Harris Theatre

652 McKean Avenue,
Donora, PA 15033

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Warner Bros. Circuit Management Corp.

Architects: Victor A. Rigaumont

Functions: Retail

Previous Names: Grand Theatre

Nearby Theaters

GRAND (HARRIS) Theatre; Donora, Pennsylvania.

Opened as the Grand Theatre, it was screening movies by 1911. In 1930 it was renamed Harris Theatre and was operated by Warner Bros. Circuit Management Corp. It was closed May 11, 1958.

Contributed by dave-bronx

Recent comments (view all 13 comments)

dave-bronx™ on December 22, 2006 at 6:30 am

Wasn’t there a relationship of some sort btwn the Warner Studios and the Stanley-Warner Theatres – possibly S-W taking over the Warner theatres after the Paramount Consent Decree or something like that?

dave-bronx™ on January 7, 2007 at 7:30 am

The Harris opened in 1930 and closed in 1961.

dave-bronx™ on January 25, 2007 at 10:24 am

According to information received from the Donora Public Library, a 1976 diamond jubilee program states, in part, “Hopton and Evans built the Grand Theater on McKean Avenue. Later it became known as the Harris Theater. The word ‘Grand’ is inscribed in stone above the front of the building. It was at the Grand Theater where Dick Powell came to sing and act, as well as other famous singers and actors. Boxing shows were also held on the stage of the Grand Theater.”

kencmcintyre on November 29, 2007 at 7:15 pm

The Grand should be listed as an aka.

sharkbamford on December 7, 2007 at 7:34 am

I grew up in Donora in the 70’s. The Liberty was the only one left then – it was very run down. I saw Willie Wonka there. Then it closed, and reopened around 76. I remember a double-bill there also – was Tom Thumb, and a strange documentary tiltled Beyond and Back. We saw a very grainy/linty Jaws there about a year after it’s realease. Then it became an adult theatre.

Growing up in Donora at this point of time was unique. The townsfolk always spoke of this magical “days gone by” era, of economic vibrancy. The mills were gone, we watched all the car dealers, stores, JC Penney, etc slowly close up. Gosh, we had a McDonalds that opened, then closed it’s doors two years later! There were scores of neighborhood stores, 4 or 5 to a block – all gone now.

I have an old postcard from the Grand Theatre.

sbevusa on May 10, 2008 at 7:45 pm

Here is a link to a photo of how the theater looks these days:

View link

dave-bronx™ on February 21, 2009 at 11:48 pm

Lost Memory: Here is a 43 minute video from the Weather Channel about the Donora Death Fog.

Bruce Calvert
Bruce Calvert on February 21, 2010 at 3:55 pm

I have a couple of postcards from the Grand Theatre in Donora advertising the Vitagraph 1911 film VANITY FAIR. Although only a three-reeler, it was a huge production at a time when most films were only one reel.

View link

LouisRugani on July 12, 2010 at 3:45 pm

(May 8, 1958, The Daily Independent, Monesen PA)
Donora Theatre To Close Sunday
The Harris Theatre in Donora will close its doors after the last performance Sunday night, Mrs. I. Russell Davis, manager, announced
The Warner Brothers-owned theatre is being closed for the summer months because of present economic conditions, it was stated.
Mrs. Davis said it is hoped the theatre will open again in Sepember.

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