History of St.Marys Apollo Theatre
Our Dancing Daughters, First Movie Shown Frozen Justice, Lenore Ulric, First Talkie Shown

The St. Mary’s Theatre was the third movie house to be built in St. Mary’s. Ground was broken on May 23rd, 1928, the St. Mary’s Amusement Old Diamond Theatre Company handed the contract to the Hyde-Murphy Company of Ridgway, and construction began shortly afterwards. The theatre was of fireproof construction, and had a seating capacity of nine hundred. On the main floor there were Old Projectors thirty-five rows of seats in three sections. Six high overhead chandeliers shown down their multicolored rays upon the audience.  Gold on red silk paddings highlighted the walls, and acted as sound barriers. A stage was built so road shows could perform there. In an unimaginable six months, a deadline many at the time thought impossible,  the building was completed and opened for the theatre loving audience of Saint Mary’s and vicinity on November 1st, 1928 with a special showing of Our Dancing Daughters, the movie that propelled star Joan Crawford to stardom.


The palatial palace showed silent movies in its opening, but installed a new sound system on November 7th,  1983 1929. Frozen Justice, starring Lenore Ulric, was the first talking picture to be featured on November 10th, 1929. The first concession stand was installed in 1947.

The St. Mary’s Theatre remained under the management of Messr.  Dock, former manager of the Temple Theatre of St. Mary’s, until 1932, when the Harris Amusement Company, an early theatrical corporation, purchased the theatre. The new St. Mary’s Harris Theatre remained under the management of the theatre chain until the company disbanded in 1961. The theatre was renamed the St. Mary’s Concert Theatre and was run under Chuck Fleming into the late 1970s. The theatre was purchased by the Coppolos in the late 1970s and together with the Bolognas, twinned the facility between 1981 and 1982. The upstairs balcony stage, and box seats were closed off, the new theatre could show two attractions at once, allowing audiences to attend movies more tailored to their tastes.



The theatre was sold again, and was purchased in 1988 by Robert G. Knepp, owner of the Ritz Theatre of Clearfield. Rechristening the movie house Diamond Theatre, it remained under his management for twenty-one New Apollo years until being purchased by Bill, Darlene, Alyson, and Nicklas Lynch on February 26th, 2009. Renaming it the Apollo Theatre, they undertook remodeling the theatre to modern standards, from new reclining seats to a more efficient Newly Renovated concession stand and a new sound system. Special attention was paid to the entrance lobby, remodeling it to closely resemble its appearance in 1928. Apollo Theatre was remodeled over a period of almost six months, and could not have been possible if not for the generous hours of volunteering and donations bestowed by countless many in St. Mary’s and vicinity. The Apollo Theatre opened its doors on May 15th, 2009 with special showings of Hannah Montana and X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

Apollo Theatre

19 N. Michael Street

St. Marys, PA 15857