Once upon a time there lived a valiant knight named Sir Ernest Hempstead. He was tall, dark, and handsome; the kind of knight you heard about in fairy tales. Sir Ernie had many enviable qualities, but his most prized quality was his love of the arts. He traveled far and wide spreading his love and appreciation of theater, performance, and song.
During the 19th century, Sir Ernie’s travels lead him to the city of Meadville, Pennsylvania. The knight toured the town and was surprised to find a group of like-minded art-lovers battling to build an appreciation of the arts in their community.
Overjoyed, Sir Ernie decided to erect a temple dedicated to the performing arts for the townspeople to enjoy. Thus, in 1885, The Academy Theatre was built – a mecca to song, dance, and dramatic arts. The Academy began to see vaudeville shows, operas, plays, and motion pictures grace its stage.