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John…..The Century Park City theatre opened in Summer of 1971. It was originally to be a single screen theatre. When I interviewed for the assistant’s job, construction had stopped because they decided to twin it before it even opened. At that time the frame work for a large screen with a stage area had already been built. The theatre was located in the mall with an entrance from the back parking lot between Sears and Penney’s. A Lenscrafters store and the Park City Mall offices now occupy the space. It is right across the mall from the Kohl’s entrance. Which originally was a Farmers Market and then when that failed, the market area was converted to retail and opened as a Clover Store. It operated as a first run theatre for some time. About 1978 the policy changed to “Over 21” movies in one theatre and $1.50 admission reruns in the other theatre. The theatres closed in August of 1985. The majority of the “perimeter” area of the mall has been taken up by strip shopping centers and restaurants. What started out as a Children’s Palace store is now an Ollie’s Bargain Outlet. The Century Theatre was the only theatre at Park City since it was built. According to what I had read, Earl Realty did not renew the lease for the AMC Wonderland 4. Earl Realty owned the ground and the Dutch Wonderland Amusement Park, which they have since sold to Hershey Park. The Wonderland opened in the late 1960’s as a single screen theatre. A second screen was added in 1971. Eventually both theatres were twinned. They closed in 1986. Also AMC did not renew their lease on the Eden Theatre. The theatre was ruined when it was twinned. And when AMC dropped out they were getting rid of all their single and twin screen theatres. There were different operators of the Eden after AMC and even a “budget” rerun policy was used for a while. However, I think when the lease came due, the owners of the Eden Resort, which actually owned the theatre, did not renew the lease. The Eden was replaced by a Sheetz Gas and Mini Market.
The outside pictures of the Stanley do not reflect the glamour and palatialness (not sure there is such a word) of the inside. It was a huge theatre that, I thought, made you feel like you were in a palace. Of course, 1935 was before my time. I first attended a film at the Stanley in 1964. By that time the front of the theatre had been totally remodeled. It would have made a tremendous performing arts center!
If saving the Boyd had anything to do with the Eagles or Phillies, the city and its citizens would do everything in their power to save it. However, the Boyd Theatre, I would guess the majority of Philadelphians are not even aware of its possible fate. Spend millions upon millions for sports arenas, but cannot come up with any funds to help with the rescue of the Boyd! The coming of slot machines, may effect the area. But attending events at a restored Boyd is far different than the glitter of casinos and their slot machines. I would guess the theatres in Atlantic City were on life support long before the casinos arrived. If any were even around by that time.
John….The Eric Pacific 4 shoeboxes opened in Dec. 1969 was the RKO Stanley Warner Triplex – RKO Twin and Pacific East Cinema. They each had about 350 seats. I was the assistant manager from Sept. 1970 to May 1971. They were located in the third block of N. Queen Street, one block North of the urban renewaled block where the original “Cinema Treasures” were located. I was offered by RKO a manager’s job at their theatre in Ardmore, PA. However, their payscale did not match the “living scale” of the Ardmore – Phila. Main Line – area. So I gave up on the idea of making a career of theatre management. About the same time, Century Theatres was opening a twin theatre at the Park City mall in Lancaster. They offered me an assistant’s position, but I turned that down also. In 1977 Sameric Theatres took over the RKO Triplex and reenamed it the Eric Pacific 3. In 1982 a fourth theatre was added to what was always an empty store room next to the theatres main entrance. I had been told that was originally supposed to be occupied by a bank, but the lease deal fell through. So it was converted in 1982 to a 200 seat theatre. UA purchased the Sameric chain in either 1988 or 1989. They continued to operate the theatres until 7/19/2000 when they closed. They sat empty for a while until being demolished for the Transit Authoritys bus terminal. Ironically, the Sameric chain opened a single screen theatre in 1970 in the second block of North Queen street as part of the redevelopment. They twinned that theatre in the Fall of 1973 and it reopened at Christmas. However, they closed that theatre on Labor Day in 1995. To this day, it is still sitting there empty. The 10 screen complex being built on Airport Road is supposed to open around Thanksgiving. The road is closed now as they are doing utility work and road improvements. So you cannot drive past to see the progress.
P.S. – The one small neighborhood theatre was the Strand Theatre which was located on Manor Street. It was about half mile from the downtown area. It showed, during my growing up years, second run films. Movies played the Strand after their showing at the N. Queen Street theatres. The Strand opened as a nickelodeon in 1910. It was used for boxing in the 1920s. And in 1964 was torn down. The land has been a parking lot ever since. Oddly enough, the Strand Theatre was owned and operated by Lehad Theatres which also built and operated the King Theatre. The Strand was the place for kids to go for the Saturday matinee. They gave away prizes and passes. I remember during one of the Strands remodelings, they installed a new traveler curtain. It was the first curtain that I ever saw that opened on the right side of the screen instead of in the middle or raising up.
To reiterate some of what I wrote back in 2004. There were four theatres in the 2nd block of N. Queen street in downtown until 1964 when urban renewal led to their demolishment. On the left side of the street was the Hippodrome (renamed Capital in early 1960’s), the Hamilton (closed permanently in the early 1960’s), the Colonial (renamed the Boyd in early 1960’s.) On the other side of the street in the same block was the Grand Theatre. The Hamilton, Capital, and Grand were operated by the Stanley Warner Theatre Company. The Boyd Theatre was operated by what would years later become the Eric/Sameric theatre chain. The Boyd had two balconies and the Capital had one balcony. The Hamilton and Grand were only one floor theatres. The Stanley Warner Co. did not build the theatres, but purchased them years later. The urban renewal eventually demolished both sides of the block of N. Queen Street. And for many years nothing was built to replace it. The King Theatre opened in the 1950’s and from 1964-65 to 1971 was the only movie theatre operating in the City of Lancaster. In the meantime single screen theatres were built in the suburbs which we later twinned. All have since been demolished. I remember seeing many a movie in the balconies of the Boyd and Capital. The Capital was an extremely palatial theatre. With marble staircases and a long long lobby. Those were the good ole days when you went to the movies and then went nearby to the Cooper Drug store soda fountain for a ice cream sundae!
Was not the Embassy 49th Street originally called The World Theatre where “Deep Throat” had a rather lengthy engagement? Then all of a sudden it was renamed the Embassy 49th Street and its first film attraction under the new name was a Disney movie?
Looking forward to driving to the Allen to see the new “Pirates” film! It has been a while since I made the “trek” from Lancaster to the Allen.
What happened to the Save the Sameric website page? As a contributor to the Save the Sameric, I would check the webpage on a regular basis to get the latest news. Still anxious for this theatre to reopen. However, it certainly seems to be taking an extremely long time to get anything accomplished. And to think it was originally suggested that the touring version of “The Lion King” would be the grand reopening attraction! Still cannot imagine seeing a “Broadway show” at the Academy of Music!
P.S. – Adult admission at Kendig is $7.00 if I remember from their opening day advertisements.
John Messick: Yes, construction has started on this independently designed, built, and operated theatre. It was originally planned to be either 14 or 16 screens, but has been reduced to 10. From the drawings published in the local papers, it looks like it will be a very nice complex. It is on airport road just past the Lancaster airport on the right hand side of the road. About a mile off of route 501 heading North from Lancaster. It was originally supposed to be open by the Summer season, but construction was delayed. I think an October or November opening is planned now. My wife and I generally travel to the Movies E-Town or the Allen in Annville before going to the Regal Manor 16. We are looking forward to patronizing the Kendig Square 6. The last time we were there, which was before the Galaxy chain from NJ took it over, the mens room was being flooded by an overflowing toilet. And the general appearance of the place was well worn even though it was not that old. So here is hoping that between Kendig Sq. and Penn Cinema on Airport Road, the avid moviegoers will have more of a choice of where to go! The Manor is too crowded, noisy, and the 20 minutes of commercials are extremely annoying!
If my memory serves me correctly, “Dear Brigette” would have been a move over engagement. I think it was intially shown at R.C.M.H. as an exclusuive engagement for a number of weeks before going “showcase.”
This shopping center theatre reopened on Friday, May 26th. It has been taken over by a group of investors from Baltimore. The name of their investment group is Diamond Theatres. According to newspaper articles they also have spent $200,000.00 on remodeling the six screen complex. Stereo sound has been added and there is “tiered” seating according to their ads. The admission prices are lower than the other national chain operating a complex in the Lancaster Co. area. They are also showing first run attractions. I hope this problem location can finally become a successful operation.
Yes, Vince, now that you mention it I do. As I mentioned earlier in this thread, my first visit to the Stanley was to see “Cleopatra”. So I never saw the theatre before the “renovation.” I just remember being more awed by the size,elegance, and magnificence of this theatre than even the Boyd. There was just so much more room in this theatre. You did not feel as cramped sitting in the loge section of the Stanley as you did in the Boyd. The balcony “lobby” was so much more palatial and roomy. I remember the ramps leading from the main inner lobby upstairs. I remember the vending machines built into the walls and the walls around them being what looked like mahogany paneling! Oh to be able to walk into the Stanley Again!
Yes! Look at Vince Youngs post from Jan. 21, 2005. In the remodeling of 1959 a curtain was installed in front of the prosenium and stretched the width of the theatre. During roadshow attractions this curtain was closed until the start of the overature, if my memory serves me correctly. Once the overature started, the house lights dimmed, and that giant curtain opened. There were stage foot lights lighting the curtain covering the screen to the rear of the stage house. I thought it was so appropriate that during the “My Fair Lady” engagement, those footlights were in the color pink. Since all the movie posters for the film were a pink background. Back then that was showmanship! Not the shove them in and move them out we have today! The Stanley was a larger theatre than the Boyd, but not as large as the Mastbaum.
Since I added some ticket information to the Boyd site, I thought while I had my book of ticket stubs in front of me I would add some for movies I had seen at this wonderful movie palace.
“My Fair Lady” = Orchestra – Sun 2PM 2/14/65 – Row P Center – $2.30
“My Fair Lady” – Loge – Mon 2PM 4/19/65 – Row A Right Center – $2.30
“Hawaii” – Loge – Sun 2PM 2/26/67 – Row B Left Center – $2.30
“Camelot” – Loge – Fri. 8:30PM 12/29/67 – Row B Left Center – $3.00
“Finian’s Rainbow” – Loge – Fri. 8:30PM 1/3/69 – Row A Center – $3.50
I can still picture sitting in this theatre and watching those huge grey curtains open to reveal the stage and another set of curtains in front of that large screen. I just wished the desire to maintain these wonderful movie palaces had started before this one bit the dust. Of course, the Fox outlasted this one and there was not much more than a whimper when that one came down in pieces. IMHO this theatre was at least on a par with the Boyd, if not even more palatial than the Boyd.
I added this information the other night, but it was during a time when the comments were not coming up automatically. So that technical problem eliminated my earlier comment to be added. So here I go again.
Yes, “Those Magnificent Men” was a roadshow attraction at the Trans Lux Theatre. It was the first time I was ever in that theatre. After driving from Lancaster to attend this “roadshow presentation,” I was extremely disappointed in the size of the theatre and screen.
My ticket stubs were for Row V, Seats 2-4-6-8-10 for the 2PM Matinee on Sunday, Aug. 29th, 1965. The tickets were priced at $2.25 each.
I would like to submit the following information for various roadshow attractions at the Boyd Theatre:
“The Greatest Story Ever Told” Cinerama – Loge Row BB Mon. 5/31/65 2PM Matinee = $2.50 Each Ticket
“Doctor Zhivago” 70mm – Loge Row AA. Sun. 5/29/66 2PM Matinee – $2.30
“The Bible” 70MM – Loge Row BB Tues. 3/21/67 8:30PM Eve show – $2.50
“The Happiest Millionaire” – Loge Row AA Tues. ½/68 8:30PM Eve Show – $2.50
“Star!” – 70MM – Loge Row AA Sun. 12/22/68 2PM Mat – $2.50
“Goodbye Mr. Chips” Loge Row EE, Wed. 12/31/69, 8:30PM = $5.00 (New Years Eve)
“Fiddler on the Roof” – Balcony Row E, Sat. 2/26/72 – 8:30PM – $3.00
Unfortunately, the earlier Cinerama travelogue films and the 3 MGM Cinerama films – “Grimm,” “HTWWW”, etc. I do not have the ticket stubs for. I was a bit younger then and did not even think about keeping the stubs since my Father was taking us during that time.
At least this gives some idea what prices for “roadshow presentation engagements” were during the 60’s.
Even if tickets today would be $25.00, it would still be worth the money to see these epics again on the super sized screen! Still better than most of the films released today as “entertainment!”
Listed below are the dates I saw other 70mm film presentations at the Original Boyd/Sameric Theatre. I only went to this theatre when I knew the film was showing at the original theatre and not one of the added on “shoeboxes."
1. "The Rose” 1/20/80
2. “The Empire Strikes Back” 6/21/80
3. “Raiders of the Lost Ark” 7/25/81
4. “Quest For Fire” 5/1/82
5. “Return of the Jedi” 7/9/83
6. “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” 8/4/84
7. “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” 7/15/89
Which was the last time I ever traveled from Lancaster to Center City to see any films.
Oops “2001” opened 5/22/68! So much for proofreading!
From my records, I would like to submit the following information:
“Grand Prix” was the inaugural Cinerama attraction at the Randolph Theatre. I believe it opened in early 1967.
Here is my listing of other Cinerama/70mm film roadshow engagements at the Randolph:
“Gone With the Wind” 70mm – 10/18/67-5/21/68. Then moved to Midtown.
“2001” 70mmCinerama – 5/2/68-12/17/68
“Ice Station Zebra” 70mmCinerama – 12/18/68-2/25/69
“The Shoes of the Fisherman” 70mm- 2/26/69-4/22/69
“Paint Your Wagon” 70mm – 10/29/69-1/27/70
“Hello, Dolly” 70mm – 3/25/70-10/6/70
“Tora, Tora, Tora” 70mm – 10/7/70-1/3/71
Theatre closed. And another one of Center City roadshow big screen theatres bites the dust.
From my records are the following reserved seat engagements at the Boyd:
10/20/67-1/17/68 – “The Happiest Millionaire"
1/24/68-8/13/68- "Doctor Dolittle"
11/6/68-2/11/69 – "Star!"
2/12/69-3/25/69 –"War and Peace” the Continental Releasing Corp. 2 Part Russian film.
6/25/69-8/26/69 – “BenHur” Reissue Showing
11/12/69-3/17/70 –“Goodbye Mr. Chips"
12/13/71 – 6/20/72 – "Fiddler on the Roof"
12/14/72 – 4/3/73 – "Man of La Mancha"
70MM Regular Engagements:
6/26/74-9/24/74 – "That’s Entertainment"
11/8/79-2/14/80 – "The Rose"
And there were also: "Close Encounters of the Third Kind"
"Star Wars”“Empire Strikes Back”“Quest For Fire”, “Raiders”, “Return of the Jedi”, “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom,” and “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.”
The Sameric in it’s golden days, played all the “biggies.”
“2001” did not premiere at the Boyd. It had its premiere at the Randolph Theatre on May 22nd, 1968 and played its Cinerama roadshow engagement at the Randolph through Dec. 17, 1968. It was replaced with the Cinerama roadshow engagement of “Ice Station Zebra” on Dec. 18, 1968 which continued until Feb. 25, 1969. During this time
“Doctor Dolittle” was playing on roadshow at the Boyd from Jan. 24, 1968 to Aug. 13, 1968. “Doctor Dolittle” had replaced “The Happiest Millionaire” which had a roadshow engagement at the Boyd from Oct. 20, 1967 to Jan. 17, 1968. “2001” replaced the 70mm roadshow engagement of “Gone With The Wind” which played at the Randolph from Oct. 10, 1967 to May 21st, 1968. “Gone With the Wind” then moved over to the Midtown Theatre from May 22nd, 1968 to July 30th, 1968.
Ed Solero: The “MMMMW” souvenir program I purchased at the Boyd Theatre in Philadelphia during its Cinerama showing has the Cinerama logo on the front cover under Stanley Kramer’s name. However, when I saw the movie again during its “regular showings” after Cinerama engagements, the program was the same except the Cinerama logo had been removed.
Ed Solero: The “MMMMW” souvenir program I purchased at the Boyd Theatre in Philadelphia during its Cinerama showing has the Cinerama logo on the front cover under Stanley Kramer’s name. However, when I saw the movie again during its “regular showings” at Cinerama engagements, the program was the same except the Cinerama logo had been removed.
Chuck 1231: I would like to add two theatres to your very comprehensive list. They are:
16th & Market St, Fox Theatre (2,423), 1923-1980
19th & Market St, Stanley Theatre, (2,916) 1921-1970