Arson-Damaged Theater Where Houdini Performed to Disappear

Demolition of historic Pa. theater begins Friday

A demolition company says it will begin work this week to tear down a fire-damaged 19th century theater in central Pennsylvania.

John Niebauer Jr. of Earthmovers Unlimited tells The Centre Daily Times that his Kylertown-based firm will begin work Friday on the historic Garman Theatre and Hotel Do De in Bellefonte.

A judge earlier this month denied a request by the Bellefonte Historical and Cultural Association to hold off the demolition.

The theater was built in 1890 and over the years hosted acts such as Harry Houdini, George Burns and Gracie Allen. It was in foreclosure and vacant and had been closed for four years when it was damaged by the fire that destroyed the hotel last year.

The demolition is expected to take three to four weeks.

Bellefonte recently gained national attention as the place where former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was tried on child sex-abuse charges and convicted.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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