Friday, May 25, 2012

Penn Theatre in Wesleyville July 4, 1947 parade

Penn Theater and parade on Buffalo Road in Wesleyville July 4, 1947.
Photo courtesy of Nancy Schaffner Coake ©2012.
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Penn Theatre in Wesleyville July 4, 1947 parade on Buffalo Rd

The Penn Theatre in Wesleyville holds fond memories for people in Erie, Wesleyville and Lawrence Park. "The Show Off" and "Springtime in the Rockies" appeared on the marquee at the Penn when this photo was taken on July 4, 1947. I love to check out the cars in these old pictures. This was a time of celebration, when people considered it their patriotic duty to honor the war heroes. 

The parade celebrated the dedication of Memorial Field in Wesleyville and was led by returning veterans from each branch of the service. Businesses from left to right include: the Penn Theatre, 2917 Buffalo Rd.; a vacant lot (later the site of Smith Furniture Co. and then Baby Fair at 2911 Buffalo Rd.;, Wright's Ice Cream Bar, 2907 Buffalo Rd.; William Wright Jeweler, 2905 Buffalo Rd.; W. H. Kehr Grocery, 2901 Buffalo Rd.; Eastern Avenue intersects; Mobil Gas Service Station on the southwest corner; Grenz Motors, 2809 Buffalo Rd. 

The Penn Theatre opened on Sept. 15, 1927. Crowds lined the sidewalk along Route 20 to see the movie, "McFadden's Flats." Admission prices in 1927 were: Children 10¢. Matinee 15¢ and Evenings 25¢.

The Erie Playhouse held performances here after the old theater stopped showing movies. Nearly all the buildings visible here have been demolished. Country Fair currently occupies this property on the corner of Buffalo Road and Eastern Ave.

Enjoy more historical facts and photos of Erie, Pennsylvania at: Old Time Erie


  1. Wow .... I remember trying to rent the theatre for a band rehearsal hall. It was condemned by then.

  2. The Erie Playhouse moved into the old Penn Theatre in October 1965. The light board blew up in May of 1974 and the theater was condemned by OSHA. This is from the book "Greetings from Wesleyville."

  3. and a little further west about a city block on the south side was a Dr. Woods office and he also used to make house calls, with his little black bag and great personality.

  4. My mother worked in that Theater in the 1950s!