Cinema Theatre

1308 Seventh Avenue,
Beaver Falls, PA 15010

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Cinema Theatre

Contributed by Ken McIntyre

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

kencmcintyre on February 15, 2008 at 12:26 am

Here is a 1942 photo from the Library of Congress:

edblank on May 28, 2008 at 8:37 pm

This theater opened as the Alhambra, then became the Regent and possibly, later, just Cinema. There was a fire in 1970. It was still standing as late as 1983.

femmeshui on February 10, 2010 at 10:17 pm

The site where this theater stood was directly across from the Beaver Falls Library. It sat empty for several years before being leveled, along with the buildings on either side of it. In it’s place was built a small, rather unremarkable building that is used as a medical center of sorts.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 13, 2011 at 7:17 pm

The street view has been “updated” a bit too far north. The theater was still standing when the aerial view they use for bird’s-eye view at Bing Maps was taken, and it looks like its north wall was on a line just about between the street lamp and the utility pole you can see if you pivot street view to the right. The south wall was probably about where the middle of the new building with the gabled entrance is located.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 14, 2011 at 5:16 am

Kenneth Britten’s book, “Beaver Falls: Gem of Beaver County,” has several paragraphs about the Regent Theatre, which the author attended as a boy. There’s also a 1968 photo of the house, at the time it reopened as the Cinema (the Regent had closed as a movie house in 1957, but had reopened in 1963 for a run as a live theater.)

The book gives the date of the fire that gutted the building as March 2, 1980, so the 1985 photo at American Classic Images was taken some five years after the theater had closed for the last time.

leonardjf on December 23, 2012 at 11:20 pm

The Regent was a vaudeville theater in the days when Beaver Falls was called “Little Pittsburgh.” After it closed as a live theater, it was used for local theater presentations from time to time, but was converted to a movie theater in 1967. The first movie they showed after it opened for movies was “Doctor Dolittle” (I saw it there.) In the late 1970s, operator Cinemark closed the theater. I was interested in redeveloping it for television production, so I toured the building with a Cinemark manager. We went downstairs into the dressing rooms and set storage area; there were still pictures on the wall and autographs from Bob Hope, Jack Benny and other performers. From the projection booth, we could see the original atmospheric ceiling, which had been covered over with a drop ceiling.

I left Beaver Falls in 1978; the theater was repeatedly vandalized, and a fire broke out in the set storage area that consumed the back half of the building. It was eventually torn down, leaving the empty hole on 7th Avenue that you see.

leonardjf on December 23, 2012 at 11:23 pm

By the way, the storefront on the right side of the theater in the 1985 picture used to be my aunt’s ladies hat shop. The furniture store to the right was once a Montgomery Ward department store.

GrandkidNo5 on August 7, 2013 at 3:02 pm

Tenor Henry Burr’s Peerless Quartet performed at the Regent in April 1923 on a promotion tour for Victor Records. Also heard that Roy Rogers & his horse Trigger appeared at the Regent sometime during the 1940’s. The theater was also home for the Regent Players during the 1960’s.

AndrewBarrett on December 22, 2015 at 12:51 am

According to “The Encyclopedia of the American Theatre Organ” by Mr. David L. Junchen, pg. 630, the “Regent (Alhambra) Th.” in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, had a 2-manual Smith theatre pipe organ, installed in 1916.

Mr. Junchen didn’t give the # of pipe ranks in the organ, since he didn’t have that info at the time of publication.

This instrument apparently had the “Smith” nameplate meaning it was built in the first North Tonawanda, New York factory of Mr. Smith.

Also according to the book, it had Kinetic blower serial #D656, which was 1 horsepower and delivered wind at 10" static pressure.

Does anyone know what happened to this organ and where it (or its parts) are today?

I realize that with the fire + vandalism, etc. of this theatre, the organ may have been damaged or destroyed, but it was very common for theatres to sell old pipe organs in the 1930s and 1940s (and later) to churches desiring to get an inexpensive secondhand pipe organ to use (who didn’t care much about the distinctions of popular vs. liturgical instruments), and then during the theatre organ revival of the 1950s-1970s, many others were sold to hobbyists and enthusiasts who sometimes installed them in their homes.

Another, less common, scenario was for some hard up theatre owners to sell or donate the long-disused organ’s metal pipes for scrap for the war effort (during WWII), or, occasionally, to junk the entire instrument as “useless”!!! Fortunately, this did not happen as often as some form of preservation or survival, however temporary.

It is possible that no part of the organ was left in the theatre at the time of the fires/vandalism, so again, does anybody remember this organ and know what happened to it, or its parts, and where they are today?

Thank you very much,
Andrew Barrett

P. S. you may also wish to view my Smith and Geneva Pipe Organs group on Facebook:

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