Showing 76 - 100 of 227 comments found
Thanks Lost Memory. My original purpose in listing this theatre was the original theatre and it’s history. Adding what had become of some of the furnishings in the original was an afterthought. In my mind Cinema Treasures are the movie palaces of yester years. The multiplexes of today will never be Cinema Treasures in my eyes. They are showboxes with a white wall on one end. Although the Main Twin Theatres are a modern treasure by incorporating the decor of the original theatre.
Patsy – The Hershey Theatre is magnificent. Yes it is an atmospheric theatre. Check their website. I know there are some stage shows coming. I, myself, want to get tickets to see “Avenue Q” when it plays there in February. However, individual show tickets have not gone on sale yet. I stand in the lobby everytime my wife and I go there and am just awed by the splendor. Only someone on the economic scale of Milton Hershey could have built a place like this. The auditorium is equally as gorgeous. I look forward to perhaps some Saturday getting there to see a movie. I believe it is one Saturday a month over the Fall and Winter and early Spring they show a classic movie. Don’t miss a chance to see this theatre!!!!!
Cyndi-lauper: I attempted to email you some pictures, but received a failure notice as the file was too large. I think I included about four pictures. So I will try it again with just two.
Lost Memory – The original theatre was demolished. The theatre that was opened in 1938 is gone. I was the one to submit this theatre to Cinema Treasures. I was the one that wrote the above history. And as stated in that the theatre was purchased by the Denver and Ephrata Telephone company. The building was too deteriorated to be saved. The twin theatre operating there now is a new complex incorporated into the new office building that was built on the site of the original theatre. As I wrote above, they salvaged parts of the original theatre. The marquee is in use at the street entrance and the entrance to the parking garage. The box office is used at the inside entrance to the theatre. The original wall lights are used in both theatres.
Check Out the Joy Theatre in Mt. Joy, Lancaster County, PA and the Marietta Theatre in Marietta, Lancaster County, PA. Both are listed on this website. The Joy Theatre is for sale. It is in fairly decent shape considering it has not been used in over 40 years. The seats are gone, but the building has been maintained. Even the murals are still on the auditorium walls. I have pictures of the outside and inside of this theatre. The Marietta Theatre is currently being restored by the Historic Marietta Restoration Association. I know now that they are in the midst of that project, they still have no plans what they are going to do with the theatre when it is ready for use. Lancaster County is about 60 miles West of Philadelphia and only about 25 miles East of Harrisburg, the state capital. Either one would be an ideal candidate for operation.
Many many comments ago I mentioned it would be nice if someone put together a book of the Boyd Theatre. Detailing the history of the theatre and including as many pictures as possible. I know it would not raise enough money to restore the theatre, but I would certainly think there is enough interest in this theatre that the book would sell and at least help raise funds. I have bought enough “books” from the Theatre Historical organization which, in size comparison, would be similar to the souvenier programs that were sold during the roadshow film days. I am so glad I took the pictures I took back in the 1960’s of the Philadelphia theatres. However, I only have exterior pictures. It would be nice to have some history of the interiors as well. Since the Boyd is the only one left standing, this an opportunity worth pursuing. I am also still amazed at the number of people who attend rallies, meetings, etc. With the population of Philadelphia, you would certainly think more than a handful to a hundred would participate. I know the wheels of progress turn slow, but I keep thinking if the citizens of Philadelphia really cared, there would be an outpouring of support to save this masterpiece. There have been other theatres in a lot worse condition that have been brought back to life across this country. Do you suppose by the time the “touring revival of ‘The Lion King’ travels the country the Boyd could be one of its stops??
I read the article in the Inquirer Sunday entertainment section about the “troubles” at the Kimmel Center. Both with design flaws and debt financing. I wondered at the time when the Center opened for one heck of a lot less money they could have taken over the Boyd and made a marvelous performing arts center and used it for films during “off times.” Because if the Kimmel Center is six years old that, if my memory serves, opened the end of 2002 which was after the Boyd closed. Granted the Boyd was still an operating movie theatre when the design, construction, etc was arranged for the Kimmel Center. Granted the size of the Kimmel Center is much different that the Boyd, however is the seating any higher than the Boyd could have offered?? Even in two “theatres” at the Kimmel. Oh well, it’s too late now. I guess with the close proximity of the Great White Way, Broadway touring versions do not need to have such extended engagements, but it would be nice. I see the “road grosses” of touring shows and see all the cities that have saved at least one of their theatres. They can spend 300 million on the Kimmel Center, but 50 million to restore a movie palace is out of reach!!!!!!!???????
Theatre Buff1 – Don’t think Philadelphia is the only area subject to all these changes. The farmlands of Lancaster County are disappearing faster with each “blooming” shopping center or housing development built. I drive 7 miles to work and it takes me usually 30 to 35 minutes each way!!! Downtown Lancaster was destroyed years ago in the name of urban redevelopment. Four movie palaces, innumberable businesses, a hotel, and other things were demolished. Now they want to demolish what was built in its place and bring back a part of what was there. Developers from Montgomery, Delaware and Chester Counties seem to have set their sights on Lancaster County as the next area to bastardize. It will soon be to the point one area will look the same as another. Wal-Marts, K-Marts, Lowe’s, Target etal will abound and you will not think you left home. I still say, if you could find out how the box office of a movie in Imax compares to a “regular” shoebox theatre box office. To me I look at Imax as the new version of 70mm6 Track Stereo sound from the 60’s-80’s. However, it will still never replace the movie palaces and those traveler curtains opening on that large 70mm screen. At least it offers you more than the “postage stamp” size screens in most of the megaplexes. They advertise wall to wall screens, but a theatre with 150-250 seats, the walls are not exactly that far apart!
If I had a vast amount of money, I would restore the Boyd or any theatre I could purchase. Even if I was the only one patronizing it. However, I keep thinking about the movie “Field of Dreams.” “Build It and They will come.” Restore it and they will come as well.
Theatre Buff1 – I would love to attend both functions. However, when I write that I would be making plans to travel into Center City, that travel originates in Lancaster, PA. And when you are still working full time, taking time off means a vacation day. And as much as I would like to attend, vacation days to me need to be saved for a vacation. I cannot believe that in a city the size of Philadelphia, there is not enough support to get this theatre restored and reopened. If only they could come up with a way for the flyers, Sixers, Eagles, or Phillies to play there, the support I would think would be overwhelming. They, the city and its citizens, could comee up with a humongous amount of money to build two new stadiums, but the money to restore its last movie palace – a much smaller amount of money – cannot be found. I guess it is all where your priorities lie. There is just as many people who would spend their money in Center City dining and attending an event at the Boyd, just like some people shell out their hard earned money to see a sport team in Philly. When there were many movie palaces in Center City, my wife and I – and on occasion friends – would make a weekend of it. Arriving Saturday and spend the day shopping. Then dinner out and a movie at the Boyd – Stanley – Fox – Midtown, etc. Then stay over night and have breakfast out in the morning before heading back to Lancaster. It was a nice break “mini vacation.”
I see the TV ads, newspaper ads, and publicity for the new “Indiana Jones” movie opening in a few days. It makes me think back to the first three “Indy” films. I would make plans to travel to Center City to see the film in “70MM Six Track Stereo Sound” at the Boyd/Sameric Theatre. Now we no longer have that choice. Worse yet, even if there were still some “70mm” theatres around, films are not being released with 70mm prints anylonger. It is sort of a catch 22. If there were still theatres, would they make 70mm prints? If there were 70mm prints, would there still be theatres to show them. Anyone who has not seen a film presented in 70mm six track stereo sound has not seen a great presentation. And those of us who have, will miss those days and times. Even now, just hearing the music from “HTWWW”, “Lawrence”,“My Fair Lady”, “Camelot” and all the others brings back so many pleasant movie going memories. I can still picture those red curtains opening on the curved Cinerama screen at the BOYD and would love to see that again. Oh well, at least some of us had that experience to remember.
Yes that is the Fulton Theatre in Lancaster. The theatre looked like that until it was “restored/remodeled” I believe sometime in the 1980’s if I am not mistaken. I remember seeing a lot of the Agatha Christie Margaret Rutherford movies at the Fulton back in the 1960’s. They generally did not show “main stream” movies. And at one time they changed the name to the “Fulton Art Theatre.” They also showed a lot of the English “Carry On” movies back during that time as well. At one time with the Urban Renewal projects tearing down the four movie palace theatres a few blocks away, the Fulton was the only movie theatre in downtown for quite a while. During that time they did some main stream Hollywood movies as there was no competition and they could book whatever they wanted. However, when the suburban shopping center theatres started being built, the Fulton’s days as a first run theatre came to an end. Now even the theatres built in the 1960’s and 70’s in the suburbs are gone as well. None missed as much as the movie palaces demolished before them.
I just saw in the Friday paper that Live Nation has sold their theatres. I was wondering whether the Boyd was included in that sale. The article was in the New York Times and they did not mention the Boyd.
The State Theatre is still standing. It is currently being used as a church. At least that was what was on the sign the other week when I drove through Columbia. It is/was a nice large one floor theatre. As a child growing up, my parents would take us there to see a movie we missed when it was playing in the Lancaster first run theatres. In those days, movies would be shown first at the downtown Lancaster theatre palaces. Then would move out to the smaller town theatres in the area. I think the State Theatre would be ripe for a reconversion to a movie theatre. Downtown Columbia has a lot to offer. There are some nice shops, a very busy Hinkle’s Pharmacy and restaurant, a number of antique shops, and the Susquehanna Glass factory has a retail store just blocks from the main street.
JOhn – Was the Hill Theatre part of the Chertcoff circuit headquartered in Lancaster? I thought they operated a number of theatre in communities outlying Harrisburg. I know they operated the theatre in Steelton, which I think eventually became a “machine shop.” And I thought they had two theatres across the river from Harrisburg. One of these days, we must make arrangements to meet so I can give you my scrap books to peruse.
The Lititz Theatre was torn down in the late 1950’s or early 1960’s due to the expansion of the bank building next door. I was never in this theatre, but I remember it had the typical rectangular marquee so many theatres had in those early days. The Chertcoff Chain was headquartered in Lancaster. In 1950 they built and operated the King Theatre on E. King St. in Lancaster. That was a very large one floor theatre with over 1,300 seats. They also operated the Strand Theatre in Lancaster, which was a second run theatre. They also operated theatres in Mt. Joy, Pa., Elizabethtown, Pa, Steelton, PA, Lebanon, PA, Camp Hill, Pa. Gradually all the theatres were closed and some demolished. Even the King Theatre has been converted to apartments for the elderly, but the marquee and lobby remain.
The marquee is still on the front of the building. But the entrances have been closed off if I remember from the last time I drove past the building. It is indeed a Fraternal Hall and from what I understand, the auditorium has been altered to be used as a banquet hall. I was never in this theatre. Growing up my Grandparents lived in the nearby town of Mt. Joy, Pa. and we would go to the Joy Theatre in Mt. Joy when I was visiting them.
The Joy Theatre has just been added to this website. I was working with a person in the Spring of 2007 that was interested in buying this theatre. I have pictures of the outside and inside of the theatre. It is my understanding that it is currently on the market for $650,000.00. I had taken pictures of the outside of the building both front and rear. Then I got in contact with the real estate office which uses what used to be the theatre lobby. I made arrangements to meet him and he took me into the theatre. It is in realatively good shape considering it has been unused since the 1960’s. The seats are gone. But the murals are still on the walls and the screen is still there on a small stage. However, the screen is torn. I think it held about 500-700 seats when it was in operation. There were two aisles separating three sections of seating. I had talked to a Stacy Rutherford last year. She is (or was if she is no longer there?) the manager of Main Street Mount Joy. They are really looking to get Main Street back on the map. And were hoping someone would develop the theatre. There are nine apartments and two retail establishments included in the entire building. The one retail is a pizza/sandwich shop which is operated by the owner of the building. He was last year looking to sell, because he wants to retire. I notice if the $650,000.00 price is accurate, he has come down in price from last year. Anyway the phone number for Stacy Rutherford is 717-6534227. Her email address is
John S in York: Yes they built an Eric Theatre in Lancaster. However, it was not a copy of the Eric Harrisburg. It was built in downtown Lancaster as part of the urban renewal after they tore down an entire block of buildings on both sides of the street. Included in the demolition was four movie palaces. One of which had two balconies and another one had one balcony. Anyway, the Eric was built in the concrete monstrosity they build to replace what was demolished. It was tucked away in a corner next to the “new Hilton Hotel” which replaced the original locally owned Brunswick Hotel that was also demolished. I think the original theatre had about 800 seats. It opened in the Fall of 1970. The theatre was twinned in the Fall of 1973 and reopened at Christmas. The theatre was closed on Labor Day, Sept. 4, 1995. I think as of today it is still sitting there empty. The whole concrete boondogle which started out with a movie theatre, shops, and offices is now basically empty. They are trying to get federal funding to tear it down and “re do” the block to look like it did prior to its demolition in 1967. Makes sense to me! They called that block seedy in 1967. Now it is a disaster.
Ken mc: Yes that is correct. I worked for a short period of time in 1966 at the Fulton Opera House in Lancaster. They were showing movies at the time, and MIlgram Booking Service was the booker of the films that were shown. I remember they convinced them to play “Sound of Music” starting in June 1966. They were figuring since it had been playing at the Eric Theatre in Harrisburg for months, they were figuring it would last at the Fulton until early Fall. It was a reserved seat engagement, but only presented in 35mm with no stereo sound. However, it lasted for 17 weeks and at least one stage show had to be postponed because the movie was still showing. The weekly gross had to drop below a certain level before the engagement could be ended.
Well, on Sept. 28, 2007 this shopping center theatre became a reduced admission “subrun” operation. They have a matinee admission of $3.00 and an evening admission of $4.00. That is about half of what the “first run” theatres in this area charge. However, beginning on Sept. 28th they are showing “Shrek 3” , “Pirates 3”, “LIve Free or Die Hard” to mention just three of the six theatre attractions. Sad to see, but without digital sound and stadium seating as all the other local theatres have, it is understandable.
The Eden Theatre was opened in 1969 by ABC Theatres. It went through a few operators, until Budco Theatres from the Philadelphia area took it over in 1976 or 1977. The theatre was twinned in 1978. One theatre had 390 seats and the other theatree had 360 seats. Budco Theatres was taken over by AMC Theatres in Jan. 1987. The theatre closed on Jan. 23, 1997 when AMC did not renew the lease. The building was owned by the same company which had the neighboring Eden Resort Inn. The theatre reopened on 2/7/97 being run by another company as a reduced admission rerun location. However, the theatre closed permanently on 5/30/98 and was demolished and replaced by a Sheetz Gas and Mini Mart.
Here in Lancaster Co., Pa, we have two theatres which are still standing, but have not been used for years. The Joy Theatre in Mt. Joy, PA is complete except for seats. The owners have been using the theatre for family storage. The lobby has been divided up into offices. I have pictures I took of the inside of the theatre earlier this year. The building housing the theatre has two retail establishments (the owner of the building has a “pizza shop” in one of them). There are also, I think nine apartments in the building. In addition, in Marietta, PA the Marietta historical association is in the process of restoring the Marietta Theatre. The Marietta Theatre is listed here on Cinema Treasures. They are restoring it, but, according to local newspaper articles, have no definite plans what to do with it when it is ready for use.
Krupa Family: I have a scrapbook of pictures I took, newspaper articles I saved about the closing and demolition of the theatres. Do you live in the Lancaster, PA area?? I even have the Journal of the Lanc. Co. Historical Society that has the article you mentioned. I have been promising to get together with another CT member so he could look at the stuff I have, however, there just does not seem to be any time. There were three theatres on the one side of the street. The Hippodrome which was later renamed the Capital, the Hamilton, and the Colonial which was later renamed the Boyd. I remember the long long lobby and foyer of the Capitol Theatre. Anyway, I would be more than happy to exchange info and stories.
To add to “My Dream” by Fever Dog on Sept. 9th – I would reopen the Boyd Theatre with the Cinerama screen used in the 60’s,70’s. The ushers and usherettes would wear the style of uniforms back then – red blazers, white shirts, and gray slacks/skirts. I would show only the Cinerama and 70mm epics of days past – “HTWWW”, “2001”, “Lawrence”, “Indy Series”, “Ben Hur”, “MFL”, “SOM”, etc, etc. There was something lacking when the Boyd became the Sameric and that large curved screen was replaced with a still large flat screen. And movie presentations of today are totally lacking the magic and charm of the movie palaces of yesterday. You were transported even before the movie started. As I have mentioned on this thread many times, growing up we drove regulary the 60 miles to see the big screen epics at the Boyd. And I think people would do it again. Give the true movie lover/goer a reason to skip the shoe box megaplexes of today, and they will in a heartbeat.
This theatre opened in the early 1960’s as a single screen location. It had the capability of 70mm projection. In fact, if memory serves me right, the opening attraction was a 70mm reserved seat engagement of “Lawrence of Arabia.” This was a strange theatre. The auditorium reminded you of an airplane hanger or a gymnasium. It had a rounded roof like an airplane hanger and the interior had exposed steel beams and roof which were painted blue with “white clouds” painted on the ceiling. The curtains and side wall curtains were yellow. There was a “loge” section on either side of the auditorium and for the reserved seat attractions, tickets were priced higher for those seats. “Sound of Music” played in 70mm reserved seat here for over a year. I believe it opened in 1966. Sometime years later it was twinned. I am pretty sure it sat empty for a number of years before being demolished. Do not even remember whether this theatre was still in operation when the Shapiro family sold out to United Artists, which was in 1998 or 1999 I believe.