Showing 1 - 25 of 235 comments
I do not believe that Angstadt and Wolfe ever operated this drive in. They operated the King Theatre in Lancaster when that was the last theatre owned by the Chertcoff circuit. However, I think both the Sky Vue and Comet drive ins were long closed when that happened. I am going to try and find out somewhere when the Tanger outlet center opened. The drive in closed I believe when the property was sold for the construction of the center. The golf course is part of the Host Resort Hotel located farther east on Route 30. That opened while the drive in was still in operation. In between the drive in and the hotel was a restaurant called Joe Myer’s family restaurant. It was a favorite place to eat with “the locals.” Depending on where you sat in the restaurant you could plainly see the drive in theatre screen as it faced East. If they would have put speakers in the restaurant we would have had the first dinner and a movie location!!!!!!
I cannot believe the city of Philadelphia. They will do anything for a sports team – new baseball and football stadiums – but the last remaining motion picture palace gets nothing. I cannot believe there is not emough “movers and shakers” in the city of brotherly love to save this gem. Even the city government will not budge – I guess money talks!!!! What a shame. I was so hoping that some day I would be able to walk into the Boyd and go up to the balcony to view a movie, stage show, or concert. Thank God I still have my memories. To this day 2pm on a Sunday reminds me of all the times we traveled to Philadelphia to attend the 2pm Sunday matinee of such films as"Ben Hur,“ "How The West Was Won,” “Brothers Grimm,” “Doctor Zhivago”, the list can go on and on.
The Boyd could have been another destination in a tour or trip to the city. Now we will walk past and see an 8 screen complex and remember what used to be there and say “oh ‘heck’. When you think how many movie palaces have disappeared in Center City, it sure would have been nice to keep one of them. How can the much smaller city of York, Pa preserve two of their palaces – the Strand and Capitolcomplex – and Philly cannot manage to keep one operating? Right now I am embarrassed for Philly.
The Sky Vue Drive in was in operation until at least the mid 1960’s. I remember going there to see the “very adult” movie “The Carpetbaggers” with George Peppard. Periodically the drive in showed first run movies, but most of the time they were either second run or “b movies.” The drive in was located where the Tanger Outlet center is now. The last time I was there, if you drive to the back of the center the light poles were still there that were on either side of the screen. The screen was in the back and was perpendicular to the highway. There was a long driveway from route 30 to the entrance and box office. I remember for the Summer holidays there would have one of those all night 4 or 5 feature shows. The Chertcoff company also operated the Comet Drive In theatre West of Lancaster off of what is now Route 283. That opened after the Sky Vue. The Comet was doomed when they made Route 283 a limited access highway and they had to change the entrance to one of the roads that surrounded the theatre. I remember a new road and bridge were built from Rohrerstown Road to get to the Comet. I am sort of getting off track now. I just wanted to add that this drive in – the Sky Vue – was opened at least until 1964 or 1965 whenever “Carpetbaggers” was released. How long after that time it was still operating I cannot remember.
It’s time that someone thinks outside the box. To “develop” this magnificent theatre into 8 living room size theatres is a travesty. However, since it has been closed no one has come up with a viable alternative. Creating another “live theatre” is a waste. The Forrest and Merriam theatres are totally underused. I will not pay the price to see a Broadway show at the Academy of Music. The Academy is a beautiful venue, but to me not condusive to broadway show presentations. Then you have the Prince Music Theatre – look how successful that has been. It would have been better to stay as the Midtown. At least that was a draw to bring people to Chestnut street. Philly can come up with all the support for its mostly loosing sports teams. However, you would think there would be at least enough people interested in saving the Boyd. However, what is needed is a person that can think outside the box. It has to be a destination location. It was back when it was the Boyd Cinerama Theatre. People traveled from the tri-state area to see those films. Our family traveled from Lancaster to see everyone one of them. Then we continued visiting the Boyd for the 70mm roadshow presentations that extened to the Stanley, Midtown, Ranolph, Goldman, and Fox Theatres. All now history except the Boyd. Look what has been done to the Chinese Theatre in LA. I will admit LA is certainly more a movie town than Philly, but that was thinking outside the box. Who would have thought the Chinese Theatre would once again be a “destination theatre.” Why can’t the Boyd??!!
Okay, after all these years it’s time to think outside the box. How about something like TCL take over the Boyd and bring it up to the 21st century. From the comments made about the upgrade of the Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles,it must have worked and it is drawing moviegoers again. Only time will tell, but it is worth a shot for the Boyd. What was done at the Chinese is proof with the right amount of capital, anything is possible. Keeping the Boyd as “The Boyd” does not seem to be drawing any interest. Tearing it down to create 8 “living room” theatres is a travesty. However, with all the movies being released for Imax presentation that is a golden opportunity to make the Boyd into an Imax which center city does not have. After all it was converted to a Cinerama Theatre back in the 1950’s. You’ve got a movie palace that with an upgrade would become a draw again. It is strange how in NYC and Los Angeles even reserved seats is now “the new thing.” Living proof that what was will come around again!!!! Instead of the Boyd Cinerama how about the Boyd Imax??!!
To Techman707 and bigjoe59
I was the person that took the picture of the Demille when it was playing “Shoes of the Fisherman.” I had been there the night before to see the film. It was Thursday, Dec. 19, 1968 for the 8:30pm performance. Our seats were in the front balcony and were $3.50 each!!! The film had its premiere on Nov. 13, 1968 and was shown until until March 18, 1969 – not exactly a long roadshow engagement. It did not open in Philadephia until Feb. 26, 1969 and only played until April 22nd, 1969 at the Randolph Theatre.
The first attraction at the Sameric when that chain took over the boyd was “Fiddler On The Roof” playing on reserved seats. It was the first time that I went to this theatre and you could see the proscenium arch as the curved screen had been removed and a large flat screen was installed within the procenium. It had been a lot of years since my last visit at the Boyd until its rebirth as the Sameric. Considering the lasst few years of it’s operation as the Boyd, RKO Stanley Warner presented “adult films” at the Boyd!!!!
The Boyd has been through a lot, but that heavens it is still standing ready to be reborn again. Come on Philadelphia, other cities have done it and it’s time to be done here with a restoration of a movie palace.
“The Sand Pebbles” was another film presented at the Cheltenham on a road show basis. I have ticket stubs from Friday, March 10, 1967 for the 8pm performance. The admission was $2.75 and our seats were located in the center section of Row Y, seats 101-102-103-104. I remember being impressed with this theatre even though it was a newer one. It was quite large with one floor seating if I remember correctly. Sorry to think it, along with so many other theatres, ended up being a pile of rubble.
The April 28 ,1968 ad posted above also shows the directory ad for Walter Reade Theatres. Amazing to think that none of those theatres are operating any longer. Granted that was a long time ago, but it is still depressing to think how much we have lost.
I saw “War and Peace” at the DeMille Theatre and still remember the Russian outfits that the usherettes wore. Showmanship was what is was all about in those days. Now its move'em in and move'em out and blare them with TV commercials and too many to count sound blasting movie trailers.
I am pretty sure Divans is another word for loge. Most roadshow theatres named the seating – orchestra, loge, and balcony. I see in the ad for 2001 at the Capitol they list orchester, divans, and balcony. The loge or divans were the front section of the balcony. Most balconys have a “cross aisle” so the section in front of the aisle closet to the screen was either the loge or divan section. If you notice, the price of that seat location is the highest. The section behind the idea was considered balcony and the cheapest seats. In some theatres the orchestra and loge/divan were priced the same. However, that was not always the case. “2001” at the Capitol was an experience I will always remember. I saw it a second time when it moved over to the Warner Cinerama (downstairs theatre). Although it was still an experience, it was not the same. Of course it is still better than the experience of movie going today. There was nothing like seeing “Presented in Cinerama or 70MM or Super Panavision 70 in the advertisement. Now they advertise wall to wall screens, which in a "shoe box” is not exactly a big deal!!!
The Regal Manor 16 opened on May 14, 1999. Total seating capacity of the complex is 2,800. The two largest theatres seat 416, one has 235 seats, Seven theatres have 155 seats and the remaining theatres have between 104 and 114 seats each. This complex has really seen better days. As seems typical with most of the national chains, I think the original carpeting is still in the “hallways” and theatres. There are two giant concessions stands on either side of the lobby, but it has been a long time since I have been there and both have been open. Most of the time movie poster standees are covering the front of the concession stand on the right side. When this shopping center was first built back in the mid 1960’s this area contained an “Arlan’s Discount Department Store.” When that went out of business a Mailmains Department Store – division of Bon Ton Stores – opened in the building. When Mailmans went out of business the building stood empty for a long time. Then a local investor opened an independent run 7 screen complex within part of the original now empty department store. That opened in Feb. of 1990. It was called the Manor Cinema 7. The owner sold the complex to Regal Theatres in 1995. The Manor 7 were closed on April 23, 1998 and the entire building which originally housed the department stores was demolished and the Regal Manor 16 Cinema was built. The Regal 16 was supposed to bee opened by Dec. 1998, but it did not get finished in time. They managed to get it ready for the newest “Star Wars” to be one of the opening attractions. The Manor 7 Complex had 1,400 seats. I have to say I will check the feature times at the Penn Cinema first even though we live closer to the Regal Manor 16 than the Penn. The Manor 16 has the 20 at 20 and at least 8-10 previews before the movie starts. The movie goers are usually rowdier. I saw one moviegoer complain about the behavior of some of the other audience members and management suggested they attend the movies when the “younger” ones do not go to the movies. So we generally go to the Regal if we do not have enough time to catch a feature at another theatre.
Howard – MY comment in June 2005 mentions that the first time I patronized this theatre was during the roadshow engagement of “Magnificent Men.” I was disappointed in the screen size as it was the smallest screen I had ever seen in a movie theatre especially for a “roadshow presentation.” The traverse rod curtains actually opened and passed in front of the exit doors on either side of the screen to disappear into the wall coverings. HOwever, as I said the screen, which was located between the two exit doors, had to be one of the tiniest movie theatre screens. I would be interested to know exactly what size it was. Granted the theatre was not that big either, but it was still a disappointment after viewing movies at the Boyd, Stanley, Goldman, Fox, Midtown, etc. I would venture to say that even some of the multiplex screen sizes today are bigger than this one was. – Dennis -Lancaster.
When I see pictures of this theatre, I realize and remember what movie going was really like. I feel sorry for the people who only know of the multiplexes. Of course, many people do not know how to behave in movie theatres any more either. I just remember sitting in the loge of the Rivoli as the overature would start and the lights would dim before one of those great “roadshow presentation” attractions.
I think this is one of the nicest multiplex shoebox complexes I have patronized. It was well kept and sparkling clean the few times I have been there to see a movie. Of course, it was not a Saturday or Sunday when we patronized it. I would not hesitate to see a movie here again.
The Queensgate 10 was owned by the same local investors that built the Manor Cinema of 7 screens at the Manor Shopping Center in Lancaster. It opened on Feb. 9, 1990. Both the Lancaster and York locations were sold to Regal Theatres in 1995. In April of 1998 the Manor Shopping Center complex was closed and demolished and the current Regal Manor 16 was built and opened about a year later. I think Regal continued to operate the Queensqate multiplex until construction of the new multiplex operated by Frank Theatres. I have to say, I have been to the Frank multiplex a few times and for a new “shoe box” multiplex, I think it is one of tne nicest.
I am pretty sure in its short life it was a UA Movies operation.
This theatre opened as a single screen if my memory serves me correctly. I think a 2nd screen was added and eventually both those theatres were twinned, but I am not certain. I think they started out as “Budco” theatres from the Philadelphia area. Budco was eventually purchased by AMC Theatres. I think this theatre opened in the 1960’s and lasted about 30 years or so. However, that is only an estimate. I know Budco built a theatre in Lancaster – the Wonderland – which started out as a single, a second theatre was added and then eventually both of the theatres were twinned. The York 4 was built adjacent to the Stony Brook Drive in which has been replaced by another just what is needed shopping center.
This theatre operated until at least 1966. I was a student at York College until May 1966 and the theatre was still in operation at that time. The last time I was in York the theatre was still standing and being used as a church. One of the movies I saw here was the Don Knotts film, “The Ghost and Mr. Chicken.” I still have a soft spot in my heart for that movie. I cannot remember any other movies I saw there, but since it was so handy to the campus, it was regularly visited as it was a first run theatre at the time.
I think making the movie going experience better than the home theatre experience is great. However, all the new technologies will be wasted if the audiences do not learn how behave any better. I am tired going to the movies and being subjected to cell phones going off, people looking at their cell phones, and people talking to each other explaining the movie or commenting on the movie as it progesses. They talk in a “stage whisper” that they think no one else hears. I have stared at people and even finally told a few to keep their comments to themselves. And they look at you as if you are doing something wrong. There is no one around to complain to, and when you finally walk from “Theatre 18” to the lobby you have missed a good part of the movie and that’s only if you are able to find someone to complain to right away. Moviegoing isn’t what it used to be and it’s not all just in the presentation. People are not what they used to be either. For this reason the comfort and silence of my own home theatre is less frustrating and more enjoyable. So until audience behavior improves, that is where I will see most of the movies. In addition if you are not into crashes, explosions, or superheros, what movie choices do you have anymore? Give me the good old “smart comedies” of years ago or the dramas with an interesting story and more than an ounce of intelligence.
Marcel: William Goldman Theatres used that strange booking policy. If they did not have a first run movie to play, they would fill in with “x rated” movies, but never the XXX that were shown at the adult theatres that operated at that time. The HiWay Theatre was all one floor and my guess is it seated somewhere in the 600-700 range if my memory of the interior is correct. I know there were two aisles with sections of seats along the walls and a center section of seats. The proscenium, once again if my memory serves me, was framed in wood rather than the traditional plaster. I remember getting the feeling looking at it like a ranch house type feeling. If anyone esle has any more information it would be nice to add the theatre to this website, because I do not think it is currently listed. I think the only time I was in this theatre was to see “Sound of Music” which I had already seen a long time before this at the William Goldman Midtown Theatre in Center City Philadelphia. There it was shown in the Todd-Ao and stereo sound.
The HiWay Theatre was located on W. Market Street near the border with W. York. It was close to the fire house which was located across the street. The Hiway Theatre, at least while I was living in York in the 1960’s going to college was operated by the William Goldman Theatre chain from Philadelphia. The Hiway had a special reserved seat engagement of “The Sound of Music” in 1966, but it was shown in 35mm and not stereo sound. The theatre building itself is still standing, but the marquee and front of the theatre have been demolished. It looks like it has become part of the Pewterax company which is located next door to the left of the theatre.
“The Sound of Music” played a special reserved seat engagement at the William Goldman Hiway Theatre which was located on West Market Street near the York Fair grounds. The auditorium portion of the theatre is still standing, but the facade, entrance, and lobby areas had been demolished. I think it is now part of the pewterex complex.
The Wonderland Theatre opened as a single screen in 1969, operated by Budco Theatres – as previously written. IN 1971 A SECOND THEATRE WAS ADDED. THE FIRST THEATRE WAS PERPENDICULAR TO THE HIGHWAY AND THE 2ND THEATRE WAS ADDED PARALLEL TO THE HIGHWAY, FORMING A BACKWARD L. The Original theatre was twinned in 1977. It operated as a three screen until 1986 when the 2nd screen, which was added in 1971, was twinned. The theatre closed on Oct. 13, 1986 and reopened as a two theatres on Oct. 31, 1986, making it a total of four screens. The original theatre and the 2nd one added were the best theatres in Lancaster to see a movie. The walls were red fabric and the large screens were “covered” with yellow traverse curtains. The seats were rocking chair with plush seat backs. The theatres are still standing and even the sign on the highway as pictured above is still there. The theatres operated for 33 years and closed on Sept. 6, 2001 as Earl Realty did not renew the lease with then
operator AMC, which had purchased Budco Theatres.
Driving past I have often “wondered” what the wonderland theatres look like inside now. They were
certainly not the movie palaces, but a lot “classier” than the shoe box megaplexes we have now.
If this theatre was called the Eric Twin, would it not have been a Sameric Theatre???? Sameric Theatres were taken over by United Artists about the time this theatre closed if my memory serves me correctly at which time a number of Eric Theatres were closed.
Most movies suck, the theatres are illkept, and the audiences are idiots who think they are sitting in their living rooms. When they sat going out to the movies in their slippers and robes I will definitely stay home. My wife and I saw “Larry Crowne” Saturday night. Despite what most critics said, we both enjoyed the film immensely. It had a good story (go figure!), no car chases or smashing wrecks, and no explosions. However, all during the movie people were checking their cell phones (I thought maybe senators or representatives or even the president were in the audience.) There was an older couple behind us that kept making comments to each other. This after the 20 at 20 commercials – that you see on TV – and about 8 previews before the movie even started. Gone are the days when people actually “behave” in theatres and there was a theatre staff that made sure they did. The multiplex that we have to patronize opened in 1990’s and I think it is still the original carpeting and seating in the theatre. So much for the entertainment starts at the curb!!!! My home theatre is looking much better each time I go to a multiplex!!!