119 6th Street,
7 people favorited this theater
Styles: Art Deco
Previous Names: Alvin Theatre, Shubert-Alvin Theatre, Harris Alvin Theatre, J. P. Harris Theatre
News About This Theater
The Gateway Theatre was located in downtown Pittsburgh in what is now the city’s Cultural District. It was built on the site of the Alvin Theatre which opened September 21, 1891, and closed in 1933. Architect Edward B. Lee was employed to revamp the theatre which reopened August 30, 1934 with Shirly Temple in “Baby Take a Bow” & Harold Lloyd in “The Cats Paw”. It had a major roof collapse on November 14, 1940. It was rebuilt to the plans of architect John Eberson and reopened April 4, 1942 as the J. P. Harris Theatre, named after John P. Harris, who started the world’s first nickelodeon in Pittsburgh.
On December 30, 1960 the theatre was bought by George and Ernest Stern, whose Associated Theaters chain also included the Fulton Theatre, which was several doors away at 101 6th Street. They renamed the theatre the Gateway Theatre. It underwent a remodeling in the Autumn of 1967 and was dark for several weeks.
On June 11, 1980 the Gateway Theatre closed with “Friday the 13th”. The theatre was remodeled into a health club called the City Club. They turned the elegant inner lobby into a swimming pool. The rest of the auditorium was gutted, and turned into a two floor health club with a basement running track. The club was bought in 1999-2000 by the health club chain Bally’s who operated it until that chain folded.
The building was purchased by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, who has raised funds to convert it into a state of the art multi screen movie theater, which would be the first built in Downtown Pittsburgh in decades. The pandemic has stalled those plans, but the Trust is moving forward with their goal.
The interior has been demolished, the pool emptied of stagnant water, and plans are being discussed as of the Summer of 2022. They hope to get it open in late 2023, early 2024!
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