CULTURE CORNER: The Rowland Theater

From its first showing of a silent film in 1917 to the contemporary films being shown today, the Rowland Theater has always been a gathering place for Centre County residents and movie buffs alike.

Considered by many to be the jewel of downtown Philipsburg, the historic single-screen theater has seen decades of cinema history, along with visits from dignitaries like President Jimmy Carter, who made an appearance there in 2002.

The theater is located about 30 minutes from downtown State College and Penn State.

Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979, the building has long been a treasure to the community. Even when it was first built, residents were in awe of its size, safety, and appointments. Fortunately, most of its original charm and character has remained intact, meaning moviegoers are treated to a theater experience unlike any other in the area.

The 1,150-seat theater even has an orchestra pit and a huge stage, making it perfect for plays and other productions.

That’s great news for the community, who has a voice in its use. The Roland is owned by Philipsburg Borough and run by the non-profit Rowland Theater, Inc. The theater is even staffed by volunteers, who can use their time spent there for community services requirements, if necessary.

It’s also a great spot for an affordable night out, as children 3 and younger are granted free admission, children up to 11 years old can enter for $5, and adults can enter for $6.

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