Terminal Theater

69th Street and Market Street,
Upper Darby, PA 19082

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 1, 2015 at 3:27 pm

This photo of the Terminal Theatre from the Library of Congress features the 1937 movie Dangerous Number on the marquee. It’s not the same marquee that appears in later photos.

As near as I can figure, the Terminal Theatre was part of an annex added to the original 1907 terminal building in 1936 and designed by architectural firm Simon & Simon. An item in the March 31, 1937, issue of The Daily Sun from Hanover, Pennsylvania, makes reference to “…William Goldman Theatres, Inc., Philadelphia, an independent theater organization, operating many theaters in the Philadelphia area, including the recently opened Terminal theater, Upper Darby….”

This page at Philadelphia Architects and Buildings cites a January 15, 1936, Philadelphia Real Estate Record and Builders' Guide item referencing the project as “Phila. & Suburban Terminal Corporation / New Terminal Building and Theatres.” The plural “theatres” was probably a typo. I think there was only ever one in the building.

Edward Paul Simon would have been the lead architect on the project, as his brother, Grant Miles Simon, had withdrawn from the firm in 1927, though the firm name Simon & Simon was still in use as late as 1936.

Michael R. Rambo Jr.
Michael R. Rambo Jr. on April 30, 2015 at 7:46 pm

finkysteet, Rite aid never occipied the Goldman’s/Stanley Warner’s/Eric Terminal Theatre site. The site became a walkway to both the Media and Sharon Hill Trolleys (SEPTA Routes 101 and 102), and a secondary entrance into 69th Street Terminal. This was all done during the 1987 reconstruction of the 69th Street Terminal complex that added a third entrance at the back of the Norristown Hi Speed Line

freddylubin
freddylubin on June 11, 2013 at 12:20 am

One of the few theaters that, as a kid, I didn’t want to enter. Always seemed to be full of drunks (there were enough bars around).

bobc316
bobc316 on October 1, 2012 at 7:40 pm

hey jk you must be refering to the old storage building right across the street from pica’s the old park theatre never seen pics but would love to LOL

JK
JK on October 1, 2012 at 6:58 pm

Don’t know if bobc316 is still looking, but I grew up around the corner from there. I remember my mother telling me that there used to be a movie theater there and I the front looking very theater like. All while waiting for either the “W” bus or the trolley, whichever came first on the corner of South Pennock and WC Pike. Know Pica’s well, worked there for many years.

Michael R. Rambo Jr.
Michael R. Rambo Jr. on November 3, 2011 at 6:39 pm

I have a old Philadelphia Inquirer from June 1943 that has the Terminal Theatre as a William Goldman Theatre, and the Tower Theatre and 69th Street Theatre as a Stanley Warner Theatre. I would have to assume that in the early 1950’s Stanley Warner and William Goldman swapped the Terminal Theatre and the Tower Theatre

bobc316
bobc316 on February 7, 2011 at 7:57 pm

ok maybe someone can help me, there was a movie theatre called the park theater in upper darby located where the PARK SELF STORAGE is now at 8000 westchester pike on the right hand side if you go a little further, picas is on your left.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on December 29, 2010 at 2:21 pm

Bob,If you go back and look at old Newspaper ads you see alot of afternoon Monster Movies being played in towns across the country.

Mikeoaklandpark
Mikeoaklandpark on December 28, 2010 at 1:20 pm

When it was run by Stanley Warner it was very basic. There were no curtains, but they did have masking that operated manually from the side of the screen. The screen was in front of a large stage. Not sure when they used the stage. When SamEric took over they put curtains including along the side walls and the back.

finkysteet
finkysteet on September 28, 2009 at 12:11 am

This was possibly the most basic-looking of auditoriums I’d ever seen. The only distinguishing feature was the three large lighted rectangular spaces in the ceiling. No marble, no brass railings, just a large screen and the convenience of the nearby Septa terminal. I still miss it, though; a Rite-Aid now occupies the space.

Mikeoaklandpark
Mikeoaklandpark on March 30, 2005 at 7:02 am

The theater closed in the late 80’s. By the late 70’s early 80s they started playing triple features. I worked shortly for the SamEric chain and the this was one of there highest grossing theaters.I think Sameric took over in the late 60’s or early 70’s.

RickB
RickB on March 29, 2005 at 9:20 pm

Operated by Stanley Warner at one time; by the ‘70s it was run by Sameric (which advertised it as the Eric-Terminal). More of a B-movie venue than the typical Sameric theater. Don’t know how long this one stayed open; early '80s maybe?

A story years ago in Philadelphia Magazine said that the competition to lease this theater was once so heated that the management of a chain that lost out ordered its employees not to speak to employees of the chain that won!