Warner Theatre

147 High Street,
Morgantown, WV 26505

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Warner Theatre

Located in downtown Morgantown, West Virginia, this Art Deco theatre was opened by Warner Brothers Circuit Management Corp. in 1931. This grand theatre was built with exquisite architectural design and with the interests of the guests in mind, and originally had 1,300 seats. In the mid-1970’s it was triples, with a wall in the middle of the main floor (orchestra) seating dividing it into two auditoriums, and the former balcony is the third auditorium.

Round Table Corporation purchased the theatre in 2004 with the intention of restoring it to its original condition and ensuring that a trip to the Warner Theatre remains “A Timeless Experience”.

Sadly, the Warner Theatre was closed on September 5, 2010, screening “The Kids Are Alright” in screen 1, “The Wonderful Whites of WV” in screen 2, and “Dinner for Schmucks” in screen 3. As of March 2012, the theatre remains in very good condition and could be reopened. It is for sale or lease.

Contributed by Kara Gardner, Howard B. Haas

Recent comments (view all 47 comments)

MFields on July 17, 2009 at 9:28 pm

As a kid growing-up in a three-theatre Morgantown, the Warner was the biggest thing in town. Legend had it that it sported the second largest indoor screen in the state (number one was the Capitol in Wheeling) and while your information lists its capacity as 1,300 seats, to these young eyes, it seemed much larger.

Eberson buffs would have had a difficult time believing that the Warner represented his work: opened during the Depression, the decoration of the auditorium was never completed. The walls were bare except for colored-glass Deco lighting fixtures along the sides; the ceiling had no decoration at all and had but a single large recessed lighting fixture. The lobby, however, was a different story. It was huge for a small city theatre, richly decorated and had a large lounge between the restrooms.

One interesting feature: just behind the top of the proscenium was a pleated curtain which hung further upstage and capped the top of the screen. I don’t know its purpose or if it was part of the design but I have not seen this “effect” elsewhere.

Several years ago I was back in Morgantown and I stopped by the Warner and walked through the lobby. The theatre is in terrible condition and I’m sure that, in line with the comments above, watching a film in its converted three auditoriums must be a horror. But it’s interesting that Morgantown’s three theatres are still standing. Further up High Street is the Metropolitan, under painfully slow renovation and between the two, the second run Morgan is still there, though it was long ago converted to other uses. Only the burned-out Strand is gone.

Mintish on September 5, 2010 at 5:31 am

The Warner is closing today, Sept. 5. :(


Mintish on September 5, 2010 at 5:34 am

View link Here are the pictures that I took… :(

ChasSmith on September 7, 2010 at 12:00 pm

Oh, how sad. I discovered this one a couple of years ago on a return visit to the home town of my mother’s side of the family. I hadn’t been to Morgantown in years, and the presence of the Warner made an exploration of the old downtown area all the better. Didn’t have a chance to get inside, though. Really sorry to hear this.

TLSLOEWS on November 11, 2010 at 9:48 am

Nice photos Mint.

Patsy on March 11, 2012 at 3:50 pm

“A wall in the middle of the main floor (Orchestra) seating divides it into two auditoriums. The former balcony is the third auditorium.” This answers my question regarding this Warner being “twinned”, but after reading this I realize it has been twinned plus one! Hope this Warner returns to a single screen venue.

Patsy on March 11, 2012 at 3:51 pm

And who is responsible for “twinning” this theatre and then making the balcony a third auditorium??

Jay Harvey
Jay Harvey on July 7, 2013 at 3:20 pm

My older brother lived on and off in Morgantown in the 80’s and early 90’s. He had a wholesale store just a block or 2 down from the warner theatre. I remember in the summer of 1990 going to see “Bird on a Wire” and “Back to the Future III” there, if memory serves, “Total Recall” was also playing there at the time. Morgantown was always an interesting town. There were (I doubt now) a lot of businesses in that one small area in 1990 and ‘91. There was a huge record store, don’t remember the name, at the top of the street where I bought Beatles cd’s and some of my very first dvd’s!

Coate on February 12, 2016 at 1:33 pm

The tri-plexing of the Warner took place between 1973 and 1977. Does anyone have a more precise date?

DavidZornig on July 12, 2018 at 9:16 am

The Warner sign can be seen waaay down the street in this 1965 photo on The Hemmings Daily link.


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