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I suspect the closing of the Penn Theatre had more to do with market manipulation than the cost of renovating for wide screen.
The deed to the Penn Theatre when it was sold specifically prohibits it from ever being used as movie theatre in the future. That sort of deed restriction was more common than one would imagine.
Mark this one closed.
Did not want to make the switch to digital.
The last operator of the Skyview was Angstadt & Wolfe Theatres. (That Angstadt is former Reading Mayor Paul Angstadt who still operates the Strand in Kutztown PA and that Wolfe is Richard Wolfe who still operates the Cinema Treasturs Favorite Roxy Theatre in Northampton PA) I belive the Skyview closed in the late 70’s or very early 80’s.
The comment about the twin in 1978 came from me in a post several years ago. For some unknown reason that post along with several others that I made along way several years ago seem to have gotten deleated when this website went through various machinations.
If I recall correctly the theatre was twinned sometime around in either 1977 or early 1978. It took the landlord a while to find out about the twinning but then the Landlord decided to take action with the opening of Superman. I believe that Superman was playing on both screens.
The landlord literally padlocked the front doors with large chains and padlocks. I know this for a fact because I represented the theatre owner in the court case. The county court found for the theatre owner since the lease did not forbid twinning of the theatre so long as the premises were returned to its original state on termnination of the lease. Needless to say on the settlment of the suit the theatre owner got a sweethart rental adjustment due to the landlord’s actions.
With the retirement of long time manager and Classic Film Series supporter Diane Paul last year, the Hershey Theatre is no longer screening films.
The Classic Film Series was only once a month as a fill in on those weekends when other events not scheduled and the usage and partronage was not enough to warrant the investment in a digital projector.
Actually it did not close in 1989. It was carved up in to 4 screens (each side of the twin was front/back) where it continued as discount house until about 5 or 6 years ago.
I believe that Theatre 5 is Eric in Harrisburg PA. The different seats at the rear of the auditorium were the deluxe ‘rocking chair’ section. Opened in April 1963 with Lawrence of Arabia the Harrisburg Eric was built for 70MM reserved seat operations.
Later twinned in 1978 (called Eric I and II) and re-opened with Superman with Christopher Reeve. Whereupon the landlord padlocked the theatre claiming he was entitled to twice the rent since it had been twinned. Sameric went to court and needless to say the Landlord lost that lawsuit.
Richard Wolfe is correct that Theatre 3 is Eric in Reading PA. Opened in July 1970 with “Beneath The Planet of the Apes” Bob Salto was the manager.
FYI – the Eric in Allentown had 70MM capability as well.
Built in 1947.
Last Movie shown was ET – The Extra Terrestrial in 1984.
The real sad commentary was that Lowes tore down the really nice drive in (5 screens if I recall correctly) that was on the site so as to build this complex.
LOA played at the Shoppingtown in Syracuse NY not at the Eckel.
LOA was the opening attraction at the Eric in Harrisburg PA at 4400 Derry Street on April 26, 1963.
This theatre has struggled since its opening.
In January 2012 the landlord filed a lawsuit seeking One Million Dollars in back rent and to keep Great Escapes from removing its equipment.
The lawsuit was settled in March 2012 under terms not disclosed. http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2012/03/harriaburg_mall_theater_to_rem.html
Nothing like having a freight train run right along side your theatre to add to the moviegoing experience.
So will the Wimington Complex actually get built?
Norfolk Southern Sues Buccini/Pollin Over Delaware Deal
By Phil Milford – Jul 13, 2012 4:09 PM ET .Facebook Share LinkedIn Google +1 0 Comments
Print QUEUEQ..Norfolk Southern Corp. (NSC), the second- largest railroad in the eastern U.S., sued developer Buccini/Pollin Group Inc. contending it’s illegally using land to build a movie theater complex that’s a centerpiece of revitalization plans for Wilmington, Delaware.
The Norfolk, Virginia-based railroad alleges Buccini, Riverfront Development Corp. of Delaware, and Lititz, Pennsylvania-based Penn Cinema Management Co. are trespassing on land that was wrongly condemned by the Delaware Transportation Department in an action preempted by U.S. law.
“Norfolk Southern is now and has been the lawful owner” of the approximately 2 acres of land, and uses it as the only spot to interchange railcars “within 100 miles” of the city’s nearby Delaware River commercial port, according to a complaint filed yesterday in federal court in Wilmington.
The railroad operates on 21,000 miles of track in 22 eastern states, transporting raw materials and finished goods into the Midwest and Gulf Coast, according to the lawsuit and data compiled by Bloomberg News.
Wilmington contractors have already begun work on the new 14-screen, $20 million IMAX theater complex, to join a planned new hotel and existing convention center, minor-league baseball park and restaurant group along the Christina River near Interstate 95.
“We don’t have a comment at this time,” said Penn Ketchum, managing partner of Penn Cinema, in an e-mailed message.
Riverfront officials weren’t immediately available to comment on the lawsuit. A phone operator at Buccini in Wilmington said “no comment” and declined to give her name.
The case is Norfolk Southern v. Riverfront Development Corp., 12-cv-872, U.S. District Court, District of Delaware
Looks like the two screens which were created from the adjoining building in 2005 to show art films may be in trouble due to digital. Video limk:
Couple of interesting videos of Haar’s Drive In currently on Youtube:
Will they be changing the name to “CMC”? Somehow ‘American’ Multi-Cinema no longer seems appropriate.
For the upper level executives this sale amounts to a golden fleece. No only do they unload their stock at a premium, but most high level executives have ‘change of control’ provisions in their employment agreements.
Under a typical ‘change of control’ provision if a company is sold …. the seller must pay off the balance of an executive’s employment contract. Lets say the executive was making $300,000 per year and there are five years left on that persons employment contract…. this means he gets 1.5 Million (300,000 x 5) on the date of sale. And since Wanda has agreed to keep all the executives in place ….. it means said executive still gets to keeps his job at the same compensation but no employed by Wanda…. in other words the executive gets paid twice for the same work.
Back in the 1950’s and 1960’s Hollywood and theatre owners sought to battle the little black box in the living room with sheer size. And such was born the likes of Cinerama, 70MM and Stereo Sound.
Once again the cycle repeats …. with Hollywood and theatre owners deperate to battle home thetres and downloadable devices. Did not last the first time. No reason to think it will last this time either.
Originally built as a 5 screen by Fox Theatres of Reading sometime around 1982-1983, Fairgrounds was sold to Carmike in the mid 1990’s when the banks forced Fox to unload most of its theatres.
Carmike closed the Fairgounds somewhere in the late 1990’s or early 2000’s where it was acquired by Marv Troutman of Millersburg (Cinema Centers chain) who expanded it to ten screens. Ten is still the current screen count. This theatre has never had 11 screens. (RC Movies in Reading is the venue with 11 screens).
The Sun & Surf was originally built as a twin by Schwartz Theatres of Dover Delaware sometime in the late 60’s or early 1970’s. It was then expanded to four screens in the mid 70’s.
Schwartz sold its entire circuit to Fox Theatres of Reading PA in 1980. Fox Theatres then sold most of its entire circuit to Carmike sometime I believe in the mid 1990’s.
A recent video of the Roxy Theatre in Northampton may be found here:
Not sure why this theatre is listed as ‘Closed’. It is still open and showing movies.
However as reported by the Harrisbug Patriot-News on Saturday November 26, 2011 the theatre is struggling (like most of bankrupt Harrisburg)and its future is in doubt.
Pennsylvania governor Tom Corbett slashed educational spending for all public universities and school districts in the Commonwealth. It is nice to know that the state still has money to help renovate movie theatres (and of course let not forget the 11.5 million GRANT given to Janey Montgomery Scott in Philadelphia).
The Garden’s screen, concession stand and projection booth were destroyed in the flooding which accompanied the remanants of Hurricane Lee in September 2011. This was the third flood for the Garden this year alone.
The Garden’s flea market will reopen this weekend but at this time it is uncertain if movies will ever be shown at the Garden again especially with the digital conversion on the horizon.
Just how do you define a successful theatre?
Lets do a little math here.
500,000 people per year divided by 14 screens is 35,715 people per screen per year.
35,715 people per screen divided by 52 weeks is 687 people per week per screen.
Assuming 28 shows per screen per week (4 shows times 7 days per week) that would mean that each show averages about 24 to 25 people. (687 people divided by 28 shows).
The Wonderland was opened by Budco as a single screen in July of 1969 with Alan Arkin as “Popi”. The single screen was later twinned and then two other screens were eventually added. The property was on leased ground from the Dutch Wonderland Amusement Park.
AMC acquired this when took over Budco around 1987. I believe it closed about 2005 when the Dutch Wonderland Park was sold to HERCO which operated HersheyPark. It was used for a time as an indoor miniture golf course.
Last year HERCO sold Dutch Wonderland to Palace Entertaiment – a subsidiary of the Spanish congomerate Parques Reunido. Palace owns several amusment parks in the US including Kennywood in Pittsburgh as well as 17 parks in California alone. [ Just when are we going to stop selling our assets and our country out to the foreigners?] Anyway as a result of the sale to Palace the Wonderland Cinema now sits unused and abandoned.