Rex Theatre

1602 E. Carson Street,
Pittsburgh, PA 15203

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Rex Theatre

The historic Rex Theatre, a landmark of the South Side area of Pittsburgh for more than 90 years, was for much of its existence a popular movie house until it closed a few years back. Now reopened and refurbished, the Rex Theatre is again a thriving venue, located on E. Carson Street, between 16th Street and 17th Street.

It is used for concerts, cabaret-style shows, various other live performances and DVD projection. The Rex Theatre also contains a bar area.

Contributed by Bryan

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

raubre on April 25, 2006 at 2:31 pm

It is strange. I don’t remember seeing the Rex until recently. Was it vacant in the 80s before its reopening?

zombie913 on November 29, 2006 at 7:15 am

It was closed for most my life i lived in SouthSide. It reopened in the 90’s then closed again. Now they have live bands and booze. Went in it last wek and its dirty, nasty. A shame for old theater lovers

richardg on April 11, 2007 at 2:23 pm

I just visited the Rex on Easter weekend and saw the “World Premiere” of a locally done full length film titled, “You’re In Trouble” which was paired with a previously released short titled, “Corporate Blues”. I’ll just say they’re both okay since this isn’t a movie revue site. Most everything listed here is pretty accurate according to my source who now operates the Rex. The screen used now is about one third the size of the original screen since movies are rarely shown. Today, the Rex’s primary purpose is a “Premiere Rock Venue Facility” All permanent seating has been removed so when seating is required, banquet style chairs are placed. It’s butt tough to sit on for over 2 hours but the semi “theatre” experience was still worthwile. Sipping a beer and watching a movie was strange but throughly enjoyable. Despite its present shortcomings as a true movie theatre, I’d go again.
The Rex closed in 1959 and never returned as a movie theatre until the the nineties. The “art fare venue” lasted until the mid nineties with one short closure and reopening. During the time frame between 1959 and the nineties the Rex hosted a barber school as well as a wholesale (very appropiately) popcorn facility. The Rex sat vacant from the mid 90’s until 2001, when it reopend with a premiere Rock & Roll showcase venue.
Although, today what appears to be the Rex’s balcony, it was vastly different in its movie showing days. The balcony today is much larger and has a new curved staircase. Originally, the balcony was only on the left side (as you face the screen) of the projection booth. It contained only 6 seats. Does that qualify for entry into the Guiness book? You also need a VIP pass to gain entry to the balcony.

kencmcintyre on November 28, 2008 at 1:57 pm

Listed as the New Rex in the 1955 yellow pages. Phone was HEmlok 1-9496.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 1, 2014 at 2:31 pm

This item is from the February 19, 1916, issue of The American Contractor:

“Pittsburgh, Pa. — Moving Picture Theater, Store & Apt. Bldg.: $16,000. 2 sty. 32x80. 1604 Carson st. Archt. Chas. Geisler, 1933 Warnock st. Owner Louis Michael, 1606 Carson st. Plans in progress.”
A later issue of the magazine said that plans were complete and the architect would be taking bids for the project about March 15. Chas. Geisler was probably the Charles R. Geisler who designed the Harris South Hills Theatre in Dormont, Pennsylvania.

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