Blackstone Theatre

345 Fifth Avenue,
Pittsburgh, PA 15220

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dallasmovietheaters on August 1, 2022 at 8:07 pm

The Hotel Newell opened on this spot on December 1, 1892 in a building that had previously held the offices of the Pittsburgh Dispatch newspaper and a famous tavern that predated the hotel and survived until the hotel’s closure in April of 1919. The hotel was well known, according to reports, throughout the country due to its open door policy for high profile athletes who frequented the hotel and its tavern. But the beginning of Prohibition and the death of owner John Newell took away the venue’s mystique. The entire contents of the building were sold at auction on April 29, 1919. Isaac Guckenheimer had the building overhauled to create a movie theater on the ground floor with offices above.

He launched the Blackstone Theater on August 7, 1919 with Tom Moore in “Heartsease” supported by a Universal short subject and E.G. Klaphake at the venue’s pipe organ. The theater was bathed in colors of old rose, ivory and gold in Adam architectural style but also featuring an atmospheric ceiling with night sky lighting effects. Rowland and Clark took on the venue’s operation. When the Circuit began wiring houses for Vitaphone sound in 1927, it - under the Stanley-Clark-Davis operation just prior to Warners taking over the operation - decided that the 400-seat Blackstone wasn’t worth converting.

The circuit dropped the venue closing the Blackstone permanently on October 5, 1927 with the film, “Metropolis.” The theater’s space was converted to a long-running men’s fashion store. Until Stanley sold the building in 1933 for a million dollars, the structure remained named the Blackstone Building. The building has since been razed.

etwilson on October 12, 2016 at 8:29 am

Looks like the building has been demolished as of July 2016