Columbia Theater

17 West 8th Street,
Erie, PA 16501

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The Columbia Theater is listed as operating prior to 1941, and during the 1940’s it was under the control of Warner Bros. Circuit Management Corp. It operated thru to 1950 and beyond….

Other than this being a smaller theater downtown, I have very little information about it. It was torn down in 1969.

Contributed by David Stear

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

Patsy on February 7, 2005 at 6:53 pm

There were many more Erie theatres than listed on the CT site so in time I hope to have a friend of mine whose father has a scrapbook on Erie area theatres will contribute his vast knowledge.

deleted user
[Deleted] on February 7, 2005 at 7:20 pm

Impressive John. May I also add that Warner Brothers operated this theatre from the 1940’s into the mid 1950’s.

Patsy on February 8, 2005 at 7:21 am

Tom: I never knew there was a Warner-Columbia connection, but thank goodness the Warner still exists on State Street!

deleted user
[Deleted] on February 8, 2005 at 12:20 pm

It was not a mistake. Someone has apparently moved my message from its intended area to make sport of me. There is a conspiracy afoot here. You have made your point extremely clear lostmemory. I will avoid Charles as much as possible. Correcting his data will fall on someone else’s shoulders from now on.

jimrhoads on April 19, 2007 at 1:55 pm

Many Republic Pictures played here. I saw Sands of Iwo Jima at the Columbia in 1949. It seemed old and rundown then. Not a topline theatre in Erie, but had good adventure movies for us pre-teens.

spectrum on October 13, 2007 at 8:57 pm

The 1936 AFY shows a Columbia theatre with 1,200 seats listed as closed at that time.

stagehand113 on July 21, 2013 at 1:06 pm

The Columbia Theater was located on the south side of West 8th Street between Peach and State Sts. in Erie, PA. It was demolished in 1969 and the lot sat empty for years. Both my father and grandfather worked at the Columbia. A 1918 advertisement for the Columbia lists it as “Erie’s most delightful photoplay theater” and also a place to “see filmdom’s greatest productions in the house of "super” pictures."

stagehand113 on July 21, 2013 at 1:16 pm

Warner Brothers also operated the old Strand on State Street until it was demolished in the late 40s for the old GC Murphy’s, and built the present structure on West 10th app. 1948. In 1971, Congress passed a law that the movie studios could not own the theaters in which their films were shown, so the Warner and Strand were sold to Cinemette. For a couple years, the Strand on West 10th also installed a Cinerama Screen and equipment., but later removed it to go back to the original format.

Charlie_Brown1 on August 8, 2013 at 10:13 pm

I went to this theater more times than any other downtown theater. They showed double features,and cartunes in later years. It was a clean place and I always thought of it as the poor man’s Warner.

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