Bryan. The Loop Trail begins and ends on Landrum Drive (formerly Old Campus Drive). Leaving the road trail runs straight through avenue of towering pines for nearly 1000 feet before coming to the Circle, which is 100 feet in diameter. Player's Dell is also located near the Circle. (Daily Press article of Matoaka Park, in "Buildings & Grounds--Lake Matoaka and Matoaka Woods," University Archives Subject File Collection; Blueprints in "A General Plan of Unification for Campus and Matoaka Park," February 14, 1934 in Accession 1988.60; survey map of Matoaka Park and Forest in Accession 1988.47.)
Material in the Special Collections Research Center
- Guide for conducting research related to the College of William & Mary
- Flat Hat, 3/27/1934, p. 1-2; will be called Player's Dell, an amphitheater 5/8/1934, p. 2; 10/9/1934, p. 1; 10/23/1934, p. 4; 4/22/1947, p. 1; 4/24/1964, aerial photo on p. 2
- Colonial Echo, 1935.
- University Archives Subject File Collection, Special Collections Research Center, Swem Library, College of William and Mary.
- University Archives Photograph Collection, Special Collections Research Center, Swem Library, College of William and Mary.
- Search the SCRC Collections Database for the other resources available.
To search for further material, visit the Special Collections Research Center's Search Tool List for an overview of the Special Collections Database, W&M Digital Archive, Flat Hat-William & Mary News-Alumni Gazette index, card catalogs, and other tools available to help you find material of interest in the Swem Library's Special Collections Research Center.
Questions? Contact the Special Collections Research Center at firstname.lastname@example.org or 757-221-3090, or visit the Special Collections Research Center in the Earl Gregg Swem Library at the College of William and Mary.
|A Note About The Contents Of This Wiki|
|The information available in this wiki is the best available from known documents and sources at the time it was written. Unfortunately, many of the early original records of the College of William and Mary were destroyed by fires, military occupation, and the normal effects of time. The information available here is the best available from known documents and sources at the time it was written. Information in this wiki is not complete as new information continues to be uncovered in the Swem Library's Special Collections Research Center and elsewhere. Researchers are strongly encouraged to use the Special Collections search tools for their research as the information contained in this wiki is by no means comprehensive.|