The group was organized in Wayne in 1929 when T. Baynard Beatty, principal of Radnor High School and an experienced drama enthusiast, held an open meeting for those “whose interest centered on mutual entertainment and the development of dramatic abilities.”
The response to the suggestion of forming a “little theater” was enthusiastic and community people who believed that “all the world’s a stage” came ready to tread the boards, build the sets, and man the lighting booths.
The infant organization was immediately sponsored by the Saturday Club of Wayne, a local woman’s club. Since they (Footlighters) had no official home, they were invited to make the Saturday Club their headquarters and this arrangement continued until 1974 when Footlighters moved to their present location in Berwyn—the former Berwyn Methodist church which relocated to Waterloo Avenue.
The group staged its first production, a one-act play The Last of the Joneses on February 18, 1930. Its first full-length production was Icebound which debuted on May 9, 1930. Other plays done that first year included The Little Stone House, A Matter of Husbands, and Drums of Oude—titles that have since passed into obscurity.
The group moved to Berwyn in 1973 and leased the building for ten years. In 1983 they began a Capital fund drive to purchase the building which they successfully completed in 1984. Over the years, improvements have been made to the building such as air conditioning and new windows, but it still retains its original charm. The theater boasts an intricately carved beamed ceiling and a spectacular original stained glass window has been preserved.
Footlighters Theater is a non-profit theater that has provided quality, affordable entertainment to the Main Line for more than 90 years!
Footlighters Theater is considered to be the oldest community theater on the Main Line.
58 Main Ave
Berwyn, Pennsylvania 19312