From 1911 until the 1980s, the New Theatre/Malco provided entertainment to audiences in downtown Fort Smith. The New was built with money from the George Sparks estate as an investment for his daughter. It was modeled after the New Amsterdam Theatre in New York and in its early years was a venue for live performances, plays and silent movies. In its later years, it was devoted solely to cinematic entertainment. Here the auditorium and stage are seen from a far corner of the New's lower balcony.