Community Arts Center

220 W. 4th Street,
Williamsport, PA 17701

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Community Arts Center

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A beautiful, fully restored movie palace combining a blend of architectual flavors including Spanish, English, and Oriental. After its 11 million dollar restoration, it’s become the showplace of Williamsport.

The interior is certainly one of the most beautiful I’ve seen. It’s generally used for a wide mix of live performances and some movies. The movies shown are generally the better Hollywood releases and the more popular independent films. It’s just a wonderful theatre in which to see a movie. The only thing lacking is popcorn.

The theatre, originally called the Capitol Theatre, was originally part of the Comerford chain. In the 1940’s it was part of the Paramount Pictures Inc, operated through their subsidiary Frank Walker. Its last shown movie before closing for renovations was “Driving Miss Daisy”. Admission had been reduced to a buck but it still couldn’t survive.

The Community Arts Center sells a booklet for a modest price which contains countless interior photos during and after the restoration. It’s a must for all theatre enthusiasts. Next to the theatre is a great older hotel called the Genetti. There’s also an excellent brew pub across from the theatre.

Williamsport, “Home of The Little League”, is one of my favorite cities. Check out the Community Arts Center’s web site and take in a concert, show or movie in Williamsport. You’ll have a great time.

Contributed by Richard Grows

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on October 13, 2007 at 12:41 am

A Moller theater organ opus 5352 size 3/7 was installed in the Capitol Theater in 1928 at a cost of $8500.

spectrum
spectrum on October 18, 2007 at 3:26 am

Their web page has moved to http://www.pct.edu/commarts/

Their history page has a lot of info:

The theatre was built as the Capitol in 1928, and reopened after restoration in 1993 as the Community Arts Center. It was the largest theater in the area and the first to be equipped for sound movies. It was considered the most beautiful theater in the Comerford, amnd featured cast bronze chandeliers, and a proscenium with trompe l'oeil details. It originally featured stage shows with movies. In 1936 the main level and stage area were flooded, wrecking the organ.

It never really recovered from the flood damage, and limped along until it’s restoration from 1989-1993. Cost was $13,500,000 with the bulk of that coming from Penn College. By 2004, there had been over 500 performances and 1,500 movie screenings, with 911,000 patrons through the doors by Oct. 2006 (774K for live, 128K for movies)

Unfortunately their web page does not show any pictures except a night view of the front facade. The seating plan shows orchestra, loge and balcony but it is hard to tell if the “loge” is a separate level from the “balcony”

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on February 3, 2008 at 8:55 pm

The Singing Fool with Al Jolson and Betty Bronson was released in September of 1928.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on June 24, 2011 at 6:01 pm

Link to their Photo Gallery: caclive

aealford
aealford on June 29, 2011 at 12:38 pm

I’m a volunteer with this theater. They do have popcorn, soda and candy for sale with movies now.

Jack Theakston
Jack Theakston on February 12, 2013 at 10:42 pm

I will guarantee you that the architect of this theater was Leon Lempert, Jr. The auditorium is almost an exact clone to the Capitol in Rome, NY, also a Commerford Theater.

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