Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center

925 4th Avenue,
Huntington, WV 25701

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spectrum
spectrum on September 16, 2016 at 7:31 pm

From their website, information on the upcoming 2016-17 renovations and info on the original and current organs:

“Originally, the Keith-Albee was equipped with a Wurlitzer organ to accompany live performances and motion pictures. The organ was capable of creating almost any sound effect needed for silent films shown in theatres of the day. In 1950, the organ was sold and removed from the Keith-Albee. Huntington resident Robert Edmunds and his Huntington Theatre Organ Project, Inc. took on the project of replacing the organ. Thankfully as a result of significant efforts, a 1927 Wurlitzer organ, originally in the Granada Theatre in Bluefield, WV, was purchased and installed in the Keith-Albee in 2001. In 2009, the original Keith-Albee Wurlitzer became available and is currently being reinstalled in the theatre, and the Granada Theatre organ has been relocated to its original home.”

“Projects that are in the process are restoration of the heating and cooling system (2016), seating (2016-2017), 4 dressing rooms (2015-2016) and women’s restrooms to begin the spring of 2016. Through community involvement work has begun to recreate the original carpet. KAPAC will have the carpet reproduced and installed. Several other projects are under development, such as the electrical system upgrade, restoration of the furnishings, rear façade repairs and restorations, restoration of the dressing room towers and basement, and finally the restoration of the plaster and painting of the theatre. All projects will be funded through public funding and private donations.”

spectrum
spectrum on January 4, 2015 at 8:18 pm

Lots of new updated renovation information in this article: http://www.stamfordadvocate.com/news/article/Effort-underway-to-restore-Huntington-s-5989040.php

Overall it will be a $16,000,000 project; over 1 million recently done including marquee, new roof, etc. Are doing a couple major fundraisers to allow them to proceed to the next steps. The theatre’s new official website is http://www.keithalbee.com/

RobertFrench
RobertFrench on November 23, 2014 at 11:39 am

RQ: There are stars in the night-time Spanish Courtyard. I wish the illusions to the setting sun were still available, but alass, the machines were probably stolen in the 1970s. The lamp houses are still there, but are in bad shape at the moment.

RobertFrench
RobertFrench on February 25, 2013 at 6:52 pm

Tinseltones: Thank goodness the theater has been preserved for the moment. It has a great look but still needs quite a bit of work.

rqcook
rqcook on February 21, 2013 at 5:17 am

I met a fellow in Charleston yesterday – who told that years ago, the ceilings in the K-A had been created so that there was a presentation of the night time stars for the patrons as they watched their films. He also said that there were some nice illusions of the setting of the sun – with fading orange and yellow light. I have not seen these effects myself. Has anyone seen these illusions in better days of K-A life? Are they still there?

I guess I have a personal interest in presentations of the night time stars – I enjoy the excitement of it all – and hearing the wows when people see such things for the first time. The child like excitement never gets old for me. A Painter of Dreams Link

RobertFrench
RobertFrench on May 25, 2012 at 5:28 am

The night time picture has been posted. Check out the Photos section.

RobertFrench
RobertFrench on May 25, 2012 at 5:27 am

There is a pic in this morning’s Herald-Dispatch showing the Sign at night. Check it out.

RobertFrench
RobertFrench on May 25, 2012 at 5:05 am

I’ll post a pic momentarily.

rsbryant
rsbryant on May 24, 2012 at 7:39 am

The restored Keith Albee sign went back up yesterday. go to http://www.herald-dispatch.com/multimedia/galleries/x739985779/Keith-Albee-sign-returns-downtown to see the pics.

RobertFrench
RobertFrench on January 13, 2012 at 5:35 am

Tony: The cinema owned and operated by the Greater Huntington Theater Corp. did indeed close its tenure with the building in January 2006. Films and live theater are part of the rechristened Keith Albee Performing Arts Center now. As one of only a few remaining grand theaters from the first third of the 20th century, the Keith Albee is truly a jewel in the crown of Huntington, WV. Let’s keep it that way.

TonyRutherford
TonyRutherford on January 13, 2012 at 12:11 am

The theater closed in 2006. It was used during the filming of Warner Bros. “We Are Marshall” and hosted the premiere. The theater has been partially restored and operates as a performing arts center. Movies are shown only for the Marshall Artists Series International Festival and for the Appalachian Film Festival. The smaller auditoriums have been removed. The main is back the way it was supposed to be. But, the splitting of the auditorium kept the grand ole lady operating. The Hyman family deserves thousands of kudos for maintaining this jewel.

RobertFrench
RobertFrench on November 3, 2011 at 4:48 am

By the way, there are few pictures of the interior of the auditorium on the Keith Albee Theater Organ facebook page.

RobertFrench
RobertFrench on November 3, 2011 at 4:47 am

The website is indeed down. There is a facebook page for the theater organ. The name is Keith Albee Theater Organ. The partitions have been removed and the theater is once again similar to what it was in the early 1970s. The theater is undergoing some upgrading. In 2006 the theater was gifted from the Marshall University Foundation to the Keith Albee Performing Arts Center, Inc. A not-for-profit private 501c3 corporation. The picture included at the top of this page was taken in July 2011 or after. The vertical sign was damaged in a windstorm in June, 2011 and was removed in early July. There are plans to restore the sign. The grand vestibule and foyer have received a facelift with the 1970s concession stand being removed. There are a number of other enhancements which need to be done before the theater will be restored to its former glory. The theater has not been completely restored, but with the removal of the 2 mini-theaters under the right and left portions of the balcony significant steps have been taken to return the auditorium to its former size.

spectrum
spectrum on November 2, 2011 at 1:22 pm

The website listed above appears to be down. There is a Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Keith-Albee-Performing-Arts-Center/108288042564817 but it doesn’t really have any info.

There is also a nice photo gallery at http://www.herald-dispatch.com/multimedia/galleries/news/x352191295/Gallery-Keith-Albee-Performing-Arts-Center.

From those photos (and a seating diagram at another website) we can see that the partitions have been removed and the multiplexing is all done. It looks in excellent shape, all restored.

RobertFrench
RobertFrench on September 13, 2010 at 11:36 am

The Huntington Theater Organ Project, Inc., has been able to secure the original Keith Albee Theater Wurlitzer (opus 1780) and has plans to reinstall it in the Keith. The current Style E will remain there, sans console as the original organ will be installed with that in mind. The Solo Chamber will be completed with mostly original Keith equipment and as much as the main division will be reinstalled as space and funds become available. It will be great to hear the magnificient sounds of the original instrument within the walls of the auditorium.

RobertFrench
RobertFrench on July 19, 2010 at 7:09 pm

There are a few inaccuracies in Tony Rutherford’s description of the Keith Albee. The Theater opened May 8, 1928. The original architects plans, confirmed by the Hyman family, call for 2660 seats. The Theater was divided into a multiplex in the late 1970s. It served as a 4-plex until January 2006 when the theater was donated to Marshall University Foundation. The Mini-theaters in the main auditorium were removed in September 2006.

RobertFrench
RobertFrench on July 19, 2010 at 7:05 pm

One of the projects of the Huntington Theater Organ Project, Inc., is to restore the original Keith Albee Theater Organ in the Theater. Maybe this will happen. We hope so!

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 26, 2010 at 6:07 am

A tank in front of theatre. From Boxoffice magazine, August 18, 1969:
View link

Ziggy
Ziggy on June 7, 2010 at 8:46 am

You have to scroll about ¾ths of the way down to get to the picture. You can enlarge it by clicking on it.

Ziggy
Ziggy on June 7, 2010 at 8:45 am

View link

This is a link to a photo of the Keith-Albee’s auditorium.

bigboy6367
bigboy6367 on November 22, 2007 at 7:56 pm

I worked for a local architect several years ago, and have been interested in the architecture of many buildings in the Huntington area. I would like to get a copy of The Keith Albee Theater blueprints. I don’t know if the Court House keeps that kind of information or not, or if they do, would they let me get a copy.
If anyone in the area knows how to get these prints. I would appreciate the information.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on November 1, 2007 at 7:18 am

Indeed, GranadaKeith!

RobertFrench
RobertFrench on November 1, 2007 at 6:18 am

Ed: The Greater Huntington Theater Co. was very careful in the renovation to a multiplex and attempted to leave as much of the original decoration as possible should the theater be restored. Much care was taken not to damage any of the decorative plaster in the auditorium and the lobbies. We are very fortunate that the Hymans took such care.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on November 1, 2007 at 6:12 am

Remarkable that those decorations were spared the trash bin! Great foresight on the part of the Hymans, if their intentions in storing the items were a matter of thoughtfulness and respect rather than economic haste or efficiency. Thanks for posting, GranadaKeith.