147 N. Main Street,
3 people favorited this theater
Previously operated by: Altoona Publix Theaters Inc.
Architects: James E. Casale
Previous Names: Penn Theatre
The Penn Theatre opened in 1938. The Penn Cinemas closed in May, 2001ending the long reign of Main Street’s last picture palace. The theatre’s owners are asking $195,000 for the aging building. The theatre is owned by Theater Management, a Florida-based company that does not see downtown theatres as a current part of its business.
Despite a $250,000 renovation, the Penn Cinemas has not turned enough profit to satisfy the company, which claims that the theatre has been for sale since work was completed on the renovation in 1997.
Interestingly, the company says the only reason the Penn Cinemas has stayed open this long is because it is a favorite of the founder of Theater Management, Chester DeMarsh, who bought the theatre in 1965.
In the summer of 2023 under new ownership, renovations began to convert the Penn Theatre into a live entertainment venue, with some use as a movie theatre. It is planning for a November 2023 reopening.
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