Backstory and Context
The Lincoln Theater opened in downtown New Martinsville in 1920. Since that time, the theater has played host to numerous films, plays, and community events. Prominent actress, Gloria Swanson, gave a speech to a packed house in 1925 prior to the screening of her film, "Manhandled." A comedy film starring Swanson and directed by Allan Dawn, "Stage Struck," which was filmed on location in New Martinsville, had its world premiere at the Lincoln Theater in 1925. The silent film has since been archived and restored by the George Eastman House and the British Film Institute. In 1927 new sound equipment was added to the theater and it fully transitioned from silent pictures to “talkies."
After closing in 1967, a group of prominent New
Martinsville residents purchased the building and leased it back to the city.
It is now owned by the New Martinsville Parks and Recreation Department and
continues to entertain Wetzel County and its guests and travelers. It is listed
on the National Register of Historic Places.