Tipton Theater

Fourth Avenue,
Huntington, WV 25701

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Five5TBird on February 23, 2011 at 2:55 pm

From the Herald-Dispatch newspaper (Huntington, WV):
“The Tipton Theater was built by brothers A.B. and S.J. Hyman, who owned the Keith-Albee and other theaters, and named for Cecil Tipton, a long-time business associate. Construction started in 1946, and the theater welcomed its first moviegoers on March 15, 1947. The theater was strikingly modern looking, reflecting what architects call Art Deco design. The plain white mass of white stone on the facade was broken in the center by a huge 80-foot tall tower, topped by the theaterÂ’s name in lights. Inside, seating was provided for an audience of more than 1,000. About 4:30 a.m. Oct. 21, 1950, a fire broke out at the J.C. Penney store in the 800 block of 3rd Avenue. When the alley wall of the Penneys store collapsed, it showered the Tipton’s roof with sparks, setting it ablaze. The flaming roof fell into the theaterÂ’s auditorium, leaving it a charred ruin. The theater was not rebuilt…Thanks to Jim Casto for the information.”
So, the Tipton theater on 4th Avenue survived only three and a half years before it was destroyed by fire.

TLSLOEWS on August 5, 2010 at 12:12 pm

Nice photos Greg.

GregPauley on August 5, 2010 at 10:18 am

Here is a few pictures of the tipton from our files. I also put a picture of the Lyric which was on 4th Avenue which Ken Mc talked about in the above post.


GregPauley on August 4, 2010 at 1:44 pm

The Tipton was owned/operated by Greater Huntington Theatre Corp. I have some photos and the opening day newspaper ad I will try and post when I get a chance.

RobertFrench on July 20, 2010 at 6:29 am

The Tipton was only built in 1947, so it did not go through the 1937 flood.

kencmcintyre on November 10, 2008 at 6:29 pm

Here is an excerpt from an article in the Charleston Daily Mail dated 10/21/51:

HUNTINGTON, (AP)â€" Fire at daybreak Saturday destroyed Huntington’s newest theater and one of its larger department stores. Some fire damages and heavy water damage also was suffered by a cafe, a furniture store, 5 and 10 cent store and a shoe store.

The flames apparently broke out in the J. C. Penney Co in the 1800 block of Third Ave., in the downtown district. The scene is just across the street from the West Virginia Electric Co destroyed by a S200,000 fire on Labor Day. Penney’s was gutted, leaving only the framework standing. The flames burned out heavy transformers in the alley behind the building and leaped into the Tipton theater, which fronts on Fourth Ave., the main business street.

Tons of water were poured into the ornate theater before the blaze was brought under control about 7 a.m., two and a half hours after the first alarm brought most of the city’s fire equipment rushing to the scene.

kencmcintyre on May 2, 2008 at 6:50 pm

It looks like one to me. Large enough, anyway.

kencmcintyre on May 2, 2008 at 6:39 pm

There are three theaters listed on Fourth Street in Huntington, but none with Lyric as an aka. This may have been a shortlived theater. The date is 1920:

Five5TBird on December 16, 2007 at 4:37 am

According to an article dated Sept. 6, 2004, the Herald-Dispatch newspaper in Huntington, WV, reports the Tipton Theater opened March 15, 1947, and was “short-lived”, but without paying for the archived article, that was all the information I could find. When I make it to the public library I will find out the date it burned, and any other information.

Five5TBird on December 16, 2007 at 4:26 am

The Tipton Theater was completely destroyed by fire in 1948 or 1949, and never rebuilt, according to family members that remember it. It stood on the north side of Fourth Avenue and Eighth Street, which has been a parking lot for decades. It was decorated in an art moderne style, and they thought it was recently built when it burned. At the time, many believed the fire suspicious, since the building was new and its destruction so ravaging. From all accounts, it was a lovely place.