(Formerly Hale’s Opera House – 1886 Towanda, PA)
In 1988, the Bradford County Regional Arts Council (BCRAC), with the help of supporters, began an extensive restoration project which brought new life to the Keystone Theatre. The Keystone was the first major project of an effort that made the BCRAC owner of Bradford County’s three restored theatres. In 2012, the Keystone Theatre celebrates 125 years of movies, live performances and community events.
Through the years, the Keystone Theatre has undergone several physical transitions including, the addition of a smaller 106 seat stadium-style seating theatre, now named the Taylor Theatre, a brand new marquee, a huge renovation to the Dunn Center for the Performing Arts (historic auditorium) and most recently a complete transition from 35 mm film to a fully digital projection system. Although the theatre may not look exactly as it did when it was built, it remains a central landmark in the community. Owned and operated by the Bradford County Regional Arts Council (BCRAC) since 1988, the Keystone Theatre continues to offer a wide variety of entertainment. The Nightlife on the Susquehanna series, Schooltime Youth Series, London’s National Theatre Live series and first run commercial movies are just a few of the offerings that can be seen at the Keystone Theatre.
Now in its 130th year of operation, The Keystone Theatre, originally built by Elias W. Hale as Hale’s Opera House, opened its doors for its first public performance on September 21st, 1887. Hale and his wife, Mary Hale, owned the opera house from 1886 to 1908. The theatre was then purchased by Edward L. Smith and Charles P. Welles and was renamed the Keystone Opera House. That name stuck until 1921 when the building was sold to William Woodin. From that point on the theatre became known by what it is today, the Keystone Theatre.
(Formerly the Sayre Opera House – 1914 Sayre, PA)
The Valley and surrounding communities have given enormous contributions of time, talent, and treasure to Bradford County Regional Arts Council and Sayre Theatre since 1995. This ongoing support has enabled the theatre to take a step beyond its rich history into a second century of new adventures, providing a timeless venue for first-run films, independent film festivals, children’s theatre, Nightlife on the Susquehanna live performances, fundraising for local charities, special community events, birthday parties, meetings, and more.
Almost twenty years ago, BCRAC created a modern, comfortable, and attractive arts center that continues to serve the needs of today’s movie and live performance patrons. A renovated lobby and concession area, an art gallery, two small cinemas, and a large theatre space, dedicated as the Guthrie Performing Arts Center, were the first of many ongoing upgrades to the facility. Through the generosity of a friend of the theatre, two retro-style chandeliers now grace the interior of the Performing Arts Center.
With the help of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Pennsylvania Performing Artists on Tour, Major Sponsors, and the United Way, live events are presented in the Guthrie Performing Arts Center, ranging from the Nightlife on the Susquehanna series to the School Time Youth series and stand-alone events, such The U.S. Air Force Celtic Ensemble, Mansfield University’s Concert Choir, Pro Musica Singers, and others. Sayre Theatre also hosts The Missoula Children’s Theatre and the Annual Learning Early Network Conference.
Sayre Theatre has had a unique look about it since its marquee was removed in March of 2015 and a temporary one replaced it. The marquee committee worked feverishly with the Hunt Engineers to design, fund and replace the marquee and bring the Sayre Theatre back to its familiar, yet awesome, new look. Bartush Signs of Orwigsburg, Pennsylvania was hired to custom design and fabricate the front and two side panels of the marquee, replicating the appearance of the former marquee in 21st Century technology. Local businesses, including Nucor/Vulcraft of NY, Jeff Paul Plumbing and Heating, installed much of the structural and finish work beginning in the spring of 2016. The new marquee was completed in 2018, and is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Bruce Boselli, a beloved area physician and 25-year BCRAC board member.
The second floor of the theatre not only houses three Christie CP 2210 digital projectors, it also features a large open space with a small kitchen area that is used for meetings, artist workshops, birthday parties, and special Hollywood Café events.