Nineteenth Street Theatre
527 N. 19th Street,
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Civic Theatre of Allentown (Official)
Firms: Thalheimer & Weitz
Styles: Art Deco
The Nineteenth Street Theatre opened September 17, 1928 with 1,000 seats and the silent movie (with Western Electric recorded sound effects & musical score) “The Sawdust Paradise” starring Esther Ralston. The theatre was designed by the Philadelphia architectural firm of Thalheimer & Weitz. The Moller Deluxe pipe organ is still played today. The interior walls were painted green with gold and silver accents. The auditorium now seats 501.
Since the summer of 1957, the Civic Theatre of Allentown has owned the building and presented plays. The theatre has also served as Allentown’s art house movie theatre for several decades.
Restoration is ongoing. On October 7, 1994, the restored marquee was turned on and it looks just like it did on opening day. New restrooms have been built on the main floor, where stores used to be.
About 2004, a 100-seat black box theatre for live shows and movies opened across the street in a former warehouse building. It was closed for renovations in January 2018 and reopened in October 2018.
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