AMC 309 Cinema 9

1210 Bethlehem Pike, Routes 309 and 63,
North Wales, PA 19454

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Michael R. Rambo Jr.
Michael R. Rambo Jr. on December 11, 2013 at 2:08 pm

The Budco 309 Cinema was a Twin by the start of 1976. This location became a 3-plex in early to mid 1980.

Coate
Coate on December 11, 2013 at 10:20 am

How many screens did this theater have as of the winter of 1978/79?

TheALAN
TheALAN on December 9, 2013 at 4:29 pm

A CLARIFICATION:

Opened in 1968, the 309 Cinema, a single-screen, first run theatre was built adjacent to and on the same site as the 309 Twin Drive-In (now demolished) by Budco Theatres Inc. The theatre was twinned in the mid 1970’s and several additions and renovations to the original building, and poor planning, during the late 1970’s and early 1980’s has resulted in the hodgepodge that exists today. The cinema was rebranded the AMC 309 Cinema 9 when the Budco Theatres chain was acquired by AMC Cinemas (now AMC Theatres) at the end of 1986. Renovations to the lobby were made in the early 1990’s. And since it is a cinema, a marquee would be nice!

mitchaia
mitchaia on June 19, 2011 at 11:57 am

The first addition was on the left. Subsequent splitting of the two auditoria made it into a 4plex. The last addition, resulting in 9 screens, was done, prior to the purchase by AMC, by a group of hotshot movie mogul wannabees who hired a major theatre architect from Boston, rather than the local architect who designed all Budco’s facilities, who proceded to screw up the patron circulation.

RedJacket
RedJacket on January 2, 2011 at 5:12 pm

Maintenance always has been an issue because of the various additions. The lobby was redone in 1992-1993 to move the concession stand back and to allow for more registers. Previously, the entire place was a mess on opening nights and big releases because people were spiraled around a small stand — intended for drive-in audiences — and there was no easy way to situate the lines for those entering the theater. Further, resupply and preparation was behind a door that later became the arcade area. This is to the immediate left when one enters the building through the front doors. We used to have a popper going upstairs to handle any surges. Before the refurbishment, the equipment was getting to beaten up that if you touched popcorn scoops to the back of the warmers you would get an electric shock if your scoop didn’t have a rubber handle. Sometime in the ‘00s, they eliminated the generators that once sat behind the building. These were guarded by a low wall, and we would find people toking up and getting intimate in the weeds there. Location is what keeps this place open. Time has passed it by, but for awhile the $3 twilight shows (4 p.m.-6 p.m.) and cheaper prices than the former Eric up the street helped to drive traffic here.

blkdog
blkdog on January 20, 2010 at 10:31 am

Any chance they are going to put anything into it? They should also put a marquee up on the back wall facing 309 or put the one that fell on 309 back up!

Michael R. Rambo Jr.
Michael R. Rambo Jr. on October 14, 2009 at 11:03 am

It’s also unique that the 309 cinema still has the “Cinema” in cursive, just like it’s former sister theatres Plymouth Cinema and Ellisburg Circle Cinema.

Michael R. Rambo Jr.
Michael R. Rambo Jr. on May 24, 2009 at 9:24 pm

From the pictures I’ve seen of the current 309 Cinema 9, it look like the 1980 addition was to the left of the original Budco 309 Cinema Theatre building. The 1982/83 addition was to the right of the building, but I could be wrong about which side was added first.

The final addition that turned this theatre from a 4-plex to a 9-plex has the one back screen and two front screens built next to the left of the 1980 addition, and the other 2 front screens across from the 1982/83 addition.

Michael R. Rambo Jr.
Michael R. Rambo Jr. on February 14, 2009 at 12:12 pm

I think you are right. I had my dates mixed up.

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas on February 14, 2009 at 11:54 am

I think that acquisition was in 1986 and two years later United Artists Circuit bought Sameric Corp, the last remaining large Philadelphia based chain for mainstream exhibition.

Michael R. Rambo Jr.
Michael R. Rambo Jr. on February 14, 2009 at 11:45 am

The 309 Cinema 9, along with the long gone Orleans 8, Andorra 8, Barn 5, Springfield Twin, , City Line Twin, and Millside 4, as well as Midtown Twin (Prince Music Theatre), Olde City Twin (Ritz East Twin) and Anthony Wayne Twin (Clearview’s Anthony Wayne 5) became AMC Theatres when AMC bought Budco Theatres in 1988.

Ephrata1966
Ephrata1966 on February 13, 2009 at 8:36 pm

When exactly did this become an AMC?

veyoung52
veyoung52 on July 15, 2007 at 8:00 pm

Haven’t been there since “The Rock” in 1996 when the first twenty minutes of the feature was projected two-perforations out-of-frame, and, presumably, I was the only sighted person in the auditorium as nobody made the slightest fuss. Finally, I got up and informed an usher of the problem. He looked at me as if I had just landed from another planet, mumbled something unintelligble and walked away. About ten minutes later, the problem was corrected.

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas on November 22, 2006 at 5:16 am

Best Fossil
If a youngster ever asks what it was like to go to the movies in the ‘80s, pack them into the car and trot out to AMC’s Rt. 309 Cinema 9. Built atop a folded drive-in sometime in the '60s, the 309 is a boxy multiplexâ€"without stadium seatingâ€"whose decor looks to have been untouched since The Naked Gun 2 ½: The Smell of Fear flickered.

from Philadelphia Weekly:

View link

montcocommerce
montcocommerce on September 20, 2006 at 2:06 am

Until recently, it was almost time for the final curtain for the AMC 309 Cinema; however, the lease for the AMC 309 Cinema in Spring House Pennsylvania that was set to expire on 10/31/06 for the building to be converted into a warehouse for the QVC Home Shopping Network, has been renewed breathing new life into this nostalgic theater for at least another 3 years. Scheduled renovations include new seats with flip up arm rests for auditoriums 3 and 6, DTS sound systems for 4 additional auditoriums and electronic marquees for the box office. The AMC 309 Cinema is like a 1969 Volkswagon Beetle. If you keep doing minor work to maintain it, it will last forever.

danwed1999
danwed1999 on August 19, 2006 at 10:29 pm

ATTN: RG …( or anyone knowledgable about Budco Theatres)

May I ask you a few questions about Budco Theatres?

I am doing research on blind bidding in the motion picture industry. Twenty four states passed anti-blind bidding laws which forbid the blind bidding of films; Pennsylvania passed the stictest law in 1980. I am investigating whether exhibitors which operated in states which passed these laws stayed in business longer than those which operated in blind bidding states.

RG (or anyone knowledgable about Budco Theatres) please e-mail me at as your knowledge would help my research efforts.

blkdog
blkdog on June 19, 2006 at 12:28 pm

Is this the last year for it? I heard it may close.

raymondgordonsears
raymondgordonsears on April 16, 2006 at 2:31 pm

MikeRa, I have not seen any pictures of the orig. 309 cinema. Someone did take pictures opening night from our office but I cannot remember who. The builder was from the Doylestown area but I don’t think he’s around anymore. rg

Michael R. Rambo Jr.
Michael R. Rambo Jr. on April 15, 2006 at 8:07 pm

Does anyone know if there are any pictures of the 309 Cinema that shows what it looked like when Budco Theatres first opened it in 1968?

Michael R. Rambo Jr.
Michael R. Rambo Jr. on December 22, 2005 at 7:06 am

I do apoligize. Does anyone know the exact dates the Budco 309 Drive-In and the Budco 309 Cinema Theatre opened? I know the 309 Cinema was sometime in 1968.

raymondgordonsears
raymondgordonsears on September 10, 2005 at 2:41 am

MikeRa, The 309 complex was NOT built or operated by Goldman Theatres. The D-I was built by the Smith family which owned several other D-I’s. Budco operated this D-I. I know because I managed it. The 309 Cinema was BUILT by Budco NOT Goldman Theatres. I opened this theatre. rg

timquan
timquan on April 10, 2005 at 6:18 pm

The 5th screen was an annex. I don’t think the third screen added in 1980 was split.