Manos Theater

It seems that when you talk about movie theaters in Ellwood City, almost everyone remembers the Majestic movie theater but the other less recalled theater was known as the Manos. Originally named the Liberty Theatre, the 1,047 seat theater opened January 1923. The Manos family purchased the Liberty Theatre and renamed it the Manos Theatre. The Liberty had the exclusive rights in Ellwood City to show all Warner Brothers Vitaphone pictures that were released.
Jack Manos, who was associated with his brothers in the Monessen Amusement Company which owned a chain of theaters in Western Pennsylvania, came to Ellwood City in 1936 to run the Manos. On May 14, 1949 the theater held a grand re-opening after being closed one month for a little more than $70,000 worth of renovations. The theater had Herculite glass doors installed leading to the beautiful lobby and blending with the elaborate confectionary shop on the right. Mahogany was installed throughout the lobby including the counters, ceiling and banister. New restrooms located on the main floor were added to the building along with a manager’s office, a florist shop and a new large concession stand in the left front of the lobby. Inside the auditorium, a new concrete floor and slide back chairs were installed with bold colors.
After Mr. Manos died of heart attack in lobby of the Manos in 1956. Pete Samios, born Panayiotis Haralambos Dimitropoulo became manager of the Manos. The Manos continued in Ellwood City until May 24, 1972 when the company closed the theater. The building was torn down to make way for a Health Mart Drug Store August 17, 1987. Today the Ellwood City Public Library sits where the Liberty Theatre began construction October of 1922.
In the darker picture from the 1940’s, the movie showing at the Manos was “To
Have and Have Not” starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall.
If you would like to share your memories of the Manos Theatre or the “standing
room only” wedding that took place on the stage of the auditorium, please leave a
comment below or you can email me at

9 thoughts on “Manos Theater”

  1. In the late 50’s or early 60’s I worked at the Manos theater…..selling tickets…taking tickets…concession stand…. cleaning… Maintenance ……I remember standing taking tickets….usher seeing. Swiss family Roberson 100 times….it played for several weeks. Bob acacia was the meg. At that time

  2. I remember the Manos family and their two lovely daughters . They were an asset to Ellwood population. I loved the theater and thought it was done in very good taste!

  3. I don;t know if Jack Manos had girls or not but I do kmow that the Biordis (Owners of the Majestic) had several daughters (Porche? and Celeste and I don’t/ remember the other names). Don.

  4. I remember Nikki Manos and she had an older sister. Both pretty and nice. Don, I think you are thinking of Mercedes Biordi. Close with the

  5. Oh, by the way, I remember when Jack Manos had a heart attack in the front lobby and died. What a scary moment for a young boy.

  6. Don, Today I cheated and looked in the 1959 Ellwoodian, her name is Mercada not Mercedes. I only knew of her. I knew she had siblings, but can’t remember them.

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