New Castle News


June 16, 2013

Warner Theater Project: The man behind the scenes

NEW CASTLE — Jack Oberleitner has been involved in the movie business since 1959.

Beginning as an usher at the former Victor Theater in New Castle, he worked his way into management and theater chain ownership, participating in restoration and reopenings of more than a dozen theaters.

Returning from Vietnam, and aware he was losing his eyesight, Oberleitner resolved not to “let the government take care of me, but to be as independent and self-supporting as possible.”

He went back to school, earning degrees from Pitt and Penn State, and did postgraduate work at the University of London.

He began a theater chain of his own, which grew to 50 in eight years.

In 1979, he formed Oberleitner Associates, a business and theatrical consulting company, which he runs from his home near Dayton, Ohio.

He has designed and overseen renovations of more than a dozen classic theaters, served as a consultant for Associated Theaters in Pennsylvania and Chakeres Theaters in Ohio, and developed charitable fundraising programs, raising more than $3 million annually.

He is also an author, having published seven books aimed at young readers.

In 1972, Oberleitner’s Cinestage Group renovated and reopened the Capitol Theater in Milton, Pa.

“The theater is no longer there, but there is a mural honoring the project,” he said. The mural is part of a park created on the theater site. Pictures throughout the park honor the three theaters that once operated in Milton.

He said the New Castle project “is a worthy venture” and he is glad to do something for his hometown.

“I’d like to see more people get involved with the project as a member, on the advisory board or to make donations to this piece of hometown history,” he said. “I’d dearly love to see the city rejuvenated. There is a lot of potential here. I’d love to see the town bounce back.”

The Warner project envisioned by Warner Film Center “could make New Castle a tourist hub, without turning the downtown into a theme park.”

He added that the Warner name remains well known.

“If you ask people what they think of when they hear Warner Brothers, 75 percent of those polled say Bugs Bunny. But if you ask if there really were Warner brothers, 60 percent say no, that was made up by Hollywood. This project, which celebrates the brothers, will show them otherwise.”


Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • DougDanko.jpg Census shows county population getting older

    Lawrence County’s population continues to get older. However, it is not alone, as Pennsylvania overall is aging.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • backpackproject.jpg Councilman picks up tab to help lunch program

    Participants of a local summer feeding program are eating this week courtesy of New Castle City Councilman Tim Fulkerson. On Friday morning, the truck dispatched from New Castle to pick up about 3,500 pounds of items from the Pittsburgh Food Bank broke down as it arrived at its destination.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • CRESTVIEW.jpg Outreach: Churches plan to host picnic for residents of Crestview Gardens

    Volunteers from several area churches are banding together in hopes of bringing peace to a troubled neighborhood.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • money.jpg Council OKs funds to remove dead trees

    New Castle City Council has approved spending funds from its contingency account to remove some trees at Darlington Park. Marshall Tree Experts of Ellwood City has given an estimate of $12,000 to remove the large elm trees from the Mahoningtown park.


    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • 12.jpg Photo Gallery, Story: Night light

    The balloons may have been on the ground but spirits were soaring.


    July 25, 2014 1 Photo 1 Slideshow

  • StateFair.jpg 'State Fair' coming to Playhouse

    The fair is coming to town. No, not the Lawrence County Fair, although that is right around the corner. This is the Iowa State Fair, and it will be live on the stage of the New Castle Playhouse for three weeks, starting Friday night.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • accountant.jpg DeLorenzo’s status with authority unchanged

    Deno DeLorenzo’s status as a contract employee with the New Castle Sanitation Authority remains unchanged. Authority board members met with DeLorenzo last week regarding an investigation by the Lawrence County district attorney’s office involving Shenango Township funds.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Shooting.jpg Detroit area man dies in Ellwood City gunfire

    A triple shooting in an Ellwood City street has claimed the life of a Detroit area man. Gunfire erupted in the middle of Loop Street outside the Walnut Ridge housing project around 10:20 p.m. Sunday, according to state police.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Baptism1.jpg Dipped downtown

    John the Baptist identified himself as “the voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord.’ ” On Saturday, local evangelist Randy Crum once again took a cue from the son of Elizabeth and Zechariah, eschewing the locusts and honey that John was known to munch on but heading out into the wilds to baptize believers and challenge them to share their faith with their community.

    July 21, 2014 3 Photos

  • lamancusa.jpg Tanner, district attorney: No comment

    The Lawrence County District Attorney is keeping mum about a probe into finances in Shenango Township. “We don’t talk about ongoing investigations,” Lamancusa said Friday.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo 5 Stories

House Ads

Do you talk to yourself when you're alone?

Yes, but I’m basically just thinking out loud.
No, that would be weird.
I don’t know. Next time I’m alone, I’ll ask.
     View Results