Pennsylvania is home to dozens of top-notch theatre companies and historic theaters which rank as some of the oldest and most respected in the nation. From Broadway musicals and symphonies to classic films and world-premiere plays, these and many other Pennsylvania theatres have made their mark on the cultural community.
Walnut Street Theatre - Philadelphia and the Countryside
The Walnut Street Theatre, founded in 1809, is America's oldest theatre, a National Historic Landmark, and the official state theatre of Pennsylvania. Many of the nation’s top actors of the 19th and 20th centuries “trod the boards” of the Walnut Street, including the Barrymores, George M. Cohan, Will Rogers, The Marx Brothers, Helen Hayes, Henry Fonda, Katharine Hepburn, Marlon Brando, and many more. With more than 56,000 season ticket holders, the Walnut is the most subscribed theatre company in the world and celebrated its 200th birthday in 2009.
Fulton Theatre - Dutch Country Roads
From the Vaudeville "Queen of the Roadhouses" to the cutting edge of contemporary theatre, the history of the Fulton chronicles the evolution of the American Stage. The Fulton Opera House, considered to be the nation's oldest continuously operating theatre, is one of only eight theatres to be named a National Historic Landmark. It is now a regional professional theatre company with plays designed uniquely for today’s audience and impacting the national theatre community by commissioning and producing world premieres and re-imagined works of note.
Hedgerow Theatre - Philadelphia and the Countryside
Billed as "America's oldest continuously operating Residential Repertory Theatre," Hedgerow Theatre was known as the “mother of all Philadelphia theatres.” The Hedgerow’s historic structure is today home to resident and company actors who perform a wide range of drama, comedy and children's shows.
The Strand-Capitol - Dutch Country Roads
Located on the corner of George and Philadelphia Streets in downtown York, the Strand-Capitol Performing Arts Center serves as a leading arts presenter in southcentral Pennsylvania. The complex encompasses five buildings, including its two historic theaters – the Capitol Theatre, built in 1906 as a one-level dance hall and opera house, and the Strand Theatre, which opened in 1925 primarily for vaudeville and silent film.
Hershey Theatre - Dutch Country Roads
The magnificent Hershey Theatre was conceived by entrepreneur and philanthropist Milton S. Hershey as part of his “Great Building Campaign” of the Great Depression. Dedicated in 1933, the theatre is famous for its intricate architecture and workmanship, and it remains a top notch facility for central Pennsylvania theatre, dance, and movies.
Byham Theater - Pittsburgh and its Countryside
Originally built in 1903 as the Gayety Theater, the Byham Theater opened on Halloween night, 1904 and ran for many years as one of the country's foremost stage and vaudeville houses. In the 1930s, the theater was renamed The Fulton and became a fulltime movie theater. The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust purchased the theater in 1990 and reopened it in May 1991. It was renamed the Byham Theater in 1995 and still boasts its architectural splendor as it hosts performances and films.
The Majestic Theatre - Dutch Country Roads
The Majestic Theater opened in Gettysburg in 1925 as the largest vaudeville and silent movie theater in southcentral Pennsylvania. The theater was designed by the prominent Philadelphia architect W.H. Lee, and built by Henry Scharf, manager of the historic Hotel Gettysburg. A $16 million restoration of the theater in 2005 meticulously re-created its original Colonial Revival features, and it now offers two movie screens in addition to its elaborate mainstage.
Heinz Hall - Pittsburgh and its Countryside
This restored 1926 movie theater's architecture now serves as the backdrop for much of Pittsburgh's cultural activity and is known as the crown jewel of Pittsburgh's Cultural District. The French Court style venue is home to the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, which performs 30 concerts in the Hall annually.