Foster Art Theatre

2504 Glenwood Avenue,
Youngstown, OH 44511

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Foster Art Theatre

Opened as the Foster Theatre in 1939 with a seating capacity of 800. The Foster Theatre ran main-stream motion pictures through the 1960’s, and then by 1973 had switched over to adult movies and became the Foster Art Theatre.

Contributed by Chuck

Recent comments (view all 28 comments)

lanasings2 on June 22, 2011 at 9:44 am

My Dad owned the Foster Theatre and opened it the year before I was born. I sold popcorn and candy there as a child…….a long time ago! I am glad to see it still standing. I remember the Parker’s Frozen Custard. It was the best!

wolfgirl500 on June 22, 2011 at 10:27 am

Given the quality of films that ran in the Foster’s glory days, your father would not approve of what it is today.

The area around the Foster today is a war zone … murders, drugs and the like.

Would you happen to have any photos of the Foster’s interior?

lanasings2 on June 23, 2011 at 12:00 pm

My Dad, Joe Shagrin, was the ONLY owner of the Foster until he sold it in the 70’s and it then became a Porn Theatre. I wish I had pictures of the inside, but I do not! If you are a movie critic and are reading this my Dad was very good friends with I believe his name was Fred Childress, the movie critic in that era.

wolfgirl500 on June 23, 2011 at 1:43 pm

Indeed it was Fred Childress, a very good friend, and the Shagrin name goes way back in Youngstown theater history, running a number of local theaters over the years. One I believe was associated with the Warner Brothers.

WayneS on September 28, 2011 at 7:26 pm

I am amazed the Foster is still open. In 1961 my uncle, who was a journalist for the Warren Tribune, thought it was time I saw a “serious” move" (I was a jr i HS), so he took me to see Ingmar Bergman’s “Through a Glass Darkly”. He was right. That was the first movie that had me thinking about what it meant for weeks afterwards.

Barbershop on November 14, 2011 at 12:39 pm

lanasings2, I worked for your father, Joe Shagrin. He hired me to change the marquee. I got paid one dollar each time the films changed. This was usually on Saturday night with a new film on Sunday and Wednesday night. Sometimes I would get called to be the ticket taker and would get paid a dollar to take tickets. Best part was that I got to see all the movies for free. This was in 1952-53.

Barbershop on November 14, 2011 at 12:42 pm

The Carmel Corn was on the left side of the building and Murberger and Lambert’s flower shop on the right. The Carmel Corn sold the popcorn until is closed and then it was sold in the theater. Joe Shagrin’s office was up over the Carmel Corn shop. The women’s and men’s rooms were over the marquee.

The balcony was a good place to sit with a girl. Especially as I had access to the key and could lock the door.

Matthew Prigge
Matthew Prigge on April 5, 2012 at 8:45 am

Hello all,

I am doing a large-scale research project on adult theatres and would be very interested to hear from anything who either worked at or attended this theatre during its time showing adult films. If you would like to help me out, you can email me at .


STPOSEY on September 14, 2014 at 7:46 pm


I’m writing a book on the history of Youngstown, and I’m looking for anyone willing to talk with me about the Foster Theater of yesteryear. You can reach me at

anewtvshow on September 23, 2015 at 2:22 am

I remember seeing Mary Poppins there. But IMDB says that it came out in 1964. I couldn’t have been 4 years old with such vivid recollections. Does anyone remember when that played at the Foster?

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