Sellersville Theater Logo


A Brief History

The Washington House & Sellersville Theater 1894

  • Farmhouse blue icon


    A farmhouse is built by German immigrants along a Lenape trail, as shown by historic tax records.

  • Liberty bell blue icon


    The Liberty Bell allegedly passes through Sellersville in its escape from the British.

  • Tavern license icon


    The first tavern license is obtained to open The Washington House. Many additions, including the iconic tower, are built.

  • Stable icon


    A stable is built next door to board horses belonging to patrons of The Washington House. This structure later becomes Sellersville Theater 1894.

  • Witmer Room Icon


    J. J. Witmer, the owner at the time, has added The Witmer Room, the final dining space on the first floor. It is built shoddily above a well, which becomes apparent during the 2016 renovations.

  • Prohibition blue icon


    Prohibition goes into effect, but liquor is still served at The Washington House with the help of hiding places. Skeptical federal agents take the original wooden bar outside and destroy it.

  • Newbold bar blue icon


    Prohibition is repealed and a new front bar is lovingly carved by local craftsman J. R. Newbold, whose name is inscribed behind it.

  • Selvil theatre blue icon


    The “Selvil Theatre” opens, transforming the old stable building into a movie theater. It was gutted by fire in 1970.

  • Cinema 1894 blue icon


    The theater is repaired and “Cinema 1894” opens.

  • Fires blue icon


    The current owners, William Quigley and Elayne Brick, obtain The Washington House. After a series of unfortunate fires, intensive renovations begin.

  • Sellersville theater icon


    William and Elayne reunite the old stable building with The Washington House and renovate to open a live performance venue, Sellersville Theater 1894. More additions are made to enlarge the lobby and the performer’s lounge in 2008.

  • Washington house icon


    Substantial additions and renovations are made to The Washington House, and the Hotel opens its doors.

Compiled by Robbie Fischer, 2018.
Special thanks to the Sellersville Museum.

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