Actors Guild Playhouse

724 Market Street,
Parkersburg, WV 26101

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Actors Guild Playhouse

In 1919, the Smoot Amusement Company, already operating the Auditorium Theatre and Camden Theatre in Parkersburg, undertook the project of converting the Sycamore Grove Restaurant into a movie house to be called the Lincoln Theatre. Architect Fred W. Elliot was hired to design the project.

The Lincoln Theatre opened on April 20, 1920 with about 1,000 seats, and prospered through the silent era. The Lincoln Theatre, along with the larger Smoot Theatre, was sold to Warner Bros. in 1930. Warner closed the house on March 20, 1932. A few years later the dark theater was dismantled and the building was converted into a department store for J. C. Penney’s.

When the building was vacated by Penney’s in the early-1970’s, the Actors Guild of Parkersburg, which had been performing in a variety of locations since the 1940’s, sought the one-time theatre as a permanent home. After acquiring the building, a new theatre space and auxiliary facilities were installed, and the Guild has been performing in the Playhouse for almost three times as long as the Lincoln Theatre ran movies.

Contributed by Joe Vogel

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

Trolleyguy
Trolleyguy on October 18, 2014 at 8:04 am

Website: http://www.actors-guild.com/

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 23, 2016 at 3:08 pm

Here’s the article announcing the intention of the Smoot Amusement Company to build the Lincoln Theatre, from The Moving Picture World of June 7, 1919:

“Smoots Add Third Theatre to Chain in Parkersburg

“THE SMOOT AMUSEMENT COMPANY, now controlling the Camden and Auditorium Theatres in Parkersburg, West Virginia, will add another house to its string in the same city. The addition is the Lincoln, a new house which will go up on the corner of Market and Eighth streets on the site of the Sycamore Place.

“The owners of the Smoot Amusement Company are Fayette C. Smoot, Charles S. Smoot and Frank J. Hassett. The concern is one of the livest organizations not only in the city but also in the surrounding district. The Parkersburg News, in its story on the new theatre, says: ‘The News wishes to take this occasion to commend the promoters of this new enterprise for their go-ahead policy and their confidence in Parkersburg’s future. It takes nerve and resource to take such steps, and fortunately for Parkersburg these men are equipped with these qualities. They do things.’

“The new Lincoln will seat 1,000 and will cost $90,000. It will embrace every modern item in construction, decoration and equipment and will provide an artistic asset to the city. Fred W. Elliott of Columbus, Ohio, is the architect, while the contract for the structure has been awarded to R. L. Brown, a local builder.”

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