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The Penn Theater, owned by the West Penn Photoplay Company, opened for business on North Mercer Street in April 1920. The state-of-the-art theater, with a 2,000 seat auditorium and marble floors, was designed by local architects C. C. and A. L. Thayer with assistance by county engineer Thomas A. Gilkey. Silent movies and stage performances ruled the day initially as the first “talkie” was not shown in this theater until February 1929. A portion of the ground floor was leased out to various businesses over the years, including to the Ellen Kay women’s clothing store, Dr. H. H. Rosenthal’s optometry office, and Jack Gerson’s Jewelry. The building was purchased by the adjacent First National Bank of Lawrence County in late 1967, and the theater went dark for good on May 1, 1968. The bank subsequently renovated the theater and used the space to expand its operations. (1928) Full Size
An advertisement for the 1927 film Wings starring the iconic Clara Bow (“The It Girl”). This film, about the air war during World War I, launched the career of screen legend Gary Cooper and won the first ever Academy Award for Best Picture in 1929. (Oct 1928) Full Size
February 1940 advertisement for the upcoming showing of Gone With The Wind.
The Penn Theater, located on North Mercer Street, was opened for business in 1920 and was in active service until closed down in 1968. (1935) Full Size