LaRoy Theater

848 Gallia Street,
Portsmouth, OH 45662

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LaRoy Theater

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The largest and finest vaudeville theater in south-central Ohio, the LaRoy Theater in Portsmouth, Ohio, was a joint venture of two local businessmen: Simon Labold and Thoms Conroy.

The LaRoy Theater opened January 11, 1926 with “high-class vaudeville” and silent films. In the summer of 1928 it was taken over by the Schine Circuit Inc. By 1941 it was operated by Warner Bros. Circuit Management Corp. The theater was the entertainment showplace of the region until it closed in 1973 for a street-widening program. The final film was “Gone With the Wind”.

Contributed by Robert Craycraft

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

kencmcintyre on November 2, 2006 at 12:18 pm

On 1/18/43, “Rise and Shine” with Jack Oakie and Linda Darnell was playing at the LaRoy. The other theaters in the Portsmouth area at the time were the Eastland, Westland, Strand, Lyric, Warner’s Columbia, Garden and Stanley.

Ziggy on April 3, 2011 at 7:29 pm

Thank goodness for street widening (he said sarcastically)! Portsmouth may have lost a viable downtown business, but now people can drive down the block 4 tenths of a second faster!

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 8, 2015 at 2:38 pm

This web page has photos of several Portsmouth theaters, including the LaRoy about halfway down the page. A list at the top of the page gives the LaRoy’s address as 848 Gallia Street.

The August 1, 1928, issue of the Portsmouth Daily Times said that the Schine Theaters Circuit, which had recently acquired the LaRoy, Lyric, and Columbia Theatres, would install new and improved lamps in the projectors at all three houses.

DavidZornig on August 15, 2015 at 4:26 pm

January 1926 Grand Opening print ad added courtesy of Guy Cooper.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 15, 2015 at 5:44 pm

The LaRoy Theatre opened with a three-manual Bennett organ, opus 952. The fate of the instrument is unknown at this time.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 15, 2015 at 7:37 pm

The January 12, 1926, issue of The Portsmouth Daily Times had an article about the opening of the LaRoy Theatre the previous night, and said that architect Laurence Millspaugh was among the speakers at the event. The November 19, 1924, issue of the same publication had said that Columbus architectural firm Carmichael & Millspaugh had been chosen to design the new theater to be built at Gallia and Gay Streets.

The firm was founded shortly after WWI. Martin Laurence Millspaugh retired from architecture in 1932 to take over operation of his family’s business, Baltimore silversmiths Samuel Kirk & Son. Carmichael & Millspaugh also drew the plans for the 1926 remodeling of the Robey Theatre in Spencer, West Virginia. I’ve been unable to discover Mr. Carmichael’s first name or initials.

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