Kenyon Theater

819 Federal Street,
Pittsburgh, PA 15212

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The Kenyon Theater was built in 1909.

Contributed by Rick Aubrey

Recent comments (view all 11 comments)

spectrum
spectrum on October 16, 2007 at 7:24 pm

AFY yearbook for 1936 lists the seating capacity as 1,636.

etwilson
etwilson on December 19, 2007 at 12:55 pm

The street corner that this theater was on, Federal and Eire, doesn’t even exist anymore. The whole street grid in Pittsburgh’s Allegheny Center area was demolished and re-arranged in the sixties during an urban renewal project. As far as I can tell, the site of the Kenyon would be right in the middle of N. Commons drive.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on November 28, 2008 at 12:37 pm

Listed as a Stanley-Warner theater in the 1955 yellow pages.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on November 28, 2008 at 1:13 pm

It’s the same general number, AT 1-9200.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 1, 2012 at 4:00 pm

The Kenyon Theater was built in 1909 by Thomas Kenyon, who later opened the New Kenyon Opera House. Testimony in a lawsuit over construction costs reveals that the Kenyon Theatre was designed by architect William Kauffman.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 4, 2014 at 1:25 pm

Here is an item from the June 21, 1913, issue of The Moving Picture World:

“The old Kenyon theater on the North Side, formerly owned by H. B. Kenyon, has changed hands and is now known as the American. Mr. Kenyon’s other show-house, the Kenyon, in Penn Avenue is now a union theater and employs none but union men. This theater is now called the Penn Avenue Theater.”
The American Theatre at 819 Federal Street is mentioned in a guide book to Pittsburgh published in 1916, so the house kept its new name at least that long.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 4, 2014 at 1:43 pm

The link to the 1939 photo kencmcintyre posted earlier is dead, but this might be the same picture, dated September 7th, 1939. The house had long since returned to its original name by then.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 5, 2014 at 8:04 am

Here is a zoomable version of the photo I linked to in my prevous comment. You can get close enough to see that one of the features that day was Republic’s comedy She Married a Cop, now remembered chiefly for an animated sequence made at Warner Bros. (Republic had no animation studio.)

Yesterday I got turned around looking at the map and street views and posted that odd numbers were on the east sides of streets in Pittsburgh, but they aren’t. The Kenyon was on the west side of Federal Street somewhere south of what is now North Commons.

coreythomas86
coreythomas86 on January 26, 2014 at 2:38 pm

Does anybody know when this theater closed and also my grandmother’s friend claims that this theater had a bowling alley, but my grandmother claims it doesn’t. Can anyone settle this dispute for us?

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 26, 2014 at 2:59 pm

coerythomas86: If you zoom into the photo I linked to in my previous comment you’ll see a sign for the Kenyon Bowling Alleys on the front of the building next to the alley, and another sign for bowling and a pool room on the alley wall itself. Looks like your grandmother’s friend wins, but I don’t see the entrance to the bowling alley anywhere in the photo. Maybe your grandmother’s friend remembers where it was.

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