Feeley Theater

32 N. Wyoming Avenue,
Hazleton, PA 18201

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Feeley Theater

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The Feeley Theater, best known for its popular vaudeville shows, opened for the first time in November 1916 and was located at the corner of Green and Wyoming Streets in Hazleton. Feeley advertisements often contained the quote “103 Steps from Broad Street”. It was a three-floor structure of deep red brick with some terracotta work in the facade. It contained three separate storefronts in addition to the theater lobby on the first floor. The second and third floors contained offices and popular poolroom was in the basement for many years.

It had a long and narrow lobby of approximately 20 by 80 feet. The auditorium originally had 812 seats in the orchestra and 715 in the balcony for a total of 1527 seats. A color scheme of rose and old gold were done throughout the auditorium and lobby. The stage measured 28 by 83 feet and it had a rather large orchestra pit.

The theater featured vaudeville exclusively until talking pictures became very popular in the 1930’s when it switched over to mostly showing films. Vaudeville returned a number of times in the 1940’s and 50’s and the theater actually hosted a number of stage shows into the 1970’s. When Paramount Pictures released “The Molly Maguries” in early 1970 (which was filmed locally), the Feeley had the world premiere showing. The theater closed for good in 1976 and was only used for the local Philharmonic shows. It was demolished in 1980 for a parking lot.

Contributed by Bob

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

RJS
RJS on July 18, 2005 at 10:08 pm

I recall seeing a movie at the Feeley with my parents, probably when I was 8 or 9 years old. Don’t recall the movie (other then there was lots of talking), but during the show, there seemed to a bird that kept flying through different scenes. After the movie was over, found out from my parents a bat was inside the theater and had kept flying between the screen and projector. I recall a number of different spotlights came on when the house lights were brought up and seemed to be searching for the way-ward bat. I couldn’t understand why a movie theater would have so many spotlights. At the time, I had no idea what “live” theater was or the Feeley even had a stage.

Attached is a picture link of the interior just before it was demolished.
View link

RJS
RJS on July 19, 2005 at 9:26 pm

Another exterior picture showing the second marquee can bee seen here.

View link

georgeator
georgeator on February 15, 2006 at 5:32 pm

The photos of “The Feeley” brought back some fond childhood memories. I was there fairly often as a child. My aunt took me there to see “Mame” starring Lucille Ball in the mid'70s. It was the last movie I remember seeing there. Around the same time frame they would host “horror” shows featuring live performers. Although I was quite young when it was torn down,I remember they had a difficult time with the demolition. “The Feeley” was billed as being fireproof so the exterior walls were extremely thick. It also featured underground tunnels for emergency evacuations and exits for vaudeville performers. These exits were one block away!

dimaund
dimaund on July 31, 2006 at 1:21 am

The Feeley Theater was owned by my great grandfather Andrew J Feeley and then by my grandmother Marie E Feeley. Although I was only 8 when it closed, I remember being allowed to explore the rooms and hallways of the theater and doing so was a great adventure for me. As a very young child, I remember seeing a live show in which a magician seemed to launch a live snake into the audience just as the house lights went out. I remember being terrified! I also remember seeing “Jaws” at the theater. The Feeley was for me a place of wonder and a concrete connection with my family’s past.

seniorscene
seniorscene on September 1, 2006 at 12:33 pm

Anyone interested in sharing a memory of the Feeley?
This year is the 40th anniversary of its closing, and we’re planning a story.
visit www.senior-scene.com and take a look at the right side of the page.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on August 24, 2008 at 4:17 am

This article states that the Philharmonic used the Feeley in the fifties before moving over to the Capitol:
http://tinyurl.com/5pmqma

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on December 22, 2008 at 11:53 pm

This is part of a Washington Post article dated 1/24/32:

Man Kills Admirer of Wife, Causing Panic in Theater

Hazleton, Pa., Jan. 23 (U.P.). — The absorption of 500 patrons in a motion picture at the Feeley Theater was shattered by a pistol shot in the semidark balcony. A man’s body slumped to the floor and another man ran from the balcony.

RJS
RJS on June 13, 2011 at 4:58 am

Below is a link showing a photo of the Family theater demolition at Broad and Wyoming streets. The roof and stage house of the Feeley theater can be seen in the background. Too bad the photo doesn’t show the Feeley marquee as well.

View link

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