Newmanstown Theater

12 East Main Street,
Newmanstown, PA 17073

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 13, 2014 at 11:34 pm

The Newmanstown Theatre page at CinemaTour says that the theater closed in the early 1970s, and a 1973 fire led to the demolition of the second floor and the conversion of the first floor to the social club.

One of the three photos on the tour shows the back of the Newmanstown Theatre. Near each end of the back wall is evidence of two old windows that have been bricked in. The original brick arch above each is visible. Such arched windows are not at all characteristic of construction in the 1970s. The building has to be older, and the walls, at least, probably do remain from the old Lyric/Joy Theatre.

Prior to the fire, an article in the September 30, 1972, issue of the Lebanon Daily News said that the building then housing the Joy Theatre had been built by the Newmanstown Fire Company, and was dedicated on May 16, 1917, but that the part of the building that contained a theater was opened to the public on April 28, 1923. For many years the theater was operated by a non-profit, volunteer theater committee (I presume this was after the Rubinsky chain gave the house up,) but that the theater closed in 1969. In 1971 it was rented and reopened by a private company, which was apparently still operating the house in 1972.

It also says that a new engine house was added in 1949 and the Joy Theatre was renovated at the same time. The latest mention of the Lyric Theatre I’ve found is from 1948. The June 30, 1950, issue of the Daily News ran an article about the dedication of the Newmanstown Volunteer Fire Department’s new station and the opening of the newly renovated Joy Theatre. Until the 1973 fire, the second floor housed a dance hall. The Joy building itself had space housing two fire engines, so it’s a bit ironic that it lost its second floor to a fire.

rivest266
rivest266 on January 2, 2014 at 12:19 pm

Website closed and no showtimes anywhere. Closed?

Roger Katz
Roger Katz on January 22, 2011 at 9:37 am

There are two screens according to their official website.

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on March 21, 2010 at 4:52 pm

Must be small with only 230 seats and three screens.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on March 21, 2010 at 3:32 pm

The article states that the theater was formerly known as the Lyric and the Joy. In 1947 the Lyric was part of the Mark Rubinsky theater chain, based in Harrisburg.

The theater site says that it has three screens.