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The Olympian Ballroom Story

The Art Deco building began its storied run as an 800-seat movie theater in 1939, with its Christmas Day premiere of “The Roaring Twenties.” Called the Penn Theatre, at the time it was the westernmost of a dozen urban theaters along the Penn Avenue/Penn Street thoroughfare that stretched east to City Park in Reading.


In the mid-1950s, the building was acquired by the Orth Music Company, which removed much of the seating and converted it to a piano showroom.


In 1984, two champion dance professionals– Linda and Jerry Theodossiou–purchased the building. Over the next couple years they removed the remaining seats, installed an elegant sprung maple floor and converted the original theater area to a 5000 square foot ballroom. Additional dance studios were opened on the main and balcony levels.


Through her Olympian Dance Studio, Linda Theodossiou continues to keep the in step with ballroom and Latin dance instruction as well as with the rich retail tapestry of downtown West Reading. In 2017-18, the exterior was restored to its original Art Deco glory, a fitting revival for the last of the historic theaters along Penn.

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