New Carnegie Theater

140 E. Main Street,
Carnegie, PA 15106

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Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

edblank on June 4, 2008 at 7:13 pm

The Louisa Theatre first occupied the site. After the Louisa burned down, the New Carnegie was built. By 1983 it was a state unemployment office. In 2000 the property was sold again.

edblank on June 4, 2008 at 7:17 pm

There was a separate structure also called the New Carnegie, which apparently was across the street from the New Carnegie listed here. The other one to which I refer had become a grocery store by 1983 after the theater, in its final days, tried porno briefly.

Can anyone confirm that at different times, there were two New Carnegies whose properties apparently faced each other – or would have had they been in business concurrently?

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 25, 2015 at 2:14 am

This house was called the New Carnegie Theatre before being renamed the Louisa Theatre. The “Images of America” series book Carnegie, by Sandy Henry (Google Books preview) has a photo of the New Carnegie from the 1940s, and another showing the Louisa Theatre in flames. An article in the February 21, 1953, issue of Boxoffice mentioned that the Louisa Theatre had been 80% destroyed by a fire on the previous December 21.

The “Louisa Theatre Building” was mentioned in the May 30, 1953, issue of The Billboard. A new operator had taken over the Grand Theatre and also planned to renovate the Louisa building and install 3-D equipment. I’ve been unable to discover if the project was carried out. If it was, perhaps the name New Carnegie Theatre was restored to it.

I’ve found the New Carnegie Theatre mentioned in high school yearbooks from the area as early as 1930, but the building looked as though it probably dated from the 1920s. It was operated by Dr. Charles E. Herman. His wife (or perhaps widow) Louise B. Herman incorporated the New Carnegie Theatre Company on July 8, 1948, and the name must have been changed to Louisa Theatre some time after that.

What remains of the building today (I’m not sure how much that is, but the current structure is considerably shorter than it originally was) is occupied by Freedom Fellowship Church of Pittsburgh, so I would presume that the auditorium is still there, at least in part, and is used for religious services.

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