Murphy Theatre

50 W. Main Street,
Wilmington, OH 45177

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Murphy Theatre, Wilmington, Ohio in 1932

The Murphy Theatre opened on July 24, 1918. By 1932 it was operated by Chakeres Theatres. It was still open in 1957.

Contributed by Charles Burgess

Recent comments (view all 13 comments)

Kaimannaa on November 1, 2007 at 10:05 am

I’ve several shots of the Murphy (including the one of the ticket booth noted above) from a roadtrip we took earlier this summer for everyone’s perusal here. Enjoy! It’s a beautiful place.

spectrum on September 28, 2008 at 2:36 pm

Architectural style could best be described as Sullivanesque

LuisV on January 30, 2009 at 1:29 pm

I saw 60 minutes last week and its main story was the shut down in Wilmington of DHL which provided this town with most of its jobs (around 8,000). The mayor expects 20% of the retail in town to fail. What a shame. I saw the theater in the background as the cameras were panning the historic downtown district which looked desolate. Nonetheless, it encouraged me to look the theater up to find out more. What I found out is that the theater web site doesn’t work and there are no interior photos on this page. I hope this theater survives.

kpdennis on April 26, 2009 at 5:54 pm

The Murphy in summer 1996:
View link

spectrum on October 17, 2009 at 6:06 pm

Here’s a new official website:

The theatre is alive and well and still doing performing arts!

David Nedrow
David Nedrow on May 12, 2012 at 4:45 pm

URL should be:

Note the “the”.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 12, 2012 at 11:04 am

The surname of one of the partners in the architectural firm is currently misspelled. The correct spelling is Fahnestock. The firm of Dittoe, Fahnestock & Ferber was in operation from the late 1910s to the early 1920s. The partners were Louis G. Dittoe, L.W. Fahnestock, and Charles H. Ferber, Jr.

Although Dittoe appears to have been the senior architect in the firm, it is possible that Ferber brought some expertise to the Murphy Theatre project. According to his biography at the Architecture Foundation of Cincinnati, he had spent parts of the years 1913 and 1914 training in the office of noted San Francisco theater architects James and Merritt Reid. From 1909 to 1913 he had received training in the office of Rapp, Zettel & Rapp, a Cincinnati firm that designed a number of theaters.

The November, 1919, issue of The Western Architect featured five photos of this splendid theater (scan at Google Books.)

robboehm on January 24, 2015 at 12:58 pm

Just saw the 1993 movie Lost in Yonkers on TV. Fa├žade of the theater used prominently. For interior photos go to location shots for Lost in Yonkers. There are a couple of them.

Chris1982 on April 16, 2016 at 10:51 pm

Is the Murphy Theatre showing Motion Pictures, all I can find is live performances.

DavidZornig on June 5, 2018 at 9:38 am

I happened to run across this 2015 re-cap of the 1930 film “The Widow From Chicago”. At the bottom there is a print ad for the film at the Murphy Theatre from the November 25, 1930 Wilmington Daily News-Journal.

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