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
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