Murphy Theatre

131 East Main Street,
Front Royal, VA 22630

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The Murphy Opera House was screening motion pictures by 1914. It was used as a vaudeville and silent motion picture theatre. Taken over by Pitts' Theaters Inc. in 1930, the Murphy Theatre was closed around 1957. The building still stands and has had various uses over the years. These include a post office, a clothing store and it’s current use as Royal Oak Computers.

Any further information on the Murphy Theatre would be appreciated.

Contributed by Lost Memory

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 28, 2013 at 12:51 pm

The April 4, 1930, issue of the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star reported that Benjamin Pitts had taken a ten-year lease on Murphy’s Theatre in Front Royal and would immediately begin a remodeling which would include the installation of Western Electric sound equipment.

The theater was expected to reopen in about six weeks. It would be the sixth house in the Pitts' Theatres chain. The article said that Murphy’s was Front Royal’s leading playhouse, and one of the largest theaters in the Shenandoah Valley, seating over 1000.

The house was listed as Pitts' Murphy on a list of the twenty-five theaters operated by Pitts' Theatres in 1952. I found it mentioned in 1959, but an ambiguous context make it impossible to tell if it was still in operation at that time. Pitts' Theatres also took over the Park Theatre in Front Royal sometime after acquiring the Murphy, and appears to have operated it until at least 1960.

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