Coyle Theater

Scott Beveridge/Observer-Reporter

Workers take down the historic sign from the Coyle Theater in Charleroi Friday morning.

CHARLEROI – Workers peeled a historic sign from the Coyle Theater in Charleroi as the building was under demolition Friday.

The sign dating to about 1910 was bent in the process, but it was salvageable, workers at the site said.

“It’s staying in Charleroi,” borough councilman Mark Alterici said about the sign.

The plan was to store the sign, along with about a dozen seats, in the borough building behind the property at 331 McKean Ave., said Ben Brown, chief executive officer of Mon Valley Alliance, the owner of the theater and neighboring property.

“We’re going to be restoring it,” Brown said.

The sign will be repurposed at a yet to be determined public location, he said.

The removal of the sign signaled the end of an era following numerous failed attempts over decades to return the nearly 1,000-seat theater to its glory.

Contractors have begun demolition of the building.

“Very sad to see,” said Nikki Sheppick of the Charleroi Area Historical Society, which was among the groups that attempted to save the building.

The Coyle was built in 1891 as an opera house, and was later enlarged as a movie palace with a balcony. The theater went dark in 1999 with a showing of the movie “Titanic.”

The alliance purchased the theater and two neighboring buildings in 2016. The economic development group considered restoring the theater, but those plans were scrapped in July.

“The hope is going to be what is reborn there,” Brown said.

Staff Writer

Scott Beveridge is a North Charleroi native who has lived most of his life in nearby Rostraver Township. He is a general assignments reporter focusing on investigative journalism and writing stories about the mid-Mon Valley.

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