Rosedale Theatre

41-45 North Main Street,
Chambersburg, PA 17201

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 1, 2020 at 5:36 pm

The Rosedale was one of three houses listed at Chambersburg in the 1914-1915 edition of The American Motion Picture Directory. The other two were the New Theatre and the Star Theatre. The Orpheum might not have opened early enough in 1914 to be included in the Directory. The Star, at 147 E. Market Street (now Lincoln Way) was in operation by 1913 and was open at least as late as the end of 1918, when it was ordered closed for a week for having violated the restrictions on allowing minor children to attend movies during the influenza pandemic.

dallasmovietheaters on March 28, 2020 at 9:45 am

The Rosedale Opera House opened with a live performance of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde on November 13, 1888.At the end of its ten-year lease, new operators changed its name to the Rosedale Theatre in December of 1898. It operated on the second floor of the Rosedale Block building.

The new Orpheum Theatre launched March 16, 1914 on West King Street. It took a toll on the aging Rosedale. But when the Orpheum burned on May 23, 1920, it gave the Rosedale Theatre new life. The theatre was remodeled and moved to the ground floor due to city restrictions. It launched on February 4th, 1921 on the ground floor likely on a 20-year lease and would convert to sound.

At the end of its second 20-year lease, it closed in 1961. Although regular film screenings ended on July 14, 1956, the theatre continued that year with live performances and events. The Rosedale’s final performance was a live play of “The Pajama Game” on May 25, 1961. It was demolished a month later in 1961 for a parking lot.

rivest266 on August 20, 2018 at 12:59 pm

This opened on February 4th, 1921. Grand opening ad posted.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 13, 2014 at 2:18 pm

Thanks, psefton. Changing the search terms to Maurice R. Rhoads brings up several results.

Also, there’s a typo in the first paragraph of my previous comment. I said that much of Chambersburg was destroyed by a fire in 1964. It should read 1864. Here is the story.

psefton on February 13, 2014 at 12:09 pm

The architect is Maurice (not Morris)R. Rhoads (1863-1926) Very prolific builder and architect in the area. Also designed the current Kelsey Temple COIG at 1435 Park Road NW in Washington, DC in 1921.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 26, 2013 at 3:27 pm

Cumberland Valley: From Tuscarora to Chambersburg to Blue Ridge, by Ann Hull, says that the Rosedale Theatre was built on the site of the Rosedale Seminary for Young Girls, which was lost in a general conflagration that destroyed much of Chambersburg in 1964. The theater was originally called the Rosedale Opera House. It was demolished in 1961. There is a nocturnal photo of Main Street that looks to be from the 1940s with the vertical sign of the Rosedale Theatre prominently featured (Google Books preview.)

The Rosedale Theatre is listed in the 1908-1909 Cahn guide as a 1000-seat, second floor house. In 1920, the building was substantially rebuilt, moving the auditorium to the ground floor and increasing the seating capacity. This item appeared in the November 6 issue of The American Contractor:

“Chambersburg, Pa.—Theatre (M. P.): $30,000. 3 sty. 41-45 N. Main St. Archt. M. R. Rhoads, 518 Broad st. Owner Rosedale Theatre Co., Ralph Steel, pres., McKinley Hotel, 28 E. N. Main st. Gen. contr. let on cost plus basis to B. M. Shields, 241 Lincoln Way West. Plmg. to Edw. N. Wetz. 120 S. Main st. Elec. wiring to Chambersburg Elec. Service Co., Lurgan bldg., Lincoln Way West, all Chambersburg. Htg. to The American Heating Co., 1120 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, Pa. Wrecking.”
The note “Wrecking” indicates that the demolition of the building’s existing interior was then underway. I’ve been unable to find any other references to an architect named M. R. Rhoads, but a Morris R. Rhodes was practicing in Chambersburg in 1918, so it was probably he who designed the rebuilt Rosedale Theatre.

Also, 41-45 N. Main probably is the correct address for this theater. G G’s Hair Salon, just north of the parking lot where the theater used to stand, has the address 47 N. Main. A building still standing next to the parking lot on the south must have an address no lower than 31 N. Main, as the building south of it is clearly numbered 27 and 29, as can be seen in Street View.

spectrum on December 10, 2010 at 8:53 pm

From the google views I see nothing that looks like a theater – was probably demolished but I’m not 100% sure.