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Foster Theatre moving on from porno past; auction underway with vintage items

Proceeds from the auction will benefit the revitalization of the theater.
Foster B Today 06222021
When the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation purchased the Foster Theatre, the organization changed the marquee to read "Revitalize." (Robert K. Yosay | Mahoning Matters)

YOUNGSTOWN — Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation is hosting an auction to sell vintage items from the Foster Theatre on Glenwood Avenue.

The auction started Thursday and ends at 11:59 p.m. Aug. 5.

The iconic theater — which until the COVID-19 pandemic showed pornographic films and has fallen into disrepair — will get new life with reinvestment from the YNDC.

Ian Beniston, YNDC director, said people reached out when YNDC first got the building and said they would be interested in purchasing items from the theater that would be thrown away.

YNDC decided to create an auction website for the items so that anyone interested would have a chance to make an offer. 

All the proceeds from the auction will benefit the revitalization of the theater.

Beniston said he does not anticipate the auction to raise a large amount of money since there are not a lot of items for sale.

"We don't have too much stuff, but every bit helps," Beniston said.

The theater has not been substantially updated since it was built in 1938, so renovating the building will be "a huge amount of work," Beniston previously told Mahoning Matters

Some of the auction items include:

  • Signs from the theater;
  • Super Simplex XELAMP projector;
  • Recto-Lite silicon rectifier;
  • Film reels;
  • Vintage Simplex E-7 35 mm projector head.

A full catalog of items available for auction can be found here.

For more information and to bid, visit the Foster Theatre's auction website.



Ellen Wagner

About the Author: Ellen Wagner

Ellen Wagner reports on municipal services and budget cuts in Youngstown. She is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms.
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