Park Theatre

320 Main Street,
Point Pleasant, WV 25550

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The State Theatre was opened in 1928 with a seating capacity of 608. It was taken over by the Alpine Theater Circuit in 1936 and renamed Alpine Theatre. Renamed Park Theatre around 1946, it was closed around 1957. It is now a bar.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 20, 2014 at 3:34 pm

If February, 1936, the Alpine Theatre Circuit took over the State Theatre in Point Pleasant, West Virginia. A year later, The Film Daily mentioned an Alpine Theatre in Point Pleasant. As the Alpine circuit was in the habit of renaming its theatres with the company name, there’s little doubt that they were the same house.

Back in 1927 and 1928, three theaters were listed at Point Pleasant: The Lyric, with 250 seats, the Strand, with 300 seats, and the Grand, with no listed capacity. In 1930, all three vanish, replaced by the State, with no capacity listed. In 1931, the town does not appear in the FDY, but in 1931 the Strand is back, with 300 seats. In 1931 the Strand is gone again, but the State is back, with 300 seats, and it remains through 1936. I suspect the Strand and State of being the same theater.

The FDY listings for Point Pleasant are odd, even for FDY. The State is listed in 1936 with 300 seats and the Alpine is listed in 1937 with 300 seats, but in 1938 the Alpine jumps up to 550 seats, then jumps again, to 580, in 1940, where it remains through 1946.

Meanwhile, the new State Theatre appears in 1944 with 700 seats, and then in 1946 the State and the 580-seat Alpine are joined by the Park Theatre with 400 seats. In 1947, the Alpine is gone, but the Park is now listed with 550 seats. In 1948, the State and Park are both still listed, but the State is down to 300 seats and the Park to 385 seats. There they remain for as long as they are listed (the last year I’ve found any listing for Point Pleasant is 1958, though the State, at least, was still in operation until 1980) but they are both listed as being on River Street. There doesn’t appear to be a River Street in Point Pleasant.

Anyway, theres a possibility that the Park’s seating
capacity increase in 1947, when the Alpine vanished, means that its name was moved to the Alpine’s location, but I’ve found no confirmation of this surmise.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 20, 2014 at 4:29 pm

The person who sold the State Theatre to the Alpine circuit in 1936 was Ross Filson. There is a page at Find a Grave with two obituaries, one of which has this:

“For more than 50 years he was in the theater business in Point Pleasant being the owner and manager of the former Lyric Theater, State Theater and the Mason Drive-In.”
Perhaps Mr. Filson owned both State Theatres, as it says he was in the business for fifty years. The Lyric Theatre Company was formed in 1922, according to one newspaper item I found, and other items indicate that prior to that he operated a garage. Fifty years from 1922 would be 1972, so unless he was by then operating only the drive-in, the second State must have been his, too. I’m not sure where the Mason Drive-In was. We don’t have it listed, and I haven’t found anything but brief references to it on the Internet.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 20, 2014 at 10:26 pm

The building the Double D Lounge is in has a structure at the back that looks like a former stage house. As the Strand/first State/Alpine was the only theater listed for Point Pleasant in the 1930-1943 FDYs, and the Park was the only house other than the State listed from 1947 on, it must have been the the theater on the 1931 and 1948 maps.

The opera house on the 1931 map might have been either the Lyric or the Grand, listed in the 1927 and 1928 FDY’s. Right where one would expect to find 309 Main there is a three-story building with an arched center bay. It looks like it could have had an auditorium on the upper floors. Satellite view shows that its roof is the same height from front to back, and pitched, as an auditorium roof could be expected to be. It’s big enough to hold way more than the 250 seats listed for the Lyric, though, so if it was one of the two it was probably the Grand.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 3, 2014 at 7:08 pm

Two things I picked up from a Topix forum page about Point Pleasant: the Alpine Theatre did become the Park Theatre, and it was located at 320 Main Street, now the location of a bar called the Double D Lounge. Thanks to Lady old timer for the information.

The Double D Lounge building has a wide entrance that would have been the lobby, and there’s still a stage house on the back of the building. The upper floor facade has some brick detail characteristic of the 1920s, when it was opened. This item about the new house is from the February 11, 1928, issue of Motion Picture News:

“New West Va. Theatre To Open April First

“Point Pleasant’s new motion picture theatre, being built in Main Street, opposite the post office, by the Lyric Amusement Company, of which Ross Filson is local manager, will be ready for opening by April 1st, it has been announced by Manager Filson.

“The theatre building will be 40 by 135 feet in size, and will be constructed so that a balcony can be added when needed. At present a small apartment will be in front of the second story. A foundation capable of holding three stories is being constructed by the Lyric company.

“Brick and fire-proof tile are being used in the outer walls.

“The seating capacity of the new theatre will be 608.”

At the time the Alpine circuit bought the house from Ross Filson in early 1936 it was called the State Theatre, but it might have originally been called the Lyric, unless Lyric was only the name of the earlier theater that Filson operated. It might also have been called the Strand (see my comment of April 20 for the rather confusing history of theater names and capacities in Point Pleasant as reported by the FDY) but that’s not certain either.

What is certain is that the Alpine was renamed the Park Theatre, probably in 1946 or 1947, and operated under that name into the 1950s. In another Topix forum post someone mentions seeing Old Yeller at the Park Theatre, so the house was open at least as late as 1957.

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