Home Theater

New York Avenue,
Rochester, PA 15074

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The Home Theater was another long-gone theater that graced the lower end of New York Avenue during Rochester’s heyday. I don’t have much information about it, but maybe some of the others on this site might have more information.

Sheet 04 of the 1914 Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps for Rochester show the Majestic Theater on Brighton Avenue, and an unnamed theater on New York Avenue, south of the long-vanished Lincoln Hotel. On sheet 05, between Kossuth Street and the Hotel Rochester, is another unnamed theater. One of them is the Home Theatre and the other is the Colonial Theatre, but I don’t know which is which. The Sanborn maps only designate each building as ‘Moving Pictures’.

The Home Theater was still open in 1929, but had closed by 1930, unable to install ‘talkie’ equipment.

Contributed by Scott Barton

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 8, 2017 at 2:54 pm

Here is a movie review by manager A. R. Rosenbloom of the Home Theatre, Rochester, Pennsylvania, from the March 13, 1926, issue of The Moving Picture World

“LIMITED MAIL. (7,144 feet). Star, Monte Blue. A box-office knockout. Picture is well directed and is filled with many laughs, thrills, and good suspense. Monte Blue very convincing in his part. One great picture. Tone, okay. Appeal, ninety-five percent.

“Mixed class town of 7,000. Admission 10-25. A. M. Rosenbloom. Home Theatre (350) seats), Rochester, Pa.”

There were a few other reviews from Mr. Rosenbloom published in 1926. The Home was also mentioned in the July 20, 1918, issue of Exhibitors Herald, where it was listed as a member of the United Picture Theatres of America, a booking agency. But every other reference to Rochester I’ve found in the trade publications during the silent era is to the Majestic.

GrandkidNo5
GrandkidNo5 on July 19, 2017 at 3:06 pm

S,A. Nesbitt first opened The Home Theatre in 1897 in a storefront on the east side of lower New York Avenue. Films shown were limited to 3-reeler programs and the theater first operated as a nickelodeon. In July 1910 a two-story building was constructed across the street adjacent to the Hotel Lincoln, that became the Home’s new location. An upright piano was purchased at this time. Admission was 10 cents in 1910. Silent pictures eventually became a thing of the past. Installing costly sound equipment, along with the Great Depression, forced the Home to close by 1930.

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