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I enjoyed a wonderful evening in support of Proctor’s last Saturnday night. It was the first fundraising outreach for the group and the turnout was very encouraging. Legislators from the local, state and federal levels were there as well as many movers-and-shakers too. And many everyday Troy residents (are they Trojans??) who are thrilled to see this project finally moving forward. KUDOS to all who are working to see the wonderful auditorium protected and used again and I do hope to see many more of these events as the project moves forward.
Tick… tick… tick… tick….
I was THERE and i’m not quite sure where it is! : ) I do know that we were pretty close to Maryland when we were there. Definitely a rural area.
Awww…. Pepe holding a flower, how appropriate!
I’m curious – what is the symbolism of the coins? I’ve seen small stones at grave markers but never coins.
Theatre Historical Society visited the Ambler last summer as part of its 2009 Conclave in the Philadelphia/Baltimore/Wilmington area. The group was highly impressed by not only the careful preservation of the theater but the staff’s knowledge and respect for the theater’s place in history. It was certainly a star of the 5 day tour!
Congratulations Capitol Theater folks! How nice to see a bit of the psst returned to the front of the theater – next stop… that marquee! CARRY ON! : )
A belated HAPPY NEW YEAR to Ross, Patrick, Andreas and all the great folks who make Cinema Treasures possible! We are happy to work closely with you guys to keep America’s Historic Theaters in front of the public eye. Here’s to the next generation who picks up this torch!
Karen Colizzi Noonan, President of Theatre Historical Society
Daily Times (Salisbury, Maryland)
January 4, 2010 Monday
Pocomoke native to manage Mar-Va Theater
By, Jenny Hopkinson
POCOMOKE CITY — Emily Rantz remembers Saturday afternoons from her childhood, waiting outside the Mar-Va Theater for her parents to pick her up after a matinee.
Soon the 26-year-old Pocomoke City resident will have plenty of new memories of the historic Art Deco-style theater as she takes over as the manager of the performing arts center.
“Going there as a kid, you would always see people you knew, friends from school,” Rantz said, reminiscing about the smell of the popcorn and the candy she would buy. “People have so many great old memories of the Mar-Va, and we want to help them start making new ones.”
Rantz enters the new position as the Mar-Va Theater Performing Arts Center prepares for its first full season, which starts with a kickoff celebration on Jan. 9.
Volunteers have been working for more than seven years to reopen the former vaudeville and silent movie house. The theater first opened in 1927, selling tickets for 10 cents each. It was redecorated in the 1930s at the advent of talking films. Movies and performances continued there until 1993, when it closed for lack of patrons. By then, tickets cost $3.50.
In 2003, the theater was in ruins, hindered by lack of use and a leaking roof, said Arnold Torres, president of the Mar-Va Theater Performing Arts Center Board of Directors. That year, a group of volunteers bought the building and began an ambitious $1 million renovation plan.
Over the next seven years, the theater was remodeled to look just as it did after the 1937 renovation. With the exception of the central heating, air condition and new and more comfortable seats, the renovations are accurate to the time, Torres said.
The organization was able to obtain a grant to fund one full-time staff member and began looking for applicants earlier this spring.
Rantz stood out from the dozens of other potentials, Torres said, because of her enthusiasm, marketing experience and ability to reach out to different groups of people to fill seats.
Rantz, a Pocomoke City native, has a degree in mass communications and marketing from Salisbury University. Prior to taking the position at the Mar-Va, she worked in advertising sales for a company in Salisbury.
When a family member told her the theater was hiring, she jumped at the opportunity.
“I’ve always wanted to work in my hometown,” Rantz said, adding that driving to Salisbury each day was tiring.
The chance to give back to the community that raised her was important, she said.
“Pocomoke has that genuine small-town feel. It’s a great town to raise your kids in,” Rantz said. “My family is here, my husband is from here. It’s good to be surrounded by people who care about you.”
As she takes the reins at the theater, Rantz plans to use the experience she gained as an advertiser — helping other people market their businesses — to fill seats during performances.
“I would like to bring in people from not only the Pocomoke City area but down in Virginia, to Salisbury, Ocean City and lower Delaware. I’d like to put the Mar-Va back on the map,” she said.
And with events scheduled nearly every weekend in 2010 — including viewing of new movies such as “Sherlock Holmes” and “Up in the Air” — Rantz will have a lot to get done.
“I want to bring the Mar-Va back to life,” she said.
If you go
WHAT. Mar-Va Theater 2010 grand opening
WHERE. 103 Market St., Pocomoke City
WHEN. 6 p.m. Jan. 9
INFO. 410-957-4230, www.mar-vatheater.org
I enjoyed lunch and a movie at the Commodore over the weekend and urge everyone in, around or passing through the VA area to take the time to enjoy this unique theater!
The food was out of this world, quite reasonably priced and served quickly. The seating was delightful (main auditorium is table and comfy chairs – balcony is for popcorn and soda) and the theater is in great shape. An Art Deco delight! This is a single screen theater that is making a go of it by blending it’s historic decor with a very modern concept. They get my HIGHEST marks!!
I visited the Idle Hour on Sunday night and while this is no “palace” in the traditional sense, it is a theater with a lot of heart! The owner is very proud of his theater, the staff are all family and friends, the patrons are extremely loyal! Kudos to Robert Pase for keeping this theater a place where families feel welcome and rowdy patrons are decidedly UN-welcome!
Any new developments? This is a beautiful Eberson designed theater – is anyone giving it the love and respect it deserves today?
Just got the following note from a friend of mine in MA: “I was at Michael’s class reunion on Saturday. It was at the old York theatre in Athol, MA. They are remodeling it and have made part of it a candlepin bowling alley and another part a bar/lounge. The rest is the gutted theatre. They said it is registered as a historical theatre. This was their first special event and the grand opening was the following day. The have done a great job with the remodeling to date. For instance they took 3-4 months to designing the bar. The curve of the bar matches the circular pattern in the original ceilings and they found fixtures in old storage rooms and cleaned them up and installed them.”
I am hoping to find more info on this.
Very interesting photo! Any idea why the NY Times took the photo? Also – any news on the theater? Feel free to email me at
Bad news for a VERY reusable theater!
The windmill turns slowly, there are soft lights in some windows of the homes. It’s a magical, unique and rare atmospheric treatment. And quietly tucked away in rural Ohio!
I have never understood the asymmetrical design of the building. It just seems like it should have continued on to the right with the same layout. Still – it remains one of my all time favorites!
Still one of the sweetest of all the Schine purpose built theaters. A totally unique design – you won’t find another one anywhere!
Any more news from the Glove?
Hope to see everyone at CAPITTOLFEST this weekend! A great film festival and something the folks in Rome can be very proud of!
Tick, tick, tick, tick……
Well neither of these marquees could come close to the stunning original Schine marquees. They knew how to do it right in those days!
I see the next Cinema Treasures book here…. !!
This guy could use a little history lesson. In bad times, people traditionally flock to the movies to take their minds off their troubles and escape for an hour or two. Why would he want to burden the theater owners and the patrons with this frivilous tax?
In the interest of full disclosure, I am the President of THS. But having just received my own copy of American Theaters of Today (which I paid for) I have to say that this is one gorgeous book! It’s got heavy, high quality paper, rich looking cover color and design and looks like it is worth every penny and more.
If you have not already ordered a copy they are going fast. The run was limmited to 400 numbered copies and almost ¾ of them are gone. Don’t miss out! We don’t want you to have to pay inflated prices when the copies hit eBay – like the previous reprints.
And to answer 3stooge’s question – we now turn our attentions to Great American Movie Theaters – the 1988 David Naylor classic. Stay tuned!!