Come and Get It, the first movie to play at the Lamp in 1937.
A Pittsburgh Post-Gazette March 2005 article discussing history and renovation
The Westmoreland Cultural Trust, owner of the Palace Theatre in Greensburg, assumed ownership last year of the Lamp Theatre on Main Street in Irwin. It has plans to adapt the stage to accommodate both films and live productions, including plays, concerts and bands, and will bring in acts from outside the region, as well as local productions. The Lamp closed at the end of 2004.
“The theater can be a community anchor to draw people in and once you have people in, there can be other events and businesses that keep them in the downtown,” O’Brien said. “Our goal is to get the Lamp up and running.”
November 2007 article on the Lamp Theater renovation: A great historical timeline by Zandy Dudiak.
“The Lamp Theater opened with the movie “Come and Get It,” starring Joel McCrea, Frances Farmer and Edward Arnold, in March 1937. Matinee prices were 16 cents for adults, 11 cents for children, with an evening show costing 21 cents for adults. The Lamp first operated under the Aladdin Theatre Co. (the Aladdin Theatre was nearby). The company dissolved in 1942 and ownership fell to two of the three partners. In 1953, the theater was sold to a regional bank. Abraham Beter and Adelaide DelVitto bought the theater in 1964, and Beter and his wife acquired DelVitto’s share in 1976. Beter’s daughters, Jean Rebich and Eileen Eddy, took ownership when their parents died and ran the theater with Beter’s grandchildren. Jean and George Rebich bought full ownership in 1995 and operated the Lamp until 2004, when it closed. The Rebichs sold the theater to KCS Realty Investments — partners David Sinclair, Bill Chapman and George Koury, Jean Rebich’s cousin — in 2005. The Westmoreland Cultural Trust took possession this April .”
June 2008 article about dwindling recreation options in the east suburbs
Norwin Star article about the Irwin Hotel fire in March 2009 that damaged the Lamp Theatre
August 2009 op-ed piece by Jennifer Fitzgerald
May 19, 2011 Norwin Star article that started “Relight the Lamp” grassroots movement
Additionally, Karen Glass, a North Huntingdon resident and chairwoman of Relight the Lamp, updated council on plans for restoring the Lamp Theater on Main Street.
She said the project to restore the theater needed a $50,000 commitment from council to secure state and county funds. Relight the Lamp is seeking volunteers to maintain the property while fundraising is ongoing. More information can be found at relightthelamp.wordpress.com.
August 29, 2011 Lamp Theatre progress poll
August 30, 2011: InNorwin Magazine
November 15, 2011: From The Tribune-Review
Relighting the Lamp: A grassroots fundraising effort is under way to restore and reopen Irwin’s Lamp Theater on Main Street. The group hopes to raise $50,000 by Christmas, according to one member. The commitment of the Relight the Lamp campaign is evident in the enthusiasm of its participants. Here’s hoping for a “green” Christmas.
Relight the Lamp raised about $70,000 of the borough’s estimated $150,000 contribution to help rehabilitate the theater, according to chairwoman Kelly Fennessy.
Despite the bids coming in higher than expected, Fennessy said, the committee plans to continue raising money for the project.
“This isn’t over because the bids were high, by any means,” she said. “The community wants this theater and, if we need to raise more money, we’ll look at what we have to do to make that happen.”
March 14, 2013:
March 15, 2013: Irwin to apply for loan to refurbish Main Street theater
March 20, 2013: Irwin Borough purchases the Lamp from the Westmoreland Cultural Trust
- Brad Pedersen at the Norwin Star
- Rossilynne Skena at the Tribune-Review
- Michael DiVittorio at the McKeesport Daily News
March 24, 2013: Irwin council buys Lamp Theatre, plans to renovate the building
April 10, 2013: Irwin extends sales agreement to buy Lamp Theatre
May 8, 2013: Irwin’s Lamp Theatre work begins June 1
May 12, 2013: Norwin residents form arts council
May 29, 2013: Irwin officials plan to take ownership of Lamp Theatre
June 7, 2013: Irwin acquires Lamp Theatre from cultural trust
June 12, 2013: Acquisition done, plans move forward