Enright Theatre

5820 Penn Avenue,
Pittsburgh, PA 15206

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Enright Theatre

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A large theatre located on Penn Avenue in the East Liberty section of Pittsburgh. The Enright Theatre opened December 28, 1928 with Billie Dove in “Adoration”. Movies were shown until late-1950’s after which it became beter known for live performances and boxing exhibitions. There was a Saturday morning radio broadcast of music from the Kimball Theater Pipe Organ – a three manual instrument.

The Enright Theatre was vacant for a long period of time prior to demolition. This once beautiful theatre was reduced to a shabby building by total neglect. Rumors exist that the pipe organ was removed and might have been relocated.

Contributed by robert simpson

Recent comments (view all 27 comments)

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on June 16, 2009 at 7:41 am

Here is an undated photo. It looks like the theater was already closed, as the marquee is directing patrons to the Sheridan Square theater.
http://tinyurl.com/n7mmrd

edblank
edblank on June 16, 2009 at 2:38 pm

The Enright was closed from mid-June 1953 (“Desert Legion” & “Off Limits”) through Christmas 1953 (“Mogambo” & “Blowing Wild”).

It closed again after the mid-May 1957 double bill of “Battle Hymn” and “Rock, Pretty Baby,” unless you count the “live” closed-circuit fights telecast a night or two later.

I believe there was some indication that it was just closed temporarily (a common practice in the moviehouse business), but The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Havold V. Cohen dropped a line into one of his daily columns saying the Enright (probably) wasn’t ever really going to reopen.

The only night it did function again after that was for another one-nighter closed-circuit telecast of boxing matches (daydating with the Penn, the Stanley and the Harris – those three being Downtown) highlighting a title bout between Carmen Basilio and Sugar Ray Robinson on or about March 29, 1958.

pizzuto211
pizzuto211 on June 24, 2009 at 4:56 pm

I can add something to the 1950’s. At that time I had permission to do free-lance photography at the Saturday talent shows. I did not save the photos, but I have my records. There was a talent show as late as December 7, 1950. My records end after that. The name Phil Katz shows up in several places, and I believe he was the Enright manager at that time. On an undated day between August 18 and September 28, I photographed a “yo-yo expert & bicycle.” I don’t remember if there was a yo-yo contest that day. I also photographed a “Borden display” and a lobby display “9 Big Weeks.” That day there was also a birthday cake for someone or something, and there was a letter contest: RTSNREUAT. I also made a time exposure for “Rocketship X-M,” possibly another display.

gorhamzoro
gorhamzoro on March 27, 2011 at 7:59 pm

Did this Enright Theater have an organ? I looked at the organ in a theater in a Pittsburgh neighborhood in the 1960’s but bought the 3/27 Wurlitzer that was in the Stanley at the same time. I can’t find anything about the Stanley or the Stanley organ pre-1970. Can anyone help or direct me to some internet data on the Stanley, pre-1970? Thanks everyone.

blaird1255
blaird1255 on February 17, 2012 at 6:06 pm

The Enright did have an organ. It was a hammond, and it was played by johnny Mitchell during the saturday talent shows.

rivest266
rivest266 on September 6, 2014 at 7:37 pm

December 28th, 1928 grand opening ad in photo section.

dsedman
dsedman on January 3, 2017 at 8:03 pm

The theatre was said to have been named after Thomas Francis Enright, the first Pennsylvanian serviceman and was among the first three serviceman killed during World War I. The large mural entitled, “America Triumphant” was above the lobby exit as created by S. Tilden Stern (shown in photos) commemorated Enright’s service.

matineeguy
matineeguy on February 22, 2017 at 6:17 am

Indeed the Enright was named after Thomas Enright. Many a Saturday my buddies and I in the late 30s and 40s carried lunches, doors opend at I believe 9am. There was a series of cartoons, News of the Day, a talent show, Johnny Mitchell at the organ with a sing along, Previews of coming attractions,a serial,two features, maybe a rest break inthe middle, a Pete Smith Special,even Lotto to win prizes. At 5:30 we were ready to go home. What a day !!!!! Sadly, all his is gone. I would gladly sit through a session like that today. Youth has no idea as to what it missed.

To the query of the Stanley organ, both the Stanley and the Leow’s Penn downtown theaters had one. A large flood in 1936 all but totally wiped out these two beauties. Sad. The Stanley also had name bands and stage shows on Saturday mornings.

MyFather
MyFather on March 30, 2017 at 8:34 pm

If you went to the Enright during the 40’s, my father, Lige Brien, was the theater manager. You probably met him when he open the doors! He was there for Lost Angel, White Cliffs of Dover, Raiders of Ghost City, Destination Tokyo and Constant Nymph, among others. He also managed the Barry and Kenyon.

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