West Shore Theatre

317 Bridge Street,
New Cumberland, PA 17070

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Showing 26 - 29 of 29 comments

JohnMessick on March 16, 2006 at 11:02 pm

Ok gentlemen, let me set you straight one a few things. First off the West Shore theatre has been in business since 1940. It has had 2 owners to date. Second it has always been run as a 2nd run house, which is why ticket prices are only 3 bucks. Third I have been there on weeknights that the place is packed, and the people are lined up to get their goodies. Fourth, Taxes are a part of business which means they are tax deductable. Because its a part of doing business. Fifth, the second owner has had it since 1985 or 86 so if it wasn’t doing any business, why would he buy it? Sixth, The area in which the theatre lies takes in several towns, so there is a lot to draw from customer wise. Remember more people will see movies at 3 bucks then they can at 8 bucks. I should know this because I live in the area.

TheaterBuff1 on March 16, 2006 at 9:29 pm

Which to me drives home the fact that many still do not recognize well-run movie theaters as being works of art in addition to their being businesses. And that really does need to change! For to me, a well-crafted movie exhibited in a well-run theater, which the West Shore Theatre appears to be, is the highest art form there is. Meaning that it is totally obscene to categorize a movie theater as a business just like any other — a bank, a drug store, a dollar store or what have you. It may well be a business, sure, but as a movie theater, particularly if it’s well run and presents the best of movie fare, and in the most tasteful, considerate way, it is much more than that. Movie theaters uplift, they inspire, they transform our whole lives. And at times they offer hope, and joy, when there’s none to be found anywhere else. And how do you put a price on that, how? And to look at a movie theater and say, “Well, you’re not generating enough revenues, sooooo…either you’re going to have to find a way to make more money to keep up with taxes or, we’re gonna have to shut you down,” is as offensive as it gets, and not just to the theater owner/operator but to all of us. For my view is this: What theaters fail to generate in tax revenues they make up for a thousandfold by by being great movie theaters. And this West Shore Theatre to me looks like one hell of a great movie theater. As I say, every small town, and neighborhood, all throughout America should be so lucky to have one! Here in the Holmesurg section of Northeast Philadelphia where I reside and which in many ways is very small town-like — but needs to become moreso — we have another of William Harold Lee’s brilliant theater designs. But is it currently being restored as a movie theater? No. Without anyone in the Holmesburg community even being asked, in a forced-through way it’s being made a mini mall instead, and to have the types of businesses that Holmesburg has too many of already. A well-run movie theater in Holmesburg is needed badly. Without it, the quality of life in Holmesburg is very Taliban-like at the moment. And with every political force currently overshadowing Holmesburg determined to keep it that way. And there are those in Pennsylvania government, such as Governor Ed Rendell, and House Speaker John Perzel (whose district includes Holmesburg) who seem to want to make what Holmesburg has been reduced to standard throughout the entire state of Pennsylvania. And we’ll know that with absolute certainty if they go after New Cumberland’s West Shore Theatre as well.

They try to play down small town and neighborhood theaters as “not being very important.” But as Norristown, PA, which lost its Norris Theatre (which, incidentally, was another William Harold Lee designed theater) can attest to, they are very very important. Too important to be treated just as businesses like any other. Meaning that if we have to choose between shutting down the theaters, or shutting down the tax collection agencies, by all means let it be the latter.

padowntown on March 16, 2006 at 5:02 am

New Cumberland is actually in central PA, less than 5 miles from Harrisburg. New Cumberland is one of the larger small towns in the area and certainly one of the more affluent. It is amazing that they are able to stay open at the prices they charge. Because my interaction with them has been that the costs they incur to bring the movies in are a struggle for them and even if the building is paid for their are taxes and all that other over head

TheaterBuff1 on March 15, 2006 at 8:21 pm

Ah, now this looks to be a theater that appears to be doing everything right! And designed by William Harold Lee at that no less!

An old photo showing how its front exterior looked in 1940 can be seen at this link: View link

And a newer one, showing the same exact view in more recent times, can be seen here: View link

And this to me is a perfect example of a neighborhood cinema at its finest. Every neighborhood should have one, to which I ask why not?