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There is a theater located in the town of Bloomsburg,Pennsylvania that is for sale. It is a great college town, home to Bloomsburg University. The theater was twinned by converting the balcony section into a second screen. It has not been in operation for 10? years, but worth checking out. Perhaps the town’s chamber of commerce would have more information.
Although it is a little distance from Where you are staying, The Cinema Drafthouse in West Hazleton is just a few miles off of the interstate and would take you about 20 minutes to get to. Check out their website www.cinemaanddrafthouse.com
That website is www.beachtheater.org
As far as the theater reopening, it is slated to reopen Memorial Weekend through a lease agreement with a nonprofit group attempting to save the theater. The theater remains in a very precarious position. The Frank family presented a demolition proposal to the city of Cape May’s Historic Preservation Commission on May 15,saying that the theater is not profitable and in need of repair.
The commission rejected the demolition by a very slim margin(4-3).
The Beach Theater Organization has set up a website with the latest information and a fund drive. It has great photos and information and is worth checking out.
Although I don’t know many details about this theater, I do have some information.
The Andrea Theater was built by Mr. Peter Magazzu who went on to own a chain of movie theaters in northeastern Pennsylvania, including the Angela Theater in Coaldale,PA which is still running today.
He named most of his theaters after family members,with the Andrea being named for his father.
When The Andrea closed, it was sold and became The Andrea Pentacostal Church.
I’m a summer resident of Cape May and am very much interested in anything you are involved in to help save The Beach Theater. For some reason my email did not send to your Beach Theater site. It would be great if you could contact me via this website. Thanks
A correction to my previous post:
The contractor for The Angela was Salvadore DeFazio. Boyd Kline was the contractor for another of Mr. Magazzu’s theaters located in Montoursville, PA called “The Laura”.
An update on the history:
The Angela Theater was built on the site of an earlier theater which was destroyed by a Christmas night fire in 1948. Mr. Peter Magazzu Sr.,who owned a chain of movie theaters in northeast Pennsylvania, built the new theater naming it after his mother and daughter who shared the same name.
The construction firm was Boyd Kline Contracting of Bloomsburg,PA.
The theater contained 711 seats; a number Mr. Magazzu considered to be lucky. Perhaps he was right since this is the only one of his theaters still running.
The Angela opened on October 11,1949 (Mr. Magazzu’s birthday) with a showing of the movie “Africa Screams” starring Bud Abbott and Lou Costello.
I believe this page is for the Beach Theater. Let’s try to stay on the topic and not use this as a forum for mud slinging.
As an update to this theater’s page, I would like to add the following history I just recently obtained.
This theater was designed by noted architecht William H. Lee of Philadelphia. Lee specialized in designing theaters.
The theater was built by William C. Hunt and family. Mr. Hunt opened one of the first “Nickelodeons” in the United States in Camden, NJ. He went on to build an empire in the movie theater business. Sadly,the Cape May theater is one of the last of the Hunt theaters still remaining.
Also noteworthy is the fact that this theater was one of the first, if not THE first theater in the country to be designed and built with retail stores attached. This style is still duplicated today on a much larger scale, in many shopping malls.
When it opened in 1950, it featured stereophonic sound with cinema-scope. It had a large lobby, a seating capacity of 860, and contained three hand painted murals incorporated at Mr. Hunt’s direction.
The first movie shown in this theater was “Father of the Bride” starring Spencer Tracy and Elizabeth Taylor.
The group trying to save this wonderful landmark theater is looking for someone who is computer savy enough to establish an online petition to sign and/or a web page. Please remember that time is of the essence here. Anyone able to help, please contact Barbara Skinner at(609)884-3951 ASAP.
The reason the Franks are demolishing the theater, is of course money. Beach front real estate is worth quite a bit of money.The plans for the parcel will not include a theater but will consist of retail space and condos. They(the Franks) also just opened a new multiplex theater in Rio Grande,NJ several miles from Cape May. Subsequently, another local theater, Bayshore 8 in the town of North Cape May has closed its doors – put out of business by the new Rio Grande multiplex.
I had never attended a movie at the Roxy since it was closed long before I was born. Older relatives have told me that this was apparently the “bargain” theater in the city. Admissions and snacks were cheaper than any other theater in town. My personal comment is that I was actually the person who reported the fire that destroyed the Roxy. It was late evening and I happened to be passing by when I noticed an orange glow inside the building. This was before cell phones, so I immediately drove to city hall which was nearby to report the fire. Unfortunately it was too late to save the building. I still wonder if the fire was arson. There is still just an empty lot where the Roxy stood.
I recently went to see a movie at the Angela. The owners have done an incredible job of renovating/restoring this theater. I was able to speak to them after the show ended. They happily shared stories and photos of the theater before and during renovations. It is a great example of how a single screen theater can be converted to a multiplex while retaining its character and charm. Many of the original features remain, including the stage, sloped floors,glass entrance doors,glass block lighting and chandeliers. The owners should be commended for their foresight and perseverance in this project.
The photos of “The Feeley” brought back some fond childhood memories. I was there fairly often as a child. My aunt took me there to see “Mame” starring Lucille Ball in the mid'70s. It was the last movie I remember seeing there. Around the same time frame they would host “horror” shows featuring live performers. Although I was quite young when it was torn down,I remember they had a difficult time with the demolition. “The Feeley” was billed as being fireproof so the exterior walls were extremely thick. It also featured underground tunnels for emergency evacuations and exits for vaudeville performers. These exits were one block away!