Erie Playhouse

13 W. 10th Street,
Erie, PA 16501

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Showing 1 - 25 of 26 comments

paulnelson on January 26, 2015 at 8:48 pm

The new facade is an improvement. Color and an art deco style lower treatment. Doors are similar to old ones but fresher. Good job and not tacky.

TLSLOEWS on November 1, 2010 at 12:02 pm

I agree it looks “TACKY” but thats just my opinion,the owners most likely love it though. on November 1, 2010 at 10:40 am

Here’s my July 2010 photo showing the new ticker-type marquee, squares on facade cleaned up, new doors, horizonal stripes removed… all just horrible in my opinion:

MDaurora on February 24, 2009 at 11:58 am

This Strand Theater replaced the original Strand, which was around the corner on State Street. The “new” Strand had a stadium style balcony. The design was art moderne. As you entered the lobby, the concession stand was to your left, which also had the stairs leading to the rest rooms on the lower level. The three strip Cinerama was set up in one booth in the balcony. in 1960, “Ben Hur” opened in 70mm and, if memory serves, played for almost a year. for 70mm they returned to the original booth. Across the street was the Majestic, an old vaudeville house which became Shea’s. There were also the Colonial, Columbia and the State in downtown Erie

karlink on February 24, 2009 at 9:50 am

There was a balcony in the Strand. My father was a part-time projectionist there during the Seventies. I would sit with him in the booth or in the balcony (which was closed to the public by that time for some reason. I saw many movies there, including The Godfather,Jaws (18 times) and a re-release of 2001. The balcony was only opened one time that I remember, for Star Trek 2 in 1981 or ‘82.

Patsy on December 3, 2008 at 9:38 am

This is how the Erie Playhouse should still look, imo!

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on December 2, 2008 at 11:34 pm

A 1996 view of the former Strand Theater building in Erie.

Patsy on August 20, 2008 at 2:08 pm

Still wish it looked like the THSA mystery theater #12 photo in the Jan 14, 2008 post! IF those doors are still in existence which I seriously doubt, they should be re-installed.

Patsy on January 14, 2008 at 9:59 pm

Lost Memory: Thanks for helping the “lost” find their way again! You are a theatre gem!

Patsy on January 14, 2008 at 9:34 pm

ken mc: I just visited the THSA site and under PA they only had the Warner Theatre listed for Erie so how was the b/w sketch of the former Strand found on THSA?

Patsy on January 14, 2008 at 9:25 pm

JohnMessick: Well, that’s one way of putting though they certainly messed it up to say the least! Why was the name Strand not left in place along with the beautiful doors and the glass enclosures for the movie posters? And to change the seating from 980 to 433 certainly made the seating capacity less by many seats. I was in that theatre about 15 years ago and can’t recall if there was a balcony. Does anyone have memories of what it the interior looked like back then? I think the Playhouse is strictly used for live performances and not a movie theatre anymore.

JohnMessick on January 14, 2008 at 9:20 pm

UGH, the photo dated 1966 and the photos 2005….they killed it!!!

Patsy on January 14, 2008 at 8:53 pm

Lost Memory: If you find any photos of this theatre when it was the Strand, please post!

Patsy on January 14, 2008 at 4:13 pm

Lost Memory: I’m familiar with this playhouse having seen Sleeping Beauty and A Few Good Men on stage, but after seeing the “ken mc” Jan 14, 2008 photo I realize what it used to look like in the mid 80’s compared to the photos posted on Oct 2, 2005!

kencmcintyre on January 14, 2008 at 3:06 pm

Here is a 1966 photo from the THSA site:

Patsy on October 14, 2007 at 3:02 pm

I think there was a Strand Theatre in Erie, but there was also several others and among them was a Shea’s which may have had 1600 seats. The Avalon Hotel is on that site now, unfortunately.

spectrum on October 13, 2007 at 11:01 pm

This is strange. The American Film Review list for 1036 shows a Strand theatre in Erie PA with 1,600 seats. Could that be an earlier building replaced by this one (mentioned above as being built in 1947).

Patsy on December 30, 2004 at 1:36 pm

Correction: Please to to to find the Warner schedule!

Patsy on December 30, 2004 at 1:32 pm

Lois: Also go to and it will take you to the Warner Theatre/Erie website. It has a list of upcoming productions.

Patsy on December 30, 2004 at 1:17 pm

Go to and I think you’ll enjoy seeing what is playing there now….“The Taffetas” which is a nostaglic musical with songs sung by 4 gals in taffeta dresses and pouf hairstyles such as Where the Boys Are, Mr. Sandman, and many other familiar tunes! Let us know how the show was if you can still get tickets!

Patsy on December 30, 2004 at 12:29 pm

Lois: Do you mean at the Erie Playhouse?

LoisGreathouse on December 30, 2004 at 12:19 pm

Would you please inform me if you have anything playing on Jan. 1st, 2005 that would be of interest to adults over 65??? Thanks, Lois

Patsy on December 3, 2004 at 10:26 pm

I have been in the Erie Playhouse to see a production, but at the time didn’t realize its Strand history! And I didn’t know that Erie had a Shea’s. There is a Shea’s in Buffalo which has been restored and tours are given.

DMButler on June 17, 2004 at 12:42 pm

Information from the “Mystery” Theatres page of the:

Theatre Historical Society of America

IDENTIFIED: Strand Theatre, Erie, Pennsylvania

Response 1

Richard C. Wolfe, owner of the Roxy Theatre in Northampton, Pa., replies that “the Strand is in Erie, Pa. We visited it during the THS 1999 New York State Conclave. It’s now a playhouse just down the street and around the corner from the Warner. The theatre opened, I believe, in 1947, as it was featured in the 1948 Theatre Catalog. The architect was Victor A. Rigaumont. It had 977 seats and was a stadium theatre. It was owned and operated by Warner Bros.”

Response 2

Duane Butler agrees that this is the Strand in Erie, PA and says “it was built by the Stanley-Warner chain. It was a Cinerama theatre from approximately 1962 to 1964, and through the late 60s showed many 70mm roadshows, such as "My Fair Lady.” Through much of this approximate period, it was managed by the late Milford H. “Shorty” Parker. It was bought in the early 70s by the Cinemette Corporation and contiued to show films until 1983. Since 1983, it has been owned by the Erie Playhouse and used for live community theatre productions.