401 N. 4th Street,
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Previously operated by: Fox Theatres (Reading, PA)
Firms: Oppenhamer & Obel
Functions: Performing Arts
Previous Names: Grand Opera House
Originally the Grand Opera House which opened January 8, 1900 with the play “Frederick the Great”. It was showing movies by 1914. It was renovated and reopened November 24, 1927 with William Boyd in “Dress Parade”. The 1,200-plus seat Grand Theatre was designed by architectural firm Oppenhamer & Obel in stately Neo-Classical style. It was equipped with a 3 manual, 10 ranks Kilgen organ which was opened by organist Lawrence Bernhhardt. By 1941 it was operated by the Fox Wisconsin Circuit.
Though recently restored to its former elegance, including gilded columns and beautiful plasterwork, the Grand Theatre, as part of the Artsblock Performing Arts Foundation, which also operates the adjoining Great Hall, the Loft, Greenheck Lounge and Caroline Mark Gallery, is a modern live performance venue.
It now has state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems, and not only hosts Broadway shows, dance, and concerts, but also films, community events, and is available for rental.
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