A BRIEF HISTORY -
The Grand Theater is an Art Deco-style building constructed in the 1920s for performing arts, and was once the hub of leisure and entertainment in McDonald, PA. It was converted into a movie theater with the screen placed behind the stage after movies became prevalent in the 1950s. The building housed both the movie theatre and a ground floor bowling alley, called “Grand Alleys,” until the late 1970s. It was eventually renovated in the 1980s, but only partially, to construct professional offices where the box office once stood.
In its early days, the building was called the “McDonald Theater,” and was eventually renamed as “The Grand Theatre,” though most of the locals simply called it “The Show.”
The building has undergone a thoughtful renovation as a repurposed, multi-tenant facility with small retail/restaurant spaces in the front. Though the building has a touch of modern detail and added amenities, the soul of the historic building remains. The original stage can be found at the heart of the theater, along with the sloped wood floor - but not before entering under the restored marquee and crossing the mosaic tile entranceway. If you look up, you’ll see the 27’ pressed tin ceilings, plaster corbels, and Art Deco pendant light fixtures. Even the walls tell their own story - with layers of exposed brick, cement, and decades’ worth of paint colors.
Walking into The Grand Theater feels like a step back in time. The excitement of attending the local theater on the weekend in smalltown America comes flooding back. (Or at least the idea of it, if you’re one of our younger guests!) The history of this building is what makes it so special and unique, whether you’re here with friends for a drink on a Friday night, or inviting your closest family and friends for the wedding of your dreams.
Photographs courtesy of:
History aside, The Grand Theater offers the perfect location for any event, similar to its sister property Cozzi Acres, located just a few miles down the road in Oakdale, PA. What both McDonald and Oakdale offer is a mix of suburban and rural surroundings with small town charm. By traveling just 20 miles southwest of Downtown Pittsburgh, you can remove yourself from the hustle and bustle, but still enjoy everything the city has to offer. The Grand Theater’s central location puts you within 30 minutes of everywhere else you’d want to be:
Downtown Pittsburgh » 25 minutes
Pittsburgh International Airport » 15 minutes
The Meadows Racetrack & Casino / Tanger Outlets » 25 minutes
Robinson Town Center / Settlers Ridge » 15 minutes
Weirton, WV » 20 minutes