Columbia Theatre

150 Main Street,
Brookville, PA 15825

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The Columbia Theatre was located on Main Street. At the present time the front lobby is being used as a youth center and some theatre seats still remain. The Columbia Theatre had a different seating arrangement than most theatres. Upon entering patrons walked up a slight incline to their seats which faced the screen which was in the back of the theatre. By 1941, it was operated by Warner Bros. Circuit Management Corp.

Perhaps the name Columbia was a theatre chain since Columbia Theatres are also listed as having been in Sharon and Erie, PA.

Contributed by Pat Locke

Recent comments (view all 12 comments)

Patsy
Patsy on December 22, 2004 at 10:55 am

Thanks so very much Lost Memory….I’d say your resource memory is quite good though. I will relay all of this to my ‘other half’! Glad to read that the theatre has been designated ‘a historical building’! The town pop. is small about 3,500 and could use a main streethometown theatre, again.

Patsy
Patsy on December 22, 2004 at 11:00 am

My husband believes that as you walked to your seat the ceiling got lower thus the “incline” that you walk up to get to the seats.

Patsy
Patsy on December 22, 2004 at 11:01 am

I wonder what the style was if it, in fact, was a former house or hotel? It is located in the middle of the block and not on a corner.

Patsy
Patsy on December 22, 2004 at 11:18 am

Thanks again. We plan to make a trip to the town in June for their annual Laurel Festival where my husband and I met! At this time we will check out the theatre. In fact, several summers ago we did visit the town and during a walk down main street my husband stopped at the theatre and got to see inside (beyond the lobby area)though I didn’t see it as I was, unfortunately, elsewhere.

Patsy
Patsy on December 22, 2004 at 11:51 am

Will do…for sure! It’s not a matter of IF, but WHEN and this time I will be entering the theatre, too! ;–)

Patsy
Patsy on April 20, 2005 at 4:11 pm

lostmemory: I think a church owns the Columbia Theatre, but will find out more information upon a visit to my husband’s hometown and hopefully a tour of the theatre.

Patsy
Patsy on August 25, 2005 at 1:23 pm

lostmemory: Well, I’ve been to Brookville and took a tour of the Columbia. A local church does, in fact, own the building. The front half which includes the former lobby is used as a teen center and the back half which is the auditorium is used for Christian music concerts as there is a stage and former orchestra pit that has been covered over to provide more stage depth. The ceiling as been painted to the original design and many of the light fixtures are original! The original seats have been taken out, but 3 of them do exist as we found them in the back of the theatre not being used for anything! The street facade as been enclosed with glass,
but the original plaster molding design still remains in the area where the ticket kios would have stood which has been removed over the years when that area was open leading from the front doors into
the lobby with curved ceiling. The horizontal Columbia marquee is
gone, but the exterior overhead metal awning is still intact though is peeling and in need of paint.

Patsy
Patsy on January 20, 2009 at 2:45 pm

Lost: This is my husband’s hometown in PA.

Patsy
Patsy on January 20, 2009 at 3:14 pm

It’s not really a theatre as we know it…no seats other than folding chairs as it is a teen center for the youth of the community. The stage area is used for Christian concerts, etc. As I recall the ceiling chandeliers are original.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 2, 2011 at 3:58 pm

A book called “Brookville” by Carole A. Briggs has a photo of the Columbia, and provides the information that the 1904 structure was a hotel. The auditorium was added to the back of the building some years later. The alterations were designed by Pittsburgh architect Harry S. Bair.

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