About Us

No need to travel far for a touch of Broadway! The Media Theatre, Delco’s only professional music theatre, brings big-city excitement to the small-town feel of State Street. With a calendar full of musical productions, concerts, and children’s performances, the seats here fill quickly–especially since there isn’t a bad seat in the house.

Don’t let the convenience fool you–this theater has a lot of the same things you’ll find in NYC, like a dazzling marquee, professional talent, exquisite seats, and a live orchestra…..plus a few things you won’t, such as convenient parking, affordable prices, and a less stressful commute, making it much easier to catch a great performance more often! After all, here on State Street in Delco, the Show Must Go On!

(Thanks to Destination Delco for the above description of The Media Theatre in their Fall/ Winter 2017 magazine!)

MISSION STATEMENT: The mission of the Media Music Theatre Company is to promote and nurture the imagination, diversity, and joy unique to music theatre by the production of new and classic works; to herald music theatre to young people as an art form that is relevant to their lives and to foster an understanding by them that it is indigenous to their cultural heritage.

WHAT WE DO IS INSPIRE LIVES, IMPROVE LIVES, AND EDUCATE THROUGH MUSIC THEATRE! Not only do we have a full season of mainstage Broadway musicals and children’s programming, we also have a highly respected summer camp for ages 6 and up, plus a teen camp each summer which produces its own musicals . We also have a VOCALIST contest during summer months, so that young people  who may not otherwise have an outlet for their talents, have the ability to showcase themselves and their favorite songs in any genre onstage in front of hundreds of people with positive feedback from entertainment specialists and local community leaders. Add to that our State Street Miracles performance troupe of adults with developmental disabilities, and it equals one very important reason why THE MEDIA THEATRE is one of Delaware County’s jewels.

Simply put, musical theatre is the great AMERICAN contribution to the art of theatre. Our mission can be more fully realized as the community sees the Media Theatre not as a building, but as the home of a nationally recognized, community inspired professional music Theatre Company. The theatre’s identity in the community is established by the quality of the art it creates and it is the responsibility of the theatre put forth the message that the art of live theatre has tremendous value to the cultural health of this region. It is truly a testament to the power of live theatre that almost 80 years later, in an era of iPODS, cell phones, video games, and blackberries, that an old vaudeville house propels the artistic, cultural, and economic enhancement of Delaware County. The Media Theatre is proud to serve all ages and peoples by teaching them about the incomparable joy of live theatrical entertainment.

A BIT OF HISTORY:

The Media Theatre for the Performing Arts is a growing non-profit organization that has been operating as the only professional theatre in Delaware County since the year 2000. Located in downtown Media on beautiful State St., The Media Theatre was originally constructed in 1927 as a vaudeville house also featuring “talkies”. The ornate physical structure of the Media Theatre certainly represents the historic presence and unique value of downtown Media.In 1993, Walter Strine Sr. purchased the theatre and undertook a massive renovation of over $1 million which restored the theatre to its former aesthetic glory. Throughout the 90s, the theatre was run as a for profit business under the management of Rockwell Productions. However, there was a small wing of theatre lovers that formed a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization called the Society for the Performing Arts of the Media Theatre.In 2000 when Rockwell Productions abandoned the theatre and its production of live entertainment, the Society stepped in, took over management, and established The Media Theatre as it is today. Producing five musicals each year, the currentBroadway Series provides opportunities to gain new audiences and strengthen the support of current patrons and old friends.

Children’s programming is also an essential element of the Media Theatre’s artistic and educational efforts. The combination of a strong Children’s Series of 5-6 productions annually, and a well-respected School of Theatre allow for a strong outreach program to a vast array of young people in our community. Now in its 8th year as a not-for-profit entity, The Media Theatre music theatre company is thriving and is proud to serve as the cultural and economic anchor for Delaware County.

AWARDS:

*72 BROADWAY WORLD AWARDS FOR ‘BEST OF PHILLY THEATRE’
*20 READERS POLL AWARDS AS ‘BEST LIVE THEATRE’ IN DELAWARE COUNTY! 2001-2016.(from Delaware County Daily Times, News of Delaware County, Main Line Times, and Main Line Life newspapers)
*8 BARRYMORE AWARD NOMINATIONS FOR EXCELLENCE IN THEATRE and
*A BARRYMORE AWARD WIN FOR “THE WILD PARTY” IN 2004
*DELAWARE COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AWARD ’06 for Economic and Community Development

BUILDING HISTORY

Built in 1927 by Samuel Dembow as Media’s third and largest movie theatre, it was designed by the firm of Magazine, Eberhard, and Harris.  The interior was docorated in the English Renaissance style by Harris Brodsky.  The theatre opened in August 1927 with a screening of “The Jazz Singer” starring Al Jolson, the 1st motion picture with sound.  Admission was 25 cents.  The theatre served for nearly 75 years as a movie palace displaying the magic of motion picture to generations of Media residents.  It was also the site for vaudeville shows, Media High School graduations and community events.  The building was acquired by Walter M. Strine who converted it into the Media Theatre for the Performing Arts in 1994 in honor of his wife, Elizabeth and her lifelong love of music.

The economic impact of the theatre with 50,000 individual tickets and a budget of 1.3 million is:

  • Full-Time Equivalent jobs of 81.85, second largest employer in Media after Delaware County,
  • Expenditures (direct total expenditures by theatre and audience into the Borough economy) equal $2.8 million,
  • Local revenue is $162,791,
  • State revenue is $183,838.

(These figures are from the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance’s Economic Impact Calculator).