Focus On: Conclave Theatre Tour 2014 | Edwin S. Porter Theater

Home to the world’s first Nickelodeon, Pittsburgh, our destination for the 2014 Conclave Theatre our is chock-full of internationally renowned venues that we can’t wait to share with you for the first time EVER.

We’ll tour the heart of the Steel City, visiting Heinz Hall, Benedum Center, The Byham Theater, The O’Reilly Theater and The Harris Theater.

Then, we’ll stroll through the unique neighborhoods of Oakland, Dormont, Carnegie, Homestead, McKees Rocks, and East Liberty.

Once we’ve introduced you to the ‘burgh, we’ll show off the beautiful highlands of Pennsylvania with stops in Zelienople, Erie, Grove City, Meadville, Vandergrift, Uniontown, Connellsville, and Scottdale. In each town we’ll spotlight an architecturally significant movie theatre, civic auditorium, vaudeville house, or Carnegie Library, which feature elegant music halls built by American industrialist Andrew Carnegie.

It’s going to be a great tour, and we can’t wait to share it with you.

Each week, we’ll focus on a venue we’ll visit — today, we’re looking at the Edwin S. Porter Theater.

Edwin S Porter Footer

Edwin S. Porter Theater | Greensburg, PA
201 East Fairview Avenue Connellsville, PA
OPENED: 1916
ARCHITECT: George. W. Eckles
CAPACITY: 600 (original) / 800 (current)

The Edwin S. Porter Theater which is located on the second floor of the Greater Connellsville Area Community Center at 201 East Fairview Avenue in Connellsville was originally constructed in 1916 to serve as the newly constructed Connellsville High School’s auditorium.

The building which is quite substantial in size and structure was quite “avant-garde” in design for the time. The theater was built with a 600 seat capacity. Acoustically the theater was better than any theater in the surrounding area.

From 1916 to 1970 the theater had been host to many things including graduation ceremonies, senior class plays, chorus concerts, award ceremonies, dance reviews. The high school was closed in 1970 to make way for the new Connellsville Joint High School and was doomed for demolition. In 1971 the building reopened as the Greater Connellsville Area Community Center. The theater was still in use from 1971 on but use was very limited and as time passed the theater had become run down and was in much need of a face lift and modernization of the heating system and the lighting and sound systems.

In 2010 with a grant through the Connellsville Redevelopment Authority, the theater was renovated. The theater currently has state of the art lighting and sound system and an updated heating system. Air-conditioning was also an added feature to the renovation. At that time the theater was renamed the Edwin S. Porter Theater. Porter who was born in Connellsville on April 21, 1870 directed and photographed one of the milestones in film history with the first narrative film, The Great Train Robbery in 1903. He was a Thomas Edison cameraman.

Since the renovation was completed, the theater has been used for concerts, musicals, graduation ceremonies, beauty pageants, hosted a wedding ceremony in 2011, hosted free family movie nights, and has been the home of Conn Area Catholic School’s many fundraising events.

We see many events coming to the newly renovated theater. The future is definitely a bright one for the Edwin S. Porter Theater.


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Note: The member-only, early bird online discount registration period ends on March 15th — make sure to register before then to save $20 on your registration!


Information submitted by the Edwin S. Porter Theater for the 2014 Conclave Theatre Tour. Images © William Colvin.

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