Manos Theatre

456 Donner Avenue,
Monessen, PA 15062

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The Manos Theatre theatre was part of the Manos Theatres chain, and opened on November 17, 1948. All seating was on a single floor. It was demolished in the early-1990’s.

Contributed by Robert Roy Rockwell

Recent comments (view all 13 comments)

JBG319
JBG319 on May 17, 2006 at 9:36 am

There was also a Manos in downtown Uniontown, PA which was demolished in the mid 80’s. I saw my first movie there in 1975.

dave-bronx™
dave-bronx™ on May 18, 2006 at 3:05 am

Didn’t they have the Liberty in Donora at one time?

Millrat
Millrat on May 23, 2006 at 5:22 pm

In Toronto, Ohio, where I grew up, we had two theatres: the Manos and the Rex. I recaqll the Rex closing in the late ‘50s, while the Manos closed in the late '60s. Both of these were owned by George Manos. Mr. Manos lived on River Avenue in Toronto in a huge white home that we referred to as the “Manos mansion”. I recall when Mr. Manos would stop a movie if children became too rowdy in the theatre. In his heavy Greek accent he would announce that the movie would not re-start until everyone got quiet. I know Mr. Manos owned several theatres in Ohio, but unsure if he had any connection to the PA theatres of the same name.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on January 25, 2007 at 7:10 pm

Tough times for theaters in 1958:

Mon Valley Theatres Fighting TV; Attendance Is Picking Up

Movie attendance is picking up in the Mon Valley. But not nearly enough to reopen any of the theatres darkened several years ago by the advent of television. That seems to be the opinion of district theatre men. According to a survey by The Daily Independent, there was pretty general agreement that movie attendance is “considerably better” than a year ago. However movie crowds are still much smaller than in the Hollywood heyday during the forties. Frank Bugala, of the Manos Theatre chain, said he attributes the recent increase in attendance to two factors, better films and a tendency on the part of the public to tire of television.

“We are booking some excellent movies into our Manos Theatre in Monessen and State Theatre in Charleroi,” Bugala points but. He added that both “Old Yeller” and “Sayonara” played to good houses. Bugala said district movie-goers can expect these highly touted films in the weeks ahead: Peyton Dlace, Farewell to Arms,
Raintree County, and Witness for the Prosecution. Despite improving attendance, Bugala said the Manos company had no immediate plans to reopen he darkened Star Theatre.

In Donora, Mrs. Mary Davis, manager of the Harris Theatre, agreed that attendance is picking up. However the theatre, operated by Warner Brothers, is open only four days a week. On both Thursday and Friday, the Harris is open in the evening only. Two other Donora theatres â€"Liberty and Princess â€" have been closed for about eight years. There are no plans at present to open either, it was learned.

The only valley community which still has more than one movie house is Charleroi. Three theatres are still operating daily, the Coyle, Palace and State. All three reported “improved” attendance. Only one Charleroi theatre â€"the Menlo â€" has closed in recent years. In North Belle Vernon, the Verdi Theatre operates four days a week, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. In Belle Vernon, the Flitz Theatre has been closed for good and is now a school for bricklayers. The Bell Theatre in Fayette City is open on weekends. Attendance is about “50 per cent of what it used to be,” according to the manager.

jflundy
jflundy on March 18, 2007 at 1:23 pm

Manos Theater in Grafton WV will reopen in a couple of months. Marquee is similar to one shown in 1948 photos posted by Ken mc.

jflundy
jflundy on March 18, 2007 at 1:43 pm

The Monos Theater in Elkins WV still has a similar marquee to others mentioned above but theater has been altered to serve as a tourist center,

The Grafton venue is owned by the city and has been leased to an operator according to the Clarksburg Exponent paper of today. The city is trying to bring business back to downtown and is beautifying the area and trying to lure niche specialty shops to occupy other vacant stores owned by the city. It is hoped that theater will serve as a magnet to build traffic. The exterior of the theater is intact but looks tired. It’s appears to be of moderne style circa postwar but rest of building probably dates to 1920’s. forties

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on July 31, 2009 at 5:22 pm

Here is part of an article from the Monessen Valley Independent in June 1984:

During a public hearing last night, Heritage Hills Tabernacle ran into some snags in its plans to convert the former Manos Theater into a church and school. Heritage Hills is requesting a conditional use of the theater as a place to house its Mon Valley congregation and to establish a school of Christian education. The Pittsburgh-based church organization purchased the theater owned by Manos Enterprises of Greensburg this spring. The theater had not been in use for almost two years.

Heritage Hills was instructed by city officials to petition for a hearing before the six-member Planning Commission because the church planned to change the use of the building and because it had been vacant for well over one year. The hearing last night was to “gather information” about the group’s plans for the building, its property and storeroom, chairman George Konstantinides said.

LouisRugani
LouisRugani on July 12, 2010 at 7:01 pm

Monessen celebrated a revamped movie theater as the Manos opened Dec. 3. 1932. The Monessen Amusement Co. had taken over the old Olympic Theater, built in 1912, and in the opinion of The Daily Independent, transformed it “into a veritable palace.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 9, 2013 at 12:46 am

This house was newly built in 1948, and was not the former Olympic Theatre in the Daily Independent article cited by LouisRugani. When the new Manos Theatre opened, the old Olympic/Manos was renamed the Grand Theatre, but as far as I’ve been able to determine it closed in 1952. The Olympic opened in 1915 at 475 Donner Avenue, according to Monessen: A Typical Steel Country Town by Cassandra Vivian.

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