Refowich Theater

Centre & Main Streets,
Freeland, PA 18224

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Refowich Theater

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Construction for the Refowich began in 1912 and the theater opened for the first time in February 1914. The theater was located at the intersection of Centre and Main Streets and had a total of 650 seats. A heavy winter storm hit the area during the same week as the grand opening and brought snowdrifts that reached fifteen feet. This adversely affected business during the first weeks and management was forced to reduce prices to 5 cents for all admissions!

The theater offered both vaudeville and movie presentations. Along with the lobby, the building contained several storefronts on the first floor and offices on the second floor. A popular ice cream parlor called Candyland was located in one of the first floor storefronts for many years. Stage shows were discontinued in 1930 but local groups occasionally used the stage for presentations. The theater closed for good in the early 1970’s. In the late 1970’s, the building interior was totally gutted and today houses senior citizen apartments.

Any additional information on this theater would be welcome.

Contributed by Bobs

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

RJS on July 25, 2005 at 1:41 pm

An early image of the Refowich Theater can be seen here.
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RJS on July 26, 2005 at 5:51 am

Another small image of the theater (with snow) can be seen here. Don’t click to expand the image unless you’re a member.

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kencmcintyre on February 5, 2008 at 6:54 pm

Here is an expanded view of the PAB thumbnail posted on 7/26/05. The photo date is 1965, and comes from the Irvin Glazer theater collection:

reechie on July 21, 2008 at 3:31 pm

The last film shown at The Refowich Theatre was Disney’s “Escape From Witch Mountain”, which puts the closing in 1975. I was at the last matinee, I think there was one last evening show later that night.

I was a ten year old Marx Brothers fanatic in 1974 when “Animal Crackers” was reissued. For a weekend, “The Ref” ran the film, and it’s the one and only time I’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing The Marx Brothers on the big screen.

The Refowich was a big part of my childhood. I still have dreams about that theater from time to time.

RJS on June 22, 2010 at 8:00 am

There was a fire in the old Refowich building this week contained to one of the apartments now located in what was the auditorium. A news link is pasted below.

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 26, 2014 at 1:49 pm

In a classified advertisement in the May 9, 1914, issue of shoe trade journal Boot and Shoe Recorder, the Refowich Brothers offered for rent: “Store room in the new Refowich Vaudeville Theatre, Freeland, Pa. Best corner in town, best town for its size- 7,000 population.”

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