Nixon Theatre

417-4215 7th Avenue,
Pittsburgh, PA 15219

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Additional Info

Architects: Benjamin Howard Marshall

Styles: Beaux-Arts

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Nixon Theatre

The Nixon Theatre was opened on December 7, 1903 with Francis Wilson in “Erminie” a stage production. It was designed in a Beaux-Arts style by architect Benjamin Howard Marshall. The Nixon Theatre was a legitimate stage theatre which seated approximately 2,500. Located adjacent to the Nixon Restaurant, on 7th Avenue downtown, across the street from Mellon Square Park.

Although it remained a legitimate stage house until the very end in 1950, at least one major movie played at the Nixon Theatre, when Cecil B. DeMille’s original "The Ten Commandments" was screened in 1924. The Nixon Theatre was demolished in June of 1950.

Contributed by David Litterer

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

CSWalczak on December 13, 2010 at 7:07 pm

A picture of the Nixon Theatre (sometimes referred to as the first Nixon Theatre, to avoid confusion with the later one that was on Liberty Ave.): View link

KJB2012 on December 13, 2010 at 10:58 pm

Why is it named Nixon? Was that a theatre chain back when?

Pebbles24 on June 28, 2012 at 12:54 am

I have a program from the Nixon Theatre from April 26, 1954 for South Pacific. Is this considered a collectible or anything of value?

RogerA on March 9, 2013 at 6:00 am

South Pacific didn’t get released until 1958.

RogerA on March 10, 2013 at 4:53 am

So that South Pacific program must be from a road show version of the stage show.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 14, 2013 at 10:25 pm

This is a rather belated reply to KJB2012’s question about the origin of the Nixon Theatre’s name. The original owner of the Nixon Theatre was Samuel F. Nixon-Nirdlinger, a theater operator based in Philadelphia in the late 19th and early 20th century. He owned several theaters in Pennsylvania, and in 1896 was one of the six founders of the notorious Theatrical Syndicate, which for many years controlled bookings for most of the legitimate theaters in the United States.

rivest266 on September 7, 2014 at 5:58 pm

December 7th, 1903 grand opening ad in photo section.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 7, 2014 at 7:28 pm

The historical sketch of Pittsburgh’s first Nixon Theatre on this web page gives the address as 417-425 Sixth Avenue, and says that it was designed by Chicago architect Benjamin H. Marshall.

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