Warner Theatre – Erie, PA

Warner Theatre – Erie, PA

The Erie Playhouse

Erie, Pennsylvania

History

The 977 seat Strand Theatre was one of the big 3 movie theatres in Erie—the other two being the Warner Theatre and Shea’s Theatre. This Strand Theatre opened on November 14, 1948, and replaced an earlier (larger) Strand Theatre which operated on State Street. Originally built by Stanley-Warner, it had seating on a stadium plan, with a raised stepped section at the rear. The “new” Strand Theatre later stood empty for a number of years until it was rescued by the Erie Playhouse company in 1983.

Currently seating 433, the theatre has been renovated in 1993 and 2007 and was recognized by the American Theatre Association in 1985 as one of the Ten Best Community Theatres in the United States.

Cinema Treasures

Location

The Erie Playhouse

13 West 10th St. Erie, Pennsylvania 16501
(814) 454-2852
Website: http://www.erieplayhouse.org

 

  • Opened: 1948
  • Architect: Victor A. Rigaumont
  • Location: 13 W. 10th Street, Erie, PA 16501
  • Phone: (814) 454-2852
  • Website: http://www.erieplayhouse.org/
Intolerance movie set, 1916

Erie Playhouse

Opening night at the Lou Bard Playhouse, 1923

Erie Playhouse

Academy Theatre – Meadville, PA

Academy Theatre – Meadville, PA

Academy Theatre

Meadville, Pennsylvania

The Academy Theatre


Meadville’s Academy Theatre was built in 1885 by Ernest P. Hempstead, a news-paperman by trade. Hempstead presented the “Academy of Music” to the people of Meadville in 1885 as a testament to the great music and opera he knew the city to be capable of presenting. The building was designed by archi-tect J. M. Wood. Wood stated he strove to create a “new and beautiful Temple of Amusement – a credit to the city and an honor to its proprietor.” The Academy Theatre was a popular opera house during the late 1880s.

The theatre continued to blossom and grow over the years; at one time hosting vaudeville shows and the first“talkies” in town. Through the years as audiences expanded and changed, the Academy did too. From the 1950s up through the 1980s, the Academy Theatre was a movie house.

After damage was done to the building due to a fire in the 1980s, the Academy Theatre closed its doors. But, a dedicated group of Meadville citizens refused to let this architectural gem die. It wasn’t long until the Academy Theatre Foundation was formed – a group whose sole purpose was to breathe life back into the venue. Though the structure had seen two other major renovations over the years, one in 1913 and one in 1957, it was not until the major renovation in the early 1990s that the theater was returned to its original glory.

By 1992, the foundation realized their goals and officially reopen the Academy Theatre to the public. Once again, the theatre was providing a wide-range of programming to the community, including theater, concerts, film series, children’s activities, and much more. With almost $1 million in restoration and improvement work completed, the Academy Theatre once again shines like the gem that it is.

The Academy Theatre

809 State Street Erie, PA 16501
(814) 453-7117
Website: http://eriewarnertheatre.com/

 

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