Cathaum Theater

112 W. College Avenue,
State College, PA 16801

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kagami101
kagami101 on April 2, 2013 at 3:03 am

I remember seeing several films there as a child. It was a rather grand but very dark theater from what I remember. It was closed in the mid 70’s and was split in half. The upper level become a nightclub called “Gatsby’s” and the lower became a disco called “Mr C’s”. I performed in a dinner theater production there in the late 80’s and the proscenium arch, ceiling and most of the upper architecture was still intact and looked very nice. It was then converted shortly after into additional cubicle office space for Penn State’s English department.

CharmaineZoe
CharmaineZoe on February 28, 2013 at 11:29 pm

It was owned and operated by Maurice Baum from 1928, and seated less than one thousand when it opened that year.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 20, 2012 at 4:16 am

This web page has an article about the Cathaum Theatre first published in The Collegian in 1996. It says that the theater opened on April 8, 1926.

The Baums must have had a hard time getting this project underway. The Cathaum is mentioned by name in construction trade journals as early as 1922, when it was in the planning stage, but at that time it was being designed by a different architect, Harry S. Bair of Pittsburgh. The firm of Hodgens & Hill was formed in 1923, so they had to have taken over the project after that.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 19, 2012 at 8:55 pm

Linkrot repair: The twice previously-linked page with the 1930s photo of the Cathaum Theatre is now at this URL, but it’s anybody’s guess for how long. The photo is a bit less than halfway down the very long page.

lfreimauer
lfreimauer on November 11, 2010 at 9:19 pm

I went to Penn State in 1957-1958 and remember the Cathuam. Does anyone know when it closed?

robitude
robitude on November 11, 2010 at 9:07 pm

Updated link to the 1930s photo of the Cathaum (works as of November 2010):

http://tinyurl.com/25694wj

robitude
robitude on November 17, 2009 at 2:21 pm

The building that once held the Cathaum is now largely occupied by a CVS on the ground floor. I believe that the nightclub Indigo is now on the top floor where Players used to be (correct me if I’m wrong).

Here’s the correct link to the 1930s photo of the theater (works as of November 2009):
http://tinyurl.com/yj9r9nk

helman700
helman700 on August 4, 2008 at 8:03 pm

The Cathaum’s building is still there (only one building down from the newly renovated State – which you should check out if in town, live shows and independant/foreign/b movies) now housing a clothing store, drug store, Players(although players has changed its name as that term has gone a bit out of style) and I think the university still uses part as an annex. Not sure what happened to the nittany, though if it was before Calder it may be a number of different things, there’s a clothing store and bank it could be, if it’s closer to Beaver then it has probably been replaced as the larger buildings are all newer.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on July 26, 2008 at 11:15 pm

There is a circa 1930s photo on this page:
http://tinyurl.com/5g9clb

veyoung52
veyoung52 on October 14, 2007 at 4:02 am

RE: “I don’t have an address for it.” The Nittany was on South Allen and right around the corner from the Cathaum in the zero-hundred block. The Cathaum and the State (cinematreasures theatre #682) were both located on College Avenue. In 1965 (or 1966), another theatre, an arthouse called the Twelvetrees (after actress Helen Twelvetrees), opened a little off the downtown area on South Atherton. There was also a drive-in on North Atherton. I thought I had heard a few years back that the Cathaum had become a dinner theatre. The Nittany went through a remodeling sometime between in 1963 or 1964 .

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on October 14, 2007 at 12:26 am

An internet search shows the Player’s Night Club currently at 112 W. College. Unknown if this is still the theater building.

veyoung52
veyoung52 on February 7, 2006 at 4:13 pm

I went to Penn State Univ located in State College, and the Cathaum, then a Stanley-Warner house was a major hanout for me. House featured gold curtains, slightly curved CinemaScope screen about 30-35' in width, and had 4-channel mag capabilities. My first visit to a projection booth was here, and I remember how the projectionist on duty showed me how – during a matinee of “Days of Wine and Roses” – how he could switch the channels around from any of the 3 screen speakers to the surrounds. Mustve momentarily disoriented the audience, tho, his doing that in the middle of this monophonic film.