Palace Theatre

Main Street,
Conneautville, PA 16406

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Additional Info

Previous Names: New Midway Opera House, New Midway Theatre

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The enterprise of Mrs. Wormald and Mrs. Thompson gave Conneautville the opening of the city’s New Midway Opera House on May 30, 1915, with a five-reel picture entitled “Life of Napoleon” (which showed at 2:00 PM and again at 8:30 PM, all Eastern Time) along with the pastor of the nearby M. E. Church, Rev. R. B. Davids, delivering the address, Commander John Hague giving a little sketch on his war experience, and musical performances by the Ohl’s Military Band of Springboro, a male quartet composed of Rev. R. B. Davids, L. D. Corey, Everett Young, and Joseph Burroughs, with Mrs. Frank Claney at the piano, and a solo by Mrs. Paul Sturtevant of Pittsburgh. The house occupies the old Lotchfield storeroom in the block of Main Street, with an addition on the rear. The stage is fitted with complete scenery and electrical equipment as the house is seated with simply named “opera chairs”, which can give the person an unobstructed view of the stage, every provision for the safety of the audience has been made, and all have been passed on by the State of Pennsylvania authorities.

The New Midway Opera House also has a secondary name which later became its primary name, the New Midway Theatre (or Theater for earliest). The earliest time to date they used the “Theater” name is back on October 13, 1915, when the “Corey, North & Company” of Conneautville completed arrangements with the management of the theater, but still retained their primary Opera House name at the time. The “Theatre” name became their actual primary New Midway name in the early 1920’s.

The New Midway Theatre closed in March 1931 and was later sold to Nick Kazegianas of Albion on April 15, 1931. He says that he wanted to put in the talkies and make the first-run theatre out of it. The New Midway Theatre then began remodeling and redecorating later that May, accompanied by improvements on May 13, 1931. The city gave major credit to Kazegianas.

The New Midway Theatre then changed its name to the Palace Theatre during the remodel and reopened its doors to the public on June 10, 1931, with Helen Twelvetrees in “Her Man”. I cannot find any details about the remodel, so it was unrecognizable at this time. Throughout 1932 and 1933, the theatre had reopened and closed a few times. Once on December 14, 1932, when it closed for repairs, later reopened on April 17, 1933, with the showing of “The Crash”, and closed a shorter time later for remodeling and reopened again on October 11, 1933, with a double Warner Brothers feature “The Silk Express” and “Somewhere in Sonora” This came almost a month right after one of the original proprietors, Theodore J. Ely, had died suddenly of apoplexy at the plant of the Erie Gas Mantle Company in Erie at the age of 76 on September 12, 1933.

The Palace Theatre continued to operate throughout the 1940’s and 1950’s. It was still open in 1956, but had closed by 1957.

Contributed by 50sSNIPES
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