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Ronnie21, the Warner theater closed November 29, 1977.
The last show at the Arcadia Theater was “Rock Around the Clock” and “Fury at Gunsight Pass”, May 17, 1956. Last News Journal ad picture in the photo section.
Why don’t you people at Cinema Treasures give these TWO SEPARATE theaters their due respect? The SAVOY, at 515 Market St., opened in 1908, and closed April 02, 1950. The TOWNE, at the same address, opened Dec. 04, 1950, and closed Feb. 15, 1967. Reopened 1973, closed 1975.
The Queen, as a movie theater, closed April 19, 1959. The last movie ad for the theater – “House on Haunted Hill”, is in the photo section.
Last ad for the Crest Theater.
The Crest Theater closed Oct. 15, 1960. Last movie ad in the photo section.
The Manor Theater closed Feb. 28, 1957; the last feature was “Drango”, with Jeff Chandler.
Grand Opening Night, Aug. 20, 1969, Wilmington News Journal.
Evidently, this theater stumbled while trying to open. Originally, ads started in the Wilmington newspaper on Aug. 9, 1969, saying the drive-in would open on August 13, then Aug. 15, and the theater finally did open on Aug. 20, 1969. Ive posted an ad of that date, stating “Grand Opening Tonight”, Aug. 20, 1969.
I’ve done some research on the closing of the Ellis theater, and by newspaper ads, the last ad for the theater, in the Wilmington Morning News newspaper, was on Sat., Oct. 29, 1977. The films shown that night were Orca and King Kong, which were supposed to be shown through Sunday, the 30st. But there was no ad in Sunday’s paper, the 30st. On Tues., Nov. 1st, there was an ad that the theater was closed for the winter, and would open in Spring, 1978. They didn’t have any ads in the Spring of 1978, so I assume that the theater closed for good on Oct. 29, 1977, after the last show that day. I’ve added these two ads to the photo section on this theater.
Rave323, next door to the Brandywine/Ellis drive-in was the Wilmington Speedway, a raceway for (I think) quarter midget cars; whatever, the coupes of the late 1940’s, etc.
A little more information about this theater: AMC bought-out Budco in 1987. AMC closed the theater on Feb. 12, 1993, due to declining revenue. Two former managers of the theater, Mike Finochiaro and Francis Glynn, reopened the theater on Apr. 02, 1993, and it remained open until Aug. 04, 1998, when a devastating fire destroyed the theater. See the news article I just added t the photos section here.
Before moving to the Park Theater as manager, in 1929 (nine years after it had opened, in 1920), Mr. DeFiore had been the manager at the Victory (“Hunt’s”/“The Broadway”) on 4th Street, in Wilmington (none of these names are listed on Cinema Treasures). That theater closed in 1929, when Mr. DeFiore resigned to become the manager at the Park Theater.
Notice how the width of the screen has been expanded to accommodate Cinema-Scope films.
The nearby Brookview Apartments weren’t built until 1953-1955, evidently after the theater closed. I don’t know what the highway reconstruction may have been that is given as a reason, other than the road was widened to four lanes (from two), somewhere around that time. I remember the theater building after the widening, the sidewalk in front had been narrowed some, but was still wide then – I don’t know what effect that would have had. I don’t know when it closed – or should I say I don’t remember when it was open, but the building was used for fire school training in the 60’s, by the local fire company, and in one of those training sessions, a small fire built in the upper floors got away from them, and the building was damaged beyond repair, and had to be demolished (which was the intent anyway, after the training sessions). As I remember the building, it was just a square 3 or 4 story, wood lap-siding, I believe, with an iron marquee on the front side. The building was
on the NE corner of the intersection, where the Exxon is, today, as TheALAN states.
In re: “Dockstader”; I’ve seen Dockstader referred to in relation the the Garrick Theater, which was a few doors away, at 830 Market St; that theater was in operation from 1911-1927, and had been a vaudeville show house before showing films. The Grand had only one name since opening, as far as I know: Grand Opera House and Masonic Temple. In re: The Baby Grand: that is a new theater, built in 2000, in what used to be the Loew’s Aldine Theater, at 806 Market St. It is owned and operated by the Grand Opera House. I know nothing more about it.
The site of the Towne Theater is not a parking lot; it is a small park surrounded by the Historical Society buildings, of which there are many.
I have, in my notes, a date of 1985 for the closing of Pleasant Hill Drive In. I didn’t note where I got that date. Can anyone confirm?
Reynold’s Candy Store built a new building at #703 N. Market St, in 1928. That building still stands today, 2017. W.T. Grant was next to Reynold’s, at #705 N. Market St. Therefore, I believe that the Majestic must have been at #705 N. Market St. Photos in the Photo section mention both as being where the Majestic was.
Ronnie21, I believe what Myron is referring to is the marquee of the theater, where what was showing was placed, in big plastic letters that slid into a track. When the church took over the building, they put the Church name on the marquee. There were two sides to that marquee, so traffic in both directions could see what was playing. There was never a sign in the parking lot, that I remember. That parking lot was a shared lot, with the other businesses that were in the center.
That is the route number (SR 273) that the theater and shopping center are on, although the shopping Center is named University Plaza.
Yes, a historic movie theater was demolished to be replaced with open space.
The Polonia, Avenue, Ace, Capri Art Theater was always at 305-307 Maryland Ave. The address of 405 MD. Ave.is, and always has been a row house in the next block – not conducive to ever being a movie theater. 305-307 MD. Ave., is a deep building (or was, until it was torn down), in 1973. If you google 305 MD. Ave., Wilmington, DE, you’ll note the size and shape of the lot.