Actors Guild Playhouse
724 Market Street,
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Actors Guild Playhouse (Official)
Previously operated by: Warner Bros. Circuit Management Corp.
Architects: Fred W. Elliot
Functions: Live Theatre
Previous Names: Lincoln Theatre
In 1919, the Smoot Amusement Company, already operating the Auditorium Theatre and Camden Theatre in Parkersburg, undertook the project of converting the Sycamore Grove Restaurant into a movie house to be called the Lincoln Theatre. Architect Fred W. Elliot was hired to design the project.
The Lincoln Theatre opened on April 20, 1920 with about 1,000 seats, and prospered through the silent era. The Lincoln Theatre, along with the larger Smoot Theatre, was sold to Warner Bros. in 1930. Warner closed the house on March 20, 1932. A few years later the dark theater was dismantled and the building was converted into a department store for J. C. Penney’s.
When the building was vacated by Penney’s in the early-1970’s, the Actors Guild of Parkersburg, which had been performing in a variety of locations since the 1940’s, sought the one-time theatre as a permanent home. After acquiring the building, a new theatre space and auxiliary facilities were installed, and the Guild has been performing in the Playhouse for almost three times as long as the Lincoln Theatre ran movies.
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Here’s the article announcing the intention of the Smoot Amusement Company to build the Lincoln Theatre, from The Moving Picture World of June 7, 1919: