Media Theatre for the Performing Arts

104 E. State Street,
Media, PA 19063

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Media Theatre for the Performing Arts

The Media Theatre opened August 27, 1927 with Al Jolson in “The Jazz Singer”. Originally seating was provided for 1,100 and the movie theatre also hosted vaudeville shows in its stage.

The Media Theatre closed as a movie theatre in 1990, but the theatre was restored and reopened in 1994 as a performing arts venue.

Contributed by George Quirk, Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 16 comments)

Patsy on June 19, 2007 at 7:50 pm

George H. Rothacker painted the Media Theater in 1991 to help raise money for a community effort to preserve the 1927 movie house. More than $3500 was raised in print sales, after which the owner of the theater decided to restore the theater for musicals and live stage events. A few months later, on a trip to Doylestown, Mr. Rothacker discovered that the 1938 County Theater was dark. His wife photographed the building with a disposable camera, and he painted the building, and created a print series which eventually helped the community restore the theater.

Since that time, George Rothacker has painted 10 theaters, the latest of which is the Indiana Theater, created and reproduced for the benefit of the Jimmy Stewart Museum in Indiana, Pennsylvania.

“Sometimes I paint a theater to help physically preserve it,” said Mr. Rothacker. “And sometimes I simply paint it because of it’s a wonderful building that should remain with us in memory a while longer. When establishing a fundraising effort, I do the painting, and the printing it at my cost and then offer the sponsoring organization 50% of the sale of the prints from the initial sale. By taking all of the risk , I relieve the community or other sponsor of any financial concerns. Its an all win situation for them.”

Mr. Rothacker is continually searching for movie houses to paint and reproduce. If you know of any theaters in need of preservation, or of an organization who could help benefit the revitalization of a theater or a community, please call 610-566-0334.

Patsy on June 19, 2007 at 7:51 pm

I wish Mr. Rothacker had come to my hometown in the early 90’s…perhaps he could have painted the Grand Theatre and helped save it rather than have it demolished for reasons I will never understand!

Patsy on July 14, 2007 at 8:25 pm

Lost Memory: You have posted on my birthday!

Patsy on July 15, 2007 at 1:57 pm

LOL! Thanks and you are one of the reasons why I like CT so much!

kencmcintyre on August 31, 2007 at 8:28 pm

The Media was part of the Harry L. Dembow Circuit in the early sixties. General manager was Harry L. Dembow, not surprisingly. Besides the Media, other Dembow theaters in Pennsylvania at the time were the Congress in Marcus Hook and the State in Columbia.

DavidZornig on November 29, 2008 at 9:04 pm

Maybe Mr. Rothacker the artist can make it out to the Ioka or Crest Theatres listed on Cinema Treasures.
One small and one big in need of some saving.

HowardBHaas on December 9, 2008 at 6:30 pm

excellent photo of exterior, showing “Oliver”
View link

close up Marquee
View link

HowardBHaas on September 29, 2009 at 7:28 am

In the early 1990’s, Walter M. Strine, Sr. saved the historic Media
Theatre, which was built for movies in 1927 in Philadelphia’s suburbs. The Philadelphia Inquirer on Sunday published his obituary and photos, as he passed away at age 100. View link

DavidZornig on January 12, 2018 at 9:34 pm

Facebook page for The Media Theatre.

Gibby on July 20, 2018 at 10:56 am

I know a Person by the Name of Phil Arsenault. He really added some “BOOM”! into the History of The Media Movie Theater!

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