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OMG, I lived in Paxtonia (Jonestown Road)! I wish I’d have known. Strange coincidence to find out so many years after the fact. The Penway was my neighborhood theater when we still lived in Harrisburg city, just off State St. My lifelong love of movies started there, attending with my parents.
I remember the Broad but my family never went there. The area around the Broad St. market was a nice shopping district when I was growing up. The Rialto was down the street. Also a store called simply Bill’s (as I recall). And a five-and-dime.
I wish someone could find a photo.
The Harrisburg papers ran a block ad for four theaters, the Penway, Grand Roxy, and Valle. I remember seeing (MGM’s) Little Women at the Grand and the remake of Rose Marie in CinemaScope. Little Women (also a remake) was released in 1949, Rose Marie around 1953, so the theater (and neighborhood) must have still been in good shape then.
One of my schoolmates lived right next to the Grand. I thought he was so lucky. I remember the unusual marquee (which a comment here mentioned). I thought it was a nice theater, rather classy actually (due to the unusual marquee). I don’t remember it being a reverse theater. Interesting.
I looked at one of those Google maps of Harrisburg a few weeks ago and was surprised to see the building that housed the Roxy (across from Christ Lutheran Church) is still there. That must be the last remnant of the Burg neighborhood movie theaters still around. (I’m in southern California now, up the freeway from where all my favorite movies were made).
I remember the Broad but I never saw anything there. I think it was generally considered pretty sleazy. It was sort of across the street from the market as I recall. Later turned into some kind of store (furneture?)
My parents used to go to the market and the shopping district. I forget the street names. There was a five-and-ten and a store called Bill’s. There was another movie theater down the street, the Rialto? Never went there either.
Joe – Thanks for the article. I can’t wait to read it.
I may have mentioned elsewhere, I was still living in an apartment beside the Grand when the demolition began. The destruction of the old Brunswick was spectacular (and depressing).
Great ad. I saw this at Loew’s REGENT, Harrisburg, PA. Immediately went out an bought “Rock Around the CLock”!
THE PIRATE on a double-bill ? ? ? Great ad though.
TOOT, WHISTLE, the first ‘Scope/stereo cartoon, very inventive. You can still hear the stereo on some of the Disney DVDs. FANTASIA was cropped to make it look wide-screen.
One of the twin theaters in Park City Mall in Lancaster (Pa.) eventually showed porn. The other one screened regular films.
I seem to remember the Star was also known for showing obscure B movies, westerns and such, during the ‘50s (much like the downtown Rio).
As I’ve noted elsewhere, the Senate was where I first experienced the Disney features (including the reissue of FANTASIA)and the great UI science fiction films of the ‘50s, some in 3-D. Also the first CinemaScope films in Hbg. (that the State did not get).
I have nothing against porn but I hated to see the beloved Senate go that route. I often wanted to go in to see what my old favorite theater was like before it closed but I did not want to blight some of my favorite movie memories.
Please see my new photo of the Main interior with vintage light fixtures.
This is a great shot. It’s wonderful to see (obscured behind the flags and under the marquee) the film poster material they used to plaster around the entrance and a film (and short subjects!) on the marquee. I remember all that well. My photos were unfortunately taken after Loew’s REGENT closed.
Thanks for the link.
That is amazing! Thanks for the link. The Box Office site looks really interesting.
What goes round comes round. Sometimes……
I think the Fabians also owned the Colonial Theatre in Harrisburg.
Stony Brook Drive-In FLICKr album:
Found some new color slides of the SENATE I took in 1982. These are some of the best yet. Here’s a link to one I just added:
It also was a great theater-going city in the same era. I saw many Broadway try-outs there. It was sort of the twilight of the great Broadway musicals but I saw some unusual ones.
Greatest coup: seeing Sondheim’s ANYONE CAN WHISTLE! At the Forrest, as I recall. I got Lee Remick’s autograph after the performance.
I think the legit theaters may have been among the first to go.
For Plaza Cinema photo see:
IN HARM’S WAY –
I saw this on the big screen at the Grand. They used to post window card-type posters on the walls of downtown Lancaster around the theater.
So I had a beautiful copy of this Saul Bass design in black-and-white with blue accents. Wish I still had it. The RCA soundtrack (Jerry Goldsmith) LP cover is similar.
Notice Mrs. Otto Preminger’s autograph on the page (from an AMPAS tribute to Preminger).
She worked on the costumes for the film.
Ar the risk of being compulsive, here is a lighter variation of the Colonial color transparency which shows up the marquee better.
Take your choice:
This is a grainy and not especially good crop of the Colonial marquee. I wish I had a better one.
But my FLICKr caption give a detailed description of the unusual L-shaped entrance/vestibule area which had doors on both Market St. and 3rd St. and enclosed a commercial business which was on the corner of those streets.
It’s also of interest because the marquee is no longer advertising movies, but Harrisburg’s traditional balloon parade (which I remember from when I was a kid) and an “Elvis” concert!
Just found this color slide of the Colonial Theatre:
Photo of the 2006 revival of 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA at the El Capitan.