Keystone Theatre

601 Main Street,
Towanda, PA 18848

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Keystone Theatre

Opened as Hale’s Opera House, located on the second floor of the building on Main Street. In 1913, the theater moved to the first floor, and, in addition to live performances, movies began being shown. Eventually, movies became the exclusive form of entertainment at the Keystone Theatre. By 1950 it was operated by Comerford Theaters Inc.

During the 1970’s, the ceiling was dropped, covering the balcony, and the stage area was enclosed and covered with a new screen. In 1987, when the Keystone Theatre closed, it had not aged well, and was in need of major repairs.

In 1988, the theatre was acquired by the Bradford County Regional Arts Council with the intention of converting it into a multi-use cultural center, including film, live theater, music and educational programs. Over the next four years, about $1 million was spent on returning the Keystone Theatre to its original appearance, while at the same time, updating and adding basic needs, such as heat, electricity, projection equipment, new roofs, fire escapes, and handicap accesibility. Also, its 550 seats were repaired, the plasterwork in the auditorium restored, and the lobby enlarged. The drop ceiling of the 1970’s was removed, and the balcony returned to use, and the stage was restored, the false wall in front of it removed.

In 2001, an addition was built, including dressing rooms, rehersal space and classrooms. Today, the Keystone Theatre not only hosts live entertaiment on its stage, when no live shows are scheduled it screens first-run films.

Contributed by Bryan

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

richardg on May 4, 2004 at 6:42 pm

I saw this theatre as well as the other two theatres operated by BCRAC all in the same weekend about 4 years ago. Saw movies in two of them. The Sayre (click on the above web site for pictures of all three) is the largest and most impressive of the three. Someday soon I’ll submit some details.

teecee on March 15, 2005 at 11:45 am

Small old photo, don’t try to expand without paid subscription:
View link

kencmcintyre on January 21, 2008 at 6:16 pm

Here is an expanded version of TC’s 3/05 thumbnail. The photo is dated 1970, from the Irvin Glazer collection:

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on December 11, 2008 at 9:25 pm

A 2008 view of the Keystone Theater in Towanda Here and Here along with the Red Rose Diner which is a short walk from the Keystone.

farstrider on January 6, 2009 at 3:48 pm

Some quick corrections, the Keystone is 2 screens, 678 seats. Also the Sayre Theatre is smaller then the Keystone, though appears larger due to the balcony at Keystone which hides more then half the seats. Also a little fact: the projector used for the main screen is a 1937 Simplex EZ7

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on August 6, 2010 at 5:09 pm

The Keystone Theatre was a Comerford Theatre home office in Scranton,Pa.

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