Rich Howells

The Moonshine officially renamed The Leonard, with opening planned for spring

The Moonshine officially renamed The Leonard, with opening planned for spring
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With a nod to the building’s roots, the Scranton theater most recently known as The Moonshine has officially been renamed The Leonard after receiving the most votes during an event held there in the summer.

On June 26, the American Advertising Federation hosted a “Mix at The Moonshine” in honor of new and returning board members, the first event held in the building in over a decade. Featuring an appearance by the Unorganized Business Ensemble and music by Pat Finnerty (videos below), the mixer also asked guests to vote for a new name for the venue.

According to a press release from Jessica Kalinoski, director of operations for Admiral Management Services, LLC, the ballot included 10 names with the opportunity for write-ins. The Anthracite Theater and The Leonard were the top two choices, with The Leonard receiving the most votes.

Built in 1894, the building (335-339 Adams Ave., Scranton) hosted vaudeville acts from its inception through the 1930s. It was once owned by the Knights of Columbus, who used it for social events, and was home to the Diva Theater. The front of the building long served as a hardware store called Leonard’s, which closed in 2003. The new name pays tribute to this legacy.

A New York businessman purchased the property in 2004 but did little with it other than rename it The Moonshine. Developer Charles Jefferson, who invested in the renovations of the Connell Building and the former Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce Building (converting them into lofts) and led the group that purchased Montage, bought the three-story venue recently and began restoring it to its former glory.

Renovations both inside and out will continue over the next year, but events are still being planned there before its official opening in the spring. The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce will host another mixer at The Leonard on Sept. 24, and local grunge rockers Graces Downfall will be releasing their new album, “Change. Adjust. Continue.,” there on Sept. 26 with Behind the Grey and Madrone.