Capitol Theatre

867 Braddock Avenue,
Braddock, PA 15104

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 3, 2014 at 1:17 am

An item about the Times Theatre in the “Theater Changes” section of the April 9, 1938, issue of The Film Daily says that the house (under construction at the time) was owned by the Crystal Amusement Company. I’ve found references to the company in trade publications of the 1910s and 1920s, too, and there was a Crystal Theatre operating in Braddock at least as early as 1908, when it was frequently mentioned in The Billboard and Variety. At least as early as 1910, the company also operated a movie house called the Family Theatre.

There were quite a few theaters in Braddock in the 1910s and 1920s. I’ve found references to a house called the American, operating at 1616 Braddock Avenue in 1916, a Knickerbocker Theatre operating in 1917, and theaters called the Braddock, the Grand, and the Colonial operating around 1922-1923, along with the Crystal and Family, both still open at that date.

I haven’t been able to discover a definite address for the Crystal Theatre itself, but the company was located at 860 Braddock Avenue according to an item in The American Contractor of June 17, 1922, and the offices might have been the theater building. Aside from the American, which I found mentioned only once, I have no idea where any of the others were. The 1922 Contractor item was about the contract being let for a new theater at 640-646 Braddock Avenue for the Crystal Amusement Company. If that project was completed it might have been the Braddock, Grand, or Colonial.

James_Slick on May 25, 2013 at 10:31 pm

Yes, This was the “second” Capital in Braddock, I have old Braddock papers with ads from the 1930s that show the “Capitol Theatre” at another address. But this IS the one I remember! What I would like to know is when THIS incarnation closed? (1960s-early 70s?)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 30, 2011 at 2:41 am

Here is a 1982 photo of the Times Theatre after it had been renamed the Capitol.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 8, 2011 at 12:09 pm

Boxoffice Magazine of October 15, 1938, had an article about theater remodeling which featured a photo of the Times Theatre’s new facade. It can be seen on this page at the magazine’s archive.