John Trusty Gibson was a prominent businessman in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Gibson’s entrepreneurial spirit led him to become the first black man to own all three major black theaters in the Philadelphia.
Gibson was born in Baltimore, Maryland. While growing up in Maryland, he attended the local public schools and then enrolled into Morgan College Preparatory School for two years.
Gibson opened his first theater in 1910, The North Pole Theater, which was located on South Street. By 1918, he had invested a half million dollars to open the New Standard Theater, which was located on South and 12 Street. In 1921, Gibson obtained the Dubar Theater and changed the name after himself, The Gibson Theater. Once he purchased the Dunbar Theater, he became the only owner of all the major Black theaters in Philadelphia.
In addition to his owning all the major Philadelphia black theaters, Gibson was also the director of Douglass Hospital, as well as a member of the Chamber of Commerce and the Board of Trade.
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