Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center
925 4th Avenue,
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Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center (Official)
Operated by: Greater Huntington Theatres
Previously operated by: Keith-Albee
Architects: Thomas White Lamb
Functions: Performing Arts
Previous Names: Keith-Albee Theatre
News About This Theater
- Nov 6, 2011 — Downtown Huntington cinema closes doors
- Aug 25, 2007 — The Keith-Albee Needs Your Help
- Sep 22, 2006 — Volunteers ready Lamb's Keith for World Premiere
- Aug 24, 2006 — Keith-Albee surges ahead
- Apr 21, 2006 — Keith Albee gets movie close up in "We Are Marshall"
- Jan 20, 2006 — Keith Albee to Close Jan. 22
- Dec 3, 2004 — Theatre Organ Concerts Add To Preservation Efforts At Keith-Albee
- Jun 28, 2004 — Herald-Dispatch Reports on Fate of Keith Albee
- Jun 14, 2004 — Keith-Albee Acquires $50,000 Organ
- Apr 5, 2004 — More Cloudy News for Huntington's Keith Albee
- Mar 1, 2004 — Sister of Flushing's Keith Needs Federal "Offset" Funding to Keep the Curtain Rising
- Jan 5, 2004 — New Development Threatens West Virginia's Grandest Theatrical Showcase
When it opened on May 8, 1928 it featured vaudeville performer Rae Samuels (Blue Streak of Vaudeville). The Keith-Albee building had cost $2 million to erect, and the theatre seated 2,720. The theatre’s main floor held 1,520 people, and its massive balcony held 1,200. The theatre was equipped with a Wurlitzer 3 manual 13 ranks theatre organ, which was removed in the 1950’s.
In the 1960’s two screens were added inside the auditorium and in the 1970’s a fourth screen was added in former retail space. A fire was just one of many challenges the movie palace has faced over the years, including a flood in 1937, mounting financial problems, and the wear and tear of time.
One of the last Keith-Albee Theatre’s in the country, this palatial theatre reopened in May 2001, after a three-month restoration of the main auditorium to repair damage from a fire that broke out next door to the theatre. In 2001 a 1927 Wurlitzer 2 manual 7 ranks theatre organ was installed in the theatre which had originally been installed in the Granada Theatre, Bluefield, WV. It was closed as a movie theatre in January 2006, due to competition from a newly opened multiplex cinema. In 2018 the original Wurlitzer organ was found and re-installed as a 3 manual 19 ranks instrument, with the replacement instrument having been returned to the Granada Theatre, Bluefield, WV. in 2015.
Now that the $400,000 restoration of 2006 is completed, the Keith-Albee Theatre is back in business and better than ever as a performing arts center. Recently in September 2008, work began to remove the two mini-theatres inside the original auditorium. Further renovation continues in 2015.
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