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Warner Brothers Movie Theater - New Castle PA

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In the fall of 1906 two brothers from Youngstown, Ohio, named Sam and Albert Warner, purchased an old movie projector and a copy of the 1903 movie known as “The Great Train Robbery.” They soon began traveling around the region showing the movie in makeshift theaters known as nickelodeons. Sam and Albert, soon joined by brothers Harry and Jack, set up this theater in the Knox Block in New Castle. The “Bijou” name may have been associated with a makeshift theater in late 1906. (c1906) Full Size


The Warner Brothers first permanent theater was the Cascade Theater in the Knox Block on South Mill Street in New Castle. It opened on February 3, 1907, and was managed by Albert Warner and a brother-in-law named Dan Robbins. In November 1907 the Warner’s sold the theater to Robbins and moved on to bigger things in Pittsburgh and New York City. (1907) Full Size


Sam, Harry, Jack, and Albert Warner opened an office in the growing film colony of Hollywood in 1917. In 1923 they officially founded the Warner Brothers movie studio with Harry serving as President. Sibling rivalry was a longtime mainstay and Harry often clashed with his younger brother Jack. (c1926) Full Size


Albert, Harry, Sam, and Jack Warner. Sam was a true visionary and was instrumental in the company moving from silent films into the era of the “talkie.” He also served as a go-between Harry and Jack, who battled constantly and grew to despise each other. When Sam died in 1927 his brother Jack was devastated – and grew more and more difficult to work with in the coming years. (c1927) Full Size


This orphaned dog named “Rinty,” then a few weeks old, was rescued by an American soldier named Lee Duncan in war-torn France in September 1918. He was brought back to the United States and thoroughly trained. Rinty, stage name “Rin Tin Tin,” became a film star and worldwide celebrity during the 1920’s. He appeared in 27 films and his immense popularity saved the new Warner Brothers studio from financial ruin! He died in 1932 and his remains were returned to his native France for burial. (c1925)Full Size


Edward G. Robinson (1893-1973), a Romanian-born actor known for portraying gangsters, became a star for the Warner’s during the 1930’s. He appeared in 101 films during his amazing fifty-year career. (c1935)


James Cagney (1899-1986) was another major Warner Brothers star of the 1930’s and 1940’s. He defined what it was to portray a gangster on the big screen. He won an Academy Award for best actor for 1942’s “Yankee Doodle Dandy.” (c1939)


Bette Davis (1908-1989), one of the greatest film actors of all-time, was Warner’s Brothers’ biggest star of the late 1930’s and early 1940’s. She was eventually nominated for 10 Academy Awards (she won two) and was often called the “fifth Warner Brother.” (c1945)


Warner Brothers struck pure gold with Humphrey Bogart (1899-1957), who rose through the ranks to achieve superstardom during the 1940’s. His resume includes some of the greatest movies of all time: “Casablanca,” “The African Queen,” “The Caine Mutiny,” and “The Maltese Falcon.” (c1948)


After tears of infighting Jack Warner convinced his brothers to sell the company in 1956. Jack secretly bought up most of the shares and shocked everybody when he took full control of the studio. And you think your family has troubles! (1955)


Jack Warner, shown here with Marilyn Monroe, was one of the true legends of the Golden Age of Hollywood. His career as a movie mogul spanned 45 years until he finally retired in 1972. (c1960)


The Warner Brothers logo is universally recognized.


Warner Brothers operated numerous other subsidiaries including a successful cartoon division. The “Looney Tunes,” a series of animated short films produced from 1930-1969, introduced the world to the likes of Porky Pig, Daffy Duck, and the iconic Buggs Buggy.


A new historical marker was dedicated on South Mill Street in New Castle on Thursday, June 26, 2014. It replaced an earlier marker placed at the location in November 1994. (Aug 2015) Full Size


A project is well underway to establish the Warner Film Center, a replica of the original Warner Brothers theater and an associated museum, inside the Riverplex complex on South Mill Street. (Aug 2015) Full Size

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Comment

  1. Really interesting to know that Warner Bros. started in New Castle, who would of thought

    Anna Hall · 07/20/2014 06:58 PM · #

  2. Nice to see the progression since WQED “Things That Are Still Here” included it around 1999.

    Bill · 05/31/2016 04:20 PM · #