Franklin Theatre

429 W. Tilghman Street,
Allentown, PA 18102

Unfavorite 3 people favorited this theater

Additional Info

Firms: Jacoby & Weishampel

Functions: Church

Styles: Neo-Classical

Previous Names: Jeanette Theatre

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News About This Theater

Franklin Theater in 1916

Opened as the Franklin Theatre in 1913, in 1926 it was equipped with a Marr & Colton organ. This neighborhood theatre was renamed the Jennette Theatre on May 3, 1957 for then-owner Al Moffa’s wife. Moffa is perhaps best known for his motion picture projector repair service. As the Jeanette Theatre it played art films and later for more than two decades was Allentown’s porno house.

After the demise of the porn films the Jeannette Theatre sat empty for a couple of years until Moffa redid the theatre and reopened it again under the name of the Franklin Theatre on October 29, 1992.

It was operating weekends only, but in summer-2008, was closed temporarily. It never reopened, and in December 2011, it was announced the building was ‘For Sale’, with a view converted into offices. By 2014 it was operating as a church.

Contributed by Jonathan M. Crist

Recent comments (view all 11 comments)

joemasher on August 20, 2008 at 7:46 am

Does anyone know why the Franklin is ‘temporarily closed’? They have no movie listings, and when you call the theater the recording says they’re ‘closed for repairs’.

Roxy on January 26, 2009 at 10:12 pm

The Franklin is currently closed due to the fact the owners full time job now requires him to work hours that conflick with the theatres operating hours. He was his own manager/projectionist, and the theatre can not support paying staff to fill those positions. Therefore, until such time as his shift is returned to non-conflicking hours, the theatre will have to remain closed.

guaninquena on September 17, 2009 at 7:36 pm

I CURRENTLY involved in the community and would like to get in contact whit the owners of Franklin Theater i have a program i would like to see if he wants to or is willing to get involved also
i would think it would be in his best interest instead of having that old theater little by little sitting there collapsing we will give it a new life we will preserve the history…and help the children in our local community get in touch whit me if interested and if anyone can give me the info is really a great project and a lot off poeple will enjoy it…cross my fingers hope someone will read this…

TLSLOEWS on May 4, 2010 at 11:59 am

Very old school looking theatre.

Matthew_Folger on December 3, 2013 at 7:22 pm

I regret never taking the time to go to this theater while it was open. Seems like an interesting piece of local history. Would love to see it re-open, but I’m betting on the opposite.

Rstewart on July 30, 2014 at 1:31 pm

I just drove by the Franklin today and it is now being used as a church. Sorry, didn’t get the name, but some of the sign was in Spanish.

rivest266 on April 25, 2017 at 2:38 pm

Reopened as Jeanette on May 3rd, 1957. Grand opening ad in the photo section.

rivest266 on April 30, 2017 at 10:42 am

October 29th, 1992 – reopening as Franklin

Found on

DavidAE on October 21, 2017 at 3:19 pm

Article about the theater and a proposed use.

atmos on February 2, 2018 at 4:15 am

Architects were Jacoby and Weishampel.

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