Latonia Theater

1 East First Street,
Oil City, PA 16301

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The Latonia Theater was built in the late 1920’s at the cost of half a million dollars. It was operated at that time by Warner Brothers. The last movie shown at the Latonia was in 1969.

There was interest in using the theater as a live performance showcase, but that was ultimately unsuccessful. The theater was converted into a furniture showroom in 1972.

In 2007, renovation work was carried out on the upper section to convert the building into a ballroom/conference center.

Contributed by Ken McIntyre

Recent comments (view all 66 comments)

larue777 on December 2, 2007 at 8:59 am

It’s been a while since I posted news. SO MUCH has happened and continues… The film festival was reported as a great success! And next year it will be held Saturday September 15th at the Latonia. It is a Venango County event and the festival will open in Emlenton at the Crawford Center on Friday, then the Latonia on Saturday and end at the Barrow Civic Theatre in Franklin on Sunday.
Last night our local Glenda group held a World Aides Day event in the ballroom with skits, readings and music. It was great to have them here!
Work continues on the ballroom. Plaster repair and painting – preparing the floors and the stairs for carpet – new doors and windows are scheduled for installation within the next two weeks – the carpet arrives early January…. The biggest news is that theatre seats are now in place in the balcony. Youth from Oil City’s South Side Association helped bring them from Warren Ohio to the Latonia. We so appreciate their support along with many others in the community who have offered so much.
THE GRAND OPENING of the Ballroom is set for February 1. The Latonia is REBORN!

sportster49 on February 24, 2008 at 12:18 pm

For anyone that’s interested, the architectual firm that designed the Latonia was Marks & Karr from Pittsburgh. They are no longer in business.

Patsy on February 24, 2008 at 12:45 pm

thelatonia: Great to read your “The Latonia is REBORN”!“ post…let us know how the grand opening went on February 1.

larue777 on March 2, 2008 at 10:35 am

The Grand Opening was fabulous! The evening kicked off with a Venango Area Chamber of Commerce Mixer – the biggest mixer in the Chamber’s history. It was a “celebrate great things in the region” night with 16 organizations around the room with displays highlighting their projects. As we cut the ribbon, the house lights went off and the chandelier lit up for the first time in decades! We had our first concert the next weekend and are working a schedule of events. Meanwhile, private bookings are underway.

Patsy on March 2, 2008 at 10:43 am

Great to read that “the chandelier lit up for the first time in decades.” Congratulations and I hope to make a trip to Oil City this summer to witness your continued progress!

ERD on March 2, 2008 at 10:52 am

I am glad to know that the Latonia has been restored. It is important to preserve the beauty of such theatres.

larue777 on April 3, 2008 at 1:34 pm

Many things happening at the Latonia. Much work to do!! May and June every Friday night is “Live” at the Latonia night. Some great entertainment, regional promotion, giveways in the historical Latonia tradition… Working hard to support the community and raise funds for this great project. Visit for more. Also, see our videos on Look forward to seeing all of you this summer for many events.

Patsy on April 19, 2008 at 7:06 am

thelatonia: Great to read your recent post! Hope to visit the theatre again this summer!

sportster49 on September 16, 2009 at 8:57 am

More recent views of The Latonia may be seen in the documentary film, “Out in the Silence”.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on June 29, 2011 at 4:40 am

Just saw the documentary Out in the Silence on PBS — a very good, enlightening show — and was pleased to see so much footage about the re-opening of this theater and the girls who bought it and worked hard to bring it back to life. So of course I came here straight-away to find out more.

What’s the present status? It seems the website is down but I hope the theater is still in some kind of performance use.

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