Roxy Theatre

125 S. 13th Street,
Harrisburg, PA 17104

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Additional Info

Functions: Church

Previous Names: William Penn Theatre

Nearby Theaters

Roxy Theatre

Opened in September 1914, the William Penn Theatre was located on S. 13th Street, with seating listed at 520. No info on owners/operators. It had closed by 1926.

By May 1933 it had reopened and renamed Roxy Theatre. It closed sometime in the mid-1950’s.

Contributed by Chuck

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

Trolleyguy on February 26, 2010 at 8:13 pm

On Google Maps, it looks like it’s a church now.

Ross Care
Ross Care on May 7, 2010 at 5:26 pm

The Roxy shared a newspaper block ad with the Penway, the Grand, and the Valle. It was across the street from the cathedral-like Christ Lutheran Church. (Christ Lutheran had a neon cross on its high tower. It could be seen at a distance from many points in Harrisburg and was a sort of landmark).
I saw the Roxy every Sunday when we went to church when I lived on Hoerner St. And often wished I was going there instead, though this was a theater I seldom attended.
I vaguely recall that at that period it was not considered one of the “nice” theaters (like the Penway). I assume the whole neighborhood is probably not that nice now.

Ross Care
Ross Care on May 13, 2010 at 8:47 am

Also on 13th St. was the Capitol. It was down towards Market St. and part of the 13th & Market shopping district that also included a Lee’s Five & Ten, a florist, a bakery, a drugstore (on one of the corners), and of course a big farmer’s market. Later there was a Robert Hall’s.

The Capitol was even seedier than the Roxy (which actually was not that seedy). Nobody ever seems to remember or mention the Capitol. I seem to remember when it was razed, probably in the early ‘50s, there was a parking lot there for a time. The theater was just up from the corner drugstore towards and on the same side of the street as the Roxy. I think there may also have been a firehouse near or next to the theater. I know there was another church besides Christ Lutheran up the street too.

I wish there were photos of both of these theaters but I doubt any exist.

carolgrau on May 13, 2010 at 10:10 pm

The Goodyear tire dealer was renting it for awhile when they sold tires there at 13th and Derry St. They were using it as a warehouse. I went in to look at it once,, the old booth was large, but was then an office..

gfradar on July 1, 2010 at 10:45 pm

The Roxy on 13th, the Grand on Derry St. and the Penway on State St. were owned by Walter Yhost enterprises. He also owned the Vale in Mechanicsburg and owned or ran the Paramount in Mechanicsburg prior to the Vale

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 28, 2018 at 8:07 pm

The Roxy was probably the house opened as the William Penn Theatre at Thompson and 13th Street in September, 1914. It was one of four neighborhood houses opened in Harrisburg that month, according to an article in the October 10 issue of Motion Picture News.

A January 14, 1926, article in the Harrisburg Telegraph said that the ground floor of the building, which had been converted into a garage at some point, was about the be renovated and restored to theatrical use, with a lodge hall to be installed on the upper floor.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 17, 2020 at 5:56 am

The Roxy was advertised in the May 23, 1933 issue of the Harrisburg Evening News. An adult ticket was fifteen cents, and kids got in for a dime. On that night, you could see the 1931 drama Street Scene, starring Sylvia Sydney.

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