Elmore Theatre

2312 Centre Avenue,
Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Unfavorite No one has favorited this theater yet

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Elmore Theatre was built in 1922. For a while after the property in Pittsburgh’s Hill District stopped being used as a movie house, it became the Savoy Ballroom.

By 2008 the building was occupied by the Olivet Baptist Church of Pittsburgh.

Contributed by Ed Blank

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on June 16, 2008 at 4:00 pm

Here is an article from the Pittsburgh Courier dated 2/22/30. Unfortunately the church has obscured the front of the theater with an intrusive triangular sign.

“PICKINGS FROM DIXIE”
LIVES UP TO ITS NAME

Show Appearing At Elmore Theatre This Week Over-
Flowing With Comedy, Singing and Worth-while
Entertainment

by “W. C. N.”

“Showboat” carried us downtown Monday night, but Tuesday night we slipped into the Elmore Theater with the idea of seeing something rather tame and ordinary. We were tired and felt we could relax. But, no â€" ’twas not to be.

Billy and Mary Mack have provided a show-loving public with just about the spiciest, peppiest, classiest little shows we’ve seen in a long time. We came with the expectation of being bored, but we remained to be highly entertained.

That show has oodles of what the public likes to see and hear. A small but snappy looking chorus starts the ensemble and lend a nice background. Then there is a quartet of youngsters â€" they must be from Dixie the way they harmonize â€" which sorta chokes you up with their melodious tunes. Those boys can go. Two comedians â€" one of them Mack himself â€" give bits of humorous comedy that keep spectators with tears of mirth in their eyes. Several cues were missed, but even these mistakes were turned into profit by a group of actors above the ordinary in stage prescience. Mrs. Mack as leading lady has a distinct kind of charm which goes well with that little lady’s native air of dignity.

And then â€" there’s a lad that can sing â€" and how! You’ve heard “Lonesome Road” sung before, haven’t you? Well, reserve your opinion until you hear Robinson Dubiskii chant it. And the way he sings “St. Louis Blues” is downright “alley-ish.” I’ll give you, however, the characters. They are Charles Taylor, straight man: D-Bubiskii, baritone: Mack and Leonard Rogers, comedians: Charles Taylor, Leonard Rogers, Ed Brazos and Bill Thomas, “4” Periods: J. T. Mims, tap dancer â€" and how he can tap â€" Irene Cooper, whose “Down Home Glide” speciality is really ready: Mrs. Mack; the chorines, who are Alma Fuller, Lucille Gross, Hazel Baskett, Willie Lee Martin, Will Mae Neil and Elizabeth Richardson; and in the pit, Merrel Neal, cornetist and director; Sam Davis, master of the ivories (that’s no joke); Richard Herd, trombone, and Oliver Bibs, drums.

Note: Mack and Mack, (Billy and Mary McBride) were at The Elmore Theatre, Pittsburgh, for the week commencing Monday, 17th February 1930. The above review of the show Pickings From Dixie mentions band members: Merrel Neal, cornet; Sam Davis, piano; Richard Herd, trombone; and Oliver Bibbs, drums.

Jelly Roll met Billy and Mary McBride about 1910, and the Sam Davis mentioned here is very likely the pianist Sammy Davis, who was described by Jelly Roll as “One of the greatest manipulators, I guess I’ve ever seen in the history of the world on a piano.”

Bessie Smith and her company, Moaning Low were at The Elmore Theatre the week before. The show received a very poor review in the following week’s issue of The Pittsburgh Courier.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on July 27, 2008 at 5:02 am

The Elmore’s greatest fame was in the black community as a showcase for vaudeville and revues. Movies were secondary until the Depression brought an end to the stage presetnations. Here’s a 1926 ad with a booking direct from the Howard Theatre in the nation’s capital:
View link

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on December 12, 2009 at 9:24 am

Here is a view of the church. You would be able to see more if they had not pasted their large red sign on the front.
http://tinyurl.com/yaz24fg

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on December 12, 2009 at 10:26 am

I guess if you wanted to see the back of the church, but I prefer a front view.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on December 17, 2009 at 12:25 pm

Here is another newspaper item about the Elmore from February 1930:
http://tinyurl.com/yecyteb

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 24, 2014 at 8:20 am

The July 8, 1922, issue of The American Contractor had a notice about a moving picture theater to be built for John Elmore on “Center” Avenue near Soho Street in Pittsburgh. The brick and hollow tile building was to be two stories, with mezzanine and basement, and 59 x 140 feet. There was to be a terra cotta front. The architect, W. J. L. Peoples, was revising the plans.

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment

Subscribe Want to be emailed when a new comment is posted about this theater?
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater