Rosedale Theater

41-45 North Main Street,
Chambersburg, PA 17201

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Rosedale Theater

Built prior to 1908 as the Rosedale Opera House. It was was remodelled in 1920 to the plans of architect Morris R. Rhoads, and renamed Rosedale Theater, reopening on February 4, 1921 with Gloria Swanson in “Something to Think About”. Still listed in 1955, it was demolished in 1961.

Contributed by Lost Memory

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

spectrum on December 10, 2010 at 11:53 pm

From the google views I see nothing that looks like a theater – was probably demolished but I’m not 100% sure.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 26, 2013 at 6:27 pm

Cumberland Valley: From Tuscarora to Chambersburg to Blue Ridge, by Ann Hull, says that the Rosedale Theatre was built on the site of the Rosedale Seminary for Young Girls, which was lost in a general conflagration that destroyed much of Chambersburg in 1964. The theater was originally called the Rosedale Opera House. It was demolished in 1961. There is a nocturnal photo of Main Street that looks to be from the 1940s with the vertical sign of the Rosedale Theatre prominently featured (Google Books preview.)

The Rosedale Theatre is listed in the 1908-1909 Cahn guide as a 1000-seat, second floor house. In 1920, the building was substantially rebuilt, moving the auditorium to the ground floor and increasing the seating capacity. This item appeared in the November 6 issue of The American Contractor:

“Chambersburg, Pa.—Theatre (M. P.): $30,000. 3 sty. 41-45 N. Main St. Archt. M. R. Rhoads, 518 Broad st. Owner Rosedale Theatre Co., Ralph Steel, pres., McKinley Hotel, 28 E. N. Main st. Gen. contr. let on cost plus basis to B. M. Shields, 241 Lincoln Way West. Plmg. to Edw. N. Wetz. 120 S. Main st. Elec. wiring to Chambersburg Elec. Service Co., Lurgan bldg., Lincoln Way West, all Chambersburg. Htg. to The American Heating Co., 1120 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, Pa. Wrecking.”
The note “Wrecking” indicates that the demolition of the building’s existing interior was then underway. I’ve been unable to find any other references to an architect named M. R. Rhoads, but a Morris R. Rhodes was practicing in Chambersburg in 1918, so it was probably he who designed the rebuilt Rosedale Theatre.

Also, 41-45 N. Main probably is the correct address for this theater. G G’s Hair Salon, just north of the parking lot where the theater used to stand, has the address 47 N. Main. A building still standing next to the parking lot on the south must have an address no lower than 31 N. Main, as the building south of it is clearly numbered 27 and 29, as can be seen in Street View.

psefton on February 13, 2014 at 3:09 pm

The architect is Maurice (not Morris)R. Rhoads (1863-1926) Very prolific builder and architect in the area. Also designed the current Kelsey Temple COIG at 1435 Park Road NW in Washington, DC in 1921.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 13, 2014 at 5:18 pm

Thanks, psefton. Changing the search terms to Maurice R. Rhoads brings up several results.

Also, there’s a typo in the first paragraph of my previous comment. I said that much of Chambersburg was destroyed by a fire in 1964. It should read 1864. Here is the story.

rivest266 on August 20, 2018 at 3:59 pm

This opened on February 4th, 1921. Grand opening ad posted.

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