Kearse Theatre

161-167 Summers Street,
Charleston, WV 25301

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marcyw108 on February 28, 2016 at 7:34 am

I have one of the original Kearse Theater Movie Marquis. I am willing to sell if anyone is interested. It has the original shipping label in the back.

dallasmovietheaters on February 28, 2016 at 5:00 am

November 29, 1922 grand opening with the great “Blood and Sand” ad posted in photos.

herdintheupstate on November 17, 2014 at 6:51 am

The official NRHP listings from the State of West Virginia Division of Culture & History website ( state that this theater was demolished in 1982.

Erasmusinwv2 on July 4, 2012 at 9:21 pm

Is this theater still around? I am in the process of buying and rehabbing the Philippi Grand and if it proves profitable I want to work on reopening other theaters in WV, KY, OH, PA, MD, and VA. There are so many wonderful old theaters with more character than any modern cookie cutter places.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 26, 2012 at 1:33 am

The theater for which construction contracts had just been let, according to an item in the January 14, 1922, issue of The American Contractor, must have been the Kearse:

“Theater: $250,000. 4 or 5 sty. Charleston, VV. Va. Archt. Mills & Millspaugh Co., 67 E. Long st., Columbus. Owner T. K. Kearse, Circuit of Theaters. T. L. Mearse, gen. mgr., Strand Theater bldg., cor. Summers & State sts., Charleston. Gen. contr., including excav. fdn., let to E. L. Harris, 1568 Jackson St., Charleston. Brk. mas. & carp, work by supt. Rfg. to W. F. Shawer, Eagan St., Charleston. Fdns. drawn.”

marcyw108 on July 25, 2010 at 6:52 pm

Awesome! Thanks for the info!

marcyw108 on January 17, 2010 at 4:01 pm

Does anyone else have any photos or info on the Kearse thester?

marcyw108 on September 19, 2007 at 1:06 pm

Does anyone have any good photos of the Kearse?

kencmcintyre on September 19, 2007 at 7:39 am

Here is a June 1950 ad from the Charlesto Gazette:

kencmcintyre on September 16, 2007 at 9:01 pm

Here is a 1949 ad from the Charleston Daily Mail:

kencmcintyre on November 16, 2006 at 10:38 am

Other theaters in town circa August 1960 were the Rialto, Virginian and Warner Fairmont:

THEATER WON’T DIE – “Closed” Rialto Reopens Friday

The last film at the Rialto was “13 Ghosts.” But the 43-year-old
theater in the Morrison Building on Quarrier Street is not one
of them. After a shutdown of four days, the Rialto will reopen tomorrow with “The Apartment,” the picture being shifted from the Virginian, also a unit of Stanley Warner Corp.

Newspaper ads last week announced that the Rialto would be closed last Sunday night, ending the four-decade life of the theater. John Cox, the Rialto’s manager, was transferred to the Warner Fairmont theater. William Wyatt, manager of the Virginian, was ordered by the Pittsburgh region office to take over the closing of
the Rialto.

Last Monday, Wyatt moved dozens of large cartons into the theater
for packing of the seats. A filing case was removed from the Rialto office to the Virginian. “All I can say now is that the lease for the Rialto has been renewed with the Stanley Warner Corp.” said John Morrison, an owner of the Morrison building. He declined to discuss prospective remodeling of the building, which at its birth in 1917 was the pride of Charleston for its elegance.

kencmcintyre on October 21, 2006 at 4:28 pm

“The Light that Failed” starring Ronald Colman was playing at the Kearse in February 1940:

marcyw108 on October 19, 2005 at 5:20 pm

Hi I have one of the original marquis fron the Kearse theater. It has the original shipping label on it, if you have any other pics id love to see them.