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Originally built as a single screen showplace by Schwartz Theaters of Dover Delaware in either the late 1960’s or the very early 1970’s. Later then carved up into three screens. I remember that when American Graffiti came out in the fall of 1973 it played at the Cinema Center for a very long time.
According to Rent Track (nightly film gross reporting site for commercial theatres) the West Shore has been listed as “Closed” since February 2015. From that time forward the West Shore appears to have been running DVDs from Redbox. Wonder if they paid the film companies for use of those DVDs.
This version of the Shillington Theatre was a nice second run neighborhood theatre for many years. However it was not until the late 1960’s that the
Shillington Theatre was able to run movies on Sundays due to the local municipality refusing to repeal and continuing to enforce Pennsylvania’s antiquated “blue laws” which forbade entertainment (and bars) being open on Sundays unless the local muncipality voted otherwise.
Around 1968 the Shillington theatre was switched to first run for a short time after most of the aging downtown Reading first run theatres were either closed or burned to the ground (urban renweal at its finest) Once the suburban mall theatres aroung Reading opened the Shillington reverted untimately reverted to second run.
Sometime in the 1970’s the Shillington was twinned with a wall up the middle.
In the late 1970’s through its closing in the late 1980’s the Shillington became a quasi- art house showing more popular art house product. If I recall “The Gods Must Be Crazy” played one screen of the Shillington for at least 6 months to the point where the print became almost destroyed and missing the last few minutes (but they continued to play it anyway).
The woman who was convicted in Jan 1973 of setting the fire that destroyed the vacant Strand Theatre in August 1972 killing two people has been granted a new trial on the basis of scientific advances in the detection of fire origins.
Note there is picture of the Strand as Photo #2 of the array in the attached article.
The Berwick Theatre is scheduled to be featured on an upcoming episode of the new Fox Business Network show “Strange Inheritances”. The episode is currently scheduled for Monday March 16, 2015 at 9:00PM ET.
Not exactly sure why they consider inheriting a movie theatre to be strange.
This was known for years as the Mt. Penn Drive In.
In 1968 the assistant manager was Richard Wolfe who runs the Cinema Treasures favorite Roxy Theatre in Northampton PA. I believe that Wolfe got some sort of recognition for his cutout Drive IN Marquee design for the Mt Penn Drive In for the movie “Where Were You When the Lights Went Out” with Doris Day.
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.