Academy Theater

275 Chestnut Street,
Meadville, PA 16335

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 12, 2021 at 8:42 pm

The May 8, 1926 issue of Moving Picture World said that Ralph Shadley had bought the Academy Theatre building at Meadville from the estate of the late A. G. Phillips. Boxoffice of April 18, 1966 reported that the booking office of Blatt Bros. Theatres had begun licensing and booking films for Ralph Shadley’s Academy Theatre.

robboehm on December 11, 2021 at 4:20 pm

Uploaded a 1963 photo of Chestnut Street in which the marquee of the Academy is seen to the right.

Taylormoviegoer on February 12, 2016 at 4:58 pm

I visited this theatre the summer of 1994, (saw the Lion King with my children), when traveling to the neighboring town of Guys Mills, where I spent many summers growing up. Nice little theatre. BTW… I came across a listing for the Photoplay Theatre, Meadville, PA. in a 1916 publication.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 25, 2011 at 6:45 am

The official web site that Lost Memory linked to is gone, but here is a link to the new official Academy Theatre web site.

The site’s “About Us” page says that the Academy of Music was designed by the noted Chicago theater architect J.M. Wood. The page also says that the house opened in December, 1885.

Patsy on October 28, 2006 at 8:40 am

Lost Memory: You are the Photo Wizard! Thanks again!!!!!

Patsy on October 28, 2006 at 8:02 am

So it is not the Academy that is for sale? Still would like to see some phtotos of this theatre so maybe “Lost Memory” can find some to post!

RobKightlinger on October 28, 2006 at 6:06 am

The theater for sale was the Meadville Cinemas which was the last movie house in the city. The new owner(s) will have a tough go, in my opinion, if they choose the movie approach because of the new Movies At Meadville cineplex just outside of town. They have the multiple screen, Dolby 5.1 surround affair and even do football games complete with tail-gating. The Academy is still in safe hands. I was just there Friday installing a new CD player in the office.

Patsy on October 27, 2006 at 12:40 pm

I recently heard that this theatre was for sale on eBay. Can anyone offer more information on this bit of theatre news? Friends of mine who live near Meadville, but not in Meadville told me that in their local paper there was a recent article. Unfortunately, they didn’t save the story for me to read.

RobKightlinger on October 27, 2006 at 10:55 am

Also, interior shots are available. I can try and show as much detail as possible…

RobKightlinger on October 27, 2006 at 10:54 am

If anyone is still interested in photos of the Acamedy Theatre I can help. You’ll have to wait for the rare sunny day in Meadville for exteriors, though. The marquee was removed during the renovation as it was not original to the building so it doesn’t have what you call a movie theatre look. If you want to know more about Meadville I can try and fill in the gaps…

Patsy on September 2, 2006 at 9:52 am

I’m not from Meadville PA, but have visited that community a few times. It’s a quaint college town and is located south of Erie PA on I-79.

Michael Furlinger
Michael Furlinger on September 2, 2006 at 5:33 am

tell me about MEADVILLE PA??????????///

Patsy on April 21, 2006 at 8:46 pm

Does anyone have a photo(s) of this theatre in Meadville PA?

Patsy on October 21, 2005 at 10:56 am

Does anyone have photos of this theatre?

Patsy on December 12, 2004 at 12:10 am

I see that this theatre history mentions the Blatt Brothers and I was wondering if anyone could help with additional information concerning the Blatt name in connection to other theatres around the country? Thank you.

Seth on November 2, 2004 at 3:41 pm

That’s nice, but what makes you think Ted will see it? Did you ever consider buying a stamp? Or even reading enough of the site to figure out that it has nothing to do with the management of the theater? This looks even dumber than people who want to know showtimes, etc. Anyhow, just reading up on other PA theaters to visit while seeing the last of the Jordan, and I had to respond. Too many people clearly weren’t paying attention when they posted.

blackbeauty on August 22, 2004 at 9:33 pm

Dear Foundation President Ted Watts,

You have denied that your decision to cancel the Michael Moore film is one of censorship. Yet most of your members want to see the film. Perhaps the board’s decision is not technically censorship, but your board did fold under initial pressure and seems unwilling to reconsider as pressure amounts on the other side. What is in question is the courage of the board, the biases of those on the board, or possibly both.

As for political agendas—every film has at least an implicit political agenda and many you’ve shown have explicit political agendas. Showing a film members want to see is not taking a political posture. Canceling a scheduled showing for political reasons (whether internal or national) is a political decision.

Since you have been made uncomfortable about the film, a good solution would be to show the film and then sponsor a well-designed debate between a critic of the film and someone who is willing to defend it. (A well-designed debate could take less then an hour: one person making a five minute point, then a three minute response by the other, a one-minute reply by the first speaker; repeating this three more times, switching persons; concluding with each person offering a five minute conclusion. The first speaker would offer the first conclusion. The extra ten minutes would be absorbed by a moderator, explaining the ground rules, then enforcing them.) The debate could be a bit briefer and could occur 2/3rds of the way through the film after a brief intermission.

Courage is essential to citizens and boards. Letting people inform themselves and then make their own decisions is also essential.


Bart Gruzalski
Professor Emeritus Philosophy
Northeastern University, Boston