Sixth Street Theatre

121 N. Sixth Street,
Coshocton, OH 43812

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The Sixth Street Theatre opened in 1903 as a legitimate playhouse, with a production of "The Wizard of Oz". It later was converted into a movie house, and was in operation until its closure in May 1959.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

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kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on November 18, 2008 at 3:11 am

The Coshocton Tribune reported that the old Sixth Street Theater building would be razed in February 1970.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on February 28, 2009 at 4:20 am

This is part of an article in the Coshocton Tribune dated 5/14/59:

The final curtain goes down tonight on the historic, tradition-laden Sixth Street theater, for more than a half-century Coshocton’s chief center of entertainment, drama and movies. The building was recently sold to the Coshocton Tribune by Warner Bros. for $13,500. The Pastime theater on Main st. is to be reopened by Warner Bros, tomorrow night.

The Tribune has announced it has no immediate plans for the property, but that it could prove useful in any future expansion, since it is adjacent to the newspaper plant. Under terms of the sale, the building cannot be used as a movie theater. And so, James Salmans, local manager, has announced that tonight’s show will mark the end of the Sixth. Street as a theater.

The huge brick structure was erected in 1903 by a group of local promoters called the Coshocton Theater Co. Heading the company for many years was the late T. J. Hanley, whose flour mill at Second and Main streets was long a Coshocton landmark, until destroyed by fire. In later life, Mr. Hanley lived in Mansfield.

For the last 30 years, the Sixth Street has been devoted largely to movies. But before that, during the first 26 years of its existence, it was Coshocton’s home of the legitimate stage. And during that glamorous period some of the greatest actors and actresses in American stage history trod the boards of the old Sixth Street house.

Only five years after its birth, the Sixth Street was the scene of one of the most spectacular and shocking tragedies in Coshocton history. The victim was William “Fearnaught” Wilson, 30, also known as the “legless wonder”. A local youth,, Wilson went to Columbus when he was 20 to enlist for the Spanish-American war. Hopping a freight to return to Coshocton, he fell under the wheels and lost both legs.

He learned to ride a bicycle and created an act called, prophetically, “The Whirl of Death”. Wilson scheduled his first two official performances for local viewers at the Sixth Street on August 3, 1908. On his first attempt, he performed the feat perfectly. On his second try, something went wrong and his bicycle came loose from its track at the top of a loop, leaving Wilson swinging in a pendulum, helplessly and head down, his skull crushing against a beam. In full view of a horrified audience, many of them children, he was killed instantly, his head crushed to a pulp.

But that was the only blot on the Sixth Street’s history. On thousands of nights it brought entertainment, drama and comedy to countless thousands of people. The late Jim Hagans, native of Roscoe, circus musician and showboat operator, returned to Coshocton in 1912 as manager of the Sixth Street, and remained in that capacity until 1926.

And thus, the last show at the Sixth Street tonight marks the end of an era in Coshoctonâ€"an era of glamour, glitter, grease paint, footlights and stage stars, most of whom live only in memory.

Curtain!

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 12, 2010 at 11:01 am

A Billboard Magazine item from early 1942 reveals that, at that time, the Sixth Street Theatre had been a Warner Bros. house for at least nine years.

koosmal
koosmal on September 13, 2010 at 3:23 am

I actually think it was razed in 1974. I was operating the Star on 6th St., one block away, and remember it still being up in 74. Just before the demolition started the marquee was turned on. It would be nice to have a picture of that.

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