Family Theater

6113 Penn Avenue,
Pittsburgh, PA 15206

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Family Theater

Reportedly it was one of the two seediest theaters among the seven in East Liberty in the 1940’s. It was the first of the seven to close, giving up in 1947 even before the TV era began.

The original structure may still exist because it’s in the middle of a commercial block. For several years up into the early-1980’s, the site was a Thom McAnn shoe store. The theater was known as the Alhambra Theater until at least 1929. It was the Harris-Family Theater from 1932-47 and was a late neighborhood run double-feature house, narrow and drab by reputation.

Contributed by Ed Blank

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

edblank on June 14, 2008 at 12:44 pm

The capacity was 754.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 6, 2014 at 12:58 pm

The Alhambra Theatre had been converted into a fruit store before it was reopened as the Harris Family Theatre in the 1930s. The Alhambra is on the left side of Penn Avenue in this 1928 photo. If the building still exists it must be the one occupied by the Rent-A-Center midway between Centre and Sheridan Avenues.

The May 4, 1935, issue of Motion Picture Herald featured this full page of before and after photos of the Harris Family Theatre. The Art Deco-style renovation was designed for the Harris Amusement Company by architect Victor A. Rigaumont.

The Alhambra Theatre was in operation by 1915, when it was mentioned in the August 4 issue of The Moving Picture World.

matineeguy on February 21, 2017 at 10:23 pm

Well do I remember the Family Theater. Seedy, yes, but to we of the WWII kids generation, lots of war movies and newsreels. Free tickets to us who collected scrap in the drives for the war effort. For so many poundas of scrap we received tickets to the theater. Fond memories indeed.

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