Warner Theatre

811 State Street,
Erie, PA 16501

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Related Websites

ErieEvents.com -- Warner Theatre (Official)

Additional Info

Previously operated by: Cinemette Corporation of America, RKO, Stanley-Warner Theatres, Warner Bros. Circuit Management Corp.

Architects: George W. Leslie Rapp

Firms: Rapp & Rapp

Functions: Concerts, Movies (Film Festivals), Performing Arts

Styles: Art Deco, French Renaissance

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 814.452.4857

Nearby Theaters

Warner Theatre

Built by Rapp & Rapp for Warner Brothers in 1931, the 2,506-seat theatre was home to movies and stage shows for years. It was equipped with a Wurlitzer 3 manual 13 ranks organ. With the eventual decline of downtown movie palaces, the Warner Theatre transformed itself into a performing arts venue and part of Erie’s Civic Center.

The Warner Theatre Preservation Trust has been raising money to restore and expand the classic Warner Theatre. The project to restore the theatre began in 1992 and continues. Theatre architect Daniel P. Coffey serves as the architect in charge. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has contributed $23 million towards the rehabilitation.

Seating capacity has now been reduced to 2,222 because orchestra level seats now have more legroom and are wider. A gorgeous hardback book ‘A Picture Palace Transformed, How Erie’s Warner Theatre Survived a Changing World’ was published in 2009, and is available from the theatre.

On December 3, 2021 restoration work on the original ‘Warner’ blade sign on the fa├žade was completed and it is now fully illuminated for the first time in 40 years.

Recent comments (view all 136 comments)

fabulousfubby
fabulousfubby on December 29, 2020 at 11:03 am

Also they still have the old ticket booth out front which is pretty cool!

Patsy
Patsy on January 18, 2022 at 10:31 am

This theatre has recently undergone a restoration that includes expanding the back of the house though I don’t think it included its original organ or any organ. Can anyone tell us more?

babahauck
babahauck on January 18, 2022 at 11:22 am

It is going to have an organ in the orchestra pit. Although it isn’t the original organ, which is in the Cleveland’s Grays Armory Museum (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grays_Armory), it will be the same make and model. The theatre has been closed for 18 months while the backstage work was being done. On January 23, 2022, the Erie Philharmonic will perform for the first time in the fully renovated and restored theatre. I was in the building on January 8, 2022. Front stage is fully restored and has stayed true to its original structure. It is stunning. There was a private preview on that evening with some performance. The acoustics are now incredible with a new orchestra shell. Also the stage lighting has been upgraded. We will have larger Broadway shows performed here in Erie now. If you can come to an event here, do it. You will not be disappointed.

Patsy
Patsy on January 18, 2022 at 12:03 pm

babahauck, Are you the lady I communicated with several years ago? If so, I recall you meeting Cass Warner through me and showing her the Warner. Please contact me at

Patsy
Patsy on January 18, 2022 at 12:05 pm

babahauck, Can tickets be purchased at the door on January 23? Would love to see you.

babahauck
babahauck on January 18, 2022 at 1:15 pm

Yes. I’m the same person however I’m not working for the Warner anymore. The event on the 23rd is an Erie Philharmonic concert. I have no idea about whether tickets will be available at the door. Their website is https://eriephil.org/ You will have to contact them.

richardg
richardg on February 20, 2022 at 11:18 am

During the 1970’s and 80’s the Warner had some rock and roll revival concerts. I attended several of them. Once that temporary signage is removed patrons will again be able to appreciate the curb appeal of this magnificent movie palace.

Patsy
Patsy on February 20, 2022 at 12:52 pm

The big news is they now have an organ.

Patsy
Patsy on February 20, 2022 at 1:09 pm

And the photo is of the back of the house.

matthewthecinemaguy
matthewthecinemaguy on April 19, 2022 at 5:41 am

List of Owners: 1935-1953 Warner Brothers Circuit 1953-1961 Stanley Warner 1961-1969 RKO Stanley Warner 1975 Cinemette Corporation of America

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