1538 W. North Avenue,
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The Metropolitan Theatre opened on December 16, 1922 with Elaine Hammerstein in “One Week of Love”. It had a seating capacity of 1,450; 900 in the orchestra and 550 in the balcony. It was designed by architect Otto G. Simonson. The original entrance was on the corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and W. North Avenue (this was closed off in 1947). The building also held a bowling alley, a large billiard room on the second floor and six retail units.
Warner Bros. purchased the Metropolitan Theatre in 1925 as a first run outlet for their movies. It was the first movie theatre in the area to screen the early ‘talkies’ “Don Juan” and “The Jazz Singer”.
Warner Bros. moved out of the theatre in 1937 and it became an independent house. In 1947 it was refurbished and in March 1949 it was operating as a first run African-American movie theatre. The Metropolitan Theatre was closed on July 26, 1977 and was demolished in 1978 to construct the Penn-North subway station.
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