Columbia Theatre

150 Main Street,
Brookville, PA 15825

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Warner Bros. Circuit Management Corp.

Architects: Harry S. Bair

Functions: Live Theatre

Styles: Colonial Revival

Nearby Theaters

Columbia Theatre

The Columbia Theatre was located on Main Street and opened on December 24, 1919. The Columbia Theatre had a different seating arrangement than most theatres. Upon entering patrons walked up a slight incline to their seats which faced the screen which was in the back of the theatre. By 1941, it was operated by Warner Bros. Circuit Management Corp. It was closed on June 19, 1954. It reopened part time screening on 4 nights a week (Friday thru Sunday) and was still opened in December 1957.

Following closure the front lobby was being used as a youth center and some theatre seats remain. A church own the building and they presented concerts in the auditorium. By 2021 it was in use as a live theatre.

Perhaps the name Columbia was a theatre chain since Columbia Theatres are also listed as having been in Sharon and Erie, PA.

Contributed by Pat Locke

Recent comments (view all 16 comments)

Patsy on December 22, 2004 at 1:51 pm

Will do…for sure! It’s not a matter of IF, but WHEN and this time I will be entering the theatre, too! ;–)

Patsy on April 20, 2005 at 7:11 pm

lostmemory: I think a church owns the Columbia Theatre, but will find out more information upon a visit to my husband’s hometown and hopefully a tour of the theatre.

Patsy on August 25, 2005 at 4:23 pm

lostmemory: Well, I’ve been to Brookville and took a tour of the Columbia. A local church does, in fact, own the building. The front half which includes the former lobby is used as a teen center and the back half which is the auditorium is used for Christian music concerts as there is a stage and former orchestra pit that has been covered over to provide more stage depth. The ceiling as been painted to the original design and many of the light fixtures are original! The original seats have been taken out, but 3 of them do exist as we found them in the back of the theatre not being used for anything! The street facade as been enclosed with glass,
but the original plaster molding design still remains in the area where the ticket kios would have stood which has been removed over the years when that area was open leading from the front doors into
the lobby with curved ceiling. The horizontal Columbia marquee is
gone, but the exterior overhead metal awning is still intact though is peeling and in need of paint.

Patsy on January 20, 2009 at 4:45 pm

Lost: This is my husband’s hometown in PA.

Patsy on January 20, 2009 at 5:14 pm

It’s not really a theatre as we know it…no seats other than folding chairs as it is a teen center for the youth of the community. The stage area is used for Christian concerts, etc. As I recall the ceiling chandeliers are original.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 2, 2011 at 6:58 pm

A book called “Brookville” by Carole A. Briggs has a photo of the Columbia, and provides the information that the 1904 structure was a hotel. The auditorium was added to the back of the building some years later. The alterations were designed by Pittsburgh architect Harry S. Bair.

Patsy on January 19, 2015 at 5:13 pm

Joe: Thank you for the book link!

dallasmovietheaters on February 2, 2018 at 5:38 pm

The Columbia Theatre launched December 24, 1919. It closed on June 19, 1954 after a 50% year-over-year decrease in attendance due to television. It doesn’t appear to have reopened.

glcody26 on August 22, 2021 at 5:31 pm

I found newspaper advertising through December 0f 1957. It was running 4 nights a week (Fri-Sat-Sun-Mon)

Patsy on November 10, 2021 at 6:15 pm

This theatre for many years was a teen center though it is now being returned to the town as the theatre it once was. Just this past weekend local theatre did a stage production of Steel Magnolia.

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