About This Place
Altoona is a city in Blair County, Pennsylvania, United States. It is the principal city of the Altoona Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). The population was 47,176 at the 2006 census estimate, making it the tenth most populous city in Pennsylvania. The Altoona MSA includes all of Blair County and had an estimated population of 125,527 in 2007 (according to the U.S. Census), around 105,000 of which live within a 5-mile (8.0 km) radius of the Altoona city center, according to U.S. Census zip code population data.
Having grown around the railroad industry, the city is currently working to recover from industrial decline and urban decentralization experienced in recent decades. The city is home to the Altoona Curve baseball team of the Double A Eastern League, which is the Double A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates. It also houses the 75+ year-old Altoona Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Teresa Cheung. Prominent landmarks include the Horseshoe Curve, the Railroaders Memorial Museum, the Juniata Shops of the Altoona Works, the Mishler Theatre, the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, and the Jaffa Shrine Center.
Altoona is also the home of the Sheetz headquarters. Sheetz is one of the largest convenience store and gas station chains in the country, with stores in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, and North Carolina. Because of this, approximately 20 Sheetz stores are located in and around Altoona. Sheetz is one of the featured companies in the Morgan Spurlock documentary, Pom Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold. To promote itself, as well as the film, the City of Altoona agreed to change its name temporarily to the title of the film and be known as Pom Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, PA for 60 days for a fee of $25,000. The city held a ceremony on April 27 to salute the documentary, followed by a screening.