327 Seneca Street,
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The Drake Theatre is located on Seneca Street on the north side of Oil City, in northwestern Pennsylvania. The theatre opened in 1928, designed by Philadelphia theatre architect William H. Lee. The exterior style is Art Deco. A sketch, likely prepared before construction, of the theatre’s exterior is on page 12 of Volume Two of the book “American Theatres of Today” (1930). The theatre was equipped with a Wurlitzer pipe organ. Colonel Drake was Edwin Drake (1819-1880) popularly credited with being the first to drill for oil in the United States.
The theatre has been through several floods. It had a balcony which was no longer open, even when the theatre was. There were two matching staircases, but one was removed to make room for a snack bar. It closed around 1985 when the theatre at the Cranberry Mall expanded from three screens to five.
As of 2013, it appears to be for sale for whoever wishes to turn it into a residence.
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