Manos Theater

576 Main Street,
Uniontown, PA 15401

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moax429
moax429 on September 16, 2017 at 12:23 pm

I forgot:

I understand the original “Star Wars (Episode IV: A New Hope)” played the Manos when it was rereleased in 1979. My family and I were visiting our aunt and cousins again in 1979 (I was then 17 and my family and I were by that time living in Glenwood, Illinois; my uncle, sadly, had passed around 1973). As fate would have it, however, “Star Wars” was rereleased after we visited in early August 1979, and I had to see it back in Illinois.

Can anybody confirm If “Star Wars” was indeed shown at the Manos in 1979? Any newspaper ads?

moax429
moax429 on September 16, 2017 at 12:12 pm

In 1970, when I was only 8, my family and I visited our aunt and uncle who lived on Race Street in Uniontown (we were then living in the Detroit suburb of Warren, Michigan). Their next-door neighbor just happened to be the manager of the Manos – I believe his last name was Frankenberry – who gave me and my sister a pressbook of “A Boy Named Charlie Brown (which had just finished playing at the Manos), as well as a vinyl 12-inch record of radio spots for Walt Disney’s "Blackbeard’s Ghost.”

Pity I didn’t keep either of those, considering how valuable those are now. (“Charlie Brown” also has some historical merit to it as that was the very first theatrical film produced by CBS Films, known at that time as Cinema Center Films.)

Pity also I never got to see a film at the Manos while we visited. (I never saw “Blackbeard’s Ghost,” and I didn’t see “A Boy Named Charlie Brown” at the theater; thanks to my folks' laziness, I had to wait until CBS first aired the film on TV around 1973. Now I have the original 1970 Columbia soundtrack album on vinyl, and soon I hope to buy the DVD of that film.)

Yeti
Yeti on July 18, 2013 at 8:22 am

About 30-35 years ago I was friends with a boy whose father was a manager with the Manos company and his mom would clean the Manos in the mornings. I received a real treat when I stayed over his house one night. We were able to join his mom while she cleaned. I ate the leftover popcorn, drank a ton of soda and got to explore the whole theater. Downstairs between the lounges was a small room that had a bank-type vault in it FULL of movie posters. I guess when the movies were over they would just roll them up and throw them in. To the right of the lounges was a door that led to what I was told was the “bomb shelter.” It contained some mechanical equipment, the original 1940’s backup generator and had a super thick wood door (the kind that you locked by placing a bar across it) which led to a long tunnel like hallway then to stairs which led out the back of the building. Given that the place was built during WWII I kind of believe the story. I wonder what they did with all of those posters?

DougS
DougS on August 8, 2012 at 12:13 pm

The Manos Theatre meant a lot to me when I was teenager because of the first-rate movies I saw there.

Among my favorites: “An Unmarried Woman,” “Coming Home,” “Who is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe?,” “The Muppet Movie,” “Dressed to Kill,” “Body Heat” and “The Dead Zone.”

It was there, too, that I saw the huge flop “Heaven’s Gate” in early 1981, after the movie had been withdrawn and re-edited from 219 minutes to 145 minutes. The Manos was one of the few theaters in Western Pennsylvania that took a chance on booking it.

Even the bad movies bring back good memories!

janlcc
janlcc on June 25, 2011 at 11:21 pm

From the Brownsville Telegraph, August, 1941: “Area movie-goers are invited to visit the area’s newest movie theater. The grand opening of the Manos Theatre, which calls itself Uniontown’s newest and finest theater, is slated for Wednesday evening, August 20, 1941. The movie house’s operators boast that it is the most modern theater in western Pennsylvania. It is scientifically built to show sound pictures, and of particular interest to customers during these dog days of August, it is air conditioned! The opening screen attraction will feature Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier in "That Hamilton Woman,” showing continuously from noon until 11:30 p.m."

CSWalczak
CSWalczak on November 26, 2010 at 11:36 pm

I cannot help but wonder if that notoriously bad movie, “Manos, the Hands of Fate” ever played at the Manos. The film’s story line involved a religious cult.

csepe
csepe on November 26, 2010 at 11:21 pm

This was another gigantic theater in southwestern Pennsylvania (there were two others — the State, also in Uniontown, bigger and grander, and directly across the street from this building; and the Hollywood in California, Pa., with 999 seats).
This theater had the appearance of being about as long as a football field when you entered the doors to the actual auditorium. And down at the left of the screen, just above an exit door, was a rather large clock that glowed blue at all times. We used to joke it was sending out radioactive waves into our eyes.
The basement had two very large lounges, mens' and womens,‘ and as late as the 1980s were still kept very clean and stylish. The building ceased as a theater in the late 1980s and became a church of sorts for some vagabond religious cult before finally being demolished. It is now a large parking lot.
I saw quite a few films here while I was growing up, including REDS on the day after Christmas, 1981, during which a blizzard began outside and we all barely got home. Plus, if memory serves, the heat was either off or low, making us really feel the experience of that revolutionary Russian winter. That was an experience, but not half as fun as THE BEST LITTLE WHOREHOUSE IN TEXAS later that summer.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on August 12, 2009 at 12:05 am

Here is a November 1958 ad from the Uniontown Morning Herald:
http://tinyurl.com/r6ces6

jflundy
jflundy on February 2, 2008 at 3:48 pm

There were Manos Theaters in Grafton WV and Elkins WV both closed, and a multiplex is open in Buckhannon WV run by the grandson of the chain founder.