Grand Theatre

422 Mill Street,
Bristol, PA 19007

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Stanley-Warner Theatres

Architects: William Harold Lee

Functions: Housing

Styles: Mayan Revival

Previous Names: Bristol Playhouse

Nearby Theaters

Grand Theatre

The Grand Theatre opened on January 7, 1928 with the film "Pajamas", four acts of vaudeville and Blanche Washburn at the console of the 3/8 Kimball organ. This theatre was architecturally interesting since it was but a handful done in the Mayan style. It opened a few months before the Fisher Theatre in Detroit, making it possibly the first movie house to employ this style.

The theatre featured first run films and vaudeville on Saturdays and holidays from its opening until June, 1934. Afterwards the theatre ran top film fare from MGM, WB, Fox, RKO through the 1930’s and 1940’s. During the early-1950’s, time became tough for the Grand Theatre and it struggled through the decade until finally closing for good as a theatre in early 1960. During 1957-1958, the theatre became the Bristol Playhouse at which time many famous stars appeared on its stage including Edward Everet Horton.
After closing as a theatre, several fires destroyed the interior. It was finally gutted and the auditorium space used as a warehouse for office furniture. Recently, it has been converted to an apartment house.

I attended this theatre as a child and afterwards until I was in my early 20’s. The auditorium was large and the ceiling high as the floor had a very steep decline towards the stage. The ceiling sported a huge circular dome that pictured Mayan indian figures in head dress and Mayan temples. I have several vintage photos of the theatre that I will try to post on this site.

Contributed by acer42

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

kencmcintyre on November 8, 2008 at 10:02 am

Here is a real estate ad that shows the refurbished theater:

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on September 7, 2010 at 8:55 pm

From the 1940s a view of the Grand Theatre and several businesses captured in a photo.

Blanchesgreatgrandson on July 5, 2018 at 10:22 pm

Does anyone know anything about Blanche Washburn? She’s my great grandmom. Any stories or photos would be much appreciated.

BlancheWashburnsgrandson on July 11, 2018 at 8:03 pm


Blanche Washburn is my grandmother. Her son, Nelson Houston Thompson is my father. Blanchesgreatgrandson, please contact me, either here or via email:

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