Capitol Theatre

134 N. Main Street,
Shenandoah, PA 17976

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Capitol Theatre

The Capitol Theatre opened in 1947 at the corner of Main Street and Coal Street in Shenandoah, PA. This is a large Art Deco style theatre for such a small town, seating 1,400. I was in this theatre once before it closed in 1980 to see a midnight show. It had two very large Art Deco style light fixtures on the side auditorium walls that were quite unusual.

I visited the closed theatre in August 2005 and took a few photos that I’ll post later. The marquee has been removed and it appears the lobby was used for a deli and lottery business but seems closed now, there are also two other storefronts currently being used. The boxoffice is still there and there is a small sign just inside the main doors directing the way to the balcony. I recall this theatre did have a balcony, but no side fire exists are visible from outside. The entire building seems to be in pretty sad shape right now and I doubt this small town can do much to help this faded theatre.

Any additional information on this theater is welcome.

Contributed by Bobs

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

RJS on December 9, 2005 at 9:52 pm

Somehow the photo’s I posted were deleted. Here they are again. First is front of building. Second shows the depth of the building from the side.

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Porcelain Doll
Porcelain Doll on October 31, 2011 at 10:05 pm

The theatre is completely stripped; all the ornamentation, seats and stage is gone. Huge holes in the roof and the entire thing is a stripped shell.

oakstreetcritic on June 3, 2012 at 11:20 pm

I’m pretty sure this isn’t an old picture of the Capitol Theatre. This cross street is Oak Street looking north into Main Street. There was an stage theatre on that corner where the District Magistrate now. I’m almost certain. I once saw a picture of it when it was playing George Bernard Shaw’s PYGMALION. Plus, this picture looks much older than 1947, when the Capitol opened.

Shaw on August 2, 2013 at 9:21 am

I uploaded a picture of what the inside looks like now.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 23, 2014 at 9:32 pm

This was the second Capitol Theatre to be built on this site. The original house was destroyed by a fire on May 22, 1946. A fairly detailed story of the fire can be found in this post at Central PA Fire Forums. From the description, it appears that the new theater was built at least partly within the shell of the old theater.

The Capitol Theatre was listed in the 1926 FDY with only 430 seats, while the description of the fire says it had 1,400 seats in 1946. Either it had been expanded or rebuilt at some point after 1926, or there was an earlier Capitol Theatre at another location in Shenandoah.

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