Franklin Theatre

429 W. Tilghman Street,
Allentown, PA 18102

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Franklin Theater in 1916

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Opened as the Franklin Theatre in 1913, this neighborhood theatre was renamed the Jennette Theatre in the 1950’s for then-owner Al Moffa’s wife. Moffa is perhaps best known for his motion picture projector repair service. As the Jeanette Theatre it played art films and later for more than two decades was Allentown’s porno house.

After the demise of the porn films the Jeannette Theatre sat empty for a couple of years until Moffa redid the theatre and reopened it again under the name of the Franklin Theatre.

It was operating weekends only, but in summer-2008, was closed temporarily. It never reopened, and in December 2011, it was announced the building was ‘For Sale’, with a view converted into offices.

Contributed by Jonathan M. Crist

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

teecee
teecee on August 31, 2005 at 1:37 pm

A Marr & Colton organ was installed in this theater in 1926.

Owner names a theater after his wife and then shows porn for 20 years?! Wonder if he is still married :)

joemasher
joemasher on August 20, 2008 at 3:46 pm

Does anyone know why the Franklin is ‘temporarily closed’? They have no movie listings, and when you call the theater the recording says they’re ‘closed for repairs’.

Roxy
Roxy on January 27, 2009 at 6:12 am

The Franklin is currently closed due to the fact the owners full time job now requires him to work hours that conflick with the theatres operating hours. He was his own manager/projectionist, and the theatre can not support paying staff to fill those positions. Therefore, until such time as his shift is returned to non-conflicking hours, the theatre will have to remain closed.

guaninquena
guaninquena on September 18, 2009 at 3:36 am

I CURRENTLY involved in the community and would like to get in contact whit the owners of Franklin Theater i have a program i would like to see if he wants to or is willing to get involved also
i would think it would be in his best interest instead of having that old theater little by little sitting there collapsing we will give it a new life we will preserve the history…and help the children in our local community get in touch whit me if interested and if anyone can give me the info is really a great project and a lot off poeple will enjoy it…cross my fingers hope someone will read this…

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on May 4, 2010 at 7:59 pm

Very old school looking theatre.

Matthew_Folger
Matthew_Folger on December 4, 2013 at 3:22 am

I regret never taking the time to go to this theater while it was open. Seems like an interesting piece of local history. Would love to see it re-open, but I’m betting on the opposite.

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