234 West Broad Street,
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Previously operated by: Comerford Theaters Inc.
Styles: Streamline Moderne
Previous Names: Grand Opera House
The Grand Theater first opened as the Grand Opera House in 1889, but was destroyed by fire in 1892. It was quickly rebuilt and the home to many vaudeville and stage shows in addition to silent movies. The building was expanded and extensively remodeled in 1922 and became known as the Grand Theater.
There were approximately 800 seats on the main floor and 200 in the balcony section. The exterior of the building originally contained a rectangle shaped marquee and a small upright, both of which were replaced in the 1950’s. The final marquee was a huge V shaped structure with “Grand” in large gold neon displayed on both sides and smaller letters in front. The building facade had a somewhat ornate look with nine narrow windows just over the marquee level, but these were visible from the street. The theater building contained no other storefronts, so the lobby took up the entire front of the building. The auditorium was somewhat wider then the lobby section since it actually extended behind the YWCA building which stood next to it.
The theater operated almost continuously until 1977 when the operators closed it in early fall. Within a few weeks, an early winter storm dropped heavy wet snow on the area, and the old roof gave way falling into the auditorium. The building stood empty this way until 1981 when it was demolished. A nondescript one-story office building stands in its place.
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