Philipsburg

Rowland Theatre prepares to celebrate 100 years in Centre County

Built in 1917, the Rowland Theatre in Philipsburg has seen a series of updates.
Built in 1917, the Rowland Theatre in Philipsburg has seen a series of updates. Centre Daily Times, file

There’s no better way to celebrate 100 years of living than with a facelift.

Barring any unforeseen circumstances — and let’s face it, at that age any procedure carries its risks — that’s exactly what will happen in a few weeks when the Rowland Theatre in Philipsburg celebrates its centennial with the unveiling of a new marquee and plaza.

“On June 4, people will enter the theater under a replica of the same marquee that people entered under on June 4, 1917,” said Rebecca Inlow, a Rowland board member.

The century in between will probably be touched upon during the in-house tour or a talk by Rick Benjamin, who in accordance with his duties as the founder and conductor of the Paragon Ragtime Orchestra knows a thing or two about the silent film era that spawned the Centre County landmark.

Plus, if the nostalgia factor doesn’t get you on the hook, there’s always cake.

“We wanted this event to be free so that everyone could share in this celebration. The theater has been a part of this community for everyone’s lifetime. It was important for us to make sure that everyone who loves the theater could be a part of the party,” Inlow said.

Also playing a key role in the festivities is filmmaker Spencer Folmar, who shot his latest project “Generational Sins” in Clearfield County last year.

Folmar, a graduate of the West Branch Area School District, will screen a new trailer for the film during the centennial celebration.

“Personally, this means a lot to me because the Rowland is where I began to really fall in love with cinema and film history. The Rowland was my local theater growing up and even though I have been to famous movie palaces all over the world and live just down the block from the Chinese Theatre, the Rowland is still my favorite movie theater in the world,” Folmar said.

Frank Ready: 814-231-4620, @fjready

If you go

What: Rowland Centennial Celebration

When: 2 p.m., June 4

Where: 125 N Front St, Philipsburg, PA 16866

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