Keith Albee to Close Jan. 22

posted by Ross Melnick on January 20, 2006 at 8:49 am

HUNTINGTON, WV — “One of the few fully functioning first-run movie palaces left in the United States will cease operating as a movie theatre Sunday Jan. 22, 2006,” Tony Rutherford writes in today’s Huntington News.

“Huntington’s Keith Albee survived the downfall of vaudeville, a flood, the development of television, and mall competition, but the Thomas Lamb atmospheric theatre built in 1928 could not withstand the opening of the Marquee Cinemas 16-screen multiplex at Pullman Square.”

For more information, read today’s Huntington News.

Theaters in this post

Comments (12)

anomie666 on January 20, 2006 at 1:35 pm

One of the quotes from the article:

Every time I’ve seen a film in the Pullman Square Theatre, I’ve been thankful for the comfort (especially leg room), clear view and great audio

I hear things like this all of the time, but that does not at all make up for character and soul! The big megaplexes have a place, sure, but there is something also special about seeing a movie in a theater that has character and charm.

I’m sorry to hear about the closing of another grand historic cinema. They are dying all across the country.

ERD on January 20, 2006 at 3:11 pm

The important point is that the Keith Albee is not being destroyed
and will have some future.

mindflux on January 20, 2006 at 8:05 pm

I am very sad to see this go, this is a beautiful theater and restored could be even more beautiful. Im glad to see that it will stay active as a performing arts theater however. I plan to see the last show in the big theater and also have plans to see an upcoming performing arts show. I plan to get the tickets soon.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on January 21, 2006 at 7:27 am

The photos accompanying that newspaper article show a flood, which is not explained anywhere in the article text. Can someone say more about this?

If this is to become a performing art center, will it be de-multiplexed?

mindflux on January 21, 2006 at 1:21 pm

This is the 1937 flood of Huntington, WV, flooded the entire downtown area and all lowlying areas in and around town. The town has since built a flood wall to make sure this never happens again. However, no flood has come anywhere close to this magnitude since then, and only very rarely has the wall been closed. I only remember one time in my lifetime (I’m 28) that the flood wall was closed.

As to the de-multiplex, I have heard nothing concrete. Although from what I read that if it is returned to its original form some art covered by the walls between the theater would become visible again and that would be nice. I dont know anything for sure. They are supposed to be having a community meeting to determine what to do next.

HornerJack on January 21, 2006 at 10:17 pm

That the Keith Albee survived to 2006 as a functioning theater seems amazing to me. I live in a city much larger and more successful than Huntingdon, and the last palace closed here in the 1970s. In fact, all have been demolished here. Doesn’t sound like there are any plans to tear down this theater, which is the good news.

mindflux on January 22, 2006 at 8:55 am

I think that the fact that your city IS much larger and more successful may perhaps be the reason that the palace’s were torn down. The people of Huntington rejected a downtown mall
back in the seventies so it went to a suburb, had a mall been put downtown the theaters wouldve likely put the Keith, Cinema, and Camelot out of business. Instead though, this suburb has become very wealthy while Huntington’s downtown had not developed much, that is until Pullman and its multiplex moved in.

I’m just glad the Keith (and apparently the Cinema) will still have a life. It would be truly sad to let the Keith go.

mindflux on January 22, 2006 at 9:30 am

When the GHTC leaves the Keith-Albee, they will take all the projection and sound equipment out so another theater cannot exist unless new equipment is purchased.

“We don’t want the Keith-Albee to house movies anymore,” Hyman said.

From an article about the Marhall University’s Parthenon Newspaper.

mindflux on January 22, 2006 at 9:32 am

Yeah, hes being a bit of a jerk about it. His family built the theater so now that he no longer has it he is being selfish.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on January 22, 2006 at 7:23 pm

That 1937 flood is unreal. Where did the floodwaters come from and what prompted water levels to rise so drastically?

mindflux on January 22, 2006 at 10:24 pm

Huntington borders on the Ohio River and Guyandotte River, so the waters cam efrom there. As for the water livels rising quickly Im not absolutely certain. Here is a good website with many, many photos of the flood if you want to see more.

View link

mindflux on January 22, 2006 at 10:27 pm

Here is a story with a photo of the Orpheum Theater in the 1937 flood (now the Cinema, the last remaining “cinema treasure” acting as a theater in Huntington, WV)

View link

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