Astor Theatre

730-42 Penn Street,
Reading, PA 19602

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Jay Emanuel Theaters, Warner Bros. Circuit Management Corp.

Architects: William Harold Lee

Styles: Art Deco

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Announcing the New Astor Theatre in Reading PA

Built on the site of the Arcadia Theater, the Astor Theatre opened October 3, 1928 with Janet Gaynor in “Street Angel”. It was designed by architect William H. Lee, and seating 2,478. The Art Deco style theatre, located on Penn Street, operated until 1975. Unfortunately, the Astor Theatre was razed in 1998 to clear the way for the Sovereign Center arena. Some architectural details were salvaged from the Astor Theatre and recycled in the Sovereign Center.

Contributed by Bryan

Recent comments (view all 31 comments)

jtylka on August 27, 2011 at 6:00 pm

two glass doors from the Astor are for sale on Reading craigslist

masterJemstar on September 6, 2011 at 5:12 pm

Hey I was hoping you could tell me what Year the Greatful Dead played the the Astor I think 1968 and how could I find any photo’s of the Band….not sure if the played as The Warlock’s or the Greatful Dead any info would be nice..would love to know the setlist and how many shows Jerry or the band played. Reading PA

Steerforth on September 6, 2011 at 7:48 pm

Maybe September 20, 1976, but the information is scant.

Steerforth on September 6, 2011 at 7:53 pm

Don’t think so. This has all their shows as far as I know.

slip on September 28, 2012 at 10:14 am

The Grateful Dead never played here but the Jerry Garcia Band performed here on 9/20/76.

slip on September 28, 2012 at 10:18 am

There were early and lates shows… Early setlist They Love Each Other Russian Lullaby After Midnight Stir It Up How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) Who Was John Friend Of The Devil Midnight Moonlight

Late setlist The Way You Do The Things You Do Catfish John Sugaree Knockin' On Heaven’s Door Mystery Train Tore Up Over You Mission In The Rain > My Sisters And Brothers Ride Mighty High

Elvis Presley’s drummer, Ron Tutt, was the Garcia Band’s drummer also, in the same time frame.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 11, 2014 at 5:46 pm

Our description says the Astor opened in 1938. This must be a typo. It opened in 1928. The September 11 issue of the Reading Times said that the projected opening date was September 21.

rivest266 on June 21, 2014 at 6:06 pm

October 3rd, 1928 grand opening ad can be found in the photo section.

ProfNiedermeier on March 31, 2017 at 5:42 pm

Just came across this 1987 article from Allentown’s Morning Call newspaper. Fairly lengthy piece that gives some history on the theatre and the (then current) fight to save it.

wmlawrence on January 3, 2022 at 10:46 am

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